The Black Range Naturalist

The Black Range Naturalist is a periodic newsletter on the natural history of the Black Range.  It is written by people who live in and/or work in the Black Range.  It is archived on this page at the same time that it is distributed via email.  Each issue is made available in two .pdf sizes, a compressed version suitable for emailing and a full size version - both may be read online or downloaded.  Each issue is also available in magazine format, issues in this format are available on our bookcase as well as below.   If you would like to be added to the email distribution list please let know.  


The Black Range Naturalist is a grassroots/non-commercial effort.  We appreciate and consider all submittals.


The Black Range Naturalist, Volume 3, Number 1, January 3, 2020 
The Mimbres Issue:  Available in 3 formats

Uncompressed .pdf  (This file is 114 MB in size)
Compressed .pdf (This file is suitable for emailing, it is 6.6 MB in size)
Magazine format (external link)

This issue contains several articles which have a Mimbres culture slant to them.  It starts with an “editorial” about the relationship between structured science and other forms of knowledge.  That article is followed by Harley Shaw’s “Dogs and Snakes” which focuses on the interactions of rattlesnakes and dogs.  Paul C. Standley is one of our most famous botantists, the following article describes some aspects of his life.  In “The Archaeology of Animals in Southwest New Mexico, AD 1000 - 1130” Dr. Karen G. Schollmeyer discusses what we know about the natural world of the Mimbres people.  Her article is followed by Bob Barnes’ survey piece about the natural history depicted in Mimbres Art.  “A Mimbres Controversy” follows, because it is always good to have a controversy.  The centerfold is by Dr. Schollmeyer and S. O. MacDonald, a copy of which may be downloaded.  Ever wondered about those “wood encrusted” twigs in the desert?  Dr. Walt Whitford provides us with a great deal of insight about the “Foliage Insects and Termites” of our area in the following article.  A follow-on to Randy Gray’s excellent Rattlesnake article in “Eastern Black-tailed Rattlenake” brings us up to date on that speciation question.  Part 2 of Steve Morgan’s series on Aldo Leopold follows and the issue is rounded out by a description of remote sensor research being performed in the Black Range.

The Black Range Naturalist, Volume 2, Number 4, October 3, 2019 (this file is 117.4 MB in size, see the compressed version below for a file which is 5.7 MB in size).  The magazine version of this issue is available at this link.  In this issue we begin our serious exploration of the geology of the Black Range.  The first article describes the material found on geologic maps by using examples of four geologic maps from the Black Range.  “To Be Known as a Variety” focuses on Frederic Endlich, who had a variety of Vanadinite named after him when he was the mine manager at the Sierra mines in Lake Valley.  Continuing with a historical theme, the next article “Giant of the Mimbres” notes the “discovery” of the subject rock formation in the Mimbres Valley and the publications about it in various travel journals of the mid to late 1800’s.  “Hematite and Specularite” notes the significant difference a change in chemical composition can make.   “Rhyolite and Tuff” describe the physical attributes of these volcanic rocks and muses about the Black Range as it was 25 mya.  “Mt. St. Helens Pumice” provides a personal perspective of what that environment (the Black Range 25 mya) might have been like.  The Periodic Table is a 150 years old this year, the next article describes the table and explains its usefulness to those who mined in the area.  Steve Morgan discusses the legacy of Aldo Leopold in the following article.  “The Sonoran Coral Snake” is the topic of Steve Siegfried’s article which follows, which is - in turn - followed by “Letters to the Editor”.  A piece on the Native Plant Society of New Mexico and a natural history discussion of the Sawyers Peak Trail round-out this issue.  A smaller file of this issue, suitable for email if you wish, is available at this link. 

The Black Range Naturalist, Volume 2, Number 3, July 3, 2019 (this file is 75.3 MB in size, see the compressed version below for a file which is 10.5 MB in size).  The magazine version of this issue is available at this link.   In this issue, we start with a focus on Pack Rats.  First with an article about their natural history by Walt Whitford, then with an article about personal experiences with the creatures during years of field research - by Harley Shaw.  The documentation of nesting Eurasian Collared-Doves by Bob Barnes follows and then an article by the Mourning Cloak Butterfly by Siegfried.  A preliminary checklist of dragonflies in the Black Range is found about a third of the way into the magazine.  Your observations and additions will be added to the checklist as we work on a final product.  Letters to the Editor follow.  Eastern Bluebirds in the Black Range is the topic of an article that follows “letters”, with photographs by Véronique De Jaegher and Bob Barnes.  Ned and Gigi Batchelder describe how they went about identifying objects on the heads of hummingbirds they were banding following the Bluebird article.  Next we include an experimental listing - Recent Readings in Natural History - which lists some of the books being read in the Black Range.  If you have read works on natural history recently (they need not be newly published), and would like to share their existence with others, let us know.  A summary of ten years of bird sightings in the third quarter, in a yard in Hillsboro, follows. Dave Cleary located a White-eyed Vireo in the Black Range in early June, he describes the experience in an article complete with a photograph and audio link. We end this issue with a photographic description of the natural history of the trail from the Railroad Canyon Campground to the Holden Prong Saddle.  This is a compressed version of this magazine (10.5 MB) in size. 

