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Santa Rosa Lake State Park, Santa Rosa NM

Morning at Site B4, Santa Rosa Lake State Park, Santa Rosa NM, May 10, 2012
Morning at Site B4, Santa Rosa Lake State Park, Santa Rosa NM, May 10, 2012

Santa Rosa Lake State Park is located on the shores of a Pecos River Reservoir about 7 miles north of Santa Rosa NM. This park offers quiet camping among the junipers and boating and fishing in the reservoir.

Santa Rosa Lake State Park, Santa Rosa NM

Nights I've camped here

  • Wednesday, May 9, 2012 - Santa Rosa State Park, Santa Rosa NM
    • Pulling out of the Flying C Ranch gas station off I-40 this afternoon I bounced over a bump a little too aggressively. Now I find stuff falling off the walls in the trailer. Aaargh... Image: Morning at Site B4, Santa Rosa Lake State Park, Santa Rosa NM, May 10, 2012.

Teosinte and the Improbability of Maize

The ancestors of wheat, rice, millet, and barley look like their domesticated descendants; because they are both edible and highly productive, one can easily imagine how the idea of planting them for food came up. Maize can't reproduce itself, because its kernals are securely wrapped in the husk, so Indians must have developed it from some other species. But there are no wild species that resemble maize. Its closest genetic relative is a mountain grass called teosinte that looks strikingly different - for one thing, it "ears" are smaller than baby corn served in Chinese restaurants. No one eats teosinte, because it produces too little grain to be worth harvesting. In creating modern maize from this unpromising plant, Indians performed a feat so improbable that archaeologists and biologists have argued for decades over how it was achieved. Coupled with squash, beans, and avocados, maize provided Mesoamerica with a balanced diet, one arguably more nutritious than its Middle Eastern or Asian equivalent.

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