Nature Notes Previous Episodes

The Squash Bee: A West Texas Native with an Outsized Impact

The hum of a hive, the burning pain of a sting – honeybees are hard to ignore. But don’t let the buzz of these European imports drown out the broader bee story. The native bees of the Americas are solitary, … Continue reading

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On the Pecos River, an Archeologist Cracks the Code of an Ancient Mural

The confluence of the Pecos and the Rio Grande is the Chihuahuan Desert’s lowest, hottest point. The landscape bears the evidence. Across sun-blasted limestone, stunted plants seem to writhe and twist, waiting out the harsh sentence of soil and sky. … Continue reading

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Mountain Slopes and Microscopes: Calibrating Geologic Time in the Guadalupes

In the 1830s, a group of Scottish and English naturalists were pursuing a new and unpopular idea: that the Earth’s features could be explained by natural processes, acting over vast stretches of time. Studying the rocks of the British Isles, … Continue reading

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Beyond Beautiful: Wildflower Guides Highlight Native American Traditions of Wild Plant Use

Our arid region trains us to accept austerity, starkness. But it also prepares us to greet with special wonder any exception to the desert rule: a spring-fed pool, a soaking rain, a wildflower in bloom. Easterners can take wildflowers for … Continue reading

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Agave Festival Marfa: A Bond Between Plant and People Inspires a Cultural Celebration

Agaves are signature plants of the Southwest and Mexico. Today, a taste for distilled agave spirits – tequila, mezcal – is global. But that’s a recent footnote to the profound human bond with agave. For 10,000 years, from present-day Mexico … Continue reading

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