The Black Range Naturalist, Volume 2, Number 2, April 3, 2019 (this file is 29.6 MB in size, see the compressed version below, for a much smaller file).  The magazine version of this issue is available at this link.  Cindy Yarmal opens this issue with a personal account of being struck by a rattlesnake.  That is followed by bits on rattlesnake venom, the cost of anti-venom, and neurotoxic venom.  Catherine Wanek recounts her experiences with the Coatis found at the Black Range Lodge this past year.  That, in turn, is followed by a discussion of the range of the White-nosed Coati and speculation about whether it is expanding (into the Black Range more extensively) or not.  The BNR interview with Lloyd Barr discusses his friendship with Carl Woese.  More work is being done on the Northern Cardinal and specifically the Sonoran Cardinal found here, recent findings are discussed next.  Ned and Gigi describe their 2018 Hummingbird banding season in the article which follows that.  A series of articles about plant species of concern in the Black Range comes next - extracts from her report on that topic by Daniela Roth, species summaries of two of those species by Bob Barnes, and a description of a new online tool for researching such topics rounds out the set.  Next in line, Steve Elam shares some personal experience with a Peregrine Falcon chick and Russ Bowen provides an assessment of Hillsboro precipitation records over the last 59 years.  Don Precoda provides another article about his life as a fire lookout on Hillsboro Peak; Walt Whitford discusses some of the ants of the area and, in particular harvester ants; and Randy Gray closes this issue with a piece on Whiptail lizards.  Some of the references used in this issue are: Some hitherto undescribed plants from New Mexico; and Ninety Years After Greene.  Compressed version of this issue, suitable for emailing, 2.8 MB in size.

The Black Range Naturalist, Volume 2, Number 1,  January 3, 2019 (this file is 47.3 MB in size, see the compressed version below, for a much smaller file).  The magazine version of this issue is available at this link.  In this issue we: Explore the history of fire in the Black Range with Larry Cosper, the former District Ranger for the Black Range Ranger District; consider hummingbird banding with Ned and Gigi Batchelder, who have conducted their hummingbird banding research throughout the American west; revisit  Stephen Siegfried’s review of Aldo Leopold’s life; review the Horned Lizard species of the Black Range with Randall Gray; watch Black-chinned Hummingbird nesting behavior with Bob Barnes and consider the bird species frequency data that he and Rebecca Hallgarth have gathered; consider plants and cold weather with Nichole Trushell; and explore the intersection of natural history and art with Inga McCord.  Wildfire Impacts on Species of Concern Plants In the Gila National Forest, New Mexico is linked to in this issue as is the Black Range Fire History Map.  This issue is also available in a compressed version which is much smaller (6.7 MB) and has lower image quality.

The Black Range Naturalist, Volume 1, Number 2, October 10, 2018 - The magazine version of this issue is available at this link.  Two of the life forces, fire and water, have shaped the Black Range over the eons. In this issue we will focus on the life, destruction, and change which water brings, and has brought, to the Black Range. The range of “water” articles in this issue includes “The Musings of a Meterorologist” by Russ Bowen, four articles about floods on the east side of the Black Range - two which describe the flood events of 1914 and 1972 and two first-hand accounts of those floods.  This issue also includes articles on the sensory systems of rattlesnakes - “ A Rattlesnake’s World”, by Lloyd Barr; numerical sequences in nature in “Nature’s Form and Pattern - As Inspiration for Art and Science” by Nicole Trushell; one of our most beautiful songsters in “The Melodic Canyon Wren” by Stephen Siegfried; and the natural world as it inspires in “The Art of Nature” by Melody Sears.

The Black Range Naturalist, Volume 1, Number 1, July 15, 2018 - The magazine version of this issue is available at this link.  - “Lore Versus Science and Natural History” by Harley Shaw, "Northern Cardinal Range Expansion” by John Hubbard/Bob Barnes, “Experiences of a Hillsboro Peak Lookout” by Don Precoda, “Rattlers of the Black Range” by Randy Gray, and “Skyrocket” by Bob Barnes.

© Robert Barnes 2018