How Soils Affect Native Grasses

If you were coming down the long drive from our gate to the house in early spring, you might have noticed the green fields stretching out on either side. Ample winter rains in 2019-2020 filled the fields with a bumper crop of NRCS Web Soil Survey. The NRCS has soil maps and data available online for over 95% of the nation’s counties. Travis showed up at our place for an onsite investigation of soil quality. He described how he had met with a landowner who wanted to plant a big pecan orchard and wondered if the soils were appropriate (they weren’t). Travis’s process for asses...   read full post »

posted on 9/12/2020


Future Forest Project: 2020 Update

It’s been just over a year since I posted a report on a brush-clearing project (see Future Forest Part 3 and two previous posts in 2019 ) we began started in the summer of 2018. Although the area is still in the early stages of the recovery process, we are beginning to see some positive chang...   read full post »

posted on 7/14/2020


Our Future Forest Project Part 3

Over the past ten years, I’ve tried to keep track of the work we have done on our place, by regularly recording observations of changes and outcomes, but the reality is that more often my reporting is haphazard and sketchy, because we have been so busy doing rather than writing about the work....   read full post »

posted on 5/9/2019


Ten Years Gone and Still More Whitebrush to Clear: Part 2

Getting Started: Making Decisions on the Ground After years of wanting to improve a brush-smothered woodland, the day finally came to quit thinking about it and get started. When Dale Schmidt arrived with his equipment on January 24, the ground moisture was still high, thanks to the heavy rains we h...   read full post »

posted on 2/27/2019


Ten Year Anniversary of Land Ownership

Ten Year Anniversary: Part 1 2019 marks the tenth year we have owned our property in SW Llano County. In some sense, it seems that we have always had this place, in other ways it seems we are just getting started. In recent months I have looked over the notes and haphazard records of these years, an...   read full post »

posted on 2/9/2019


It's Shaping Up to Be A Good Year for Wildflowers

By early November, they began to appear. Since then, it seems like blooming ahead of schedule! Although I would prefer to see more grass on our place instead of ephemeral flowers, we haven't had a good wildflower season in the last 2-3 years. Late winter rains promoted cool season introduced grass...   read full post »

posted on 1/14/2019


Another Cycle Begins: 2018 October Floods

Jack’s Paw-Paw used to say, “After a drought in Texas, there always comes a flood”. That is sure true for this October. In my last report late in September we had received over seven inches of much needed rain. Then on October 18, we had over 12 inches, which left us stranded at ...   read full post »

posted on 12/7/2018

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