Category Archives: General

Trip to Botanical Institute of Texas

Members of our BPTMN Chapter visited the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (aka BRIT) in Fort Worth.  BRIT houses several herbariums (collection of dried plants), seed bank,  botanical art collections, children/ adult classes, educator programs and more. Visit their site to learn more and support this valuable resource.

Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge – After The Flood

 by Laurie Sheppard May, 2017 marks two years since heavy rains caused damaging flooding at Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge and other parts of north Texas. By May 10, 2015, many roads on the refuge were impassable and public access was curtailed. Ultimately, 9,000 of the refuge’s 11,320 acres were under water. It was August before the main roads were fully exposed and repairs could begin. At its worst, parts of the refuge were under as much as 24 feet of water, displacing wildlife and causing permanent changes to… Read More →

Don’t Encourage Mosquitos!

Mosquitos carry and spread diseases such as Zika, West Nile and Chikungunya They lay their eggs on surfaces of containers that fill with water and on standing water itself. Female mosquitoes rest on walls and in vegetation. Trim bushes, trees and grass. Dump standing water Keep screens on doors and windows intact to keep mosquitos out. They can breed in tree rot holes, so fill them with sand or cement. A tablespoon of mineral oil can kill mosquitoes in small containers. Pesticides with Bacillus thurengensis isrealensis (Bti) or… Read More →

Heritage Farmstead in Plano, Then and Now

By Greg Hayden Under a tall, blue sky, I sit under a stately, old, oak tree amidst the historical oasis known as the Heritage Farmstead. Above me, the Titmouse’s high-pitched call, “peter, peter, peter” is joined by the Pileated Woodpecker’s syncopated drum, and then across the way by the Blue jay’s “scree.” The early September heat, like my fellow Master Naturalists from the Blackland Prairie Chapter, has not yet arrived. Soon this peaceful 4.5-acre historical remnant of the original 395 acre Farmstead will become an island in a… Read More →

Wolves and Unintended Consequences

By Ernie Stokely In spite of protests from neighboring ranchers, the grey wolf was reintroduced into Yellowstone Park in 1995. Elk and deer over-population and starvation had become a problem in the Park. Naturalists thought the presence of their natural predator might solve the herd starvation problems and bring the Park ecosystem into a more natural balance. The cascade of events from the reintroduction of wolves into the Park has far exceeded even the wildest conjectures of Yellowstone ecologists. First noticed were the regrowth of willows around the… Read More →

Message from the President

Message from the President, Deborah Canterbury As the great Minnie Pearl said, “I’m just so glad to be here!” What a wonderful privilege it is to be the president during the 10th anniversary year of BPTMN! I am just one rung above rookie on the experience ladder and I will need input, advice and “atta-girls” from those who have been enjoying membership for years as well as those who are just now beginning this wonderful journey of being a master naturalist Some of the chapter meetings this year… Read More →

The Texas Bluebonnet

by Gary Howerton Texas Bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis or Texas lupine) The blue bonnet flower figures in many Native American tales and Spanish missions planted these flowers around their missions leading to the impression that the blue bonnet came from Europe. We are familiar with this plant, the state flower that was adopted in 1901. The selection was not a straightforward process since there are several varieties of blue bonnet. And some state senators favored the cotton boil. The blue bonnet begins as a small rock-like seed that is… Read More →