We had an informative seminar on spring maintenance held by our County Extension Agent, Stephen Janak. Stephen gave us an overview of his background as well as many resources to use for our spring maintenance here in the Oak Prairie region of Texas, including ways to control grass or sand burrs on our properties. Stephen’s contact information is below:
As many of you know this is my first time to chair the Birding Committee and our first time to be involved with the Birding Census. We hosted the dinner the night before the actual Birding and in attendance where Amy & Jim Hardy, Brenda & Gary LaVergne, Terri & Mark Prasatik, Terri & Bret Dingley and Grady & Glenda Lambert. We divided into groups giving each an area of the ranch to scout and record all the different birds we could see or hear. The magic hour to meet the next day was 6:45am, yep you read that right 6:45am. It was fairly foggy that morning but the birds didn’t seem to mind. I have to say that we had a blast being in the woods so early and watching the wildlife awaken serenading us with their own music. My husband, Fred, enjoyed it so much he talked about it for days…who knew Birding could be so much fun! The total number of different birds spotted were 43 and the top 5 birds with a count of 100 or more were the American Robin, Northern Cardinal, American Goldfinch, Cedar Waxwing and the Chipping Sparrow. There were many on the list I didn’t know, but now with my birding book in hand my knowledge is growing every day.
I want to thank everyone who took the time to participate in our Birding Census and hope you all can join us next year as we are truly blessed to live in an area that has so many birds & wildlife to see right out our front door.
It won’t be long until our Barn Swallows return to their mud nests for spring and we are so thankful they remember how to get to our house each year. The complaints I get about these birds are they’re so messy, they dive bomb me and my pets and their chirping is so loud. But before you go so far as to knock down their nests, listen to the link below and see how many insects, including the dreadful mosquito, that each bird eats hourly, daily & monthly…it’s mind boggling. To help with the mess we put a large piece of square tile under each nest that collects their calling cards & can easily be picked up, washed off and replaced as needed. After listening to the voice-over below, I think you will agree that having Barn Swallows is a blessing and nature’s incredible insect/pest control that is TOTALLY ORGANIC!
(You may need to copy the links below into your browser to view.)
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.]
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
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.