Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. ix-x

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Series Editor's Foreword

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pp. xi-xii

When Texas came into the United States in 1845, it did so as an independent nation and, unlike other western states, was able to retain its public lands. For the next seventy years or so, these lands were sold off to support the government and educational institutions of the new state. ...

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Foreword

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pp. xiii-xiv

I met David K. Langford for the first time in a conference room located at 7809 Broadway in San Antonio, Texas, in the fall of 1986. I was twenty-eight years old. David was forty-four. He was a professional photographer and a very interesting fellow. I liked him from the first day. ...

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Preface

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pp. xv-xvi

We have written this book because both of us are passionate about private land stewardship and the role it plays in the ecological well-being of Texas. We are passionate about our state’s proud past, where pioneers such as the architect Alfred Giles left their indelible marks on Texas’ small towns with their skills and on the rural landscape with their far-sighted management. ...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xvii-xviii

The idea for this book was not mine. A friend gave it to me. It started when he commissioned me to document the passage of a year’s worth of seasons on his family’s Texas Hill Country ranch. The resulting portfolio inspired us both because in those images, the hard-to-tell story of stewardship was clearly evident. ...

Photographer's Note

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pp. xix-xx

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Prologue: Drought

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pp. xxi-xxiv

No one will deny that a picture is indeed worth a thousand words, but if a picture is viewed without context, a pretty tree is just a pretty tree. This book is chock full of pretty trees, pretty birds, pretty landscapes, pretty livestock, and pretty water. ...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-16

Bubbling springs, crystalline creeks, and the blue-green Guadalupe River have drawn people to the hills of present-day Kendall County since prehistoric times. Where there is water there is life. ...

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Spring

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pp. 17-67

The orange-red of a robin’s breast is a harbinger of spring in many parts of the nation; however, in the Hill Country, a blur of iridescence marks spring’s arrival as migratory birds return to their breeding and nesting grounds. First, a few purple martins and black-chinned hummingbirds arrive to scout out the prospects. ...

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Summer

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pp. 68-121

Summer shimmers, as a glaring sun dominates the sky, casting harsh shadows except for a few minutes at sunup and sundown. Scorching waves of heat, often intensified by blasts of wind, increase evaporation and bake the landscape in Mother Nature’s version of a convection oven. ...

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Autumn

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pp. 122-175

Fall is two-faced. Each year, without hesitation, it rockets in with the blast of shotgun shells and a flurry of gray feathers as dove season opens on the first weekend of September. Assorted members of the sunflower species stand tall, providing a buffet for the migrating flocks and a golden backdrop for families and friends taking the field. ...

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Winter

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pp. 176-228

Winter in the Hill Country is muted. Banks of dark blue-black clouds herald the arrival of periodic northers, sometimes powerful enough to turn running water into abstract ice sculptures. The sun hangs low and cool, casting long shadows. Fog and mist often soften the topography and blanket the vegetation, shrouding the views in an almost-white haze. ...

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Epilogue

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pp. 229-242

While it is easy to imagine that rural Texans and urban Texans are separated by insurmountable barriers of concrete and experience, it is not true. We stand on common ground. As humans, we all need the same things: healthy food, durable clothing, protective shelter, clean water, and productive open spaces that are not only home to our essential natural resources and processes, ...

Index

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pp. 243-250

Other Titles in the Conservation Leadership Series

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