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Funding Available for Urban Conservation Gardens and High Tunnels Applications for the Urban Conservation Project…

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REMAINING December 2017 Chapter Meetings and those planned for January & February, 2018: Please monitor chapter pages (links below) and News & Events pages!…

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Tuesday, 7-8:30 pm San Antonio NPAT Chapter Monthly Meeting“MISSION REACH Ecosystem Restoration and Recreation Project”,  Environmental Sciences, San Antonio…

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Prairie Facts

Report on Maddin Prairie Preserve, October 1, 2017 by Kirsti Harms

I finally made it to Maddin after a 3 month lapse. I blame Harvey and the ensuing gas shortage for the lag. Things looked very good out there overall. They’ve had rain, so the roads are extremely overgrown. But the wildlife water trough has gotten very low. I was able to fill it to about a third full while I was there. Our irrigation system is functional but rather slow. A trip around the property revealed the wind damage from whatever hit us in early summer and jostled the trailer. We’ve got trees and large limbs down on the east side and in the creek. I see plenty of work day projects for this winter. Maybe a January work weekend is in order…

I also disassembled the solar-powered well and hauled it home. I channeled my inner Glenn Merkord and rolled up all the tubing, wiring and rope. I have no idea whether the well will work again, but I’m going to look into it. The prairie dogs are doing fine, but we need to do some brush clearing in the colony area. There are signs of cattle (and pigs) still. I think we need to work on that fence across the creek. It’s dry there now, so this would be a good time to do it. The creek seems to have gone down and is dry in many places again.

The weather was lovely and the fall grasses looked great. I flushed clay-colored sparrows in the fields. They are migrating through right now. There was water in the little “pond” in the seed bank area which was attracting birds, including some Nashville warblers. (I’d love to set up a bird blind there.) Saw some of our summer residents still around, esp. the scissor-tailed flycatchers. Lots and lots of gayfeather in bloom too. My iphone was dead part of the time so I didn’t get pictures of that. LOADS of grasshoppers!! I love how they like to ride on my hood and windshield. Got a good spider/web shot here too.

I regret that I don’t have more time to spend out there at this time of year. It is one of the best times to be at Maddin.

Some pictures are included here.

Prairie Grasses - Sand Bluestem in Morning Light

 
Prairie Spider’s web lays horizontally;                    Prairie Spider peering out at me!
so prey can just ‘walk right in’! 

Mesquite Tree succumbed to High Winds!

 
Water level dropped in trough -                                  Will load nonfunctioning Solar Panel
- just enough to help the birds!                                    - needs to be repaired!

 
Removed well pump - royal, tangled mess!                Now, this is better!


Prairie Grasses being blown by NE Texas winds!

2 extra “Passengers” clinging to my windshield! Want to catch a ride to Austin?