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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 2017

Prairie Notes #133
January 1, 2018

01) Pics & Proverbs 2017
02) ReMembership
03) Attagirl of the Year: Anne Alderfer
04) Attaboy of the Year: Joseph Lippert
05) MM&WW HIke the HIlls is TODAY
06) 10th Annual Brush Bash
07) Painted Prairie Skies 2017
08) Prairie Proverb

01) Pics & Proverbs 2017

With Tandy Hills more or less at rest, January is a good time to review and reflect on the past year via 2017's, Prairie Proverbs and a few of my favorite pics from each issue of Prairie Notes. 

Due to 2017 being the the 200th birthdate of Henry David Thoreau, there are a number of quotes by or about him, as well as some unexpected quotes from figures not usually associated with prairies or even nature, but appropriate, nonetheless.

Herewith, Prairie Proverbs I - XII from, Prairie Notes 2017, with a photo of the quotation author and a favorite pic from the same issue. Thanks for reading and for your continued support!


> January 1, 2017 (Pics & Proverbs 2016)


"Our democracy is bound up in these places. I hope."

Will Rogers, President/CEO of Trust for Public Land, referring to public lands as "part of our fabric of connectedness and through our common ownership and appreciation of them, we are vested in one another, state to state, region to region."

Fog on the January prairie



> February 1, 2017 (Creating Light In Darkness)

“You cannot love a thing without wanting to fight for it.”

- G.K. Chesteron, (1874-1936), English writer, poet, philosopher, dramatist, journalist, orator, biographer, and literary and art critic.


Hard-working Brush Bash volunteers who love their local prairie, 2017.



> March 1, 2017 (Tandy Hills: Lone Star Legacy Park!)

"Thoreau's tremendous force to me as an artist, lies within his ability to boil up the little into the big! To elevate the little into the great is, genius."

- N.C. Wyeth, (artist & illustrator) 1882 - 1945


Trout Lily magic was afoot in February 2017.

Walden Pond Revisited, by N.C. Wyeth, 1945 (Brandywine River Museum)



> April 1, 2017 (The Prairie that Keeps on Giving)

"Who could believe in the prophecies...that the world would end this summer, while one milkweed with faith matured its seed?"

- Henry David Thoreau, Faith in a Seed, September 24, 1851


About the only thing cooler than a photo of a mama Lady Beetle laying her eggs, is a live video of same:


> May 1, 2017 (Subversive Symbiosis)

"Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads."

- Henry David Thoreau, from, Walden, Or Life in the Woods, 1854 (This portrait is his second and final photographic sitting, August 1861. He died less than a year later.)



Crab spiders and Blue-eyed Grass were all over Tandy Hills in May 2017.


> June 1, 2017 (Hey! It's National Prairie Day!)

A page from, Minute Biographies, Nisenson & Parker, 1931


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.

Live the life you have imagined.

Our life is frittered away by detail...simplify, simplify.

Things do not change; we change.

The world is but a canvas to our imagination.

It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."

- Henry David Thoreau, 1817 - 1862



Texas Bluebells thrive in the summer sun at Tandy Hills.



> July 1, 2017 (Thoreau @ 200)

"A century and a half after its publication, Walden has become such a token of the back-to-nature, preservationist, anti-business, civil disobedience mindset, and Thoreau so vivid a protester, so perfect a crank and hermit saint, that the book risks being as revered and unread as the Bible."

- American author, John Updike, in his introduction to 2004 Princeton edition of Walden.


The wide open prairie in the heart of the city.


> August 1, 2017 (Rainbow Across the Prairie)

"Where can I go to make my spirit and mind stronger? Where can I go to become emotionally stronger? Nature is a great place to do that."

- Dianne Whelan, Canadian filmmaker, documentarian and adventurer. Currently working on indie film, 500 Days in the Wild


You had to be there...rainbow across the prairie on July 7.



> September 1, 2017 (Yoga on the Prairie? Sure, Join the Crowd)

Gordon McRae, singing about tall corn in the song, Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin', from the film, Oklahoma, 1943, and...

....Don Young singing about the tallest crop of Big Bluestem grass at Tandy Hills, since 2010.

