Nature Notes Previous Episodes

At White Sands, “Ghost Prints” Reveal the Antiquity of Human Life in the Americas

There are few recent archeological finds as awe-inspiring as the “ghost tracks” of White Sands National Park, near Alamogordo, New Mexico. These footprints, or trackways – which exist in the thousands, and become visible and then vanish, depending on moisture … Continue reading

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Salt Flat Lakes: Today’s Playas Have a Vast Ice-Age Predecessor

A rainy summer has brought a special beauty to all of West Texas. But the Salt Lakes at Salt Flat – the playas beneath the Guadalupe Mountains – have been the season’s stars. The lakes are shallow and short-lived, but … Continue reading

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From Drought to Deluge: In 2021, Dry Conditions Give Way to Historic Rains

This year’s summer rains have transformed our region, to stunning effect. Many ephemeral lakes – including the life-giving playas of the West Texas plains – have filled for the first time in more than a decade. The Salt Lake at … Continue reading

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Coyote Tales: Getting the Facts on the West’s Clever, Controversial Canine

Predators arouse powerful emotions. You may hold it to be self-evident that every creature is endowed with an inalienable right to exist, or understand scientifically that predators are essential to ecosystems. But when valuable livestock, or a beloved household pet, … Continue reading

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70 Million Years Ago, a River Ran Through It: Tracing the “Paleo Rio Grande” in Big Bend

In its jagged confusion of peaks and ranges, its canyons, hoodoos and badlands, Big Bend National Park is a complex landscape. Unsurprisingly, it’s a seductive place for geologists. Aspects of the Earth that elsewhere lie concealed and buried are here … Continue reading

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