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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 Lullaby

Prairie Notes: #73
January 1, 2013

1) Prairie Lullaby
2) A Fistful of Proverbs
3) Membership Drive REMINDER
4) Coming Attractions
5) Flower Mound
6) Prairie Lullaby
7) Wildflower of the Moment
8) Prairie Plant Puzzler
9) Prairie Proverb

1) Prairie Lullaby

As Winter settles in, spreading a cold blanket over Tandy Hills for a couple of months, you might say a prairie lullaby is in order. (Scroll down to item #6 for more on that.)

But deep within the Tandy prairie, millenniums-old alchemy is working its magic. Before you know it, Spring wildflowers will be stretching towards the Sun, bursting from the limestone soil. With a little moisture, Trout Lilies will be coming online in about 60 days. With little to photograph or describe in these dark days of Winter, I like to reflect on the past year for refreshment.

This year I'm reposting some of my favorite Prairie Proverbs from 2012 and their accompanying photos for your cerebral and visual pleasure. (You can read all past issues at the website.)

These Prairie Notes and everything we do at FOTHNA is a celebration of this natural world we call Tandy Hills. Thanks for another successful year of helping us keep Tandy Hills "like it was" for everyone to enjoy and discover.


"Shadows slowly creeping down the trail"

2) A Fistful of Proverbs

People like proverbs but you have to be careful slinging them around these days. Thanks to Facebook, proverbs can become clichés faster than you can say, Confucius. Prairie Proverbs are designed to get you thinking about your place in the natural world and inspire you to connect with, love and protect that world which, as Shakespeare probably said, can be transformative. Especially the world known as the Tandy Hills prairie.

Herewith, are a few of my fave proverbs from 2012 and the photos that inspired them:

"Finding beauty in a broken world is creating beauty in the world we find."

-Terry Tempest Williams

"Let's build us a happy little cloud that floats around in the sky."

-Bob Ross, The Joy of Painting, TV host, 1983-1994

"We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect."

-Aldo Leopold, from, A Sand County Almanac, 1949

"The true way to live is to enjoy every moment as it passes, and surely it is in the everyday things around us that the beauty of life lies."

-Laura Ingalls Wilder, Missouri Ruralist,1911

"Instructions for living a life.
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it."

- Mary Oliver, Red Bird, 2008

"To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wildflower
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour"

- William Blake (from Auguries of Innocence, 1803)

3) Membership Drive REMINDER

Membership in FOTHNA is on the calendar year ending December 31. Your membership donations are VITAL to keeping FOTHNA healthy. Please consider becoming a friend in 2013. Your donations help support programs such as the City of Fort Worth Master Plan for restoring and improving Tandy Hills and the well-received, Kids on the Prairie, that introduces hundreds of school kids a year to their local prairie. We offer cool thank-you gifts to all members. Click HERE to get 'er done, E-Z.

➤ Another way to support FOTHNA is through a Prairie Fest Sponsorship. Sponsors at the $250. level get a free booth space, year-round exposure on the FOTHNA website and a listing on the festival program and poster. Other perks are available at higher levels. Sign up HERE.

It's that time of year again. Become a "Friend" and get a cool perk.

4) Coming Attractions

Get out your new 2013 calendars and fill in the following important dates. More details at the FOTHNA website.

January 1 - Manly Men-Wild Women Hike the Hills
February 2 - Brush Bash
March 3 - Trout Lily Walk & Talk with, Jim Varnum
April 27 - Prairie Fest - Prairie to the People!

Quick note: For the 8th annual Prairie Fest 2013 we are back to a one-day event. The fest will be solar-powered and will feature Music (Brave Combo and the Brazen Bellies are back), Food and Beverage (Chadra Mezza & Grill), Master Naturalist-led Wildflower Hikes (FW Nature Center), Discovery Hikes for Kids & Families (Prairie Keepers), Movie Night on the Prairie and much more. Stay tuned for more exciting news on the greenest festival in Texas!

Volunteers needed. Check out the Volunteer button on the website.

5) Flower Mound

Green Source DFW has a nice little article about the beautiful 12-acre postage stamp prairie in the town of Flower Mound. There is information on how to buy a book about the Flower Mound by F.M. Foundation Chairman, Alton Bowman. Check it out here:

6) Prairie Lullaby

Shadows slowly creeping down the trail
Everything is sleeping - ah, but the nightingale
Moon will soon be climbing in the purple sky
Night winds all a-humming this tender lullaby

Such is the the sweet and sentimental chorus of, Prairie Lullaby, by songwriter, Billy Hill (1899 - 1940). Mr. Hill led an interesting life, leaving home at age 17 to become a cowboy in Montana and a surveyor/prospector in Death Valley. He was a gifted violinist who played with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and later with his own jazz bands.

Written in 1931, Prairie Lullaby has been resurrected many times over the years, most recently in a haunting version by jazz pianist and singer, Diana Krall. By clicking on the following links, you can take a trip back to simpler times.:

- Jimmie Rodgers (1933):
- Light Crust Doughboys (1935):
- Michael Nesmith (1973):
- Leon Redbone (1989):
- Doc Watson (1994):
- Diana Krall (2012, snippet only):

7) Wildflower of the Moment

Shhhhh! The Wildflowers are sleeping.

8) Prairie Plant Puzzler

The Puzzler is taking a nap, too.

➤ The answer to the December Puzzler is, Aromatic Sumac (Rhus aromatica).

9) Prairie Proverb

"Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land."

- Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac, 1949

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