NPAT President, Kirsti Harms, at Maddin Prairie (Mitchell County) – update Aug 16

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Four Burrowing Owls

Kirsti Harms visited NPAT’s Maddin Prairie in Mitchell County last weekend (August 6-7) and here is her report. Anyone wishing to visit Maddin Prairie and carpool with Kirsti from Austin or NPAT Executive Director, Pat Merkord, who lives in Conroe, please email [email protected] . They will let you know dates of future visits.

Anyone living Maddin Prairie and who would like to volunteer there, please also contact Kirsti or Pat at [email protected]. Alternative email is [email protected] .

Below is Kirsti’s update and photos of Maddin Prairie:
Date: Sun, Aug 7, 2016 at 8:33 PM

Subject: Maddin update Aug 16


I went to Maddin this weekend, but took my time getting there, since it is very hot out. I arrived Sat. evening around 8 p.m. and it was 94 degrees. It was in the upper 90s when I left around noon Sunday. (I did stay at a hotel in town.)

Since I was out there alone, my only goal was to fill the water troughs. Good thing I came out though. The big trough was completely dry. I’ve never seen that happen before. Hope it doesn’t have a leak. Our leopard frog didn’t make it. I fiddled with the darn irrigation pipes again—they keep coming apart. But managed to fill the storage tank which will drain into the water trough. Hope that takes care of things until next month. I’ll head out again in early September.

Things were pretty quiet overall. Did see lots of quail, scissortail flycatchers, meadowlarks and Cassins sparrows. About 10 common nighthawks were flying low in the morning. Saw 5 burrowing owls at the prairie dog town! See pics. They were not very shy and I got pretty close in my car. They actually scolded me when I got out of the car. I took some carrots to the prairie dogs since things are kind of crispy right now. They seem to be doing okay. Saw a horned lizard with a strange red head. I hope he was okay. Could he have been doing that blood squirting thing? He was moving kind of slowly but seemed okay otherwise.

We REALLY need to mow. The catclaw in the prairie dog town is getting high. I can hit that with the push mower. But the roads are now almost impassible. I didn’t go to the lower part of the preserve because I could barely find the road and was picking up all kinds of debris, not to mention dodging mesquite branches. The sawtooth daisy (grindelia papposa) is everywhere. I’m amazed I haven’t gotten a flat out here yet… Lots of prickly pear fruit this year.

My next official trip is scheduled for the weekend [at beginning of October] . Let me know if you want to go out there. I understand that the road to the state park is open again…