Hotter Than Ever: Summer of 2018 in Central Texas

By mid-July, the woodlands were completely still and silent, except for the occasional harsh call of a crow in flight. It was even too hot for the familiar summer background chorus of cicadas to feel like making noise. I have been silent, too, on these pages. For what is there to say about another drought that is compelling and new? Most city dwellers were unaware of the severity of the drought this year until the last days of August, but for those of us in the Llano Uplift area, we knew we were in for hard times by Grasses are slower and need more time to become established, so their futur...   read full post »

posted on 9/25/2018

   

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 mo...   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

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