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Beethoven's Ninth

Prairie Notes:
May 9, 2008

1) Beethoven's Ninth
2) Fest T-shirts
3) New book of THNA Wildflowers
4) Behold...Barbara's Buttons!
5) Dr. Kuban's Ecology class video, Part 2
6) Edible Estate: The Case Against Lawns
7) Prairie Fest pics

1) In my ongoing quest to find an apt metaphor to describe the wonder of Tandy Hills Natural Area, I think I have discovered a new one: A full symphony orchestra and chorus performing Beethoven's masterpiece.

There is simply no other way to describe the array of wildflowers blooming, right now. Brass, woodwinds, strings and percussion are all represented. They are backed by a full chorus of emerging prairie grasses. The weather is ideal. It's all so intoxicating.

For a very limited time, the following plants are blooming simultaneously:
01) Bluets (Hedyotis nigricans)
02) Indian Blanket (Gaillardia pulchella)
03) Fox-glove (Penstemon baccharifolius)
04) Wild Hyacinth (Camassia scilloides)
05) Meadow (Blue) Flax (Linum pratense)
06) Yellow Flax (Linum rigidum)
07) Standing Winecup (Callirhoe pedata)
08) Stork's Bill (Erodium texanum)
09) Skullcap (Scutellaria drummondii)
10) Texas Sage (Salvia texana)
11) Sensitive Briar (Mimosa striglliosa
12) Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium enisigerum)
13) Texas Vervain (Verbena Halei)
14) Prairie Bishop's-Weed (Bifora americana)
15) Purple Cone-Flower (Echinacea angustifolia)
16) Barbara's Buttons (Marshallia caespitosa)
17) Crameria (Krameria lancelolata)
18) Engelmann Sage (Salvia engelmannii)
19) Engelmann (Cutleaf) Daisy (Engelmannia pinnatifida)
20) Yellow Sundrops (Calylophus serrulatus)
21) Texas Star (Lindheimera texana)
22) Old Plainsman (Hymenopappus scabiosaeus)
23) Greenthread (Thelesperma simplicifolium)
24) Prairie Paintbrush (Castilleja purpurea)
25) Antelope Horns Milkweed (Ascelpias asperula)
26) Fluttermill, Missouri Primrose (Oenothera missouriensis)
27) Scarlet Gaura (Gaura coccinea)
28) White Milkwort (Polygala alba)
29) Prairie (Indian) Plantain (Cacalia plantaginea)
30) Two-leaved Senna (Cassia Romeriana)
31) Yucca (Yucca sp.)
32) Queen's Delight, (Stillingia texana)
33) Prairie Brazoria, (Brazoria scutellarioides)
34) Prairie Fleabane (Erigeron modestus)
35) Prairie Larkspur (Delphinum carolinianum)

I may have missed one or two and new varieties are on the verge of opening. Come to the meadow - this week - and "hear" the Tandy Hills Philharmonic in their only appearance this year.

2) The third annual Prairie Fest was an unqualified success. In case you missed it, you may want to get your hands on a limited edition, Prairie Fest t-shirt. Available in Sage Green and Panhandle Sky, they are made from 100% Texas grown organic cotton. Cost is $20. Limited sizes. Call for details.

Prairie Fest Shirts

3) Debora Young debuted her new book, Prairie Wildflowers of Tandy Hills Natural Area, at Prairie Fest. This handsome field guide contains 84 hand drawn and colored illustrations of THNA's more prominent species. A signed and numbered limited edition is available for only $10. each. Contact Debora for details.

Prairie Wildflowers of Tandy Hills Natural Area

4) If you come to THNA in the next few days you will be able to see an incredible display of, Barbara's Buttons. Due to ideal weather conditions, I suppose, they are more widespread and vigorous this year than I have ever seen before. The largest most striking groupings are on the far eastern edges of THNA. Go down the easternmost trail and head east on the first trail you come to.

Barbara's Buttons THNA 5/08/08
Barbara's Buttons THNA 5/08/08

5) Dr. Joe Kuban's ecology class at Nolan Catholic High School has finished up Part 2 of their Tandy Hills video that they have entered in a national contest. This time they address the natural gas deposits deep under the park. Watch the video and read about the contest, here:

6) Edible Estate: The Case Against Lawns, is definitely food for thought. Read this excerpt a new book by, Fritz Haeg.

Edible Estates

7) One of the goals of Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area is to increase awareness of the place so people will be inspired to protect and preserve it. Prairie Fest is one way we do that. According to Suzanne Tuttle of the Fort Worth Nature Center, around 300 people officially participated in prairie tours at the fest. Many others went solo. Since the fest, I have observed a sharp increase in daily visitors at THNA. By that measurement, it appears that we are succeeding.

Jay Weenig 4/26/08 THNA
Jay Weenig 4/26/08 THNA DY

Jay Weenig 4/26/08 THNA
Jay Weenig 4/26/08 THNA

Jay Weenig 4/26/08 THNA
Jay Weenig 4/26/08 THNA

Brave Combo @ Prairie Fest '08
Brave Combo @ Prairie Fest '08 DY

Magic Kite Prairie Fest '08 DY
Magic Kite Prairie Fest '08 DY