Blanketing much of the northern third of the African Continent, or some 3.5 million square miles, the Sahara Desert extends eastward from the Atlantic Ocean some 3,000 miles to the Nile River and the Red Sea, and southward from the Atlas Mountains of Morocco and the Mediterranean shores more than 1,000 miles to the savannah called the Sahel. More than 16 times the size of France, the Sahara Desert blankets nearly all of Mauritania, Western Sahara, Algeria, Libya, Egypt and Niger; the southern half of Tunisia; and the northern parts of Mali, Chad and Sudan. More...
Black troopers, usually under the command of white officers, marched westward in the decades immediately following the Civil War for the purpose of bringing the Indian peoples of the desert Southwest and the Great Plains to heel, opening the land for settlement. The troopers came in those years, free at last from the malignant institution of slavery; burdened still by the injustices of bigotry and discrimination; and buoyed now by the promise of America. Most - not all, but most - meant to earn their place and their fellow - black and white - soldiers' respect in the new social structure of the land. They would be called "buffalo soldiers" first by the Indians, who apparently identified the troopers' dark skins, nappy hair and ferocious and tenacious fighting spirit with that iconic animal of the plains. The troopers bore their name with pride, as a mark of distinction. More...
The carpenter bee ranks as an important pollinator of the flowering plants, particularly those with large open fragrant blooms. Diligently, if unwittingly, it gathers pollen grains from the male parts of blossoms and delivers them to the female parts of other blossoms (of the same species), triggering the process of fertilization and seed formation. As a reward, it wittingly takes pollen, nectars and oils that it uses to set a banquet table for its larvae. The carpenter bee contributes substantially to the annual showcase of wildflowers in our desert basins and mountain flanks. In the near future, it may enlist, at the behest of researchers and farmers, in more commercial enterprises. More...
If you are looking for places to stay cool in the desert this summer, consider a trip to one of the many recreational areas located along the Colorado River. Its 1400-mile shoreline is full of adventure, interesting geological features, breathtaking lakes and a spectacular variety of plants and animals. Our Colorado River Recreation page keeps you up to date on the latest lake and river information. More...
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