A Combo Platter of Observations and Questions

Our yard in Austin is beginning to look like the Mekong Delta after a solid month of rain. At the ranch in SW Llano County, we are deeply enjoying a lush, drawn-out spring, while still aware that in Texas, these tropical years do not bring joy to everyone. Someone downstream, along the Brazos River or Onion Creek, has to pay the price of such abundant rain by watching their house float away in a record flood. We just happen to be on the lucky end of this year’s climatic mood swing. It’s a thrill beyond words to see trees heavy with foliage, to watch so many pollinators and birds ...   read full post »

posted on 6/6/2016


The Spaces in Between

It was the first week of March, and I was sitting on the back porch at the end of the day, admiring the intricate pattern of bare branches on the cedar elm further out in the yard. Everywhere the quickening pulse of spring was evident, yet the branches of the cedar elm with their slender fingered t...   read full post »

posted on 4/8/2016


Landowner Incentive Bulletin

I am proud and honored to be in the 2016 L.I.P. Bulletin Annual Newsletter. They published my essay, The Mindful Conservationist, in this year's issue along with a very nice profile of me under the Landowner Spotlight section of the newsletter. The essay is an adaptation of an earlier article I wrot...   read full post »

posted on 4/4/2016


Messy Ecosystems

A few days after Christmas, Jack and I were hard at work burning brush piles out at the ranch, when suddenly we heard a raucous, clattering sound high above: it was the rolling call of dozens of migrating sandhill cranes. We paused to lean on our rakes and watch as the cranes spooled out into long ...   read full post »

posted on 1/28/2016


The Rains Finally Returned

Sometime after midnight on Friday, October 23rd, a sudden wave of heavy rain surged over the roof and continued in a slow and steady rate throughout all the next day. It was as though a switch had been thrown somewhere in the Universe that instantly released us from the prison of an endless summer ...   read full post »

posted on 11/8/2015


This Year’s Crop: Learning More in 2015 About the Best Time to Plant

Last year, Jack and I decided to try our hand at beekeeping. As it turns out, being a successful beekeeper is a lot harder than we’d imagined. Like quail and horned lizards, bees have a lot going against them, and figuring out how to best protect and take care of them can be very daunting to...   read full post »

posted on 8/31/2015


Taking Another Stab at Prickly Pear Removal

Thanks to an extension of our 2014 LIP (Landowner Incentive Program) grant from Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept., we were able to wrap up some of the brush management work begun in the fall of 2014, and move on to another area that was heavily covered in prickly pear. Building on what we had learned f...   read full post »

posted on 8/6/2015

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