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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.

Prairie Fest Reflections

Prairie Notes #101
May 1, 2015

1) Prairie Fest Reflections
2) Field Report - April
3) Get Your Drone On
4) Monarch Watch @ Tandy Hills
5) Defender(s) of the Prairie
6) Merces Que Conspicitur...
7) Prairie Proverb


01) Prairie Fest Reflections

"We learn by doing when we reflect on what we have done."

American philosopher, psychologist and education reformer, John Dewey (1859 - 1952), wrote those words a long time ago. He believed that learning comes not from experience alone but reflecting on that experience. So as the dust of Prairie Fest #10 settles, it's time to reflect and see which way the wind blows. 

The Prairie Fest planning committe will be reflecting on "what we have done" over the next few weeks. Our reasons for hosting such a sprawling event are simple: To promote awareness of and interpret Tandy Hills as a recreation and education resource. We believe that such awareness leads to Sponsorship and Membership support that help fund the critical restoration efforts. Members and volunteers in cooperation with the City of Fort Worth staff are the stewards of this amazing place.

We are always interested in what you think. Does Prairie Fest help accomplish the goals set out above? Should there be another Prairie Fest?  How can we best continue that effort to inspire public stewardship? Let us know what you think as you reflect on the photos below or as you hike the beautiful spring prairie. YOUR local prairie.


April 25, 2015 was a beautiful day to be at Tandy Hills.

02) Prairie Fest in Pictures

Chris Emory is the Official Prairie Fest Photographer. You can see a few of his pics below.

Also on the scene with camera in hand was longtime Tandy Hills volunteer, Scott Carson Ausburn. You can view his gallery of pics here:

New on the prairie this year was local photographer, Gordon Henry. Check out his photo gallery here:

April 24, 2015 was not a beautifil day as storms blew in and destroyed the days set-up work.

Prairie Fest co-director, Jen Schultes, surveying the damage to small stage after the big storm.

But the ominous clouds cleared overnight and the show went on the next day.

Fest-goer writing a message on an art installation.

Reps from Native American Seed were one of the 50 exhibitors at Prairie Fest.

The Texas Honeybee Guild booth drew a steady crowd all day.

The Blackland Priaire Raptor Center gave a popular demo on these important birds.

The Education Zone featured interactive activities for all ages, including the Prairie Passengers Passport Game.

A group call the Prairie Fest Art Instigators led by Katey Rudd, helped create a variety of site-specific works.

Mother Nature made a return appearance to the fest.

Guitarist, Darrin Kobetich, has performed at all ten Prairie Fests.

Always popular, Fort Worth Scottish Pipes & Drums corp made another appearance.

Singer-songwriter, Deanna Valone, brought her distictive style to the big stage.

First time at Prarie Fest, A Taste of Herb, played all the Tijuana Brass hits for an appreciative audience.

Perrenial fave, Brave Combo, rocked the prairie.

Don Young recognizing Boy Scout, Henry Grunow, for his Outdoor Classroom project.

Keynote speaker, Lon Burnam, fired up the crowd urging them to vote, volunteer and donate.

03) Field Report - April

In no particular oreder, here are a few pics of what I observed at Tandy Hills in April. 

The wet spring has brought out lots of snake reports, including the 6' Rat Snake seen on the Main Trail. (Pic by Bill Yates)

Smooth Green Snake also seen on the Main Trail. (Pic by Greg Hughes)

A gigantic flock of birds (cranes?) over Tandy Hills in mid-April.

A unified flock of American White Pelicans graced the Tandy Hills on Prairie Fest day.

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

A foggy prairie is a beautiful thing.

The foggy conditions brought out thousands of snails.

Texas Star.

Prairie Wild Hyacinth on parade in April.

04) Get Your Drone On

Prairie Fest was visited by a Skycraft APV and their video-mounted drone. Thanks to Chris Jenseth for the footage and to Prairie fest performer, A Taste of Herb, for providing the music soundtrack. You'll love THIS.

05) Monarch Watch @ Tandy Hills

Tandy Hills Natural Area is proud to have been certified as a Monarch Waystation by as part of their Bring Back the Monarchs campaign. Tandy Hills is blessed with at least three varieties of Milkweed, a host plant for Monarch larvae and enormous nectar resources necessary to sustain the migrations of butterflies. Our nifty new sign will soon be posted near the trailhead at Tandy Hills. Check out the Monarch Watch website here to see what you can do to help this threatened species:

06) Defender(s) of the Prairie

Read a detailed history of the 12-year struggle to protect and restore Tandy Hills and what the future may hold in the April 22 issue of the Fort Worth Weekly.

07) Merces Que Conspicitur... Quantum Venumdata. Merchandise which is seen is half sold, as a wise man once told me. Check out the new prairie wildflower bandanas and Prairie Fest 10th anniversary commemorative T-shirts and you'll take care of the other half of the equation. Operators are standing by for your orders.

Bandana design by Jen Schultes from illustrations by Debora Young.

Get your 10th anniversary T-shirt while supplies last.

08) Prairie Proverb

"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)

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.