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Stories and Recipes from the Edwards Plateau

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

Stories and

Recipes from the Edwards

Plateau*

These 25 million acres are rolling to mountainous, with woodlands in the eastern part and grassy prairies in the west. There is a good deal of brushy growth in the central and eastern areas. The combination of grasses, weeds and small trees is ideal for cattle, sheep, goats, deer, and wild turkey.

The limestone-based area is characterized by the large number of springfed, perennially flowing streams that originate in its interior and flow across the Balcones Escarpment, which bounds it on the south and east. The soils are shallow, ranging from sandy to clays, and are calcareous in reaction. This area is predominantly rangeland with cultivation confined to the deeper soils.

In the east-central portion is the well-marked Central or Llano

Basin, centering in Mason, Llano, and Burnet counties, with a mixture of granitic and sandy soils. The western portion of the area comprises the semi-arid Stockton Plateau. Noteworthy is the growth of cypress along the perennially flowing streams. . . . These

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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.

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Stories and Recipes from the Post Oak Savannah

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

Stories and

Recipes from the Post Oak

Savannah*

The secondary forest area, also called the Post Oak Belt, covers some 7 million acres. It is immediately west of the primary forest region, with less annual rainfall and a little higher elevation. Principal trees are post oak, blackjack oak, and elm. Pecans, walnuts, and other kinds of water-demanding trees grow along streams. The southwestern extension of this belt is often poorly defined, with large areas of prairie. The upland soils are sandy and sandy loam, while the bottomlands are sandy loams and clays.

The original vegetation consisted mainly of little bluestem, big bluestem, indiangrass, switchgrass, purpletop, silver bluestem,

Texas wintergrass, woodoats, narrowleaf, post oak, and blackjack oak. The area is still largely native or improved grasslands, with small farms located throughout. Intensive grazing has contributed to dense stands of a woody understory of yaupon, greenbriar, and oak brush.

*Stephan L. Hatch, Texas Almanac, 2014–2015, Elizabeth Cruce Alvarez, editor (Austin: Texas State Historical Association), 115. Used with permission of Texas State Historical Association.

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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.

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Stories and Recipes from the High Plains

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

Stories and

Recipes from the High

Plains*

The High Plains, some 19 million treeless acres, are an extension of the Great Plains to the north. Its level nature and porous soils prevent drainage over wide areas.

The relatively light rainfall flows into the numerous shallow

“playa” lakes or sinks into the ground to feed the great underground aquifer that is the source of water for the countless wells that irrigate the surface of the plains. A large part of this area is under irrigated farming, but native grassland remains in about onehalf of the High Plains.

Blue grama and buffalograss comprise the principal vegetation on the clay loam “hardland” soils. Important grasses on the sandy loam “sandy land” soils are little bluestem, western wheatgrass, indiangrass, switchgrass, and sand reedygrass. Sand shinnery oak, sand sagebrush, mesquite, and yucca are conspicuous invading brushy plants.

*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.

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