In West Texas: The Great Mesquite Wars

Mesquite is a brush, a shrub, a tree, an infestation and a tremendous thirst.

It sends down roots as deep as 40 feet; it sucks up the earth's moisture as if it were drinking through a straw. During the great drought of the 1950s, hardly a shower fell on Tom Green County for eight years; only the mesquite lived well. Mesquite resembles an otherwise handsome tree afflicted by terrible arthritis, but it possesses a sort of peasant vitality. It is a vigorous, complacent survivor, an efficient brute of evolution, like the shark.

The ranchers...

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