Highlights of Recent NPAT Meetings and Events

March 24-26, 2017—NPAT’s “Maddin Open Preserve”


NPAT’s Maddin Prairie Preserve

Chronicle of the spring weekend:

Five prairie seekers arrived at Maddin Friday, 3/24.
-spent a couple of hours hiking; observing the prairie dog town where they were greeted by at least 10 prairie dogs and a burrowing owl. 
• -20+ Birders arrived by 7 a.m. Saturday.
-The weather conditions became much more pleasant for hiking and birding!  The wind died down, and weather conditions were quite nice: 44 degrees – perfect for spotting fluffy birds looking for food! 
-The birders’ goal: to chronicle 100 species for their Mitchell County list; many managed to get 100 plus; so they left very happy!!
Saturday noon, the group was led to Lake Champion, where the old park has been under renovation.  We saw the water level is up, and it looks like this park may come back to life!  It’s good to see a community taking an interest in their outdoors.  There were still some waterfowl on the lake, though many have left already.  It’s a good birding spot. One hiker is focusing on documenting plants and insects for NPAT.  They found a coach whip snake and a porcupine, among other things!
There’s always maintenance to be done: filling water troughs and doing some “prairie dog town maintenance” such as lopping off intrusive mesquite that has thrived since the arrival of spring!  We observed nesting behavior of the burrowing owls; they were staying around the perimeter and ‘barking’ at us. 
When the group assembled in the evening, we built a fire in the ring. The first serious attempt at campfire cooking was made; the ‘cook’ managed the meal preparation, including asparagus—quite delicious!  (Turns out - the four women attending were not inclined to cook! – perhaps someone among them will be inspired to brush up on this style of cooking, as it will definitely be a repeat!)
Sunday morning welcomed ‘a slow pace’, meandering around and observing more campfire cooking thanks to our ‘volunteer chef’.
“I don’t think I’ve had a morning quite this leisurely in a while. It was really nice to just sit by the fire and watch the world go by. (I could live like this…)  We did rouse ourselves to visit the prairie dog town.  We were rewarded with some really good looks at the Sprague’s pipit that is one of our winter residents.  The ground squirrels, probably thirteen-lined were actually frolicking. …must be mating season. Kirsti Harms, NPAT.
A few observers got good looks at prairie dogs and owls, then went on a hike to the high hill on the eastern boundary.  More maintenance was done: electric fence work at the prairie dog town, and there were some tangles in the wires and brush touching the wires.  Luckily it has a pretty strong pulse and I saw no signs of badger on the interior.  There were signs of badger on the south side exterior, but no signs of burrows being dug up.  Projects to monitor on the next visit!

“Lots of flowers were blooming at Maddin and along the drive to Colorado City; this is just about the nicest time of year to visit.”
LOOK for details on News & Events page for the upcoming Breeding Bird Survey, May 20-21
“It might be wise to rent a state park cabin (with A/C) because it may be pretty hot by then.  Looks like summer may hit early this year.
Y’all are all welcome to come out!”
Kirsti Harms, Past President, NPAT

Spring 2017— has gotten off to a great start!

We value you and your support!

Your continued support enables us to reach many goals and define new ones!  NPAT could not operate without the help we receive from every single individual!  Our dedicated volunteers, donors, and advocates are the heart and soul of our mission. We hope to see you out on the prairie! 
With continued gratitude,
NPAT Board of Directors and Staff

*****************************************
SPRINGTIME News & Events
March 20, 09:53 a.m., CDT, SPRING EQUINOX
March 25 & 26, Maddin Prairie Open Preserve
April 1, Fort Worth, BioBlitz
April 4, San Antonio, Meeting to formally establish San Antonio NPAT Chapter
April 5, Georgetown, Cen-Tex Chapter Meeting
April 21-23, Dallas, Earth Day Texas
May 6, Native Plants & Prairies Day, White Rock Lake, Dallas
May 20 & 21, Maddin Prairie Open Preserve
*****************************************
BIOBLITZ!!  What is a ‘bioblitz’?
Searching the web for “bioblitz 2017” produced a list of events throughout the country, by many organizations, U.S. National Park Service, National Geographical Society, Audubon International, iNaturalist.org, municipalities and universities. 
National Geographic describes it as an event focusing on finding and identifying as many species as possible in a specific area over a short period of time.
Taxonomic groups used in scientific classification from most general to most specific are: Domain, Kingdom, Phylum (animals) or Division (plants), Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species.
-Take photos and share them with scientists – they can be loaded into iNaturalist, where observations are recorded and you get help identifying species!
-Guidelines to organize your own BioBlitz are available at iNaturalist.org or National Geographic!
************************************************
INFORMATION via our DASHBOARD LINKS:
Support Us: Donation Options and Membership Fees - ALL Tax-deductible and
News & Events: Exciting Family Activities (in your area or a location you want to visit) Chronological notices of educational and inspiring activities (date, time, location, driving directions, any applicable fees and stipulations). Don’t miss an opportunity, and MARK YOUR CALENDAR!  “We’ll see you out on the prairie!”
Our (chapters pages provide each monthly calendars of events sponsored/supported by NPAT’s local chapters.)

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

*************************************************
Become a fan of Texas prairies!
NPAT is excited at the prospects available supporting land owners’ efforts, educating young and old about the values of our prairies, encouraging environmental preservation, and enjoying the abundance of native flora and fauna!

************************************************

Our collective efforts remind us of what’s really important.

As an NPAT supporter, you are in ‘good company’; The Texas Land Trust Council is a collaboration of 30+ Texas land trusts (including NPAT) encouraging excellence in the Texas land trust community through collaboration, education and outreach. Land Trusts within each Texas region, Panhandle Plains, Prairies and Lakes, Pineywoods, Gulf Coast, South Texas Plains, Hill Country and Big Bend Country, strive to conserve the native lands, wildlife and waterways of Texas for those who will follow us!

From NPAT’s Mission: ‘We educate Texans about native prairies, plant communities, grassland birds, wildlife and sustainable land-use practices.’

Did you know? “Today’s prairies are disappearing even faster than Amazon rainforests.” The Nature Conservancy

******************************************************
Updates on our Accreditation Process and what it means for NPAT are on Our Blog.
Current and back issues of the Texas Prairie News are in the Newsletters section!
See the News and Events section for field trips, conferences, and more!
(Enter your email address to receive future field trip and conference announcements.)