Hummingbird Census – Late Summer 2014

Hungry Hummingbirds sharing ports; Photo by B.LaVergne, Sept 2014.
Hungry Hummingbirds sharing ports; Photo by B.LaVergne, Sept 2014.

The just completed Oakridge Ranch hummingbird census has been attached to the bird group tab.   This has been an outstanding year for hummingbirds at Oakridge!   We’ve included a few pictures here for your enjoyment.  Click on any picture and enlarge it on your screen.  The one above shows more than one hummingbird drinking from the same port at once!   And one picture below is a fantastic shot of an Orchard Oriole invading a hummingbird feeder here at Oakridge. 

As of this posting the majority of hummers appears to have left the Ranch.   Let us know if you still have more than a handful…..click on “Leave a Reply” and keep us posted.   Keep at least one feeder filled and you may have a few birds that winter here rather than flying south.

Hummingbird feeder invader; Photo by J.D. Ray, Sept 2014.
Hummingbird feeder invaded by Orchard Oriole; Photo by J.D. Ray, Sept 2014.
Hummingbirds at Sunrise, Photo by B.LaVergne, Sept 2014.
Sunrise Hummers; Photo by B.LaVergne, Sept 2014.
Hummingbirds in the Rain; Photo by B.LaVergne, Sept 2014.
Hummingbirds in the Rain; Photo by B.LaVergne, Sept 2014.

 

Antlerless Deer Permits

ANTLERLESS DEER PERMITS

ALL of Oakridge Ranch is included in a Managed Land Deer Permit administered by Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.

ALL deer taken must be checked in with one of our designated deer checkers to insure accurate harvest data required by TPWD.

Antlerless Deer may only be taken with a MLD Permit issued by TPWD & ORWMA’s Deer Management Program.  You cannot use the doe tags on your license on Oakridge Ranch.

ALL Oakridge Ranch property owners are members (active or not) of Oakridge Ranch Wildlife Management Association sponsored by Texas Parks & Wildlife.  To become an active member of ORWMA, please contact us at oakridgeranchwma@gmail.comor call one of the ORWMA officers.

Larry Petter
ORWMA–President
September, 2014

Colorado County Burn Ban in Effect

Colorado County has issued a burn ban and it’s in effect until further notice:

  •  No outdoor burning is permitted for 90 days per county ordinance.
  •  No fireworks per county ordinance.
  •  No welding without the presence of OVFD standing by with pressurized hoses for the entire time the welding is taking place per county ordinance.

Please take care of your family, your pets and your animals.   And check on your neighbors, too!

President’s Message, August 2014

September is knocking at our front door, temperatures are in the century mark, and the drought has lowered our pond levels and turned the grass brown.  I know we have all been there before.
Be aware that we are currently under a burn ban for the county. No open fires please!  The Oakridge Volunteer Fire Department has been actively responding to fire calls, a home in Sheridan, and numerous bales of hay on fire.  Please do your part in observing the burn ban and give thanks to our volunteer firemen/firewomen when you see them.

We will be having an ORWMA meeting this Saturday, August 30, 10:00 am at the Community Center.
A topic of discussion will be the Wounded Warrior Hunt scheduled for December 6-7, 2014.  I am looking for suggestions and new ideas to make this another unforgettable event.  All landowners please join us as we plan for December!

The August, 2014 Deer Census is coming to a close this Saturday.  Many thanks to Jim and Carolyn Trickett for coordinating this event.  I have been told a hayride for the children and grandchildren will be included for the final tour!  See you Saturday August 30 at 8:30PM at 1278 Oakridge RD.

UPCOMING EVENTS
ORWMA annual meeting
On September 20th, 4:00 PM, we will be issuing doe permits to Oakridge landowners at the Community Center.  This is also the time we will be collecting annual dues for ORWMA.  If you are unable to attend then annual dues of $20.00 may be mailed to ORWMA, P.O. BOX 1278, Columbus TX. 78934.  If you are a deer checker, please attend so that I may introduce you to new landowners.  Mark Lange, Colorado County Wildlife Biologist, will be on hand to talk about aging deer on the hoof.

CCWMA Colorado County Wildlife Management Association – Entry forms for the 2014 CCWMA whitetail contest will be available.  $9100 in prizes are available.  All bucks (including spikes) to be aged and scored by our WMA scorers.  Also bring in doe heads.  Every deer brought in makes you eligible for the drawings.  Spikes brought in get two chances in the drawings.  We will have raffle tickets available for our Spring Banquet.  Tickets are $2 each or 12 for $20.  Prizes include a Lifetime Hunting & Fishing License, several rifles with scopes, pistols, Yetti Cooler, knives, shotguns, several gift certificates to name a few!

