New book release discusses Prairie, soil
The Blackland Prairie consists of about 12.6 million acres of east-central Texas extending from the Red River to Bexar County. There are smaller areas to the southeast. The soils are deep dark gray to black alkaline. The soils are known as “cracking clays” because of the large, deep cracks that form in dry weather. This soil can cause serious damage to foundations, highways, and other structures and is a safety hazard in pits and trenches. Most of the grassland has been changed to pasture type grasses with native grasses on the shallower and steeper soils. It is the native grasses that the author writes about.
Matt White wrote the book with fond memories of the people, land, animals such as the buffalo. But his main concern are the grasses or the absence of the tall grass commonly found on the land years ago. Settlers to the region plowed, killed the native animals, and did other destructive methods to live on the plains. White claims to be “from prairie people.” The closing statement in the Introduction expresses White’s feelings of the region and the actions of people in the past. “The will to survive and to wrest life from the earth is something we all share, no matter how far removed from or unaware of it we are.”
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