10 Chapters
Medium 9781574416282

Stories and Recipes from the Trans-Pecos Mountains and Basins

Frances B. Vick (Editor) University of North Texas Press PDF

Stories and

Recipes from the Trans-Pecos

Mountains and

Basins*

With as little as eight inches of annual rainfall, long hot summers, and usually cloudless skies to encourage evaporation, this 18-million-acre area produces only drought-resistant vegetation without irrigation.

Grass is usually short and sparse.

The principal vegetation consists of lechuguilla, ocotillo, yucca, cenizo, prickly pear, and other arid land plants. In the more arid areas gyp and chino grama, and tobosagrass prevail. There is some mesquite. The vegetation includes creosote-tarbush, desert shrub, grama grassland, yucca and juniper savannahs, pine oak forest, and saline flats.

The mountains are 3,000 to 8,749 feet in elevation and support piñon pine, juniper, and some ponderosa pine and other forest vegetation on a few of the higher slopes. The grass on the higher mountain slopes includes many southwestern and Rocky Mountain

*Stephan L. Hatch, Texas Almanac, 2014–2015, Elizabeth Cruce Alvarez, editor (Austin: Texas State Historical Association), 117. Used with permission of Texas State Historical Association.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574416282

Stories and Recipes from The Piney Woods

Frances B. Vick (Editor) University of North Texas Press PDF

Stories and

Recipes from

The Piney

Woods*

Most of this area of some 16 million acres, ranges from about 50 to 780 feet above sea level and receives 40 to 56 inches of rain yearly. Many rivers, creeks, and bayous drain the region. Nearly all of Texas’ commercial timber comes from this area. There are three native species of pine, the principal timber: longleaf, shortleaf, and loblolly. Hardwoods include oaks, elm, hickory, magnolia, sweet and black gum, tupelo, and others.

The area is interspersed with native and improved grasslands.

Cattle are the primary grazing animals. Deer and quail are abundant in properly managed habitats. Primary forage plants, under proper grazing management, include species of bluestems, rossettegrass, panicums, paspaiums, blackseed needlegrass, Canada and Virginia wildryes, purpletop, broadleaf and spike woodoats, switchcane, lovegrasses, indiangrass, and numerous legume ­species.

Highly disturbed areas have understory and overstory of undesirable woody plants that suppress growth of pine and desirable grasses. . . .Grasslands have been invaded by threeawns, annual grasses, weeds, broomsedge bluestem, red lovegrass, and shrubby woody species.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574416282

Stories and Recipes from the South Texas Plains

Frances B. Vick (Editor) University of North Texas Press PDF

Stories and

Recipes from the South Texas

Plains*

South of San Antonio, between the coast and the Rio Grande, are some 21 million acres of subtropical dryland vegetation, consisting of small trees, shrubs, cactus, weeds, and grasses. The area is noteworthy for extensive brushlands and is known as the Brush Country, or the Spanish equivalents of chaparral or monte. Principal plants are mesquite, small live oak, post oak, prickly pear (Opuntia) cactus, catclaw, blackbrush, whitebrush, guajillo, huisache, cenizo, and others that often grow very densely.

The original vegetation was mainly perennial warm-season bunchgrasses in savannahs of post oak, live oak, and mesquite.

Other brush species form dense thickets on the ridges and along streams. Long-continued grazing has contributed to the dense cover of brush. Most of the desirable grasses have only persisted under the protection of brush and cacti.

There are distinct differences in the original plant communities on various soils. Dominant grasses on the sandy loam soils are seacoast bluestem, bristlegrass, paspalum, windmillgrass, silver

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574416282

Stories and Recipes from the Gulf Prairies and Marshes

Frances B. Vick (Editor) University of North Texas Press PDF

Stories and

Recipes from the Gulf Prairies and Marshes*

The Gulf Prairies and Marshes cover approximately 10 million acres.

There are two subunits: (a) the marsh and salt grasses immediately at tidewater, and (b) a little farther inland, a strip of bluestems, and tall grasses, with some gramas in the western part. Many of these grasses make excellent grazing. Oaks, elm, and other hardwoods grow to some extent especially along streams, and the area has some post oak and brushy extensions along its borders. Much of the Gulf

Prairies is fertile farmland, and the area is well suited for cattle.

Principal grasses of the Gulf Prairies are tall bunch grasses, including big bluestem, little bluestem, seacoast bluestem, indiangrass, eastern gamagrass, Texas wintergrass, switchgrass, and gulf cordgrass. Saltgrass occurs on moist saline sites.

Heavy grazing has changed the native vegetation in many cases so the predominant grasses are the less desirable broomsedge bluestem, smutgrass, threeawns, tumblegrass, and many other inferior grasses. Other plants that have invaded the productive grasslands include oak underbrush, Macartney rose, huisache, mesquite, prickly pear, ragweed, bitter sneezeweed, broomweed, and others.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574416282

Stories and Recipes from the Rolling Plains

Frances B. Vick (Editor) University of North Texas Press PDF

Stories and

Recipes from the Rolling

Plains*

This is a region of approximately 24 million acres of alternating woodlands and prairies. The area is half mesquite woodland and half prairie. Mesquite trees have steadily invaded and increased in the grasslands for many years, despite constant control efforts.

Soils range from coarse sands along out-wash terraces adjacent to streams to tight or compact clays on redbed clays and shales.

Rough broken lands on steep slopes are found in the western portion. About two-thirds of the area is rangeland, but cultivation is important in certain localities.

The original vegetation includes big, little, sand and silver bluestems, Texas wintergrass, indiangrass, switchgrass, sideoats and blue gramas, wild-ryes, tobosagrass, and buffalograss on the clay soils.

The sandy soils support tall bunchgrasses, mainly sand bluestem.

Sand shinnery oak, sand sagebrush, and mesquite are the dominant woody plants. Continued heavy grazing contributes to the increase in woody plants, low-value grasses, such as red grama, red lovegrass, tumblegrass, gummy lovegrass, Texas grama, sand dropseed, and sandbur with western ragweed, croton, and many other weedy forbs. Yucca is a problem plant on certain rangelands.

See All Chapters

See All Chapters