We’ve all set! Covered areas in case the rain falls west of 281, a fire pit to keep us warm, really cool activities, and a grill for the hot dogs. New activities added: Robert, the reptile guy who’s bringing some of his favorite pets, Craig the “butterfly guy” and Robyn, the bee keeper who’s bringing some tasty treats. Hope to see you there!
Guest contributor: Phil Wyde
Have you ever wondered why animals look the way they do; why there are so many small brown birds; why a fawn has white splotches on its sides; why a zebra has black and white stripes? Nature has given each a coloration and shape to help them survive and produce future generations.
With all the rain, it’s been a banner year for mother nature. We’ve seen the gardens come alive, thanks to all the hard work from our volunteers and from the volunteer plants that have chosen our gardens! And the cool new news, the Upper Highland Lakes Nature Center has joined the new U.S government program, sponsored by President Obama, to register 1,000,000 pollinator gardens. 250,000 are already registered!
After a winter that included a polar vortex in November and record-breaking cold in February, we are so happy to see spring finally get here. Texas spring brings our favorite bluebonnets and other early wildflowers.
Guest author: Billy Hutson
From apples and blueberries to zucchini, from apricots and broccoli to watermelons, without bees, one-third of the fruits and vegetables would disappear from our grocery stores.
Walking along a trail in the winter you see a whole different side of the woods and grasslands. Continue reading A Walk on a Winter’s Day
As you know from Terri and Minnie’s post last spring, we started work on a butterfly nursery specifically designed to attract and nurture monarchs. Led by Master Gardeners, Master Naturalists, and the Native Plant Society, and supported as one of their official demonstration garden projects, we have made terrific progress. We’ll be ready to welcome monarchs and other springtime visitors. Gardens that are good for butterflies are also good for other pollinators such as bees and hummingbirds.
Guest Author: Phil Wyde
What do you know about sunfish? Well they’re fun to catch!
There are many species of sunfish (e.g., blue gill, green, longear), and they are very common in Texas. What do you know about them? Before determining this, you should realize that although they lack the renown of bass and many other fish, sunfish can be beautiful. Moreover, if a fisherman uses light tackle, he can get an awesome fight after hooking one. Indeed, sunfish have provided hours of fun for anglers or all ages, especially children.
When you spot a lovely, long-legged bird, wading thru shallow water, with elegant plumage, munching on an insect or small fish, do you know whether it is an egret, a heron, or maybe even a crane? Inquiring minds want to know! It is all about shape (beaks, wings, body), color (feathers, legs, head), size, song, flight patterns, habitat, and feeding habits