Fire and Sumac

Last month at a Texas Parks and Wildlife sponsored workshop, I was describing to one of the speakers how discouraged I was that the grasslands on our property seem to be “stuck” in early successional stage, even after eight years of steady brush management and annual sowing. “Put a burn on it!” I was told. “You need a burn to scarify all that seed in the ground, and then you will see all kinds of grass on your place!” That’s not the first time I have listened to this strong assertion about the instant positive effect of managed burns, but I have to ad...   read full post »

posted on 6/15/2017

   

What We Learned from Purple Martins

One day during the spring of 2016, I was working in the upper field near our gate, when I began to notice birdsong that seemed both familiar and different from the calls I was used to hearing. From somewhere nearby came repeated clicking, chirping, and other animated short calls; all mixed together....   read full post »

posted on 6/5/2017

   

Managing Woodlands Video Just Published

I invite you to view the latest in the series of land management videos I've been privleged to be involved with for the Hill Country Land Trust. identifying and caging young seedlings. So check out this video and browse through the archives of previous topics and let us know what you think! ...   read full post »

posted on 4/3/2017

   

Tree Planting: an Exercise in Optimism

I remember reading somewhere that planting a tree is one of the most generous expressions of optimism a person can make. Stubborn optimism is surely needed when you propose to do something that requires both muscle and money. Tree-planters invest in a future they are unlikely to witness, yet they d...   read full post »

posted on 2/11/2017

   

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

I realize I have been a little sluggish on writing more frequent blog entries this year, but I have a good reason. I’ve been busy producing a series of land stewardship videos for the Hill Country Land Trust. We’ve been very fortunate to have range and natural resource specialist Steve N...   read full post »

posted on 9/20/2016

   

A Combo Platter of Observations and Questions

Our yard in Austin is beginning to look like the Mekong Delta after a solid month of rain. At the ranch in SW Llano County, we are deeply enjoying a lush, drawn-out spring, while still aware that in Texas, these tropical years do not bring joy to everyone. Someone downstream, along the Brazos River...   read full post »

posted on 6/6/2016

   

The Spaces in Between

It was the first week of March, and I was sitting on the back porch at the end of the day, admiring the intricate pattern of bare branches on the cedar elm further out in the yard. Everywhere the quickening pulse of spring was evident, yet the branches of the cedar elm with their slender fingered t...   read full post »

posted on 4/8/2016

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