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Prairie Notes are monthly photo/journal observations from Tandy Hills Natural Area by Founder/Director, Don Young. They include field reports, flora and fauna sightings, and more, mixed with a scoop of dry humor and a bit of philosophy. They are available free to all who get on the FOTHNA email list.

Stylishly Fall-ish

Prairie Notes #83
November 1, 2013

1) Stylishly Fall-ish
2) Field Notebook:
3) KOP Fall Wrap-up
4) Bag Ban UPDATE
5) O Bury Not the Last Prairie
6) Fall Bounty Fair
7) FOTHNA Annual Meeting
8) Best Green Space in FW
9) Picturing the Prairie
10) FOTHNA Website Changes
11) Prairie Proverb

1) Stylishly Fall-ish

As the last days of October roll to a close, Tandy Hills is reveling in Autumnal glory. Reds and yellows, colors that we usually associate with Autumn tree leaves, are present at Tandy Hills in other prairie flora.

Thanks to an especially good year for Prairie Broomweed, vast sections are cloaked in various shades of yellow while other areas have turned reddish from Seep Muhly grass, also known as the Ghost Grass of Autumn . The two plants make a nice couple when growing side-by-side.

Elsewhere, stately stalks of Maximilian Sunflowers have reached their maximum potential, and stand covered in luxuriant yellow blooms. Equally striking but on a smaller scale are the reddish-green Autumn leaves of Queen's Delight. It's looking very Fall-ish out there.

I'm reminded, too, that November is a time of transformation for prairies and people. Colors fade and we turn more reflective of what has passed and what is yet to come. It's also a good time to give thanks for the little prairie remnants we have left and for the rain that made all this beauty possible.

DY

2) Field Notebook

These are a few of the sights that leaped into my camera during the month of October.


Pink is not exactly a Fall color but thousands of Palafoxia blooms could care less.


Maximilian Sunflowers have peaked for yours and the bees enjoyment.


The Ghost Grass of Autumn, Seep Muhly, delights the eye with it's effervescent reddish seeds.


Sky Drop Aster and Heath Aster are mainstays of the Fall prairie.


Bright red leaves of little Prairie Flameleaf Sumac glow next to Prairie Broomweed.


Queen's Delight in Autumn dress.


Prairie Broomweed has taken over Tandy Hills in 2013.


For my money, there's nothing prettier on the Fall prairie than Side-oats Grama grass.

3) KOP Fall Wrap-up

The Fall edition of Kids on the Prairie hosted 87 students from Meadowbrook Elementary School. Despite iffy weather the kids were energized by a visit to their local prairie. They had a blast learning about the natural world with the guidance of a heroic group of Master Naturalists. The 4th graders also learned how to sort every item in their lunch box for recycling or repurposing. We are pleased and proud to help motivate them to become thoughtful environmental stewards. You can help keep this program vital by Becoming a Friend HERE.


Wild Bill Hall leads a group of 4th graders into the wilds of Tandy Hills on a trip that will change their lives.


Proper sorting, recycling and repurposing of everything discarded in the lunch box is part of the KOP program.


'Twas a great day on the Tandy Hills!

4) Bag Ban UPDATE

As mentioned last month, Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area has joined with the Greater Fort Worth Sierra Club, Interfaith Power & Light and Texas Campaign for the Environment in supporting a single-use plastic bag ban in Fort Worth. Please take a moment to sign the petition HERE.

Learn more about WHY this ban is a good idea in these Sierra Club documents:

Single Use Bag Ordinances in Texas: Basic Facts
Texas Cities Bag the Bags
FAQ

5) O Bury Not the Last Prairie

Regular readers of Prairie Notes have known about the importance of native plant species for years now. How they clean the air, water and soil, how they conserve water and how much prettier they are than non-natives, by golly! It looks like the rest of Fort Worth is finally catching up.

The Fort Worth Weekly recently published a report on how BRIT and partners have embarked on an initiative to educate the public on the benefits of planting native species, especially prairie ecosystems in the Fort Worth area.

One highlight of the article is how the City of Fort Worth is getting involved by planting native grass seeds instead of Bermuda grass along public water channels. Read all about it HERE.


photo by Brian Hutson for FW Weekly

6) Fall Bounty Fair

Fort Worth is blessed to have a place like Elizabeth Anna's Urban Farm & Market. This southside oasis of all things good for the Earth is hosting their 12th Annual Fall Bounty Fair this Saturday, November 2. Music, art, food, kid's stuff farm animals and much more. Details HERE.

7) FOTHNA Annual Meeting

This is a reminder of the Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area annual general meeting to be held, Saturday, November 9th at 2 pm. The location is the Tandy House, 3427 Meadowbrook Dr, 76103. Paid members are eligible to vote for Board members. Not yet a paid Member? Become one by November 2 and be eligible to vote. Go HERE for membership information.

See current board members HERE.

8) Best Green Space in FW

I just have to mention again that, Tandy Hills Natural Area, recently added a major award to its growing trophy case: The Fort Worth Weekly Critic's Choice Award for Best Green Space in Tarrant County. Check it out HERE.

9) Picturing the Prairie

The Native Prairies Association of Texas is sponsoring its First Annual Photography Contest. Deadline is December 3rd. Details HERE.

10) FOTHNA Website Changes

The Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area website has new look making it easier to navigate. It's also mobile phone and tablet-friendly. Improvements and added features are ongoing. We are open to your comments and suggestions. Please send them to webmaster Jen Schultes HERE.

11) Prairie Proverb

"Designers want me to dress like Spring, in billowing things. I don't feel like Spring. I feel like a warm red Autumn."
- Marilyn Monroe

Prairie Notes© is the official newsletter of Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area. All photographs by Don Young except where otherwise noted.

Don Young

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