“Wash or Dry Stream Bed” Derramadero comes from the word derramar which means to spill or
scatter. That is precisely what derramaderos do. They are washes or dry stream beds that during heavy rains will carry water downstream into bigger creeks or rivers.

Derramadero is often misspelled in deeds, which sometimes is spelled deramadero and today it is shortened and just called ramadero.

They are scattered throughout the terrain of South Texas and are a very important part of the ecosystem. These derramaderos, with their fertile ground nurture the natives trees of South Texas such as: olmo (cedar elm), mesquite, huisache, palo blanco (hackberry), anaqua, and chapote (persimmon) to grow to great heights. Shrubs such as agrito, granjeno, brasil, retama, catclaw, and the popular chilipitin plant also are found in derramaderos. The thick dense shrubs, combined with the tallness of the trees also make an excellent ground cover habitat for rabbits, squirrels, and other small mammals. Birds of all types use them for nesting purposes as well as roosting in the tall trees.

Another aspect of the derramaderos is that the early pioneer settlers would locate their ranch headquarters nearby because of the shallow depths in which water was located. In the Derramadero de Los Indios, where it passes through Rios, I know of at least seven norias de buque or hand dug wells within a little over a mile stretch.

If we take care of these very important natural resources they will surly be instrumental for future generations to enjoy and utilize.

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