Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Geography Lesson

The sprawling size of Texas can be divided into a diversity of landforms.  Elevations range from sea level to craggy mountain peaks over 8000 feet high.  More than 55 inches of annual rainfall drench jungle-like regions of East Texas , while the sun-baked Chihuahuan Desert of West Texas  averages less than eight inches of moisture per year.  While Panhandle localities average 24 inches of snowfall a year, while the subtropical tip of Texas rarely records a single snowflake.

The Panhandle Plains combine the vegetational areas of the Rolling Plains, consisting of mid-grass prairies and juniper woodlands, and the short-grass High Plains, which are southernmost extension of the Great Plains of the United States.

The Prairies and Lakes region has belts of oak forest crossing strips of prairie grassland .  This region, east of the Panhandle Plains, also includes the Blackland Prairies, so named for its deep, fertile black soils. 


East of this region is the Piney Woods, which included the Post Oak Savannah.  The Piney Woods is characterized by mixed pine and hardwood forests, and swamps.


The Post Oak Savannah, dominated by hickories, post oak and blackjack oak, comprises a transition zone between the eastern forests and the prairies to the west. 

South of the Piney Woods, the Gulf Coast, a 50-100 mile wide arc of land bordering the Gulf of Mexico, consists of cordgrass marshes in addition to miles of sandy beaches.


Adjacent to the Coast on the west is the South Texas Plains, known as the Rio Grande Plain.  Formerly an area of open grasslands, agriculture, industry and urban development have changed it into a land of thorny woodlands and shrub lands.

In Central Texas the Edwards Plateau, more popularly known as the Hill Country, is primarily an area of oak-hickory or oak-juniper woodlands, mesquite-mixed brush savannah, and grasslands.


Its most scenic area is comprised of limestone cliffs, caves, granite outcrops and hidden springs. 



The southwestern “horn” of Texas is Big Bend Country, and includes the Trans-Pecos zone.  It is a land of desert shrublands,  wooded mountains, and moist canyons



We have visited all of these area of Texas.  This trip, we have explored five of them.

The story continues.

Louise and Duane

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