CHL class sponsored by ORWMA
The class is full!  The date is September 13, 2014, at 8:00 am at the Community Center.  This is a four hour classroom with range qualification on the ranch.  Contact Vernon Wallace for additional details at vwallace@satyainc.com

We apologize that our website is currently under repair.  http://orwma.org
We hope to have it up and running soon.

Larry Petter, President-ORWMA

President’s Message, July 2014

Say goodbye to July and welcome August.  We have been very fortunate with our spring rains this year but now for a reality check. It is hot and dry again.

Many thanks to Jean Herring.  On Saturday, July 5th, ORWMA held its annual Ice Cream Social.  There were about 45 people in attendance.  Many of them were grandchildren of the land owners.  The idea of the social on the July fourth weekend hoped to bring in family members of the landowners.  It did do that, but may have left some landowners out due to out of town trips.  We welcomed two new families to the ranch at the social: the Leavesly and the Prasatik families helped us judge the ice creams in several categories.  Winners in the “Best Presentation” and “All Around Favorite” were Preston and Nelda Callendar for their fabulous strawberry.  Winners in the “Most Interesting” and “Oddest or Most Unique” categories were R.C and Ruth Lumpkin for their jalapeño/strawberry served with peanut butter cookies.

We had a great speaker in Dr. Charles Cole.  He brought in several displays of insects from this area.  Many of the adults and most of the children gathered around the displays and asked questions.  Later Dr. Cole talked about the advantages & disadvantages of insects in our area.  One interesting fact came out when Dr. Cole was asked about the green worms that fall from the trees during the spring.  It seems these worms actually make the trees lusher by forming a nodule at the site from which they hatch.  This node actually produces more areas for the leaves to sprout, so the tree has a fuller leaf coat.  The green worm eventually becomes a little white moth that birds feast on.  Although the worm is a nuisance, it actually serves a good purpose.

Along with the ice cream, we had some very tasty desserts and toppings. So remember, you do not need to prepare ice cream to come to the social and visit with your neighbors.  Hope to see you next year.

UPCOMING EVENTS-
August, 2014 Deer Census Survey
Tentative dates are August 9th, 16th, 23rd, and 30th
Contact Jim Trickett 979-7312-2447 or jtricket@att.net

ORWMA annual meeting
September 20th, 4: PM at the Oakridge Community Center.
Annual dues will be collected and doe permits issued.

IN THE WORKS-
CHL Class sponsored by ORWMA  
Planned date is September 13th
Four hour classroom at Community Center;  Cost between $70-$75 depending how many sign up;  Range qualification here on the ranch.
We must know by August 25th to get a head count
Reply to Vernon Wallace for additional details at vwallace@satyainc.com.

Larry Petter, President-ORWMA

President’s Message, April 2014

April is here and the wild flowers are blooming beautifully.  With the wet spring we have experienced nature at its peak.  Texas Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrushes are in abundance.  We should have a bountiful dewberry crop this year, also.  I expect to do more mowing this year since the rainfall has been plentiful.  Our post oaks and live oaks are bursting with new growth and I expect a bumper crop of acorns.  Not so good news for the deer hunters but a feast for the squirrels, crows and blue jays.

UPCOMING EVENTS –
Saturday, April 5, 2014, April Trash off Day
Did you know that ORWMA adopted CR 215 several years back?  Look for the permanent county sign posted at both ends of 215.  Glenda and Grady Lambert organized this effort about 12 years ago.  On Saturday morning we will cleanup CR 215, and if we have enough volunteers we will clean Oakridge Road.  Meet at the north gate at 8 a.m. Bring gloves.  Trash bags will be provided.   Filled trash bags will be left outside the north gate for the county to pick up Monday or Tuesday morning.   Grady or Glenda will notify our county commissioner to pick up trash.

Saturday, April 12 2014, ORWMA Spring Banquet
Oakridge Ranch Wildlife Management Association invites you to our annual spring banquet.  We are scheduled to begin 4:00 PM at the Oakridge Ranch Community Center.  Your membership has allowed us to provide a meal of fish, shrimp, potatoes and corn.  Bring a desert to share if you can.  This is a great time to meet your neighbors.   We are very fortunate to have guest speaker, Dr. Charles Cole, PhD in Entomology.  He will talk about insects.  You know the kind: beetles, spiders, scorpions, stink bugs.  Do you know what an ironclad beetle is?  We all have them.  If you are interested in honey bees, ask Dr. Cole.  He is also a Master Gardener and can provide you with a wealth of information.

