High Plains Morning

Weekdays from 9:00 AM to noon CT on HPPR

High Plains Morning is a long-standing tradition at HPPR. A daily mix of singer-songwriters, folk, jazz, Americana, world, reggae, bluegrass, rock and just about anything else that you can think of. Add a few live in-studio performances, interviews with community partners, and news from NPR + regional weather at the top of every hour, and you have a great way to move through your morning!

If you'd like to submit music for consideration, please mail a CD and one-sheet to: Jenny Inzerillo, Music Director, High Plains Public Radio, 104 SW 6th Ave., Suite B4, Amarillo, TX, 79101. (Please allow one month for processing, and then feel free to check the status of your submission by emailing music@hppr.org.)

Scroll down to view program playlists!

As the weather continues to chill our bones, I thought we might take a moment to appreciate one of the prettiest sights on our High Plains winter landscape. Whatever the variety, the Colorado Blue Spruce remains among the more striking trees in our region. On today's Growing on the High Plains, we'll look at this slow-growing conifer, which is also the state tree of Colorado. It serves as a welcoming home for many winged creatures across the High Plains due to its wide growing range and adaptability across a range of different types of soil.

Today on High Plains Morning, we heard from Rachel Flores, Executive Director at the Amarillo Art Institute (AAI), about two upcoming exhibits in the Texas Panhandle this Spring. So if you’re an artist and want to submit your work, mark your calendar! There will be an exhibit hosted by The Art Center in Dumas, Texas in March. The works on display will be from students, members, and instructors of AAI. The deadline to submit is March 5 at 5:00 p.m.

The City of Amarillo Public Health Department is currently administering COVID-19 vaccines to all individuals identified in the State of Texas Phase 1A and 1B Vaccine Allocation Plan.

--Phase 1A: Includes front-line healthcare workers, staff, and residents of long-term care facilities.

As we have all seen, it’s not easy keeping communities connected throughout a pandemic—especially when the groups with whom you work already have a possible language barrier and cultural differences that make socializing a challenge. Today on High Plains Morning, we talked to Ryan Pennington, the Executive Director of Refugee Language Project in Amarillo, TX. He’s presenting the first-ever Amarillo Refugee State of the Union on Tuesday, January 12th at 7:00 p.m.

Today's Growing on the High Plains takes us on a page-flipping trip through one of my favorite seed catalogs: R. H. Shumway's. Rather than spoil it, just take a listen. It's been around since the 19th century, and the produce sold within still manages to delight modern patrons with its lively images, racy naming, and a variety of options to rouse the hearts of even the most seasoned gardeners.

It’s a new year, which means a new semester for students. At higher-education institutions across the region, administrators are gearing up for the graduating class to hit the job market. Today we spoke to Karl Kimsey at West Texas A&M University.

Every year's end marks the beginning of planning season for gardeners that enjoy making cold winters a study in preparation for the Spring planting to come. I'm no exception, and today's Growing on the High Plains will let you in on a little tradition I have as the calendar flips from one year to the next. Perusing the impressive variety of seed catalogs offers a spark of excitement of what's to come. What strange fruits might make the cut in the coming year's garden? How will I honor the  memories of gardens past  as I plot the layout for Spring?

Whether this Spanish winter melon goes by the name Santa Claus, Piel de Sapo (or “Toad Skin”), cucumis melo, or Christmas melon,  it’s one of the few that are sweet as honey that “dew” well in the colder seasons. Today’s Growing on the High Plains shares my experience with cold-weather melons, while peeling back the shiny, blotched skin of this rare treat.

Thanks so much to Tina Brohlin at the High Plains Food Bank for sharing an update on how things have been in the Texas Panhandle during the challenges of 2020. It’s a relief to know that our generous communities continue to come together to take care of those in need, and it’s a great reminder before the holidays to think about our neighbors who might be struggling. Hear our full interview on the link below:

For more information about the state of food insecurity in the region, here are a few statistics and fast facts from Tina:

As we spend this week honoring the thousands of HPPR members that support this station, I'm reminded that the end of the year is upon us—as is the chill of the holiday season. Today's Growing on the High Plains takes flight with one of the brightest spots on the pale, winter landscape to which we all come accustomed during the cooler months on the High Plains. Let's talk about our bright buddy, the cardinal. Of all the birds spotted on a snowy bough, he's the one you simply cannot miss.

Today, we spoke with Rachel Flores, the Executive Director of Amarillo Art Institute, about the latest iteration of their annual Holiday Market and Potters Show. Despite the many delays and adjustments to the schedule, these two events are UP AND RUNNING, with safety procedures in place to protect the shoppers, the vendors, and the volunteers.

Prick up your ears, because today's Growing on the High Plains takes a dig at the exquisite Christmas cactus. While it's not as popular as other holiday plants like the poinsettia, it's a seasonal delight that will brighten up your indoor space during the chilly winter months. Not your standard cactus, since it hails from the jungles of South America (so it's made of tough stuff!). So listen up for tips on how to best care for your Christmas cactus, including the ideal plan moisture, location, and transplanting.

After the year we’ve all had, there's nothing better than anticipating some down-home Christmas cheer and celebration. For those in Oklahoma, mark your calendars for the 28th Annual Chickasha Festival Of Light, which runs now through December 31st in Chickasha, OK. This year, the festivities will also feature music from regional folk duo The Imaginaries.

Saying it’s been a rough year for regional artists might qualify for understatement of the century, but High Plains Morning was grateful to see that we have some regional music on the horizon from a folk favorite, The Annie Oakley. Identical twin sisters, Jo and Sophia Babb, have owned their lockdown with nonstop music composition, creation, innovation (and more than a few colorful, coated candies).

