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A Trip to Sanderson, Texas

Sanderson, West Texas—a beauty and a danger all its own.  Let’s take a walk through a dry stream bed on a large ranch located in the Trans-Pecos region of Texas.

It’s dry now but with heavy rains there are flash floods that race through the stream bed causing the water to quickly rise.   My nephew, Daniel, witnessed one such flash flood and cautioned, “Aunt Ann, if you had to get across you would be killed.”

Ranch property in Sanderson, Texas

In spite of the rugged conditions, unusual desert plants courageously endure. The wildflower, Apache Plume, provides a bit of softness. To see Apache Plume in bloom, click here.

Apache Plume

Texas Sotol finds it’s niche in solid rock.

Green Sotol

And even honey bees find a place to start a hive.

Bee hive in rock above a stream bed

Creosote bush, one of the most drought tolerant plants in North America, survives and even thrives in the region’s adversity. To cope with lack of water, the leaves drop off and the bush can live for two years without a drop of rain.  Creosote leaves have a pungent, oily smell. The oil has been used for centuries to create hand salve. And of course, dry hands and West Texas go hand in hand!

Cresosote Bush

Sanderson was designated the “Cactus Capital of Texas” by the state legislature in 1999 for its abundance and variety of desert dwelling plants such as the claret cup, horse crippler, fish hook, barrel and prickly pear cactus.

Prickly Pear Cactus

Goodbye for now to a land of diverse plants and topography. This Sanderson sunset punctuated by faded Sotol spikes ushers in the night.

Sanderson at sunset

 

Ann Lamb

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