Only the prospect of the best show in Texas could have sent me creeping stealthily across a lonely pitch-black Colorado County prairie at 5:10 in the morning. Even so, as I switched off my flashlight to walk the last twenty yards to my observation blind—a converted Portacan fitted out with viewing portholes—I wondered if I had lost my mind. I had sworn, when I made my reservation with the Attwater’s Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge near Eagle Lake, to enter the blind by 5:15 a.m.
This is not another story about terrible conditions in the colonias outside El Paso, where 23,000 people scrabble along with no drinking water and 44,000 get by with no sewer system. You’ve read those stories, and God knows the unhealthy, exacting universe they describe is real enough.