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Orchids of Mexico Luis Dumois

 
There are an estimated 30,000 orchid species in nature, making them the most extense floral plant family on Earth. There are specimens as big as a tree, and miniatures with flowers as small as a pin head. A family so vast and diverse understands more about exceptions than about rules. Nevertheless, a quality more than any other defines the orchid: the fusion of the feminine portion of the flower - pistils - with the masculine, - stamens. Orchids have three pistils and three stamens, but they differ from other flowers, which present these elements as separate units, in that orchids have them fusioned into one structure called column or gynostemium, located in the center of the labelum, that usually showy and colored lip we admire in the flower. read more

Viva Natura: The revival of a Mexican field guide classic David Kimball

Petr Myska probably didn't think that the book he was writing would be threatened with extinction even before some of the species that were featured in his publication. Myska's work was published in 2007 as A Field Guide to the Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds and Mammals of Western Mexico. In short form, it is known as "Viva Natura." Only 2000 copies were published... read more

Mexico's San Felipe: A living desert museum Bruce F. Barber

San Felipe is the center of a living museum that has witnessed the passage of a continuum of men, women and children for the past 2- to 3,000 years. Whereas evidence of their existence remains in most ... read more

Did you know? Mexico has over thirty UNESCO-designated biosphere reserves Tony Burton

A surprising percentage of Mexico's land area is protected in one form or another. A very large number of sites of archaeological or historical importance are managed by the National Institute of Anthr... read more

Did you know? In Chiapas, Mexico's Mam turn to organic farming Tony Burton

Organic farming has helped some indigenous peoples in Mexico to reinvent themselves. How many people are there? According to INEGI figures, about six million Mexicans over the age of five speak at le... read more

Did you know? Lake Chapala under attack from water hyacinth Tony Burton

Masses of beautiful violet and yellow flowing water hyacinth ( Eichhornia crassipes) add an attractive splash of colour to the Lake Chapala landscape during the rainy season but are a serious problem for thelives and economy oflocal residents. read more

Nopales, tunas and pitayas Jeffrey R. Bacon

Spiny, tough and menacing, the cacti seem peculiar choices as culinary delights. Cacti are well known novelties among potted plant collectors and gardeners, and some cacti, such as nopales (the ... read more

Henequen and its role in the Yucatan's shifting fortunes John McClelland

The Maya produced fibre from the henequen plant since the time of Christ. read more

Seeing the forests and the trees links Ron Mader

Mexican forests cover more than 140 million hectares or about 72% of the national territory. That said, the trees are falling quickly. A recent government study of satellite images, the country is losi... read more

Cuatro Ciénegas, Coahuila Nancy T. Wilson

Sitting in bathtub-warm water in the middle of the desert looking at the surrounding mountains under a deep blue sky is a delightful experience. We are in the Cuatro Ciénegas Nature Preserve just outs... read more

Did you know? Agaves function as Mexico's 7-Elevens Tony Burton

Agaves can be thought of as another chain of "7-Elevens". The numerous members of the Agave family are all native to the New World. "Agave" is derived from the Greek word "agauos" (admirable). Ag... read more

Did you know? An early ascent of Mexico's highest peak, El Pico de Orizaba Tony Burton

Scientists first explored El Pico de Orizaba, Mexico's highest peak, as long ago as 1838. El Pico de Orizaba, or Citlaltépetl (= star), is Mexico's highest peak, with a summit 5,746 meters (18,853 fe... read more

Xochimilco - Up A Lazy River In Mexico City Charles Dews

Not a river exactly, Xochimilco is a vast system of canals and gardens at the southern extreme of this megalopolis called Mexico City. It was a lake at the time of the Aztecs. They floated rafts on the... read more

Oaxaca Journal by Oliver Sacks Reviewed by Allan Cogan

Oliver Sacks is obviously too seasoned a traveller and too astute an observer to confine himself to ferns. One encounters a host of pleasures as he ruminates on a variety of topics. He muses about the New World's contributions to civilization -cocoa, tobacco, potatoes, tomatoes, chilies, gourds, pepper, maize, chewing gum, cochineal and exotic hallucinogens. In Monte Alban he considers the production of rubber which the Zapotec people used to make balls. read more

Essential plants in the Mexican household: Limon, papaya and sabila Maria Elena

Copyright © 2000 by Maria Elena. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.   There are three plants that are an essential part of the Mexican household, limon [lime, not lemon], papaya, and the trus... read more

El Arbol de Tule: probably the biggest tree in the world Rohan Barnett

At over 2000 years old, El Arbol del Tule, which is actually an Ahuehuete Cypress, is amongst the oldest living trees in the world. With a 10 meter (33 feet) diameter trunk it is also considered by many to be the broadest tree in the world. The circumference of the trunk is an amazing 54 meters (178 feet) It is over 40 meters (130 feet) high, boasts a foliage diameter of over 51 meters (170 feet), and weighs over 500 tons.

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Almost an Island: Travels in Baja California by Bruce Berger Reviewed by Allan Cogan

Bruce Berger is an excellent guide to the Baja. He’s been going there since the mid '60s, having driven the length of the peninsula at least three times when that meant travelling more than 1,000 kilometers of single lane dirt road. One could drive for a day and meet only one other car. And you would never dream of leaving without taking plenty of food, water and gasoline plus whatever extras and spare parts you might need to fix auto problems along the way. read more
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