The Nature of Milam County

This project is quite broad in scope, in terms of describing any number of different nature categories in our county over time.  The individual web pages will have a consistent appearance and content structure, using the instructions and aids noted below.

In addition, as an aid for individual logs of what members find and wish to note, this observation spread sheet for members may be of assistance and provide some uniformity for a future web page.

Instructions for Nature Page developers:

The overall format for the web pages in each category below is similar – in that each category web page will list all the species being described in that nature category.  Each species on the web page will have a photo, the Latin and/or Common name, and then something of interest such as a pertinent poem or folklore or unique feature as a means of introduction, followed by a link to download the individual species document as a PDF file.  Take a look at them and you will see. Your nature category coordinator and team should decide what you want placed here for intro’s.

Nature of Milam County Survey document

As species are found and identified, each one is to be documented on the Survey template, including the release for use of any pictures used if that becomes necessary (should be unlikely).

Download the Survey template.  This should be completed by each page developer and maintained by each nature category coordinator.

Standard input format / template for individual pages.

Here are two generic templates provided for your use.  Use either one depending on your content and style preferences.  The Header, Footer, Species Heading, Times New Roman font size(s), initial photo placement and overall two column layout should be the same on all nature pages.  Your individual committee may have defined specific sub headings or sections pertinent to the nature of the species being described, and that is important to tell all pertinent data.

Simple one page format

Multipage format with more pictures, maps, tables etc This also has some instructions on using various Word features to help in building pages.

Wildflower team information:

Wildflower Resource Page  This contains book and web site suggestions to assist in research.
Wildflower TEMPLATE 2014 This is the Word template for use in developing individual wildflower nature pages.

Use of Photographs

Of course, the preferred source of photos would be those taken by members right here in Milam County.  However, there is a huge source of free, unrestricted photos available on the internet that can be used without any issue with only a brief attribution for the originator.  Thousands of photographers want their photos used by organizations like us.  A good source for many of these popular sites is from Digital Image Magazine’s website.  Another more simple process is to go to, and click on the “Images” label in the header bar, then type in specific search words.  Browse the hundreds of great photos, click on one you like and go to the individual site hosting the picture of interest for any unique restrictions.  You can also search on and  Find a photo you like, click on it to go to owner’s site to check permissions (if any) and find the best photo size available (largest preferred), then right click on the photo you want and select “save image as..” to your PC.  Select the folder on your hard drive to save it, and put the owners name as part of the file name you create to help with providing attribution.  I also suggest going to your nature category listed above on this page, and use the already resourced links presented there that are specific to your nature category – could save a lot of time finding that special photo. When you send the photo file to the web editor for inclusion, the attribute info in the file name will allow proper ID inclusion on the web page.

For a tutorial on Copyrights, Fair Use, Creative Commons and how we should deal with all of this, please download my How do Copyrights affect photo usage PDF file.

Creating PDF files

From within Word, you can “save as..” your nature page as a PDF file by selecting that file format.  When you do, you will get a panel popup where you can select the degree of quality vs file size trade off at the bottom of the panel:  Standard Size will be a high quality PDF, and Minimum Size will be less quality for printing but usually ok for online viewing.  For these fairly simple pages, you should always select “Standard” for best quality.

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