Welcome to the Lost Pines Chapter, Texas Master Naturalist Program! You can learn more about our chapter and the Master Naturalist volunteer program here. Master Naturalist volunteers help manage our local natural resources. If you are interested in joining us, or have questions about our activities, please contact us.
The Lost Pines chapter serves primarily Bastrop and Caldwell counties of Central Texas (click here to find a statewide list of chapters). These counties are predominantly in the Post Oak Savannah and Blackland Prairie Ecoregions. In addition, our area includes the unique “island forest” of the Lost Pines, the westernmost extent of the loblolly pine (Pinus taeda), separated by about 100 miles from the pine forests of East Texas. Species in the Lost Pines are particularly adapted to the drier conditions here, and provide unique habitat for varied flora and fauna that can be seen in Bastrop and Buescher state parks and other nearby natural areas. You can learn more about what makes these parks so special and see pictures of them by visiting our “State Parks & Natural Areas” page; you can also find many links to information about the native plants, animals and ecology of the Lost Pines region on our resources page.
There are historical figures whose names live on beyond their times. Burleson, Caldwell, McCulloch are but a few who left their mark on our local area. But there is another name, somewhat less known, that helped to forge our early history. There is a Texas State Historical Marker at 115 east Main in Nacogdoches which provides a brief synopsis. It reads: (1801 – 1873) Creator of the Texas Navy, builder of the first wharf at Galveston. Financial advisor of the Republic of Texas. Senior member of the firm… Read More →
A name conveys so much more than mere description. For example, there’s a certain cachet to the label “exotic.” Generally, this gets at the idea of exclusivity or “coolness.” The prestige quickly evaporates, however, when one follows up with “alien.” This combination leaves a decidedly sour taste. Everyone has to be from somewhere, so it’s a little unkind, but to be known as an alien is to be known as not from here, to be incongruous—to not be welcome. Everyone wants to be loved but aliens are universally… Read More →
Roy Bedichek was an Austin boy better known as a naturalist than for his actual profession. If he were alive today he would most certainly be a highly sought after guest speaker for master naturalist chapter meetings across Texas. Roy Bedichek, like Stevie Ray Vaughn, is so beloved in Austin that he has been immortalized in bronze near one of the city’s most adored bodies of water—Barton Creek Pool. More on that later. I was first introduced to Roy Bedichek by my daughter-in-law, in the form of a… Read More →
Out here, the north Texas shortgrass prairie seems infinite under a relentless sun and perpetual withering wind. The land spreads flat to the horizon, making it hard to believe the earth really is round. Like a great blonde ocean there is nothing but monotonous repetition in all directions, without end. This is the southern high plains, named El Llano Estacado by the Spanish. Then, suddenly, the earth falls away before you, plunging 800 feet, presenting a gash stretching 120 miles long and 20 miles wide, gaping like some… Read More →
We have added a page for educational materials that our chapter members have developed. They are all available as free downloads in our Resources section (click this link to go directly to the page). We are hard at work making more materials and we can’t wait to share them with you!