Do you remember sweet Pecos cantaloupes? For more than a century, the west Texas town of Pecos harvested and shipped the sweet melons nationwide. Blue Bell ice cream even had a flavor called “Cantaloupe ‘n Cream"!
Like peaches were associated with Fredericksburg and spinach with Crystal City, cantaloupe was linked with Pecos, located near the Chihuahuan Desert. It is rumored that key political figures like Lyndon Johnson and Dwight Eisenhower regularly ordered these luscious melons.
But that was then. Now, Pecos is better known as a middle-of-nowhere oil-fracking boom town. Boasting about 10,000 people, Pecos is leaving farming and ranching to history and is embracing the newest advances in hydraulic fracturing and oil field supply. Survival is a horrid tyrant.
To remember the past, they have constructed the West of the Pecos Museum inside a former 1896 saloon and hotel. Here you meet the mythical cowboy Pecos Bill, visit a replica of Judge Roy Bean’s Courthouse, and re-live the early days of cattle drives, Indian wars, and the “world’s first rodeo.”
It is thought that the first inhabitants of the Pecos area were the Masames, the Tobosos, and the Nonojes, with the most dominant native American tribe being the Jumano. Spanish conquistadors of the 16th century changed the course of civilization as they colonized the area. In 1881, the Texas and Pacific railroad established Pecos as a hub.
Eventually, farming and ranching dominated the area, until barbed wire fencing upended the industry. This brought in sheepherders, causing much animosity. Cattle drives ceased, and the livestock had to survive together, even during the customary droughts.
Which brings us to an amazing solution that only God could provide. It is thought that some sheep that were relocated into the Pecos area brought the seed of a flowering plant (in the geranium family), clinging to their wool. The plant is called Erodium texanum, better known now as Texas filaree. It became the staple forage plant for all the livestock to eat during the September to May season when food was hard to find. It saved the herds!
The amazing thing about Texas filaree is its unique dispersal mechanism. Incredibly, the seed assembly can float through the air until it finds a crack in the ground. Then, it buries itself by drilling into the crack, twisting and untwisting with the wind, until the seed is released. The kinematics of this God-planned process confound the experts to this day. Scottish preacher Thomas Guthrie wrote: “Every object in nature is impressed with God's footsteps, and every day repeats the wonders of creation.” In Psalms 104:24 ISV it states, “How numerous are your works, Lord! You have made them all wisely; the earth is filled with your creations.” Whether it’s cantaloupes, peaches, or Texas filaree, God is the Creator of them all. Give Him praise today!