IN THE WORKS –
July 5, 2014, ORWMA Ice Cream Social

Tax Day marks the last day to file income taxes in the United States.  The history of US Income Tax dates all the way back to the Civil War and the Revenue Act of 1861.  This tax was imposed to help pay the costs of the war.  After several repeals, new taxes, and subsequent repeals, the 16th Amendment to the U S Constitution was ratified and went into law in 1913.  Changes have been made throughout the years, but the Income Tax still remains in some form as a way to finance the US Government.

Check out our website— http://orwma.org

Larry Petter, President-ORWMA

President’s Message, March 2014

This winter has been the coldest in recent memory.  Throughout the night Monday, March 3rd, we were witnessing a lightening show with thunder in the background.  The rain started, 1½ inches to my measure, yes, we had an ice storm, 20 degrees, here at the ranch.  I can’t remember the last time that happened.  Was it 30-40 years ago?  The morning arrived in a winter wonderland.  It was pretty, but, with the electricity out for six hours we began to chill in the house.  Tree branches fell under the weight of the ice, by 3pm ice began falling as the temperature rose.  The next four days were bearable as we picked up branches and raked leaves.  Saturday night [March 8th] brought us 3½ more inches of rain.  Wow, it is so wet even the gophers and moles were coming up for air!  Get used to daylight saving time and in 10 days it will be the first day of spring! 

UPCOMING EVENTS:

  • March 15th, Colorado County Wildlife Management Association Banquet, KC Hall, Columbus. TX  –  The Colorado County Wildlife Management Association’s Spring Banquet is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. Saturday, March 15, 2014 at the K.C. Hall in Columbus, Texas.  We will have a full catered barbecue meal at 6:00 p.m. with free soft drinks and beer while it lasts.  Meal tickets will be $8 for adults and $5 for kids 12 and under.

We will have our big raffle and bucket raffles for great prizes.  We will also have many vendors with nice merchandise to look over and purchase.  The 2013 Scholarship winners and the Whitetail Contest winners will be recognized.

This is a public event and all of Oakridge Ranch is invited.

IN THE WORKS:
The next ORWMA meeting is March 22nd at 1:00 pm, at the Petter home.

Spring traditionally marks the end of winter and the beginning of a season that signifies longer days and warmer temperatures.  The first day of spring is also known as the Vernal Equinox.  This marks the day that the Sun’s path is directly over the equator.  This day also contains equal amounts of day time and night time.  This day typically occurs each year on March 20 (or on March 21 in some years).

If you have not kept up with our website, you are certainly missing a lot———- Follow us, find the home page where you may subscribe.  If you are the 7th and 13th subscriber, you have won a $50 gift card.   —check out our website—    http://orwma.org

Larry Petter, President-ORWMA

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

President’s Message, December 2013

December is here!  Leaves are falling and the ponds are to the brim.  Brings back memories of how wet it can get.  Temperatures have dropped and it feels like the holiday season.  What a season to be thankful as we give back to our military and veterans. 

UPCOMING EVENTS-
Wounded Warrior Hunt – December 14-15, 2013
Here is a reminder———————-
Each year ORWMA hosts a deer hunt for wounded warriors from BAMC in San Antonio.  Up to 20 soldiers and their guests join us for a weekend full of deer hunting, hog/dog hunting demonstrations, great food and fellowship.  Everyone from the Oakridge community is invited to join us.  The main meal is Noon on Saturday, December 14th, at the Stevenson barn.

IN THE WORKS-
Preparations are under way for our Annual Wounded Warrior Hunt.
    If you are providing a side dish or desert contact Jean Herring, mackieherring@yahoo.com.
    If you are providing items for gift bags contact Barbara Mitchem, bmitchem2@yahoo.com.
    We need to confirm available deer stands and you as a guide, contact David Mitchem, bdmitchem@ymail.com.
    We need to confirm overnight lodging, contact Vernon Wallace, vwallace@satyainc.com.  

You are invited————
We will be making chili for the Saturday night supper for our wounded warriors.  We do this ahead of time because as you know “chili” tastes better 3 days later.  Chili will be made outdoors in a cast iron kettle fueled by burning wood.  Kind of like the early settlers would do on the open range.  We start early with breakfast about 7:30 to 9 AM.  This is a come and go cookout, or stay as it will be an all-day affair!
Be part of this year’s chili team!
The smoke house will be going, so if you have any cut of meat you want to smoke then bring it!  In the past we smoked sausage, pork ribs, pork ham, brisket, turkey, and chicken.  If you’re interested in making your own deer sausage, then contact me in advance, larry@citywestwindows.com.  As in previous years this will be at the Petter Place (1220 Miller Creek Loop) Wednesday, December 11.

Our next ORWMA board meeting will be Sunday, 8th, 4:00 PM at the Petter home. As a landowner, we encourage you to attend any meeting.  Our meetings are held at a random time throughout the year, so contact any board member for the next date.

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
December, 2013