I’ve been thinking a lot about trash bags and how they endanger our domesticated and wild animal friends. So, you can imagine how perturbed I was when I got behind this garbage truck outside of Temple last week.
The darned thing was blithely spewing trash, and plastic bags in particular, all along the highway. I couldn’t quite make out the license plate, though I was tempted to call this guy in for polluting the road.
I know this truck isn’t alone. The particular stretch of road we were on must be a trash route, because there was a LOT of debris on the roadside. What made us most sad was the plain evidence that people had quite recently walked the road and picked up trash, since there were black trash bags evenly spaced among the fresh new mess.
We really have a lot of education and enforcement work to do, don’t we?
Well, shoot, just when I was really getting into long walks and frolicking amid the wildflowers, a late cold front has driven me indoors. Yesterday, we hosted an event at 11 am at our office. The front showed up right as all the attendees were coming in or trying to find us. A big wind and brief rain surprised everyone, and blew away my meeting signs. March decided not to go out like a lamb after all!
But, I did get a lot of flower-viewing, pet walking, and iNaturalist uploading done before the front! It’s a great year for flowers, thanks to the winter rains, so I know I’ll be out finding more to share soon.
At the March 2019 Chapter Meeting, Cindy Travis shared her recipe for home-made suet blocks for bird feeders. These attract warblers, woodpeckers, chickadees, wrens, and more. She’s agreed to share it with readers of our blog!
Cindy says you can easily double or triple the recipe, so you’ll have plenty. The blocks freeze well.
1 cup lard
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups cornmeal
1 cup raisins, seeds, or crumbled eggshells (optional)
(Cindy recommends currants as fruit, because they are small)
Dump all ingredients in a pot and heat over medium heat until the lard and peanut butter melt. Stir thoroughly.
Pour into a square pan, bread pan (you can slice the blocks), or into a Ziploc-type plastic storage container the size of your bird feeder.
Cool until solid, then hang in your block feeder.
PS: You can easily find suet feeders in home improvement stores (Lowe’s Home Depot) or big box stores with garden departments (Target, Wal-Mart, etc.). Specialty wild bird feeding stores will have a larger selection, and of course you can find them online (here is a sampling from Wild Birds Unlimited). You can attach them to trees, hang them on poles, etc.
On Saturday, March 9, 2019, thirteen students; their teacher, Dr. Nichole Wiedemann, from the University of Texas School of Architecture; and Steven Gonzales, Director of El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail Association (ELCAT), arrived at Cedar Hill Ranch in Gause to hike a small part of El Camino de los Tejas National Historic Trail.
There they met Dr. Lucile Estell who explained how she and the late historian Joy Graham worked to get the approximately 2580 miles of trail nationally recognized as the 19th National Historic Trail in the United States in 2004 and then subsequently worked to get signage placed throughout most of Milam County. (Dr. Estell has authored/co-authored several books including El Camino Real de lost Tejas (Images of America) and Historic Bridges of Milam County; and served on the board of ELCAT for many years since its beginning, including as president and vice-president.)