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Chihuahuan Desert NewsFlash
December 2023

 Photo by Lloyd Tokerud.
A Thank You Letter to Anonymous

Dear Anonymous donor and supporter,
We think about you often throughout the year, wondering who you are, whether you've been to CDRI, and how frequently you have visited the Nature Center site.
Thank you for your generosity. Your donations to the Nature Center are many. Each time we receive one of your contributions, we give a huge "THANK YOU!" and a quiet shout-out to you, Anonymous.
Please know how grateful we are for your generosity. 

Interview with Gary Nabhan
by Lisa Gordon
I am a panelist for the Nature Book Guide, a quarterly online publication. As such, I get to review and recommend books I think others will enjoy. A book I have recommended for the winter issue is The Nature of Desert Nature, a compilation of stories edited by Gary Nabhan. 
A treat for all of the Gary Nabhan fans, included in the current issue of the Nature Book Guide, is a candidly refreshing interview with Gary, led by the book guide's founder/editor Beth Nobles. The discussion can be found in the Nature Book Guide on Pages 19-20.  

If you're looking for that special gift,
the CDRI Gift Shop offers  a thoughtfully curated collection of nature books, including The Nature of Desert Nature.
2023 in Pictures
January 2023 ushered in CDRI's 50th anniversary! We spent the year celebrating the milestone, leaving our mark on this momentous anniversary. To say it's been a busy year doesn't begin to describe it. So, we're sharing some of the highlights in pictures.

In March, the Modesta Canyon Trail received a facelift.  The Texas Trail Tamers moved boulders and sculpted steps into rock to make the trail more manageable. CDRI volunteers worked to fortify the switchback that leads hikers out of the canyon. 
Photos of the Texas Trail Tamers are by Mark Schneider, a Texas Trail Tamer.
March also welcomed visitors on Spring Break to an incredibly successful Cactus & Succulent Sale.
In April, Lauren Esposito, Assistant Curator and Schlinger Chair of Arachnology at the California Academy of Sciences, wowed the audience at the Conant Distinguished Guest Lecturer Program with a brilliant presentation about scorpions.
Then, in September, an eager audience at the Conant Distinguished Guest Lecturer Program was treated to an evening with Gary Paul Nabhan, where they discovered the science of desert osmocosm.  
Throughout the year, students from TEA Region 18 schools attended CDRI's educational programs that include Bugs, Bugs, Bugs Day (2nd & 3rd grades), Living Things (1st grade), Critter Camp (Kinder), The Earth Rocks (5th Grade), and Herp Day (4th grade).  
After a summer of no rain,  a sudden thunderstorm didn't dampen spirits at this year's BBQ & Auction fundraiser.
Photos of the BBQ are by Matt Walter. 
Work began last spring and continued throughout the year on the Native Grasses Exhibit inside the fenced area that makes up the Botanical Gardens. The exhibit will be completed in early 2024.
The garden exit went from this ... this.
The Pollinator Garden received an expanded planting area and many more plants.
And we became the adoptive "parents" to three baby Desert Box Turtles. Shhhhh! They should be fast asleep as they hibernate through the winter, but as soon as temperatures warm up, we'll be on the watch for them. 
2023 was full of moments welcoming visitors and answering questions about the unusual plants of the region, the wildlife, and the site's geology. 
CDRI's volunteers worked continuously through the summer, helping to keep the garden watered when the summer rains seemed to have dried up. Volunteers were also there to help Head Gardener, Faith Hille, move rocks and dig out planting beds for the native grasses exhibit. They also helped with plantingd the pinon pines, ocotillo, and yucca at the garden fence line. And they showed up to pull horseweed and Russian thistle from the grassland along the driveway leading to the Visitor Center. 
It's been a productive, work-filled year, and we have many of you to thank for all the fun times and our many successes.
Thank you for helping make 2023 a memorable one!  
'Tis the Season for giving.
It's also the Season for saying thank you!
To each of you, thank you for supporting CDRI in your own unique way throughout the year. Your support comes from the $6.50 admission fee, often followed by the remaining change quietly dropped into the donation box across the lobby area. Support also comes from those of you who are CDRI members.
Support comes from Gift Shop sales. We manage the Gift Shop, so all proceeds, after costs, go directly to CDRI.
Donations come from sustaining donors who give $10 - $50 each month throughout the year. Donations also come from generous individuals and charitable foundations that provide funding for our educational programs offered throughout the year at no cost to participants. Donations come from many people with a common focus -- supporting the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center & Botanical Gardens. 
Thank you for your generosity, support, and belief in what we do -- bringing people closer to Nature.  
We are passionate about everything we do. And we thank you for giving passionately. Our hearts are filled with gratitude for you!

Thank you! 
It's not too late to donate! Here's how:
Mail a check to CDRI, P.O. Box 905, Fort Davis, Texas 79734
Or stop by the CDRI Visitor Center. We will gladly accept in-person donations! 

Visiting Groups
West of the Pecos Airstream Club toured the Botanical Gardens.
Road Scholar explored the Botanical Gardens and the Cactus Museum Collection. 
The Adventures in Good Company women's hiking group was prepping to hike the Outer Loop. 

In closing,
We wish you peace and joy
this holiday season
and in the new year!

Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute, P.O. Box 905, Fort Davis, TX 79734

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