8:30 p.m. Doors open – visitors are encouraged to walk and view the prairie in the relative coolness and breeze around sunset
~ 9:00 p.m. or after dark: Moth and night insect viewing begins
Visitors are welcome to drop by and leave at any time. Cost: Free
Moth and insect enthusiasts Katy Emde and John Schneider will set up black (UV) lights and white screen to attract moths and other night insects. We had some Harris County firsts last year and a lot of fun! Once it gets dark, we’ll see what shows up! We’ll be ID’ing, photographing and talking moths and other night insects such as the silver butt beetle. Light refreshments will be served in the house – please register, so we can get an estimate for food.
In the May, 2019, Texas Wildlife is an article by Keith Pawelek, Associate Director of Texas Naive Seeds Program titled “Land Disturbance, Problem or Opportunity”. The article gives tips on how to use land disturbance as an opportunity to improve the wildlife habitat of a property and can be found at this link: https://issuu.com/texaswildlifeassociation/docs/2019-05-proof5/44. The emphasis is on seeding with native plants.
Thanks to Alyssa Conn for pointing out this article.
For a size to actually read it, hover the cursor on the page and click the full screen icon that appears (on the lower right). Aside: I hate issuu, however, that is the only format where I found the article. How long the link will be active is unknown, so if you want to save the article, take screen shots and save that way.
Lawther – Deer Park Prairie Preserve Celebrating the 5-Year Anniversary of the purchase and conservation easement that saved this 52-acre incredible prairie remnant
April 27 – Saturday SPRING WILDFLOWER DAY AT THE LAWTHER – DEER PARK PRAIRIEPRESERVE
1222 E Purdue Lane, Deer Park, TX 77536 (Please do not park directly in front of our neighbors’ houses)
Join the Houston Chapter of the Native Prairies Association of Texas for Talks and Tours at the prairie. Wear closed-toe shoes and bring your camera! This is a City Nature Challengeevent (citynaturechallenge.org and previous blog)
7:30 Birding Tour (Prairie open only for bird tour participants) 9:00 Prairie Opens 9:15 iNaturalist Review 9:30 Prairie Plants Talk & Tour 10:30 Insects & Pollinators Talk & Tour 11:30 – 12:30 Complementary Lunch 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM Prairie Open for Visitors
Learn about living organisms on the coastal prairie by participating in two City Nature Challenge events on Houston Prairies:
On Saturday, April 27 at Deer Park Prairie in east Harris County. More information here.
On Sunday, April 28 at Katy Prairie Conservancy Preserve in far west Harris County. See below.
From a Katy Prairie Conservancy announcement:
Join us for City Nature Challenge! Let’s help Houston win by participating in KPC’s City Nature Challenge Event!
When: Sunday, April 28th from 9 a.m. to noon
Where: Matt Cook Memorial Wildlife Viewing Platform & Rockhollow Creek on the Katy Prairie Conservancy Preserve
What: The City Nature Challenge is a competition between cities of the world using iNaturalist.org. This international bioblitz-style competition asks individuals to find and document plants and wildlife in cities across the world. Houston will compete against other cities to see which one can make the most observations of nature, find the most species, and engage the greatest number of people.
Sound fun? Meet at the Matt Cook Viewing Platform parking lot (Location: http://www.katyprairie.org/visit or google map) at 9:00 a.m., Sunday, April 28. Please dress for the outdoors (closed toe shoes, long pants, hat); also recommended are sunscreen, bug spray, water. Bring your camera and a signed liability release or sign one when you get there. For more information, email Lshen@katyprairie.org.
Note: no bathroom facilities available at the location.
Can’t come? Sign up for an iNaturalist.org (free) account and post photos or sounds (e.g. bird calls) of living organisms from greater Houston (see this link for map of area) between 12 a.m. CDT April 26 and 11:59 p.m. CDT April 29. You do not have to identify the organism. You can take photos to be posted later, but within the contest time span. In order for your photos to count, be sure to turn your location on when taking the photos OR enter the locations manually on the computer, when uploading the photos. For more information, see our previous blog.
The USFWS has partnered with the Monarch Joint Venture to develop a series of webinars on monarch biology, monitoring, and conservation: monarchjointventure.org/resources/monarch-conservation-webinar-series. Use this link to register for upcoming webinars or for links to recorded webinars, if you are like me and forget or do not have time to participate in a live webinar.
Webinars to date for 2019:
The first webinar of the 2019 Monarch Conservation Series Webinar Title: Western Monarch Population down by 99%: How you can help. Date/Time: Tuesday, February 26th at 2PM ET (1pm Central, 12pm Mountain, 11am Pacific
Monarch Butterfly Population Modeling. Date/Time: Tuesday, March 19th at 2PM EDT (1pm Central, 12pm Mountain, 11am Pacific)
Monarchs in a Web of Life: Predators, Parasites, and Disease. Date/Time: Tuesday, March 26th at 2PM EDT (1pm Central, 12pm Mountain, 11am Pacific)
Many of you might remember years ago, the wonderful CD with Larry Allain’s plant database that was no longer useable after Windows XP expired. Now that data and more is on the web! Location https://warcapps.usgs.gov/PlantID/
Although the database is titled “Plants of Louisiana”, it contains many, many of the plants found in Greater Houston, the plants of the coastal prairie habitat. This database is searchable by scientific name or common name or PLANT CHARACTER. This last would be useful to identify a plant.
Below is the type of data given for the plant Indian plantain
Information on individual plants include features that will help identify the plant such as height, leaf shape, leaf margin, bloom time… as well as propagation and cultural information and wildlife usage and so much more.
The only information lacking for us in Texas are the counties where a particular plant occurs. However, that can be found by cross referencing the plant, using preferably the scientific name, on the USDA Plant database (https://plants.sc.egov.usda.gov/java/ ) or BONAP (http://www.bonap.org/)
April HNPAT Meeting:
Wildlife of Maddin Prairie after 20 Years Restoration
by Pat Merkord, President of NPAT Board
Wednesday, April 24, 2019; 6:30 p.m. social / 7:00 p.m. program starts
Red Cross Building, 2700 Southwest Freeway, Houston, TX 77098
For more information and see prairie dog photo, go to our home page: HoustonPrairie.org
As part of the North American Prairie Conference, the Native Prairies Association of Texas (NPAT) with supported from Shell is sponsoring a Prairie Art Contest for students from grades 6-12. If interested, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Della is NPAT’s Education Director.