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Even in the winter, Texas nature never goes out of season. And when it gets too cold outside, you can now read about it instead! Outdoors enthusiasts will enjoy this holiday collection featuring titles on the Lone Star state’s most iconic landscapes and nature spots, from the Brazos River to Big Bend. You won’t miss the snow with this fun bundle.
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From its ancient headwaters on the semiarid plains of eastern New Mexico to its mouth at the Gulf of Mexico, the Brazos River carves a huge and paradoxical crescent through Texas geography and history. Its average flow is the largest of Texas rivers, but its floods, low flows, silt, and natural salt have often frustrated human desires. It is one of the most dammed of Texas rivers, but its lower four hundred miles constitute one of the longest undammed stretches of river in North America.
In Exploring the Brazos River, Jim Kimmel follows this long, changeable river from its rocky “arms” in West Texas, through the stretch made famous by John Graves in his classic book, Goodbye to a River, to its lumbering presence as it flows, undammed and mostly untouched, down the Brazos Valley and into the Gulf of Mexico.
Exploring the entire river system, Kimmel first sets the context of climate and geology that determines the characteristics of the Brazos. He then explains the ecological processes that define the Brazos watershed before focusing on four reaches of the river, from the headwaters to the mouth. Each chapter features the captivating photography of Jerry Touchstone Kimmel and includes maps, charts, and descriptions of the water, land, ecology, and people. To encourage readers to explore on their own, Kimmel closes the chapters with tips on where best to experience the river and the surrounding countryside.
Amateur and professional naturalists and outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes will find Exploring the Brazos River a practical and inspiring guide for the introduction of—or re-acquaintance with—one of the most important, historic, and diverse natural resources in the Lone Star State.
To learn more about The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, sponsors of this book's series, please click here.
He profiles three hundred of the most common and unique species from all of the major groups of plants and animals: trees, shrubs, wildflowers, cacti, vines, grasses, ferns, fungi, lichens, birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, and invertebrates. Color photographs are included for each species along with a brief description.
He closes with a chapter on significant state parks and natural areas in the region as an invitation to visit and explore the Texas Hill Country.
As large metropolitan areas continue to encroach on the Hill Country, newcomers are moving in and more people are flocking to its many attractions. This guidebook will enrich the appreciation of the region’s rich and unique biodiversity and encourage conservation of the natural world encountered.
Photographer-naturalist Peter Koch first visited the new Big Bend National Park in February, 1945, on assignment to take promotional pictures for the National Park Service. He planned to spend a couple of weeks—and ended up staying for the rest of his life. Koch's magnificent photographs and documentary film-lectures Big Bend, Life in a Desert Wilderness and Desert Gold introduced the park to people across the United States, drawing thousands of visitors to the Big Bend. His photographs and films of the region remain among the best ever produced, and are an invaluable visual record of the first four decades of Big Bend National Park.
In this highly readable book, Koch's daughter June Cooper Price draws on the newspaper columns her father wrote for the Alpine Avalanche, supplemented by his photographs, journal entries, and short pieces by other family members, to present Peter Koch's vision of the Big Bend. The book opens with his first "big adventure," a six-day photographic trip through Santa Elena Canyon on a raft made from agave flower stalks. From there, Koch takes readers hiking on mountain trails and driving the scenic loop around Fort Davis. He also describes "wax smuggling" and other ways of making a living on the Mexican border; ranching in the Big Bend; the prehistory and Native Americans of the region; collaborating with botanist Barton Warnock on books of Trans-Pecos wildflowers; and the history and beauty of Presidio County, the Rio Grande, and the Chihuahuan Desert.
This fascinating blend of firsthand adventures, natural history, and personal musings on anthropology and history creates an unforgettable portrait of both Peter Koch and the Big Bend region he so loved.