Every Year is Different

An hour before dawn on January 31st, I waited, bundled in a lawn chair, on the front porch for the eclipse of the “ super blue blood moon” to begin. Some had called this special celestial event “the perfect trifecta” of the moon, for it happened to be both the second full moon of the month – a “blue moon”, and also a “super moon” because the moon was closest to Earth in its orbit -- known as perigee -- and thus about 14 percent brighter than usual. Crowning these two phenomena was the full lunar eclipse, on view in our area. I learned lat...   read full post »

posted on 3/29/2018


Yellow is the Color of Western Soapberry

We started seeing forming golden bowers for us to walk beneath. Soapberries are among the more drought tolerant of our trees. As our climate continues to warm up and dry out, will they become as prominent here as they are in places farther west? We won’t remove them for now, as oak wilt is st...   read full post »

posted on 11/7/2017


What Does It Take to Become a Post Oak Tree?

The mighty post oak (Quercus stellata) is my favorite tree. I never tire of admiring its sturdy trunk and rugged, muscular branching, especially in winter. The deep, furrowed bark, irregular arching crown, and dense foliage give this long-lived tree a distinct and dignified character. Post oaks belo...   read full post »

posted on 8/11/2017


What I Learned from my TPWD Biologist

Like many other new landowners, in the early years of owning our place in SW Llano County, I eagerly attended every workshop, field day and webinar in the region to learn as much as possible. As we began the great adventure of restoring our land, most of these educational experiences introduced me t...   read full post »

posted on 7/30/2017


A Bumper Crop of Bluebells

As spring in central Texas winds down in June, we typically enjoy the season’s last hurrah: fields filled with large funnel-like flowers are typically a deep violet color, but can also be white, pink, or colors in between. Because of these attributes, Texas bluebells have been brought into th...   read full post »

posted on 6/22/2017


Fire and Sumac

Last month at a Texas Parks and Wildlife sponsored workshop, I was describing to one of the speakers how discouraged I was that the grasslands on our property seem to be “stuck” in early successional stage, even after eight years of steady brush management and annual sowing. “Put ...   read full post »

posted on 6/15/2017


What We Learned from Purple Martins

One day during the spring of 2016, I was working in the upper field near our gate, when I began to notice birdsong that seemed both familiar and different from the calls I was used to hearing. From somewhere nearby came repeated clicking, chirping, and other animated short calls; all mixed together....   read full post »

posted on 6/5/2017

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