The Blanco River

Author: Wes Ferguson
Publisher: River Books, Sponsored by the
ISBN: 1623495105
Release Date: 2017-03-08
Genre: History

For eighty-seven miles, the swift and shallow Blanco River winds through the Texas Hill Country. Its water is clear and green, darkened by frequent pools. But Spanish explorers named it the White River for the pale limestone they encountered along its banks and dramatic bluffs. Over the last two years, Wes Ferguson and Jacob Botter have paddled, walked, and waded the Blanco. They have explored its history, people, wildlife, and the natural beauty that surprises everyone who experiences this river. Described as "the defining element in some of the Hill Country's most beautiful scenery," the Blanco flows both above and below ground, part of a network of rivers and aquifers that sustains the region's wildlife and millions of humans alike. However, overpumping and prolonged drought have combined to weaken the Blanco's flow and sustenance, and in 2000--for the first time in recorded history--the river's most significant feeder spring, Jacob's Well, briefly ceased to flow. It stopped again in 2008. Then, in the spring of 2015, a devastating flood killed twelve people and toppled the huge cypress trees along its banks, altering not just the look of the river, but the communities that had come to depend on its serene presence. River travelers Ferguson and Botter tell the remarkable story of this changeable river, confronting challenges and dangers as well as rare opportunities to see parts of the river few have seen. The authors also photographed and recorded the human response to the destruction of a beloved natural resource that has become yet another episode in the story of water in Texas.

Of Texas Rivers and Texas Art

Author: Andrew Sansom
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
ISBN: 9781623495350
Release Date: 2017-02-10
Genre: Art

In Of Texas Rivers and Texas Art, Andrew Sansom, a leading Texas conservationist, and William E. Reaves, an influential Texas art collector and historian, have teamed up to showcase some of the finest contemporary river art detailing the gorgeous traits of Texas landscapes. The featured artwork comes from Randy Bacon, Mary Baxter, David Caton, Margie Crisp, Keith Davis, Fidencio Duran, Jon Flaming, Charles Ford, Pat Gabriel, Hunter George, Billy Hassell, Lee Jamison, Robb Kendrick, Laura Lewis, William Montgomery, Noe Perez, Jeri Salter, Erik Sprohge, Debbie Stevens, and William Young. Art in service of conservation is nothing new, as Sansom and Reaves note in their introductions. And rivers have figured prominently in the artistic imagination for all of recorded history and probably before that, as evidenced by flood stories and myths preserved in almost all the religious and folk traditions of the world. The collection of work included in this book is exemplary of the strong inspiration that rivers have provided for a vast current of literature, music, and art, in turn shaping their place in life and culture and bringing about a greater appreciation of the stunning beauty of our natural world.

Paddling Texas

Author: Shane Townsend
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9781493016358
Release Date: 2014-11-04
Genre: Sports & Recreation

From the canyons of Big Bend to the cypress swamps of Pine Island Bayou, the waters of Texas have something for most every type of paddler and every paddling mood. One might float the diminutive Comal River, argued to be the shortest river in the world. Another might dig deep and follow the four-day, 260-mile route of the Texas Water Safari, which Canoe & Kayak Magazine referred to as “The World’s Toughest Canoe Race.” Whitewater is here too. Lakes are as well. And, the Texas Gulf Coast is home to sandy beaches, knobby mangroves, and sea grass flats. Meanwhile, Texas is home to some of the fastest growing cities in America. And, paddling is the fastest growing outdoor sport in the country. “Paddling Texas” is a guide for those who are new to either and all those who love both. Featured trips offer easy access, secure environments, good facilities, great fishing, superb wildlife viewing, and beautiful scenery. “Paddling Texas” gives recreational paddlers and anglers all the information they’ll need to paddle many of the best trips in Texas.

River of Contrasts

Author: Margie Crisp
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
ISBN: 1603447474
Release Date: 2012-04-10
Genre: Art

Writer and artist Margie Crisp has traveled the length of Texas’ Colorado River, which rises in Dawson County, south of Lubbock, and flows 860 miles southeast across the state to its mouth on the Gulf of Mexico at Matagorda Bay. Echoing the truth of Heraclitus’s ancient dictum, the river’s character changes dramatically from its dusty headwaters on the High Plains to its meandering presence on the coastal prairie. The Colorado is the longest river with both its source and its mouth in Texas, and its water, from beginning to end, provides for the state’s agricultural, municipal, and recreational needs. As Crisp notes, the Colorado River is perhaps most frequently associated with its middle reaches in the Hill Country, where it has been dammed to create the six reservoirs known as the Highland Lakes. Following Crisp as she explores the river, sometimes with her fisherman husband, readers meet the river’s denizens—animal, plant, and human—and learn something about the natural history, the politics, and those who influence the fate of the river and the water it carries. Those who live intimately with the natural landscape inevitably formulate emotional responses to their surroundings, and the people living on or near the Colorado River are no exception. Crisp’s own loving tribute to the river and its inhabitants is enhanced by the exquisite art she has created for this book. Her photographs and maps round out the useful and beautiful accompaniments to this thoughtful portrait of one of Texas’ most beloved rivers. Book website: www.coloradorivertx.com Book blog: riverofcontrasts.wordpress.com Author website: www.margiecrisp.com Former first lady Laura Bush unveils this year's Texas Book Festival poster designed by artist Margie Crisp, author of River of Contrasts: The Texas Colorado. The poster features cliff swallows flying over the Colorado River. Photo by Grant Miller

