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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.

A Fistful of Proverbs

Prairie Notes #97
January 1, 2015


01) A Fistful of Proverbs
02) ReMembership NOW
03) In Memoriam: Doug Kolwyck
04) Coming Attractions
05) AmazonSmile
06) In Memoriam: Martin Litton
07) The Deep Middle
08) Prairie Proverb

01) A Fistful of Proverbs

With Tandy Hills at rest, January is a good time to review and reflect on the past year via 2014's, Prairie Proverbs. Besides the usual Ed Abbey and Thoreau quotes, Pope Francis famously made my top 12 by making it clear that nature and the environment were atop his agenda. In doing so, he added a refreshing and powereful voice to efforts to save the planet. It's downright revolutionary! Something tells me that in 2015, we will hear much more from the man who took his name from the patron Saint Francis of Assisi.

Herewith, in monthly order, are Prairie Proverbs I - XII from 2014, along with their accompanying photos, plus a new one for 2015.


"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud became more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

-attributed to, Anais Nin (1903 - 1977)

Joy on four legs: Olive the Prairie Dog, (Tandy Hills mascot), dashing through the great snow of 2010.


"I like this place and could easily waste my time in it."

-William Shakespeare, As You Like It (1599)

Morning light at Tandy Hills Natural Area. Winter, 2014


"There are always flowers for those who want to see them."

-Henri Matisse (1869 - 1954)

Tiny, Wedge-leaf Draba, growing discreetly and beautifully at Tandy Hills Natural Area.


"For myself, I hold no preference among flowers, so long as they are wild, free, spontaneous."

-Edward Abbey (1927 - 1989)

The first Purple Paintbrush (Castilleja purpurea) of Spring 2014 would please Mr. Abbey.


"Prairie hills evolve. Time plus rain and wind conspire. The wildflowers know."

-Don Young, from his haiku written for the Time Travel Passport Game at Prairie Fest #9 (2014)

Mother Nature fooled me with this red-tinted early bloom of what would evolve into bright yellow Sundrops.


"Teaching children about the natural world should be seen as one of the most important events in their lives."

-Thomas Berry, The Dream of the Earth, Sierra Club Books (1988)

FWISD Exploratory Learning Specialist (retired), Kathy Cash, leads a group of Kids on the Prairie with her distinctive style.


"I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it."

-Alice Walker, The Color Purple (1982)

I noticed these Texas Bluebells at Tandy Hills and you can too.


"The idea of wilderness needs no defense. It only needs more defenders."

-Ed Abbey, The Journey Home (1977)

As Cactus Ed might say today, "Shoot your iPhone and get outside."


Emily Dickinson tells it like it is for the North Texas Giving Day campaign, 2014.


"In wilderness is the preservation of the world."

-Henry David Thoreau, Walking (1862)

Milkweed seeds floating in the wind at Tandy Hills Natural Area.


"Happy trails to you, until we meet again. Happy trails to you, keep smilin' until then. Who cares about the clouds when we're together? Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather. Happy trails to you, 'til we meet again."

-Roy Rogers TV Show theme song, music and lyrics by Dale Evans Rogers (1952)

Roy, Dale and Trigger, would approve the new trail at Tandy Hills.


"Creation is a gift, it is a wonderful gift that God has given us, so that we care for it and use it for the benefit of all, always with great repsect and gratitude...If we destroy creation, it will destroy us."

-Pope Francis, Vatican News Service (May 21, 2014)


02) ReMembership NOW

Your financial support is vital to insuring that our award-winning outdoor education and conservation programs continue and thrive. Memberships are for one calendar year beginning January 1. 

Please go here to renew your Membership:

Please go here to become a Prairie Fest Sponsor:

03) In Memoriam: Doug Kolwyck

Longtime FOTHNA volunteer and friend to many, Doug Kolwyck, passed away on December 13. Doug was a consummate volunteer at Prairie Fest for many years. He is fondly remembered as an easy-going man of his word with a smile and handshake for everyone. He was the definition of reliable and possessed much needed skills and foresight that helped make Prairie Fest work. 

photo by Scott Carson Ausburn

04) Coming Attractions

January 1, 2015 - 6th annual Manly Men & Wild Women Hike the Hills
January 26, 2015 - Don & Debora Young presentation to the Cross Timbers Master Naturalists
January 31, 2015 - 6th annual Brush Bash & Recycling Event (see below)
March 1, 2015 - Trout Lily Walk with Jim Varnum
March 28, 2015 - Trail Building Workshop
April 25, 2015 - Prairie Fest: 10th Anniversary Celebration - Prairie to the People
May 2015 - Kids on the Prairie

05) AmazonSmile

Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area is now an official charitable organization at AmazonSmile is a charitable foundation of When you shop using the link below, Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchases to Friends of Tandy Hills. You'll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping s Bookmark the link below and use every time you shop at Amazon. It's simple and easy and benefits your local prairie. Thanks a mil!

06) In Memoriam: Martin Litton

Martin Litton, A great friend and defender of the natural world has died. Litton personally helped stop a series of dams on the Colorado River near Grand Canyon and was uncompromising in protecting what wilderness is left. He also was the oarsman who took Ed Abbey on an eventful trip described in Abbey's, The Hidden Canyon: A River Journey and wrote the introduction to that book. He also served on the board of the Sierra Club during an important era, keeping them from compromising on pivotal issues. Although he never set foot in Tandy Hills, his dedication is an inspiration to me and a reminder to all of us to not compromise in protecting and preserving what's left of our local prairies.

photo by John Blaustein

07) The Deep Middle

Speaking of no-compromise kind of guys, I recently discovered the writings, photography, poetry and rants of Nebraskan, Benjamin Vogt. His insights on prairie habitat and native plant gardening and ethics resonated with me. Check out his recent essay, "How Prairie Saves Lives", and visit his engaging blog, The Deep Middle. Good and inspiring stuff here.

photo by Benjamin Vogt

08) Prairie Proverb

"It doesn't take many voices to make things right. Just strong voices."

-Martin Litton (1917 - 2014) 

photo by John Blaustein

Prairie Notes© is the official newsletter of Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. All content by Don Young except where otherwise noted.