Category Archives: Natural areas

The heartbeat of nature

It may not seem like much, but that strip of forest behind my childhood home made me a biologist, a lover of nature, a seeker of the unexpected. I thought about it as the airplane made a wide loop into … Continue reading

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Texas: a sense of place, a sense of time, a sense of history

Before the cold front blew in last night, three ravens flew over the house, identified before I saw them by their hoarse voices. If ever there is an omen, three calling ravens should qualify. I might view them as warning … Continue reading

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Japhet Creek, Houston jewel just north of the Ship Channel

What if we banded together to save a tiny corner of trashed Houston and brought it to natural beauty? The north shore of the ship channel might not be the first place you would think of, but then you would … Continue reading

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Estes Park and Texans

There is a special relationship between Texas and Colorado that you can see in the bars of Estes Park and on the trails of Rocky Mountain National Park. This relationship is based originally on the summer heat of Houston and … Continue reading

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Pecos River headwaters, pinyon jays, and dear friends

Remember the Pecos River as we saw it from the bridge on Highway 90 in Texas? We were returning from Big Bend National Park, driving to San Antonio. The muddy river swelled between cliffs, savoring its last moments before joining … Continue reading

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The Bastrop Fires of 2011 and the importance of biological catastrophe

The lovely collard lizards of the Ozark glades are endangered, not because there are no more glades, not because they are hunted for their lovely blue throats, but because of fire suppression. … If only we could embrace fires in Texas, in the Ozarks, in Yellowstone, and on every fire-sculpted landscape before they become deadly. IMG_2745.JPG A burned forest. IMG_2760.JPG Fallen needles on burned needles. IMG_2773.JPG Are any of these trees still living? Continue reading

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Texans in Ecuador discover and preserve

We may have the entire genome of the zebra finch and the silk moth, but for so many tropical birds and butterflies we don’t even have one life stage connected to the other. We may not even have one sex … Continue reading

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