All posts by Brenda LaVergne

Crazy Ant Seminar at Colorado Cty. Ag Center – Dec 1st

Hello fellow landowners:

This is an invitation to attend a program sponsor by Texas A&M about CrazyAnts from our local County Extension Agent, Stephen Janak.   These pesky little ants are harder to get rid of than fire ants; I would highly recommend attending this program.     [Please see linked attachment below for details.]

Thank you,
Vernon Wallace
ORWMA Habitat Chairman

CrazyAntSeminar_2015

Christmas Party at the Ranch! Everyone Welcome!

ORWMA Christmas Party

Saturday, Dec 12 at 2pm

at Lynne Bigelow’s home, 1287 Oakridge Road

 

Ham & Turkey Sliders and Potato Skins

Veggies, Chips & Dips

Cookies, Cup Cakes, Mini-Pies, Dessert Empanadas, etc.

 

Silent Auction

for

 Personal Crawfish Boil (provided by ORWMA)

&

 2 of R.C. Lumpkin’s Cheesecakes

 

Silent Auction Proceeds Benefiting

Grace’s Table in Columbus, TX

 

Door Prizes, Too!!!

 

Lots of Fun & Good Fellowship!

Come out & Celebrate the Season with Your Neighbors!

Field Tour for Landowners On November 14th

Wildlife Habitat Federation Field Tour – Plant identification for landowners and landscape professionals:  

This program will be held on November 14th in Cat Spring, TX as part of the Southern Plains and Prairies Conference.  While visiting nearby relict tracts of native prairie and those restored as part of WHF’s Corridor Program, participants will have a hands-on opportunity to learn to recognize native prairie species from some of the top plant identification experts in the state.  Three CEUs will be offered to pesticide applicators: two in General and one in IPM.  Registration is $25 per person at the door only.   Participants will be provided with transportation, refreshments, lunch, and handout materials.  Participants will meet at St. John’s Lutheran Church of Cat Spring (480 Ross Street) starting at 8:30am, and the program will run until 3pm.  Participants are asked to RSVP by Friday, November 6th: 979-865-2072 or online at: http://www.whf-texas.org/nov14.15flyer.html

 

Feral Hogs & Diseases

Douglas Mason recently gave us an update about some of the hogs he has removed from Oakridge Ranch.   Douglas says that some of these hogs exhibited symptoms of pseudorabies.

This is not rabies in the common sense, but a viral infection carried by swine in many parts of the world.   Psuedorabies is a viral infection caused by Suid herpesvirus 1 (SuHV1).   The term “pseudorabies” is not an accurate term for the virus as it has nothing at all to do with the rabies virus.

Attached is a short primer from Texas A & M University on a few diseases carried & transmitted by feral hogs.

Feral-Hogs-and-Disease-Concerns_TAMU_Notice

Thank you, Mr. Mason, for all the work you do to remove feral hogs from Oakridge Ranch!   You perform a difficult and time-consuming task to keep the population of these predators under control.

ORWMA 2013 015

Update on Fawns & Spring/Summer Mowing at Oakridge

BabyFawn_LPetter_June2015

The picture above was taken by Linda Petter of a new fawn found by Larry in their yard here at Oakridge.   As noted below does often leave their fawns for several hours in tall grass while they go find food.  Please check your grass over prior to mowing to ensure there are none hidden in your grass.   You might also think about not mowing a couple of areas in order to provide places for the does to hide their young.   We are still having new fawns born here at the Ranch, some as late as August.

Doe with new Fawn, Photo by J.D. Ray, May 2015
Doe with new Fawn, Photo by J.D. Ray, May 2015

Our does have begun dropping their fawns as seen in the picture above.   Take care when mowing around your place.   A doe will leave her fawns in tall grasses while she feeds.   A fawn has no scent for the first few days of its life, giving the it time to get stronger.  Thanks, J.D., for the nice picture!

Live life outdoors!

Bee Keeper at Oakridge

Bee Keeper at Oakridge, Photo by C.Jetton, Spring 2015.
Bee Keeper at Oakridge, Photo by C.Jetton, Spring 2015.

