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 from other attempts to remove cactus from our rugged rangeland, we decided to divide the project area into roughly three zones, each of which would receive a different treatment method: hand-clearing, mechanical removal by tractor, and herbicide. We would then compare each zone for cost, re-growth, ...   read full post »

posted on 8/6/2015

   

Acme Botanical Services: Call Today- You’ll Be Glad You Did!

“I need to get Bill Carr back out here!” I told myself in mid-April, after spring rains began to show up on a regular basis – a welcome change in a long, dreary drought cycle. In 2014, we were well into May before we got any rain at all. That’s almost half the year without a ...   read full post »

posted on 6/16/2015

   

Malta Star Thistle: A Wet Spring’s Unwelcome Bloom

As I write this report in the middle of May 2015, we’ve had nearly two solid weeks of rain, with good chances for more in the 10-day forecast. That brings the total for the year in our part of southwest Llano County to 13.5 inches. After four years of extreme drought, this tropical season is...   read full post »

posted on 5/19/2015

   

The Mindful Conservationist

This essay was written in March, 2015 for the quarterly newsletter of the Texas Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration (http://chapter.ser.org/texas) The rigorous structure of scientific inquiry can often offer guidance to the average landowner, but I have found that outcomes are more suc...   read full post »

posted on 4/11/2015

   

Why is little bluestem so hard to grow from seed ?

From our earliest days as landowners, we have tried to entice the Queen of the Prairie to reside on our property. That’s the name I’ve given to little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), because to me it’s one of I planted the clumps in groups of 15-20 in various locations that mi...   read full post »

posted on 3/16/2015

   

What Happened to All That Seed?

In 2014, the long-awaited rains that typically arrive in September to revive the summer-parched landscape did not appear until mid-October. In contrast, the early fall of 2013 received enough heavy rainfall to small brush pile (photo by Stanley Farrar) is a good way to stay warm!...   read full post »

posted on 1/6/2015

   

Landowner Incentive Project: Part II

The first phase of this year's LIP project was described in the previous post: "Not Our First Rodeo: LIP Project 2014". For this year's grant project, we began by selectively clearing brush in the woodlands along our riparian corridor so that we could plant more native grasses, encourage more divers...   read full post »

posted on 7/16/2014

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