"There's a bright golden haze on the meadow,

There's a bright golden haze on the meadow,

The Bluestems' as high as an elephant's eye,

An' it looks like it's climbing clear up to the sky.

Oh what a beautiful mornin',

Oh what a beautiful day.

I got a beautiful feelin'

Ev'ertings goin' my way."


From the Broadway musical, Oklahoma!, (with apologies to) Rogers & Hammerstein, 1943


Bee Assassin (Apiomerus spissipes) awaiting dinner on a Saw-leaf daisy.



> October 1, 2017 (Evolution of a Newsletter & Its Author)

"Summer passes into autumn in some unimaginable point of time, like the turning of a leaf."

- Henry David Thoreau from, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, Volume 1, 1849


Wand Milkweed self-seeding the prairie.



> November 1, 2017 (October People)

The fairest Home I ever knew

Was founded in an Hour

By Parties also that I knew

A spider and a Flower-

A manse of mechlin and of Floes-

- Emily Dickinson, from her "envelope poems", 1877


Sideoats Grama in full bloom



> December 1, 2017 (Do Look Back)

Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you."

- Satchel Paige, 1906 - 1982, baseball pitcher who became a legend in his own time


This cute little Checkered Skipper is one of many moths and butterflies hanging at the hills in November.

02) ReMembership

2017 was another productive and award-winning year for Friends of Tandy Hills. Briefly:

> A new pavilion design was selected
> FW Weekly Best of 2017 Award
> Lone Star Legacy Park Award
> Great Texas Wildlife Trail designation
> Hosted several national, state and local organizations

For 2018 FOTHNA has two very specific goals for Tandy Hills in 2018. We rely on your financial support to help make them happen.

#1 Professional restoration of 1.5 acres of scenic prairie just north and west of trailhead and future pavilion
#2 Improvements of existing and new constuction of trails across the entire park


You can show your support these and other initiatives with a 2018 Membership donation. Go here to become a Friend of Tandy Hills:

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

03) Attagirl of the Year: Anne Alderfer

Anne is a a rare jewel of a volunteer. She knows what to do and does it without prompting and she does so, thoroughly and cheerfully. She's been Director of Kids on the Prairie since its founding, a mammoth task by itself, and has led hikes for countless small groups of students from across the region. Her Master Naturalist credentials and birding knowledge come at no extra charge. The North Texas environmental/outdoor education community is lucky to have her, and so are Friends of Tandy Hills. Take a bow Mz. Anne.

Anne Alderfer (front right) in her element with a class of kids on the prairie from St. Rita Catholic School.

04) Attaboy of the Year: Joseph Lippert

Mr. Reliable, Joseph Lippert, won this honor in 2016, as well, and for good reason. He shows up when others don't and does a great job. He was there for Brush Bash, the Botanical Society of America work day, a Boy Scout project and he led the Prairie Posse in clearing the trailhead, Barbara's Button Hill, View Street Meadow and other signifcant improvements. His day job at BRIT does not prevent him from devoting many volunteer hours on behalf of Friends of Tandy Hills. Hats off to, Mr. Joe! 

Joseph Lippert geting ready to tackle some privet.

05) MM&WW Hike the HIlls TODAY

Baby it's going to be very cold outside today but don't let that keep you from participating in the 9th annual Manly Men Wild Women Hike the Hills on New Years Day. Get your details here:

06) 10th Annual Brush Bash

The 10th Annual Brush Bash happens on Saturday, January 27th this year. Read more here:

07) Painted Prairie Skies

On some days of the year, the sky is the most interesting feature at Tandy Hills. The variety of color and texture is always astounding. Here are my best sunset shots from 2017.

January 1

February 5

March 6

March 29 (not a real sunset, but a strange reflection of one looking east at sunset.)

April 17

May 21

June 19

July 6

July 8

August 2

October 2

October 4

08) Prairie Proverb

"Mr. Thoreau dedicated his  genius with such entire love to the fields, hills and waters...that he made them known and interesting to all reading Americans...The country knows not yet how great a son it has lost."

Ralph Waldo Emerson, lifelong friend of Thoreau and fellow transcendtalist, from an exceprt of his 1862 eulogy of Thoreau.


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.