Barren, Wild, and Worthless: Living in the Chihuahuan Desert

Paperback edition, University of Arizona Press, 2003
(Clothbound edition, University of New Mexico Press, 1995)

Through her stories and the stories inherent in the land, we come not only to feel this country, but to believe in its dry, bony presence as a place of miracles and wild wisdom. She reminds us of the magic of biology with her keen eyes and bright mind. — Terry Tempest Williams

Gets my nomination for one of the greatest titles ever for this book about the Southwest. — Southwest Book Views

From the Introduction:

It is a hot Friday evening in late spring, and my husband, Richard, and I are on the loose. Fridays are our date nights—no matter what comes, we reserve Friday evenings for ourselves, leaving our teenage daughter, Molly, at home with a book and a TV dinner. Usually by the time that date hour arrives on Friday night we are so exhausted by our roles as parents and by our fulltime outside careers that we can only summon the energy for dinner at a neighborhood restaurant. But this night, we are determined to get out of town, to explore this new-to-us Chihuahuan Desert landscape. We’ve packed a picnic dinner and are headed out into the desert will of the car windows rolled down. The sun is midway toward the western horizon, but it is June, and that means hot. It is 5:30 in the evening and the temperature is 102 degreesF, down from the day’s high of 110 degrees. …