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Prairie Notes are monthly photo/journal observations from Tandy Hills Natural Area by Founder/Director, Don Young. They include field reports, flora and fauna sightings, and more, mixed with a scoop of dry humor and a bit of philosophy. They are available free to all who get on the FOTHNA email list.

Trout Lily Time

Prairie Notes: #75
March 4, 2013

1) Trout Lily Time
2) Let Us Entertain You
3) Membership is Vital
4) Bobcat Trail
5) Wildflower of the Moment
6) Ferdinand Lindheimer
7) American Grasslands: Going, Going,...
8) Prairie Proverb

1) Trout Lily Time

Tandy Hills Natural Area, aka:, The Land that Time Forgot, is home to many rare and uncommon plant species. One of the most eagerly anticipated of them is the diminutive yet striking, Trout Lily (Erythronium albidum). Being one of the first wildflowers to bloom each year it is sometimes called, the harbinger of Spring.

The Vernal Equinox is March 20, but the harbinger of Spring has arrived at Tandy Hills. Their golden-throated white trumpets hang from curvy stems nestled inside mottled leaves that resemble speckled trout. They are scattered across the Tandy hills and hollers hiding in secret places.

It helps to have a field guide. We are lucky to have the best of the breed in, Jim Varnum, who will lead a Trout Lily Walk this Sunday, March 3, at Tandy Hills. The tour starts at 1 pm. Jim will regale you with amazing facts about TL's and help ID other plants along the way. He will be assisted by botanist, Sam Kleschnick. Don't miss this special opportunity. Read more HERE.

DY

2) Let Us Entertain You

Prairie Fest 2013
The 8th annual Prairie Fest entertainment schedule is now set. Our killer lineup in order of appearance:

- Darrin Kobetich
- Ginny Mac
- Bob & Sally Ackerman
- Trigger Fish
- Brave Combo
- Sombati
- Trinity Dogs
- Pablo & the Hemphill Seven
- Whiskey Folk Ramblers

Also featuring Brazen Bellies, Twice Upon a Time Storytellers and the Fort Worth Scottish Pipes & Drums. Make plans to attend the ONLY solar-powered music and wildflower festival in Texas. April 27, 11 am - Dark-thirty.
Details here: http://tandyhills.org/fest/2013/entertainment

whiskey folk ramblers
Whiskey Folk Ramblers

Twice Upon a Time Storytellers
Twice Upon a Time Storytellers

3) Membership is Vital

This is still IMPORTANT---> Friends of Tandy Hills Memberships are on the calendar year beginning January 1. Your membership donations are VITAL to keeping FOTHNA healthy by supporting programs such as the Master Plan for restoring and improving Tandy Hills and the well-received, Kids on the Prairie, that introduces hundreds of school kids each year to their local prairie. We offer cool thank-you gifts to all members. Click HERE to get 'er done, E-Z.

➤ Another way to support FOTHNA is through a Prairie Fest Sponsorship. Sponsors at the $250. level get a free booth space, year-round exposure on the FOTHNA website and a listing on the festival program and poster. Other perks are available at higher levels. Sign up HERE. Special rates available to certified Non-Profit organizations.

4) Bobcat Trail

Thanks to another soon to be Eagle Scout, Tandy Hills Natural Area has a set of trail markers for the newly dubbed, Bobcat Trail. Hats off to Khanh Nguyen for his hard work and dedication. Make tracks for Tandy Hills and see the fruits of Khanh's labor. The updated map is available here:

http://tandyhills.org/sites/default/files/Map02182013.pdf

5) Wildflower of the Moment

Big Root Cymopterus (Cymopterus macrorhizus), sometimes called, Bigroot Springparsley, is another of those harbingers of Spring. And like the Trout Lily, it's rather short in stature, easy to overlook but quite fetching. It's in the Carrot family, has fern-like leaves and pinkish-white flowers. It starts out as a small rosette before unfurling on a thick, sturdy stem reaching about 8" - 10" tall. They are one of the few wildflowers blooming now at Tandy Hills.



6) Ferdinand Lindheimer

Known as, "the Father of Texas Botany", Ferdinand Lindheimer, was German by birth but Texan by place. He arrived in America in 1834 eventually settling in Texas where he spent the rest of his life. More than 20 plant species and one genus bear his name some of which are found at Tandy Hills. Read a fascinating profile of him in the current issue of Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine here: http://www.tpwmagazine.com/archive/2013/jan/LLL_Lindheimer/

7) American Grasslands: Going, Going,...

American prairies and grasslands just can't get a break. After being plowed, developed, overgrazed, drilled and fracked nearly out of existence, now this: "Corn and soy wiping out America's grasslands at fastest pace since the 1930's." That is the sobering headline of a February 20, 2013 report in the Washington Post describing how Biofuel madness took another 1.3 million acres in the past few years with no end in sight. Read about it here:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/02/20/biofuel-craze...


From 2006 - 2011, more than 1.3 million acres of grasslands were sacrificed to make biofuel.

8) Prairie Proverb

"...extreemly fertile; consisting of a happy mixture of prairies and groves; exhibiting one of the most beautifull and picteresk seens that I have ever beheld."

- Meriwether Lewis, describing his impressions of the American prairie, (from, Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition) 1804

Prairie Notes© is the official newsletter of Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area. All photographs by Don Young except where otherwise noted.

Don Young