Preparing for the Cold

Tufted Titmouse & Chipping Sparrow at Feeder; Photo courtesy of B & D Mitchem, Jan 2014. Tufted Titmouse and Carolina Chickadee; Photo by B & D Mitchem, Jan 2014.

Red-bellied Woodpecker at Feeder; Photo by Barbara & David Mitchem, Jan 2013. Over the last few hours and into later this evening, you may see all our wildlife here at Oakridge Ranch, including the birds in these pictures, preparing for the colder weather that’s coming.  Thanks to the Mitchems for providing the above pictures.   The birds have been extremely active today and are still even now as our precipitation begins here at the South end of the ranch.  Stay warm and keep food out for your animals.   Don’t forget to check on your pipes, pets, plants and your neighbors!   And as always, live life outdoors!

President’s Message, January 2014

January 2014!   What a way to start the year!   We received 30 to 45 mph wind gusts, consecutive days of below freezing temperatures, 3 to 3.75 inches rain throughout the ranch, several stuck trucks and tractors, and now temperatures in the middle 70’s, foggy in the morning, warm in the afternoon.   So what is ahead for the New Year?

UPCOMING EVENTS-
The ORWMA Committee is supporting the following events:

  • March 1-2, Wild Hog Round-Up, Hallettsville TX, Promoted by Texas Dog Hunters Association
  • March 15, Colorado County Wildlife Management Association Banquet, KC Hall, Columbus TX.
  • April 12, Oakridge Ranch WMA Spring Shrimp Boil, Community Center
  • July 5, Ice Cream Social

IN THE WORKS- 
Details of the events above are being prepared by committee so watch your emails, the ORWMA website or mail box for more information.

Did you know Douglas Mason caught or trapped 567 hogs last year?  Add that to 50 hogs trapped by Jerry Rogers, several harvested by various landowners; that’s a lot of hogs!

David Mitchem reported that 141 deer were “checked in” this past season.

Many of us football fans probably are preparing for Super Bowl Sunday, February 2.  But did you know it is also ground hog day?   Will Punxsutawney Phil pick the winner?  Groundhog Day marks the midway point between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox.  It is a derivative from the early Christian holiday of Candlemas Day.  The holiday is commemorated when a famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, emerges from his burrow and looks for his shadow.  The tradition goes that this day is used to help determine how many weeks of winter might be left.  It is observed every year on February 2nd and was established in 1887.

If you have not kept up with our website you are certainly missing a lot———-check out our website—    http://orwma.org

Larry Petter, President-ORWMA
January, 2014

Controlling Field Sandburs

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/archives/parsons/turf/grassbur.html

Here is an article on controlling Field Sandburs, (aka grass burs) by James A. McAfee, PhD, an associate professor with Texas A&M.  We’ve all probably dealt with these stickers and/or continue to deal with them.  We find them in the most interesting places inside the house, freshly washed and dried bath towels, socks, carpet and rugs, etc.  Our Beagle finds them whenever she wanders around the pastures and open spaces around the house.  She patiently waits until we come along to remove them from her pads.  Hope this article is of benefit to you.  FYI we will be using XL 2 g pre-emergent herbicide.  The article provides a list of several other choices. Good Luck!

By Way of Introduction – RC Lumpkin, Habitat Chair

Ruth and I are very happy to be residents and property owners in Oakridge Ranch.  Being here is fulfilling a lifelong desire to have steward duties to part of God’s earth.  While I enjoy all aspects of the land and outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing and gardening, a large part of my enjoyment comes from having accepted my responsibility as a steward to the land.  No sermon here or forthcoming…I just believe that it is a privilege to be here for the time given and I’ll do my best to take care of my parcel while I’m here.

“HABITAT” is a very broad topic.  The definition includes:  the natural home of an animal, plant or other organism; a place that is natural for the life and growth of an organism; and, all living and non-living factors or conditions of the surrounding environment.

Property owners, residents and guests are certainly included in the “animal” portion of this above organism list.  So whatever affects the habitat affects us as well, not just the flora or fauna.  Our quality of “country-life” and the subsequent enjoyment received is directly related to the health of our habitat.

Here are a few of the habitat topics about which I hope to share: showcasing the Post Oak Savannah (this is the name of our ecological area); native trees, grasses, orbs and brush; habitat maintenance and development for deer, turkey, quail, dove and songbirds; control and/or eradication of non-native, non-beneficial plants; control of the pesky sand/grass burr; pond management; the benefits of brush piles; and, continuous use of the many TPWD and AgriLife resources available to us.

Please let me know of any additional habitat topics of interest.  I welcome your input and requests:

RC Lumpkin, 1154 Trails End, 512-948-5025, r.c.lump@gmail.com

How big is this hog?

Matthew Crosby shows one of many hogs he has taken. According to his dad, Rick, the weight was 260 pounds, “this boar never had a chance!”

Who has the largest grin now?  See below.                                                                                                      20131221_214423

How big is this thing?