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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.

Science Nerds, Nature Mystics & You

Prairie Notes #112
April 1, 2016

1) Science Nerds, Nature Mystics & You
2) Field Report - March
3) Sponsor Love
4) iNaturalist Training for All
5) Cowtown Cleanup is Now
6) Prairie Proverb


1) Science Nerds, Nature Mystics & You

One thing I love about the Tandy Hills BioBlitz is the coming together of diverse groups and individuals for a single purpose: To better understand and appreciate the biodiversity of our urban prairie. During a 36-hour blitz starting Earth Day at 6 A.M. and ending Saturday at 6 P.M., Tandy Hills will become a living laboratory with scientists, nature mystics and average folks (including kids) observingnature up close and documenting their findings via iNaturalist. The results will be tallied as they come in to form a more complete picture of what most of us already know. Tandy Hills is amazing.

A mini-festival (Saturday only) will occur simultaneously featuring our traditional wildflower tours, a wild foods hike, kids activities, kite-flying, solar viewing telescopes, traiside storytellers and the Prairie Passport Game. Food and drink will be available from Chadra Mezza & Grill. AND... if all goes as planned, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, will be on hand to publicly sign the Mayor's Monarch Pledge. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for further updates.

It will be an historic day for all. Come on in.

Is this for real? As Bill Clinton might have said, "It depends on what your definition of "real" is."

2) Field Report - March

What a wild month of rain, sunshine, cold, warmth, ice and wind! The wildflowers of Spring have responded and a magnificent show is coming online like lion. ; ) Here's a few pics of the virtual rainbow of colors and textures, I observed in the month of March, as they slowly began emerging from the amazing miracle known as Tandy Hills prairie.

White Winecup (Callirhoe involucrata) is the most common color variant at Tandy Hills.

Purple Paintbrush (Castilleja purpurea) never fail to delight the eye are having a banner year.

Orchid-like, Fringed Puccoon (Lithospermum incisum) continue blooming as of April 1.

New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus herbaceus) with it's honey-like perfume attracts bees and nature mystics.

The lovely, if misnamed, Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium sp.) cast thier yellow eyes to the Sun.

Drummond's Onion (Allium drummondii) come in shades of white-ish pink....

...and pink-ish white. Did I get that right, Carol C.?

A mid-March thunderstorm brought rain and a massive show of Crow Poison (Nothoscordum bivalve) to the hills.

Young tendrils of White Rosinweed (Sylphium albiflorum), one of the endemic species at Tandy Hills.

Lovely, Texas Blue Star (Amsonia ciliata var. texana) will stop your nose and your eyes in their tracks.

The opening of true blue blossoms of Blue Flax (Linum pratense) mean that winter is over, baby.

A rare sight (for me) of both blossom and seed, at the same time, of Ground Plum or Milkvetch (Astragalus crassicarpus).

First bud of the year of Texas Star (Linddheimera texana)....

....and first open flower.

Regular rains in March kept the Tandy creeks flowing.

Prairie Celestial, aka, Prairie Pleatleaf (Nemastylis geminiflora), are one of the shining stars of tha spring pariaire.

When bees spot one of these they be like, Chet Baker singing, "Let's Get Lost, lost in each other's arms..."

Cloth of Gold (Physaria gracilis) holds a lot of power in its tiny blooms.

Wild Hyacinth (Camassia scilloides) is real show stopper this year. Good luck finding their secret location.

On the last day of March I was delighted to find one of the trails lined with Blue Flax and Stork's Bill (Erodium texanum).

I'd be lost lisitng the Latin names of the wildflowers above without this book. Thanks, Debora Young!

3) Sponsor Love

It's not too late for you to join our sterling list of BioBlitz Suppoters. We need your suport to make BioBlitz a success. Thanks to the following Partners and Supporters whose names will appear on our poster, t-shirt, Kids on the Prairie Field Journal, event banner and website: Dr. Libby Gilmore, Mary Kay & Greg Hughes, Jim Marshall, Jane Rector, Don Wheeler, Prairie Keepers, Native Prairie Association (FW), Event Solar Power, Texas Master Naturalists, Boy Scouts of America, BRIT, tiNG-tiNG design, Fort Worth Audubon Society, Fort Worth Mortgage Bankers Association, Precision Press, Buyers Barricades, Unity Church Fort Worth, Frost Bank, Native Plant Society of Texas (NCT chapter), GreatWater Irrigation & Ecoscapes, James D. Bradbury / PLLC, West Meadowbrook Neighborhood Association, YMCA Camp Carter, Fort Worth Astronomical Society, Whole Foods Market, Marshall Grain, Arlington Conservation Society, Texas Honeybee Guild, Sportswear Graphics, Bel Air Music Showcase, Redenta's Garden and The Story of Mary the Caterpillar.

Mary Kay Hughes, representing FW Mortgage Bankers presented gtrateful FOTHNA members a check for $1,000.

4) iNaturalist Training for All

With BioBlitz only 22 days away there are two training workshops scheduled for you to hone your iNat skills. Mr. iNat himself, Sam Kieschnick, will walk you the through the basics of citizen science to help you contribute observations to the BioBlitz database. Both events take place at Tandy Hills. Here's the dates:

April 3 @ 1 P.M. (FOTHNA sponsored)
April 11 @ 6:30 P.M. FW-NPAT sponsored) Link:

Come meet and learn from the Google of iNat, Mr. Sam Kieschnick, ladies and gentlemen!

5) Cowtown Cleanup is Now

Want to help clean up trash from Tandy Hills awe-inspiring, 160-acres? You will have that op on April 2, from 8:30 - 11:30 A.M. Register yourself or group today at the website here:

6) Prairie Proverb

"Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction."

E.O. Wilson, American biologist, researcher, naturalist and author


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.