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Here and there are patches of potatoes, buckwheat and rye, the yellow and green breaking the gray surface of the rocky waste; not a habitation, not a living creature, is in sight. Before us and around stretch desert upon desert of bare limestone, the nearer undulations cold and slaty in tone, the remoter taking the loveliest, warmest dyes --gold brown, deep orange, just tinted with crimson, reddish purple and pale rose. We are on the threshold of the true Caussien region. Sterility of soil, a Siberian climate, geographical isolation, here reach their climax, whilst at the base of these lofty calcareous tablelands lie sequestered valleys fertile fields and flowery gardens, oases of the Lozerien Sahara.