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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.

People to the Prairie!

Prairie Notes: #77
May 1, 2013

1) People to the Prairie!
2) MayFlowers
3) Kid's on the Prairie: Year 3
4) Scout's Honor
5) Green T's on Sale
6) Downhome Green Shindig
7) Prairie Proverb

1) People to the Prairie

A re-imagined event coupled with picture perfect weather and just enough wildflowers to make the 8th annual Prairie Fest a people-pleasing success. A steady throng of people and pets began filing in early and remained steady throughout the day until sunset.

The prairie-wildflower hikes, kid's activities, trailside story tellers, solar system trail, plein air painters, live music and exhibitors were all well-received. The hourly weather balloon launches by NOAA and the National Weather Service were also an educational crowd-pleaser.

Festival co-directors, Heather Foote, Greg Hughes, Debora Young and Don Young would like to thank our sponsors, and heroic volunteer crew for helping make possible another memorable event.


PS: Prairie Fest is very fortunate to have two top-notch photographers documenting the fest this year. This year, Chris Emory of Sundog Art Photography was the Official PF Photographer. Scott Ausburn has been the Unofficial PF Photographer for several years running. Enjoy a few of their pics below and see many, many more on their websites.

BalloonLaunch, by Chris Emory

B Dancers, by Chris Emory

Baggers, by Chris Emory

RED, by Chris Emory

Busy Bees FacePainting, by Chris Emory

PFhikers, by Chris Emory

Trailside StoryTime, by Chris Emory

Solar System Passport Office Chief, Jonathan Mills, by Scott Ausburn

Family time at Prairie Fest, by Scott Ausburn

Sombati hurdy gurdy player, by Scott Ausburn

People to the Prairie, by Scott Ausburn

Scott Ausburn (l) and Chris Emory

2) MayFlowers

Tandy Hills is deservedly known for it's amazing wildflower diversity. The very late Spring has finally fulfilled it's promise as an abundance of wildflowers are now starting to carpet the hills. Saunter on down to your local prairie and see for yourself. Here's a few pics to whet your appetite.

False Foxglove

Bindweed flower, pink variant

Finally... Greenthread is in bloom at Tandy Hills

Wavyleaf Thistle

Winecups at Tandy Hills are more typically white.


Purple Paintbrush

3) Kid's on the Prairie: Year 3

KOP is a shining example of why a handful of volunteers work so hard to put on Prairie Fest. Funds raised at the festival help pay for field trips for Fort Worth ISD students to Tandy Hills. These students are the key to preserving Tandy Hills and keeping it safe from short-sighted politicians.

With the guidance of Master Naturalists, they get to walk in, understand and appreciate their native landscape while getting some healthy exercise. For the Spring 2013 KOP tours, Director, Anne Alderfer, tells me that, nearly 200 fourth graders from Sagamore Hill and A.M. Pate Elementary Schools will be hitting the hills next week. Bring 'em on.

4) Scout's Honor

Much has been written and said about the three Boy Scouts whose Eagle Projects have benefitted Tandy Hills this year. Michael Fazi created the Outdoor Classroom benches and C.R.Wright and Khanh Nguyen created trail markers and maps. At Prairie Fest, Mr. Fazi presented FOTHNA with a check for $821. from his project fundraising.

Another young man, Abel Cerros, a student at Northside High School, raised $300. for Tandy Hills as an Earth Day project at his school. All of these young men are to be commended for their hard work and philanthropy that will have a lasting impact on Tandy Hills and therefore our community as a whole.

5) Green T's on Sale

Everything about Prairie Fest is about as green as possible including our festival T-shirts. They are available in green and natural organically grown cotton and on sale for only $15.

T-shirt art by Jen Schultes and ting-ting design

6) Downhome Green Shindig

That's how Julie Thibodeaux describes Prairie Fest in the latest issue of Green Source DFW. We could not agree more. Julie and Philip Shinoda of the Memnosyne Foundation, teamed up to create a photo essay of PF. Sweet.

7) Prairie Proverb

"Here at Tandy Hills, where time has stood still, we can see a living example of an ecosystem thousands of years old. A habitat for pollinators, wildlife, birds, plants and trees. The Tandy Hills prairie is unlike anywhere else in the world."

Prairie Fest 2013 keynote speaker, Kathy Cash, Exploratory Learning Investigation Specialist, FWISD Science Department

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

Don Young