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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.

Citation of Honor

Prairie Notes #141
September 1, 2018


01) Citation of Honor

02) Field Report - August

03) PrairieSky / StarParty Report

04) Giving Day Approacheth. Will You?

05) New Insect Species for TH

06) Vote for Us!

07) Mayors Monarch Summit

08) Prairie Proverb



01) Citation of Honor


In one of the highest honors yet bestowed on Friends of Tandy Hills (FOTHNA, the Texas Society of Architects recently announced that, Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area, has been awarded the 2018 Citation of Honor. The award recognizes our land stewardship and educational activities over the past 14 years.


The FOTHNA Board is especially thankful to, the Fort Worth Chapter of the American Institute of Architects for the nomination. Also... BIG thanks to Suzanne Tuttle, (FWNC&R retired) Paul Dennehy (Dennehy Architects), Sam Kieschnick TP&WD), Kim Conrow (NPSOT), Richard Zavala (FW-PARD) and Bill Neiman (Native American Seed) for their letters of support. Also, I want to thank the many volunteers who have helped put Tandy Hills on the map. The award will be presented to FOTHNA in November at the TSA convention in Fort Worth.


Read more about all the 2018 award recipients at the TSA website:


> Perhaps this honor will inspire you to rememeber Friends of Tandy Hills on Giving Day. (See #04 below.) 





A blurb from the TSA website.



Texas Society of Architects, 2018 Citation of Honor awardees


02) Field Report - August


We finally got some much-needed rainfall in mid-August. It rained for 4 days totalling nearly 5 inches. That, and shorter daylight hours are helping the prairie recover just in time for fall. (Since then, however, another dry spell has settled in.) 


The rain clouds helped cretae a few stunning Summer-sets, adding some streaking color to the prairie sky, a few plant species came back from the dead and a new species was ID'd. Not bad for the crispy month of August.


Rain of any amount is cause for celebration in mid-August, but, this much was unexpected.


A young female, Admirable Grasshopper, in her comfort zone of dry prairie grass.

After the rain, Two-leaf Senna started popping up like rain lilies, all over the meadows.

Sideoats Grama, one of the most fetching fall grasses.

Prairie Heliotrope is doing well despite the drouth.

There is far less Snow on the Prairie than last year.

A Prairie Rabdotus snail (Rabdotus mooreanus) feasting on a Purple Paintbrush seed pod.

8/04 Summerset

8/08, rain on the way!

8/09, rain on the horizon!

8/11, after the rain.

8/13, after 3 days of rain, the clouds began to clear but not before an inspired summerset.



03) PrairieSky / StarParty Report


The August party was cancelled due to overcast skies. Onward! Here's your sky report for September 15 from FW Astronomical Society spokesperson, Pam Kloepfer:


"September heralds the arrival of the autumnal equinox. Many of our summer constellations will be heading west to set in the early evening. However, Cygnus the Swan wil be almost directly overhead. The head of the swan is marked by Albireo, a wonderful double star of contrasting brighter yellow and dimmer blue that can easily be resolved with a telescope. The brightest star in Cgynus is, Deneb, which makes up one third of the also visible, Summer Triangle. The others are the bright star Vega in the constellation, Lyra the Lyre, and Altair in the constellation Aquila the Eagle. Venus will remain bright in the west and through a telescope will reveal a crescent phase. Jupiter is now heading west, but Saturn and Mars will be well-positioned for viewing. Lastly, the Moon will be at first quarter phase, perfect for viewing those mountains and craters."



The constellation, Cygnus, will be on view in September. (from the Celestial AtlasAlexander Jamieson, 1822)


04) Giving Day Approacheth. Will You?


Your donations on Giving Day are vital to our volunteer education and restoration efforts at Tandy Hills. Small donations add up to big bucks when everyone chips in. Save this date to make your donation: September 20th. Thanks for your support.


See our Giving Day webpage here:



05) New Insect Species for TH


On August 1, TP&WD Biologist, Sam Kieschnick, alerted me to a strange critter he spotted at Tandy Hills. It turned out to be the larvae of a Wavy-lined Emerald Moth (Synchlora aerata). The larvae are known for their camouflaging technique where they attach bits of the plant petals/tissue along their backs using silk. Depending on what plant they are feeding on, they may adorn all types of different coloured plants in hopes of avoiding detection. When the petals begin to wilt and discolour, they will discard their outdated camouflage and replace with a new ‘coat’. Check out this website for some amazing pics and facts about this strikngly adaptive creature:


Critter? I don't see no critter?


Wavy-lined Emerald Moth larvae hiding in plain sight.


06) Vote For Us!


The annual, Fort Worth Weekly, Best Of ballot is out. We would like your vote in these categories: Best Nonprofit Organization and Best Place to Take Kids or any other categories you see fit. We appreciate it! Online voting ends September 5 at 5 PM. Vote here:



07) Mayors Monarch Summit


Fort Worth Mayor, Betsy Price was one of the first local mayors to sign the Mayors Monarch Pledge at the Tandy Hills BioBlitz in 2016.Tarrant County College is hosting this summit to encourage more participation county-wide in protecitng the iconic butterfly. Details below.



08) Prairie Proverb


"August rain: the best of summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time."


- Sylvia Plath, (1932 - 1963) from,The Unabridged Journals, 8 August, 1952




Prairie Notes© is the official newsletter of Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. All content by Don Young except where otherwise noted.