Nature Notes Previous Episodes

The Making of the “Great River”: the Epic Story of the Rio Grande

It’s the lifeline of the Southwest. The Rio Grande flows for almost 2,000 miles, from the snowy San Juan Mountains to subtropical plains and the Gulf of Mexico. Yet most of its journey is through the desert, and its impact … Continue reading

Full episode details

Biocrusts: A Hidden World at Our Feet

Its appearance can be intimidating, but West Texas is anything but lifeless. Indeed, this land sustains diverse habitats and ecosystems. Yet there’s one ecosystem here that even seasoned desert explorers are often unaware of.  Its inhabitants include the planet’s oldest … Continue reading

Full episode details

The Rio Grande Rift: A Tectonic Reality Shaping Landscapes and Life in West Texas

“Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror,” the poet Rainer Marie Rilke writes, “which we are still just able to endure, and we are so awed because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.” It’s a definition that could have … Continue reading

Full episode details

From West Texas to Australia, Probing the Mysteries of “Gypsophilic” Plants

The white sands of the Chihuahuan Desert – which, in the U.S., are found at their namesake national park in New Mexico, and near the Guadalupe Mountains – are rightfully described as “otherworldly.” The gypsum dunes are luminous, hypnotic. But … Continue reading

Full episode details

Desert Vampires: Ectoparasites in West Texas

They’re a maligned group of creatures, and not entirely without reason. Ticks, fleas, lice and chigger mites fasten themselves to a host to feed – on blood, or, in some cases, dead skin, hair or feathers. In the process, they … Continue reading

Full episode details