Today’s Growing on the High Plains comes after catching up on some reading—something the relaxed days of the pandemic have finally allowed. I came across an article about an alarming invasive plant, giant hogweed. It’s taking over parts of Russia, and so far it’s seemingly impossible to contain. While that might seem far away, the dangerous weed is also in the US. Growing up to 16 feet, it emits a smelly, toxic sap which can harm the skin and eyes.

Nonprofits across our region have had to do some fancy footwork to keep their organizations afloat throughout an economic downturn and pandemic. However, they’ve risen to the occasion with innovative, virtual care and online events. Today, we checked in with David DeLoach, the Early Intervention Program Director at Russell Child Development Center in Garden City, Kansas.

There’s hardly an animal in our High Plains ecosphere more recognizable than the skunk. And once you see them, you worry that you might also SMELL them. However, today’s Growing on the High Plains will take a long look at these roving carnivores. With a little research, you’ll see that skunks surely earn their stripes in pest control. We’ll also talk about their infamous spray; it turns out you have to really get them angry before they would dare unleash their sulfuric mist.

There's nothing like falling leaves to make us stop and contemplate the coming changes of our lives. Bidding our withered, weathered summer plants "adieu" can feel somber, but the bright hues of autumn always pop up to offer consolation. Today's Growing on the High Plains waxes poetic on our sometimes fleeting seasons across this region. As we prepare for fiery fall colors on our often treeless landscapes, it's remarkable to reconize what our climate offers (and what that can bring). 

If you're feeling like you need some top-notch poetry in your life right now, mark your calendar for TONIGHT. As WT kicks off the Dorothy Patterson Poetry Series, they are featuring a treasure of the Texas Panhandle: writer, educator, and all-around rad dude, Seth Wieck. You can join the reading, which is ONLINE at 7 pm CT this evening via Zoom. To get the link, email Dr. Eric Meljac here and he'll send it straight away. A big thanks to Seth for his time, and see below for the text of the poem he read today on High Plains Morning. If you'd like to hear the full interview, click the link below.


It's been a LONG time coming, but it's finally here: the lecture presented by WTAMU's Center for the Study of the American West by Dr. José Limón.

Today's Growing on the High Plains might feel ready for Halloween as we discuss the ominous "assassin bug." Despite their moniker, rest assured that you'd actually WANT to see these predatory friends in your garden. But no matter where your garden is right now, given our recent winter weather, be grateful for the many insect friends you've hosted this season...and don't worry: they'll be back next year!

Thanks so much to Bradley Behrmann, the Director of the new WTAMU Theatre Department's performance of  The Theory of Relativity, a musical song cycle that's opening this Friday online. If you're brain is longing for some arts, culture, and live performance, this will be a welcome addition to your weekend plans. The show streams at 7:30 pm on Friday , Oct.

Now is a time of self-isolation to keep communities safe and healthy, so what better time to resurrect the reliable companionship of a pop-culture icon that embodies both a houseplant and a pet? That’s right: “ch-ch-ch-chia” plants are back in style. (Those who remember the iconic commercials surely have the jingle in their heads right now.

When life gets heavy, as it has been this year, turning to poetry can be a welcome catharsis, allowing us to view life through another's experience. For those of you yearning for some raw human connection, tonight will be a treat.

Get ready, because today’s Growing on the High Plains is on fire! In fact, we might even call it “Burning on the High Plains.” As you’ve surely noticed, autumn temperatures are descending across our region. It takes me back to memories of enjoying the brisk outdoors with my grandmother – a woman who thrilled at the prospect of lighting a warming bonfire. For what it’s worth, I seem to have inherited her “firebug” gene, though I’ve learned caution the hard way after a few close calls with careless burn piles. But now I have a tidy solution: my chimenea—an upright, clay patio fireplace that’s both front-loading and features a vertical smoke vent. This oblong oven allows for a well-positioned, safely-contained, and on-demand fire show. And as the evening glow grows dimmer, it keeps your outdoor relaxation station toasty and lit.

High Plains Morning doesn’t often delve into ethnobotany, but when we do, we make sure the sources are straight out of KANSAS! HPPR thanks teacher, researcher, and writer Aubrey Streit Krug, Director of Ecosphere Studies at The Land Institute in Salina, KS, for her time and insight regarding her work with perennial native plants and their potential as sustainable crops on the High Plains.

HPPR welcomed Beth Duke into the studio–masked up and distanced for safety–to share some exciting news about some upcoming events in downtown Amarillo, thanks to Center City. She joined me on High Plains Morning to remind music lovers of the Texas Panhandle that Jazztober starts TONIGHT and runs from 6:00-7:30 pm. The Martinis kick off the series, but it also features Austin Brazille, Esquire Jazz Band, and Ruth Ellen Lynch in coming weeks.

If you're ready for some homegrown teen drama, you've got a treat coming at you, Amarillo. A new performance will make its world premiere at Amarillo Little Theatre's Adventure Space this weekend, and it was written by a local playwright. The Ten (Thousand) Problems of a Teenage Girl, penned by Amarillo-based writer Carrie Huckabay, will take you through the high, the lows, the struggles, and the triumphs of becoming a modern young woman.

Today on High Plains Morning, we had a chat with David Waddle, the new host for HPPR’s latest regional music program, Western Swing Radio Rambler. The show premieres this weekend, hitting the airwaves on Saturday at 2:00 PM Central.

Today’s Growing on the High Plains will line up some facts about the energy and environmental benefits of planting a windbreak on your landscape. If you’re not sure what a “windbreak” is, perhaps you know it as a “shelterbelt”—those tightly-spaced rows of trees or shrubs that you might notice up and down the High Plains region. They provide shade in the summer and reduce the blasts from our High Plains wind on your abode throughout the year. But they also offer a lot of energy benefits.

Pages