Meteorites from Odessa, Texas

A METEORIC BLAST: Odessa Meteor Crater Museum Explores 63,000-year-old Crater

A meteor streaks across the pre-dawn sky, its long tail sparkling. Perhaps Chicken Little is right. The sky is falling. But what are the chances a killer meteorite might land in West Texas? The chances are low, but it has happened before.> Read more...
Texas Highways Magazine May 2016
Pronghorn Family Portrait


THE FLAMING GORGE-UINTAS SCENIC BYWAY of northeastern Utah rises from the sagebrush desert in Manila, crosses the Uinta Mountains, and drops back into sagebrush just north of Vernal. Deer, moose, elk, and turkeys can often be seen along the byway, but for a more intensive wildlife experience, wander slightly off the main road and discover one of the richest wildlife areas in the western United States.Read more...
MatadorNetwork November 2015
Red-bordered Pixie

COLOR IN MOTION: The National Butterfly Center in Mission

I'll confess. I'm addicted to butterflies. The mere thought of Silver-banded Hairstreaks, Red-bordered Pixies, White Peacocks, and Zebra Heliconians sets my heart racing. Read more...
Texas Highways Magazine October 2015
The Rock House Fire

OUT OF THE ASHES: The Rockhouse Fire and Its Aftermath

A spark. A dry blade of grass. A gust of wind. Thirty-four days and 314,444 charred acres later, exhausted fire-fighters report that the Rock House Fire is finally contained. Read more...
The Bighorn, Spring 2015
Common Buckeye on Plume Tiquilia

GROW NATIVE: A Story of Passion, Persistence, and the Love of Native Plants

Alpine's passion for native plants is not an accident. For more than 50 years, botanists at Sul Ross State University's Native Plant Propagation Program have collected seeds and cuttings, and tested hundreds of species to see which would do well as ornamentals. Read more...
Texas Gardener May/June 2015
Hand print in Cueva Larga


The Chihuahuan Desert is a massive arid region that straddles much of northern Mexico and a number of American states, including a large part of southwest Texas. It’s among the most diverse desert environments on the planet. Read more…
Cowpen Daisies

THE FIFTH SEASON: Rain, Sex and Hope

Spring, summer, fall, and winter. In most parts of the country, people settle for four seasons. Here in the Chihuahuan Desert region, we dream, hope, and talk constantly about our fifth season–the rainy season. Read more…
The Cenizo Journal Winter 2010, 4th Quarter:22-23.
Spotless Comma

THE SPOTLESS COMMA (Polygonia haroldii): A New Species for the United States

The spotless comma is a forest-dwelling butterfly of Mexico. What in the world was it doing in Texas? Read more…
News of the Lepidopterists’ Society, Spring 2014, 56(1):14-15,33.
Rufous Hummingbird


Winter has arrived in the Chihuahuan Desert. The grasses are golden-brown, the leaves are falling, and temperatures are dropping. But the thing that really says “winter” is the stillness. It’s so quiet. Where has everything gone? Read more…
Chihuahuan Desert Discovery55(2):14-17


I had a ponderosa pine tree in my yard. It stood about 10 feet from the corner of the house, its high branches stretched out, nearly brushing the roof when the wind blew. On the afternoon of April 9, 2011, an ember from the wildfire raging across the street set a branch on fire. The fire raced along the limb, jumped to the dry, wooden eaves of my 100-year old adobe house. In the end, there was nothing left. Read more…
Chihuahuan Desert Discovery57(1&2):31-33
DEM of Sierra Madera

THE SKY IS FALLING! Tales from Outer Space

The sky is falling, and it’s big news. From the 2,500-year-old folktale of Chicken Little, to the millions of dollars spent today on monitoring “near-earth asteroids,” it’s apparent that people are unnerved by the thought of a large, fast-moving object falling from the sky. So what are the chances that a killer asteroid might land in west Texas? If the past is any clue, perhaps better than you think. Read more …
Image used with permission from the UTPermian Basin Geology Department.
Packrat midden

PACKRATS: Time Travel to the Past

Have you ever been camping in the desert and “lost” your pocketknife, or your compass, or your shiny new camp fork? Have you seriously wondered whether you were losing your mind? Have faith. You were probably just the victim of a packrat. Read more…
Fossil Butterfly


As the days and nights get warmer you’ll start to see more and more butterflies and moths. To most people, the distinction between a butterfly and moth is pretty clear: a butterfly is large, bright, and flies during the daytime while moths are small, drab and beat against your windows at night. But in nature, few things are this clear cut—and butterflies and moths are no exception. Read more…
    Cathryn A. Hoyt | PO Box 215 | Fort Davis, TX 79734 | 432.249.0670 |