The San Marcos

Author: Jim Kimmel
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
ISBN: 1585445428
Release Date: 2006
Genre: History

The San Marcos springs have flowed for around ten million years. In this ode to the river they form, Jim Kimmel brings us a picture of a watercourse brimming with life, past and present. Native, non-native, prehistoric, and modern-day plants, animals, and people have inhabited the river and its banks. Kimmel touches on them all with the affectionate and knowledgeable voice of one whose own life has been closely linked to the San Marcos. As readers journey with Kimmel from the river's headwater springs to its junction with the Guadalupe River, The San Marcos: A River's Story will capture the imagination and provide valuable information about the river and its crucial role in the ecological health of Texas. Original photographs by Jerry Touchstone Kimmel add a sense of the beauty and complexity of the river.

The Nueces River

Author: Margie Crisp
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
ISBN: 9781623495169
Release Date: 2017-03-27
Genre: Nature

First appearing on early Spanish maps as the Río Escondido, or hidden river, and later named Río de las Nueces after the abundant pecan trees along its banks, the Nueces today is a stream of seeming contradictions: a river that runs above and below ground; a geographic reminder of a history both noble and egregious; and a spring-fed stream transformed into a salty, steep-sided channel. From its fresh, clear headwaters on the Edwards Plateau, Margie Crisp and William B. Montgomery follow the river through the mesquite and prickly pear of the South Texas Plains, to the river’s end in Nueces and Corpus Christi Bays on the Gulf of Mexico. With vivid prose and paintings, they record their travels as they explore the length of the river on foot, kayak, and fishing boat, ultimately weaving a vivid portrait of today’s Nueces. Capturing the river’s subtle beauty, abundant wildlife, diverse culture, and unique history of exploration, conflict, and settlement, they reveal the untold story of this enigmatic river with passion, humor, and reverence.

Flash Floods in Texas

Author: Jonathan Burnett
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
ISBN: 1585445908
Release Date: 2008-04-02
Genre: Nature

A collection of historical anecdotes, personal accounts, and graphic pictures of floods from around Texas, beginning with the Austin dam break of 1900 and ending with the 2002 flooding in the hill country, captures the history of flash floods in the state, as well as the causes of the disasters and their costs in material damage and human lives.

Running the River

Author: Wes Ferguson
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
ISBN: 9781623491277
Release Date: 2014-03-05
Genre: Nature

Growing up near the Sabine, journalist Wes Ferguson, like most East Texans, steered clear of its murky, debris-filled waters, where alligators lived in the backwater sloughs and an occasional body was pulled from some out-of-the-way crossing. The Sabine held a reputation as a haunt for a handful of hunters and loggers, more than a few water moccasins, swarms of mosquitoes, and the occasional black bear lumbering through swamp oak and cypress knees. But when Ferguson set out to do a series of newspaper stories on the upper portion of the river, he and photographer Jacob Croft Botter were entranced by the river’s subtle beauty and the solitude they found there. They came to admire the self-described “river rats” who hunted, fished, and swapped stories along the muddy water—plain folk who love the Sabine as much as Hill Country vacationers love the clear waters of the Guadalupe. Determined to travel the rest of the river, Ferguson and Botter loaded their gear and launched into the stretch of river that charts the line between the states and ends at the Gulf of Mexico.

Heads Above Water

Author: Robert L. Gulley
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
ISBN: 9781623492687
Release Date: 2015-01-21
Genre: Business & Economics

Since the 1950s, competing interests for use of Edwards Aquifer resources—the primary source of water for more than two million people in south central Texas—were at war. They had tried many times to resolve their differences about how to conserve, allocate, and use the water, but had always failed. Finally, under the patient leadership of Robert Gulley, thirty-nine diverse stakeholders reached a consensus on the use of the Edwards Aquifer that balanced the needs of south central Texas for water with the needs of eight species protected by the Endangered Species Act, culminating a half century of rancor and legal wrangling. In this book, Gulley tells the inside story of the Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program (EARIP), a federally sponsored process put in place by the Texas legislature. How such a large and fractious group came together to resolve one of the nation’s most intractable and longstanding water problems serves as a case study in consensus building. That consensus brought certainty to the region regarding the use of the aquifer while creating an unlikely but lasting partnership for conservation.

