Author Archives: lorihorne

Siecke State Forest Field Trip

We had eleven hikers for the field trip to the historical E. O. Siecke State Forest on May 25th. Originally called State Forest #1, the original 1,722 acres were acquired in 1924 and much of the property was cut over and severely burned. Reforestation began immediately. An additional adjacent 100-acre plot was purchased in 1946 for tree improvement and silviculture (the growing and cultivation of trees) research.  In 1926, the first fire lookout tower in Texas was constructed by TFS personnel; the first pine seedling nursery in the… Read More →

Five Mile Prairie in the Rain

A group of our hardcore students and veterans braved the weather forecast this morning and ventured out to Five Mile Prairie for the second field trip of the 2019 Class. As the caravan arrived, the weather was gloomy but the raindrops had not began to fall yet. As we headed out, the ground was wet and boggy in places from rainfall the previous two days, but the tiny Arkansas Leastdaisy, Chaetopappa asteroides,  still smiled, covering patches all along the way.  Moving further in, the purple blooms of Englemann’s… Read More →

Boykin Springs Fun & Learning

The first field trip for the Class of 2019 was a fun adventure and provided many learning opportunities. Arriving at the site, everyone immediately noticed that the entire area had been subjected to a control burn just days earlier, and was still smoldering in some places. Students saw first hand how the burns help eliminate the underbrush that can grow into a thicket, but do no harm to the Longleaf Pines, Pinus palustris, and their seedlings. It also did not affect the blooms of the local Wild Azalea,… Read More →

Carnivorous Plants Hike

On March 23, 2019 we visited a hillside seepage bog at Boykin Springs where all four species of carnivorous plants in the Longleaf Ridge Master Naturalist area are known to grow.

Sandy Creek Park Project

A plan to develop Jasper’s Sandy Creek Park submitted by the local Master Gardeners has won approval for technical assistance from the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance Program. City representatives and NPS began meeting last November to work on plans. Members of the Longleaf Ridge chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists were invited and have been participating in the project.

Paddling to Nesting Eagles

Eighteen canoers, including two children, and two volunteer guides braved temperatures in the 30s and 40s on two Saturdays this February to enjoy a special treat. I assisted Gerald Langham, Sabine-Neches Texas Master Naturalist volunteer, who lead us out through the chilly waters of Steinhagen Lake on a Martin Dies, Jr. State Park paddling trip to view nesting eagles. Longleaf Ridge Master Naturalists Keith Stephens and Lori Horne, as well as Ben King, a student enrolled in our class starting March 19, accompanied us the first Saturday. 

Longleaf Ridge Master Naturalist Training Class

We will be starting a new class for Master Naturalists on March 19th, 2019. The classes will be held on Tuesday nights from 6-9 at the dining hall at Martin Dies Jr. State Park for approximately 16 weeks. The cost of the class is $140 per person (the price for couples is discounted some). The course will cover introductory classes on subjects like geology, mammals, birds, insects, fish, reptiles, grasses, flowers, trees, geographic ecosystems, etc. The cost of the class includes a large study book. The class size… Read More →