Monthly 4th Saturday Volunteers’ Workday, 9am – NOON NPAT-The Houston Chapter’s Volunteers’ Workday at Deer Park Prairie The Prairie will be…Read more of this >>
NPAT - Local Chapter Organizational Meeting Click here to RSVP…Read more of this >>
Check out who’s been visiting our water guzzlers at Kirchoff Family Farm!
Great Horned Owl
Night Time Rodent
Bob White Quail
Maddin Prairie Sunset
From Kirsti Harms - NPAT President
We conducted our Maddin winter bird survey this weekend. Luckily, Chuck Sexton and Jane Tillman came out. They are working on their Mitchell County bird lists and are actually excited about this part of the state! We are lucky to have Chuck helping out—he’s one of the best birders (and naturalists) I know. And he helped with mesquite clearing on the roads!
I arrived late afternoon on Friday. It was in the mid-70s and very still. Beautiful, mild weather. I managed to see the burrowing owl that evening. The sunset was spectacular. And I fixed the irrigation pipes… again…
Prairie dusk at Maddin
Pat Merkord [NPAT Executive Director] and the winds arrived in the middle of the night. Because of the windy conditions, the birding, for the rest of the weekend was difficult. Our group headed to the creek area to get out of the wind. I suspect that this mild winter has affected the birds that migrate down. But still we managed to get a pretty interesting list. LOTS of woodpeckers! I think the drought and dead trees have been good for these birds. Also had lots of American Goldfinches and the regular White-crowned sparrows in the “weed patches.” We had a good sunflower crop this fall. Had three porcupines hanging out in trees. They don’t seem inclined to run away.
Porcupine up a tree
I was most happy to see water in the creek. We haven’t had this much since the drought of 2011. The creek rose was very high during the late October floods that stranded Pat and the area is continuing to get rain. Saturday night’s cold front had us a bit nervous in the trailer, but the high winds passed and the gentle rain for the rest of the night was very nice. Sunday morning was less windy for a few hours and then it started blowing. Part of life on the prairie, I guess.
Water in North Fork of Champion Creek
Non-native emus have taken up residence on the prairie.
Check out this segment on the Central Texas Gardener!
Prairie restoration is a great way to bring beauty and diversity to your property while reducing maintenance requirements.
Thank you to all the sponsors, volunteers and specially the attendees that made this year’s conference a success! It was such a wonderful treat to see all of us prairie professionals and enthusiasts together in the same place! We look forward to seeing you all at the next event!
As promised, we have uploaded all the videos taken of the conference presenters, and HERE they are!
Watch the whole playlist above, or click here to open the YouTube Chanel.
We are still in the process of collecting the accompanying slideshow presentations from the speakers. Click HERE to see what we have so far, and check back to find the rest in a few weeks.
Be sure to keep an eye out for the Conference Evaluation to hit your inbox in the next few weeks. We would love to hear your feedback on how we can make this the best conference it can be.
When: Sat, Dec 19, from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Location: Center for Environmental Research at Hornsby Bend
2210 F.M. 973, Austin 78725
Registration Fee: $15 due at the door (includes lunch)
Monarch Host Cities Partnership Project:
How grow and establish healthy milkweed colonies for monarchs
By Barbara Willy, Director of Monarch Gateway
Our Native Bee Pollinators:
How to protect and support our native bees, including providing bee boxes
By Michael Warriner, Texas Parks & Wildlife, Wildlife Diversity Program
Monarch & Pollinator Conservation:
How to include as part of a 1-d-1 Wildlife Management Exemption Plan
By Blake Hendon, Texas Parks & Wildlife, Wildlife Biololgist
A panel discussion on what this conservation tool is, and how it can preserve pollinator habitat
Melanie Pavlas: Pines & Prairies Land Trust, Executive Director
David Bezanson: The Nature Conservancy of Texas, Land Protection and Easement Manager
Pat Merkord: Native Prairies Association of Texas, Executive Director
We’ve got more monthly Monarch Workshops planned throughout the state. The following are scheduled with more details to come.
-Saturday, January 16 in Winedale
-Saturday, February 20 in Sugar Land