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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.

Pics & Proverbs 2015

Prairie Notes #109
January 1, 2016

01) Pics & Proverbs 2015
02) ReMembership
03) BioBLitz 2016 Shaping Up
04) Attaboy(s) of the Month
05) MM&WW HIke the HIlls
06) 8th Annual Brush Bash
07) Blessed are the Seed Bombers
08) Painted Prairie Skies
09) Prairie Proverb

01) Pics & Proverbs 2015

With Tandy Hills more or less at rest, January is a good time to review and reflect on the past year via 2015's, Prairie Proverbs. New this year, I'm also including a dozen of my favorite pics, one from each issue of Prairie Notes. 

Herewith, in one sweet trip around the Sun, are Prairie Proverbs I - XII from 2015, along with their original accompanying photos, plus a favorite pic from the same issue.



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

Martin Litton (1917 - 2014) 

Legendary enviornmentalist, Martin Litton

First full moon of 2015 rising above Tandy Hills

"If prairie conservation is to succeed, we need to get the public excited about grasslands and combat the perception that prairies would look a lot prettier if they just had some trees growing in them."

- Chris Helzer, from his essay. Ruminations on Tree Planting and Prairie Conservation.

Brush Bash of 2015 cleared a ton of privet and other woody species....

....opening up new vistas across the canyon.

"The moonlight reflects from the window
Where the snowflakes, they cover the sand
Come out tonight, ev'rything will be tight
Winterlude, this dude thinks you're grand"

Winterlude, by Bob Dylan, from his 1970 album, New Morning

Spring wildflowers and the last time around for Prairie Fest seeemed far, far away in late February, 2015. 

Trout Lily plants appeared earlier than usual, by mid-February in 2015.

"So in a world of snow

Of things that come and go

Where what you think you know

You can't be certain of

You must believe in spring and love"

- From the song, You Must Believe in Spring, from the 1967 film, Les Demoiselles de Rochefort, lyrics by Bergman/Bergman/Demy, music by Michel Legrand. Famously recorded by jazz pianist Bill Evans in 1977. Listen here:

Moonrise over a snowy Tandy Hills on March 3, 2015.

In mid-Macrh, the Sun casting a magical light on Tandy Hills.

"Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the Earth has gladly received the embraces of the Sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love."

- Sitting Bull, Lakota holy man and tribal chief (1831 - 1890)

Wise man, Mr. Sitting Bull.

A heavy fog creeped over the prairie on April 18 creating a mystical view.

"I've got a hundred and sixty acres full of sunshine
Got a hundred and sixty million stars above
Got an old paint hoss, I'm the guy who's boss
On the hundred and sixty acres that I love!"

From the song, One Hundred and Sixty Acres, sung by Marty Robbins, from his 1959 LP, Gunfighter Ballads & Trail Songs.

Why is this here? Because Tandy Hills is ALSO 160 acres. 

If the Sensitve Briars are blooming it must be May on the Tandy prairie.

"Where there is no joy there can be no courage; and without courage all other virtues are useless."

Edward Abbey

Irreverent and wise spokeman for saving what's left of planet Earth, Mr. Ed Abbey.

Joyful Dogweed flowers greeting an approaching thunderstorm.

I believe in God only I spell it Nature."
"Creo en Dios, solo que lo llamo Naturaleza."

Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright

Queen butterfly caterpillar feasting on Wand Milkweed brightens the July afternoon.

"Instead of waiting for some miraculous, high-tech solution to bail us out of our climate-change disaster, the real miracle turns out to be simply working with nature instead of against it. Our grasslands, and the soil beneath them, might just save the world."

- Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, Inc. (Photo by Lucia Griggi)

Yvon Chouinard

Dried flower heads of American Basketflower.

"When I would re-create myself...I enter as a sacred place, a Sanctum sanctorum.  There is the strength, the marrow, of Nature."

Henry David ThoreauWalking, 1851 

Henry David Thoreau

Two-leaf Senna: A picture of everlasting resilience.

"In pushing other species to extinction, humanity is busy sawing off the limb on which it perches."

Paul Ehrlich, American biologist, educator, ecologist and demographer

Paul Ehrich

Late October on the prairie is full of magic as this Wand Milkweed testifies.

"Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall."

F. Scott FitzgeraldThe Great Gatsby

Autumn glory on our beloved hills includes Oaks, Little Bluestem grass and Yucca.

Who doesn't love Nodding Ladies Tresses Orchids?

02) ReMembership

Do you support the outdoor education, conservation and restoration programs being done by Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area for the past 10 years? How about our events such as Prairie Fest, BioBlitz, Brush Bash, Wild food Walks, Trout Lily Walks, Kids on the Prairie, Wildflower Walks and the upcoming Manly Men & Wild Women hike? Or possibly the timely news and useful information you get from Prairie Notes and Facebook posts? Of course you do!

How about showing your appreciation with a 2016 Membership? Become a FRIEND today and get some goodies, too, such as this very cool organic cotton bandana designed by Jen schultes from Debora Young illustrations.  Become a friend HERE:

> > > FYI - Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and protecting Tandy Hills.

Get this bandana for a $25. donation.

03) BioBlitz 2016 Shaping Up

Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area are pleased to present our new logo and a press release for the 2016 BioBlitz. Our goal with the logo, designed by Jen Schultes, is to communicate both the science aspects and community involvement of the event. But like many folks, you may still be wondering what the heck is a BioBlitz and what does it mean to me and my community. 
2016 Spring BioBlitz at Tandy Hills to Combine Technology, Biology, Conservation and Community Engagement
Read the full Press Release here:

04) Attaboy(s) of the Month

The Tandy Hills Natural Area, Graffiti Abatement Squad, earned an attaboy recently for restoring the Outdoor Classroom #1 benches after some criminals defaced them a few weeks ago. Kudos to Greg Hughes and Jim Marshall. Nice work, gentlemen!

Greg Hughes, FOTHNA Vice-President

JIm Marshall, FOTHNA Treasurer

05) MM&WW New Years Day Hike

Don't be late for the annual 7th annual, Manly Man Wild Women Hike the Hills on New Years Day. It starts at 10 a.m. Coffee and pastry served before we head out to walk the approximate perimeter. Allow 1 - 1.5 hours. More here:

06) 8th Annual Brush Bash

Brush Bash happens on January 30th this year. Read more here:

07) Blessed are the Seed Bombers

Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area are VERY grateful to Jillian Jordan and the Great Seed Bomb for making us one of the beneficiaries of this inaugural 2015 event. The $682.85 donation will go a long way to further our conservation, education and restoration programs. We are blessed to have such friends.

Jillian Jordan, visionary Founder/Director of The Great Seed Bomb

08) Painted Prairie Skies

In lieu of a Field Report this issue, I offer these sunset pics from Tandy Hills taken during the month of December.

Luminous streaky sky, December 8.

Thick cloud formation, looking east, December 13.

Looking west, I had about 1 minute to capture this pink glory, December 13.

Christmas eve full moon, December 24

09) Prairie Proverb

Shot gold, maroon and violet, dazzling silver,
emerald, fawn,

The earth's whole amplitude and nature's mul-
tiform power consigned for once to colors;

The light, the genial air possessed by them—
colors till now unknown,

No limit, confine—not the Western sky alone—
the high meridian—North, South, all,

Pure luminous color fighting the silent shadows
to the last.

Walt WhitmanA Prairie Sunset,1888

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.