Texas Aquatic Science

Author: Rudolph A. Rosen
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
ISBN: 9781623491932
Release Date: 2014-12-10
Genre: Education

Texas Aquatic Science, originally developed as part of a multi-faceted education project for middle and high school students, can also be used at the college level for non-science majors, in the home-school environment, and by anyone who educates kids about nature and water.

Blanco River Pocket Guide

Author: David Ellzey
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN: 1541354648
Release Date: 2017-01-18
Genre:

Whether you are looking to take a multi-day paddling excursion or just go out for an afternoon splashing with the kids, the Blanco River Pocket Guide has all the detailed information you need. It's designed with a full-color visual layout that allows you to meticulously plan out your trip, aid you with navigation and track your progress down the river. "A must-have guide! It really opens up a river that everyone thought had little or no access."-Chris Johnson, fly fishing guide and owner of Living Waters Fly Fishing "I grew up paddling the Texas Hill Country rivers, and this guide has already opened my eyes to the areas that I never knew existed."-Thomas Flemons, owner of Diablo Kayaks

The Book of Texas Bays

Author: James B. Blackburn
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
ISBN: 9781603442756
Release Date: 2004-11-11
Genre: Photography

In a dazzling tribute to the Texas coast, conservationist and lawyer Jim Blackburn has teamed with photographer Jim Olive to give us the most intimate and important portrait yet of Texas bays and of those who work for their wise use and preservation. While giving life and sustenance to plants, animals, and people, the bays and estuaries of Texas have other stories to tell—about freshwater inflows, deep port construction, disappearing oyster beds, beach resorts, industrial pollution, and more. At a certain point, each story brings opposing forces into the courtroom for vigorous debates on the future of some of our most valuable and irreplaceable resources. The Book of Texas Bays is a personal account of legal battles won and lost, but it is also a fine work of natural history by someone who has a deep spiritual connection to the Texas coast and all it has to offer. Jim Olive’s stunning photographs present us with a dramatic perspective of our relationship with the Gulf and remind us of both the grandness and the fragility of our coastal treasures.

From the Frio to Del Rio

Author: Mary S. Black
Publisher: Tarleton State University Sout
ISBN: 1623495083
Release Date: 2017-04-05
Genre: History

Each year, more than two million visitors enjoy the attractions of the Western Hill Country, with Uvalde as its portal, and the lower Pecos River canyonlands, which stretch roughly along US 90 from Brackettville, through Del Rio, and on to the west. Amistad National Recreation Area, the Judge Roy Bean Visitors' Center and Botanical Garden, Seminole Canyon State Park, and the Briscoe-Garner Museum in Uvalde, along with ghost towns, ancient rock art, sweeping vistas, and unique flora and fauna, are just a few of the features that make this distinctive section of the Lone Star State an enticing destination. Now, veteran writer, blogger, and educator Mary S. Black serves up the best of this region's special adventures and secret treasures. From the Frio to Del Rio is chock-full of helpful maps, engaging descriptions of points of interest, colorful photography, and tips on where to stay, what to do, and how to get there. There's even a trivia quiz to keep travelers entertained and informed while en route. This guide to what could be called the Texas "Hill Country-Desert Trail" is your indispensable travel companion for unforgettable discoveries in wide open spaces.

Texas Riparian Areas

Author: Nicole A. Davis
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
ISBN: 9781623492557
Release Date: 2015
Genre: Nature

Riparian areas—transitional zones between the aquatic environments of streams, rivers, and lakes and the terrestrial environments on and alongside their banks—are special places. They provide almost two hundred thousand miles of connections through which the waters of Texas flow. Keeping the water flowing, in as natural a way as possible, is key to the careful and wise management of the state’s water resources. Texas Riparian Areas evolved from a report commissioned by the Texas Water Development Board as Texas faced the reality of over-allocated water resources and long-term if not permanent drought conditions. Its purpose was to summarize the characteristics of riparian areas and to develop a common vocabulary for discussing, studying, and managing them.

Simple Fly Fishing

Author: Yvon Chouinard
Publisher: Patagonia
ISBN: 9781938340284
Release Date: 2014-04-15
Genre: Sports & Recreation

Modern-day fly fishing, like much in life, has become exceedingly complex, with high-tech gear, a confusing array of flies and terminal tackle, accompanied by high-priced fishing guides. This book reveals that the best way to catch trout is simply, with a rod and a fly and not much else. The wisdom in this book comes from a simpler time, when the premise was: the more you know, the less you need. It teaches the reader how to discover where the fish are, at what depth, and what they are feeding on. Then it describes the techniques needed to present a fly at that depth, make it look lifelike, and hook the fish. With chapters on wet flies, nymphs, and dry flies, its authors employ both the tenkara rod as well as regular fly fishing gear to cover all the bases. Illustrated by renowned fish artist James Prosek, with inspiring photographs and stories throughout, Simple Fly Fishing reveals the secrets and the soul of this captivating sport.