Nature Notes Previous Episodes

The Jornada Mogollon: Shedding New Light on an Ancient Chihuahuan Desert Civilization

In the last pages of The Great Gatsby, Nick Carraway, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s narrator, imagines North America as first seen through European eyes. For a moment, he imagines, that early sailor “must have held his breath in the presence of … Continue reading

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Respect the Rattler: In Rural West Texas, Rattlesnake Awareness is a Must

The human response to potential risk is a complex thing. We can go to extremes – either of panic or denial. Resisting those extremes – being mindful of a hazard, while not being paralyzed by it – is challenging.   … Continue reading

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Across Millennia, Agave-Baking Has Been A Sacred Touchstone in Desert Life

Agave, and the related succulents lechuguilla and sotol, are the ancient touchstones of human life in our region. The continent’s oldest known “earth oven” was found south of Alpine – proof that Indigenous people have been baking agave here – … Continue reading

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On the Trail of Dinosaurs in “El Otro Big Bend”

Big Bend National Park is a land of superlatives, and that extends to an area of primal interest: the Age of Reptiles. Big Bend’s unparalleled fossil record has enthralled paleontologists and dinosaur enthusiasts for a century. Discoveries here include the … Continue reading

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The Big Bend Gambusia: Hot Springs Sustain the Ultimate Big Bend Native

For many Big Bend National Park regulars, it’s an essential stop after a day of desert adventuring. To ease into the soothing waters of the park’s hot springs, near Rio Grande Village, is pure animal satisfaction. Indeed, these springs were … Continue reading

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