Hi neighbors.  My name is Jack Jetton and I’m a beekeeper here on Oakridge Ranch.  I thought I would take this opportunity to discuss bees and their challenges.  First here are a few interesting factoids about the honey bee.

  • The honey bee is not native to the USA. They were originally imported from Europe.
  • 60% of the fruits, nuts, and vegetables we eat depend on pollinators like the honey bee to produce.
  • Honey bees will fly up to 3 miles from their hive in search of pollen and nectar.
  • Honey bees never sleep.
  • The typical life-span of a worker bee is 30-45 days in the spring/summer
  • There are 3 types of bees in a hive: Queen, Workers, and Drones (males).
  • All worker bees are female.
  • A healthy hive will have 40,000 to 60,000 bees.
  • And many, many more.

The honey bee faces many challenges in its survival such as pests (Varroa mites, small hive beetles, wax moths etc.), disease, and chemicals (insecticides and herbicides).  The last is one where you can help.  As we prepare our places for spring consider allowing the wildflowers (weeds) to grow and produce their flowers.  They love yaupon, dewberry, beauty berry, thistle and horse mint flowers.  Before you spray an insecticide, please consider the potential impact on our pollinators.  Even if the bee is not directly contacted by the poison, the nectar and pollen they take back to the hives can build up the levels of toxins to the point the entire hive will perish.

As we get further into spring/summer you may see swarms.  This is a normal occurrence and the way the hives expand.  When honey bees are swarming they are simply looking for a new place to call home and are normally pretty docile.  If you find a swarm please give me a call (281-910-1432) and I’ll try to see they are safely removed for you.

Thanks for considering the bees as you work around your properties.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to give me a call or email me at jackwjetton@gmail.com.

Thanks,
Jack

Bee hives at Oakridge Ranch, Photo by Jack Jetton, Spring 2015
Bee hives at Oakridge Ranch, Photo by Jack Jetton, Spring 2015

Winter Birding Event January 2015

ORWMA_BirdCensusTotals_Jan2015

Attached is the list of total birds counted during ORWMA’s 2015 Winter Birding Census.   We had 4 groups that birded the morning of January 24th and we had 13 present at the kick-off dinner the evening before.   We hope you become involved in our birding groups and make plans to  attend our next birding census later this year.   Watch the website for more news on birding.

Over the next few weeks, both Cedar Waxwings and American Robins will be visiting the Ranch to help clear our Yaupon Holly of the berries, making way for the spring.

Greater Yellowlegs; Photo by Brenda LaVergne_May2013
Greater Yellowlegs; Photo by Brenda LaVergne_May2013

Watch for Winter Visitors at Oakridge Ranch

The Lamberts saw Cedar Waxwings and American Robins this morning on their walk.  If you’ve never seen a Cedar Waxwing previously, check out these pictures, as well as others online.  Don’t forget to click on any picture you see here to enlarge it.   These are beautiful birds that come to our area each winter.  Before leaving in the spring, they will eat all the berries from your Yaupons.   These birds come to the Ranch in the hundreds!   Watch for them and enjoy!

Cedar Waxwings with a Northern Cardinal feeding on Youpon berries; Photo by B.LaVergne, Feb 2014.
Cedar Waxwings with a Northern Cardinal feeding on Yaupon berries; Photo by B.LaVergne, Feb 2014.
Cedar Waxwings; Photo by B.LaVergne, Feb 2014.
Cedar Waxwings; Photo by B.LaVergne, Feb 2014.

The Northern Cardinal is an ever-present bird in our area.  But they really stand out during the winter months.   The American Robin is a fascinating bird, also.  They will eat everything from insects, to worms, to berries & fruit.   And like the Northern Cardinal, the American Robin has a beautiful song.   Live life outdoors!

American Robin: Photo by B.LaVergne, Feb 2014.
American Robin: Photo by B.LaVergne, Feb 2014.
American Robins early morning bath; Photo by B.LaVergne, Feb 2014.
American Robins early morning bath; Photo by B.LaVergne, Feb 2014.