In the Deep Midwinter: Update on Projects

Suddenly, the mornings are filled with of the sound of white wing doves calling one another. Only a week or two ago temperatures stuck near freezing. Mother Nature sure has had some serious mood swings this winter! Typically we expect the coldest weather to arrive soon after the New Year, but a kink in the jet stream served up raw weather right after Halloween and continued through February. The mornings seemed darker and colder than I remembered. In our old Victorian house in Austin, my husband Jack, like the father in A Christmas Carol, wore a stocking cap to bed. I can deal with the cold, ...   read full post »

posted on 2/20/2014

   

Searching for the Best Ways to Remove Carrizo (Arundo Donax)?

Last summer, I was asked to help The Contemporary Austin (formerly known as The Austin Museum of Art) to help initiate a stewardship plan for Laguna Gloria - the museum's historic 12 acre property on Lake Austin. Following an ecological assessment report by Lessons Learned: On this site, heavy equip...   read full post »

posted on 1/21/2014

   

What I Learned From Aldo

Autumn in the upper Mid-West in early October was in its full glory the day we made our pilgrimage to Aldo Leopold's shack (now managed by the deep sand along the banks of the Wisconsin River on Leopold's property and tried to process all the information and messages I had been listening to all week...   read full post »

posted on 11/25/2013

   

The Slow Process of Converting a Bahiagrass Field to Native Grasses

In 2009, a landowner in Washington County near Brenham called to ask for advice on how to go about converting his hayfields from Bermuda and bahiagrass to native grasses. An avid reader of Texas history, Chuck was interested in the early settler's vivid descriptions of the legendary tall grass prai...   read full post »

posted on 10/31/2013

   

Update on Rangeland Re-seeding Projects

There are many things to like about spring, but for me it's the feeling that everything in nature is in a state of pure potential. If conditions line up right, downright miracles happen before your very eyes. Even the spring of 2013, which began late with no winter rainfall, transformed rapidly wh...   read full post »

posted on 6/26/2013

   

Pasture Walks : One Way to Share Information Among Landowners

Many of you interested in conservation management or in diversifying ranching operations have learned that habitat fragmentation is a big reason why population numbers for quail, pheasant, certain plants, and many other life forms have dropped so dramatically in recent decades. This term is used to...   read full post »

posted on 5/30/2013

   

Nurturing Your Weeds vs Planting a Food Plot: Which offers more bang for the Buck?

My neighbors, Hal and Maggie Livings, are dedicated naturalists with keen observation skills. They explained to me that during their 14 years in Loyal Valley, only four spring times were truly memorable for having stupendous, over-the-top wildflower displays. Recent examples of this phenomenon occu...   read full post »

posted on 5/20/2013

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