Nature Notes Previous Episodes

Cabeza de Vaca’s “Chronicle”: A Singular Glimpse of the Native American Past

“I wandered through many very strange lands, lost and naked. This [chronicle] is the only thing that a man who left there naked could bring back.” In 1527, with hundreds of his countrymen, Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca sailed for … Continue reading

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“Lost Crops Rediscovered”: Uncovering an Ancient History of Agave Farming

For Native Americans in the Southwest, agave was the staff of life. Slow-roasted, agave hearts were converted into sweet food, and nomadic peoples cached dried agave for lean winter months. Agave fiber was used in baskets and mats. The plant … Continue reading

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Complex Forces Shape West Texas’ Summer Monsoon

Temperatures linger well above 100 – the outback bustles with scorpions, rattlesnakes and tarantula hawk wasps. Summer in West Texas is fierce. But, in this arid land, it also means the happiest of prospects: rain. Between May and September, the … Continue reading

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Tequila Interchange Project Says Future of Agave Spirits Must Be “Bat-Friendly”

It’s been a staple for as long as people have lived within its range. From Texas to the Mexican interior, agave has been food, fiber and drink, and its distilled spirits – tequila, mezcal – have been called “the spirit … Continue reading

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At Agave Fest, Archeologist Will Discuss Bi-National Research into the Region’s Past

Bison-hunting on the plains, agave-roasting in the desert – throughout its epic sweep, Native American life in our region was most often nomadic. One place stands apart. La Junta – the confluence of the Rio Grande and Rio Conchos – … Continue reading

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