How Many Ways Can You Use a Sotol Plant?

Sotol Plant of the Lower Pecos region of South Texas

Following the “Survivor” theme, if you were left by yourself in the Chihuahuan Desert with only a knife, how would you find food? shelter? water? shade? home?

Send me your lists of the various ways you could use a sotol plant, and I will publish the one with the most uses.  All parts of the plant are in play: roots, base, leaves, stalk, flowers, pollen.

Ancient people who lived in this area 4000 years ago or more used this plant as a main resource for food, weaving material, ceremonial material, walking sticks, oh I’m giving it away!  Give me your list in the comments section directly below!


Fruit of the Desert

Ever see those reality TV shows where someone is set loose somewhere in the world and told to find their way back? I don’t watch them myself, but I want you to be prepared in case this ever happens to you.  Let’s pretend you are helicoptered in to an undisclosed location in the Chihuahuan Desert, with no map.  Only a knife and your wits.  After locating water and shade, you thoughts will turn to finding food.

One of the best things you can eat right off the stalk in early summer is the green colored fruit of the yucca.  Just break off the pods and cut them open, you don’t even have to peel them.  You can eat both the white and green flesh, which has a surprisingly sweet taste.  You can even eat the crunchy black seeds with no ill effects.  The seeds are almost tasteless and could be added to many other things for texture.  I imagine they would be good toasted also, although I haven’t tried it yet. Let us know if you try it.  If you send me a recipe for how you use this fruit along with a picture, I will even feature it on this blog!

Halo Shelter Paintings

I’ve just returned from another wonderful trip to the Lower Pecos region of south Texas where I had the good fortune of seeing these magnificent ancient paintings.  Their color is vivid even now, 4000 years or more since their creation.  The gold anthropomorph struck me as especially well-preserved. My quivering legs were my souvenir of the rugged climb in and out of the canyon where these paintings are located.  I had to climb straight down–and then straight up– hand over hand on a rope. But luckily not too far.  It was only after we had arrived in the shelter that my guide told me of the rattlesnake that had been there a few days before.

Do not attempt to find these paintings yourself.  They are on private land with no roads.  But do find amazement in what the ancient people who came before us thought, created, and left for us to ponder. No doubt these figures express profound stories and understandings of the world that we may never fully comprehend.

Yet they tell us of their lives and dreams, their gods and heroes, their world and ours.

If you do have the privilege  of seeing such rock art with your own eyes, I hope you will do everything you can to protect it as the world treasure it is.