Quintessential spring wildflowers of Texas

Most true Texans know what a Bluebonnet is.  The ones who do not, shame on them!  After all, it is the state flower.

The bluebonnet is to Texas what the shamrock is to Ireland, the cherry blossom to Japan, the lily to France, the rose to England, and the tulip to Holland.
– Jack Maguire, Historian Continue reading “Quintessential spring wildflowers of Texas”

Grazing and burning, essays from Bill Whitney

Every so often, I get strong feelings of aversion to cattle grazing.  One reason is because I see many denuded pastures and rangelands due to the limited knowledge a particular cattle rancher has in regards to grazing, ecology, and native grasses.  A lot of people do what I call “hobby grazing” (or complacent grazing), they “run cattle” just to have cattle on their place.  Grazing is not a hobby, it is only a tool to be used when range conditions warrant it. Continue reading “Grazing and burning, essays from Bill Whitney”

An example of how mowing can degrade former prairies

In a previous post, I talked about how mowing and its conjoined evil twin, the European-influenced lawn, destroys biological diversity and makes no logical or economical sense.  This post will show how such an outdated mindset can cause permanent damage to prairies. Continue reading “An example of how mowing can degrade former prairies”

Annual Broomweed

Here in the Cross Timbers of North Central Texas, the native forb Annual Broomweed (Amphiachyris dracunculoides) increases dramatically every 3 or 4 years, especially during drought periods. (Currently, we need 25″ of precipitation to “get out of the drought”.)  Broomweed is usually found in pastures and prairies that are heavily grazed and never rested, overgrazed in any capacity, in areas suppressed of fire, and always a combination of the aforementioned factors. Because Annual Broomweed is an annual (germinates, matures, flowers, sets seed, and dies in one growing season) the extent of individual plant numbers vary from year to year. Continue reading “Annual Broomweed”

Fire is good, Smokey is misguided

Below is an excellent documentary about prescribed fire in the Everglades NPS in Florida.  They document the whys, hows, and whens.  At 13 minutes long, it’s a good change of pace from reading the Sunday morning news.

Continue reading “Fire is good, Smokey is misguided”