Nature Notes Previous Episodes

“A Most Desperate Fight”: Battlefield Archeology on the West Texas Plains

What archeology tells us about the past is often partial, tentative, generating as many questions as answers. Yet in some cases, archeology can reveal the past in stunning detail.  Fought on the Llano Estacado and its caprock canyons in 1874, … Continue reading

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Conquest of West Texas: Archeology Tells the Epochal Story of the Red River War

The story was repeated dozens of times in the 19th century, from the Carolinas to California: lands and resources promised to Native Americans in treaties were seized or plundered, when the nation’s surging white population found those treaties inconvenient. Tribes … Continue reading

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Snapshots of “the Wonderful Country”: Ecosystem Change and Historic Photographs

“Oh, how I wish I had the power to describe the wonderful country as I saw it then.” James B. Gillett entered West Texas in the 1870s, as a Texas Ranger. The “wonderful country” he saw was no virgin land, … Continue reading

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In “Texas as Art,” Geologist Transforms Satellite Imagery to Stunning Effect

As a return to air travel accelerates, some remember its conveniences, others its hassles. There are also surprising moments of beauty from the air. A window seat on a flight from Midland to Las Vegas presents a vision of the … Continue reading

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Nurturing Nature in West Texas with “Water for Wild Birds”

On the prairies and deserts, in the cities and towns, sweet bursts of melody are announcing spring’s arrival in West Texas. As the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins put it, a single bird song, and “the whole landscape flushes on a … Continue reading

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