Nature Notes Previous Episodes

Yuccas and Yucca Moths: A Remarkable West Texas Pair

Tall ‘Spanish daggers’ stand in the Big Bend desert, their limbs extended in expressive gestures. Another variety – the Great Plains or “soapweed’ species – dots the Llano Estacado. Yucca plants are found across much of the Americas. But they … Continue reading

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In Sandals, Ropes and Baskets, Caves in the Guadalupe Mountains Preserved the Handicrafts of Ancient Life

The Guadalupe Mountains are seductive for their wooded canyons and high forests. But they’re as notable for what’s hidden beneath and within them as they are for their peaks. Carlsbad Caverns is famous, but there are caves and rockshelters throughout … Continue reading

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White Sands: America’s Newest National Park is a Chihuahuan Desert Wonder

“If one is inclined to wonder at first how so many came to be in the loneliest land that ever came out of God’s hands, one does not wonder so much after having lived there,” Mary Austin wrote in 1903, … Continue reading

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Underfoot in West Texas, A Mysterious World of Desert Ants and Their Uninvited “Guests”

Their social dynamics are intricate, and their legacy on the planet dates back some 150 million years. Ants can go unnoticed – underfoot as they are – but they’re a significant part of life on Earth. They comprise almost a … Continue reading

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Desert “Unicorns”: The White Lizards of the Salt Basin Dunes

In the West Texas countryside on a summer day, you’re apt to glimpse one racing across the ground, or basking in the sun. If you’re a “desert rat” yourself, you’re likely to identify with the small creature’s evident love of … Continue reading

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