Chapter Members Attend Water Summit

by Donna Lewis
photos by Joyce Conner

On August 18th, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm in Caldwell, Texas, the Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District (POSGCD) held an all-day event for those living in Milam and Burleson Counties.

Summit attendees

We were invited to have an informational booth at the Civic Center about the El Camino Real Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists, and a booth for the El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail.

Quite a crowd!

This event covered many topics including water rights, legislation updates, well monitoring, septic practices, and many other topics. 

Joyce Conner and I set up our booths the day before. Joyce also set up the Trail Association booth next to ours. Both tables looked very professional and had handouts about both organizations. Our tablecloth really looks nice.

Donna Lewis and Scott Berger at the El Camino Real Texas Master Naturalist Chapter booth

Joyce, Scott Berger, and I arrived around 7:00 am. That was a good thing because people started to arrive then. Both our booths had many interested people asking questions and taking brochures with them.  Sandra Dworaczyk arrived soon after. We missed getting her picture with us. Several of our members, including Janice Johnson, attended the talk. Probably more came, but I was too busy to catch them.

Joyce Conner at the El Camino Real de los Tejas booth

Joyce had brochures that showed where the El Camino Real Trail was in our area, which was very interesting to many who lived in our county. No doubt some did not know much about the history of the trail.

The booth team

I think I talked to at least 50 people about our group.  Scott and Sandra were also talking to many people and Joyce jumped in when we needed her. It took the four of us to handle the crowd. Many wished they had a chapter in Burleson County. I informed them that they could attend our talks, but most did not want to come that far at night. Many were interested in daytime events.  I told them to check out our website for those events.  

Checking out our booth

The President of the Lost Pines Master Naturalist Chapter was attending the event and talked to me about our events also.

This was a very successful event for our chapter. I hope we will get some new members because of it.

A good day for Nature.

Mark Your Calendar for Nature Days

by Catherine Johnson

We are gearing up for the second Nature Days event, which will be each weekend in November.  There will be lots of opportunities to get volunteer hours and interact with the public.

Treat yourself and visit the Wildscape now, as the fall flowers are almost ready to bloom.  Email me at cpc69earth AT gmail.com, and I will meet you there to show you some ways to get hours or to get seeds for yourself. 

Now is also a great time to take pictures.  The Monarch and Swallowtail butterfiles have arrived.

What’s Blooming at the Wildscape? Everything!

by Carolyn Henderson

The El Camino Real Chapter Wildscape at the Bird and Bee Farm is awash in blooming plants. I went to water early Saturday morning and was quite surprised by the incredible growth since the last time I was there to prep for the award Gene and Cindy Rek received from the Texas Environmental Quality Commission. 

Happy verbena

It looks like everything has recovered from the freezes this year and last. Come and see for yourself and water some plants or pull a weed while you’re there.

Cameron May Day Picnic

by Pamela Neeley

The El Camino Real Chapter of Texas Master Naturalists showed up in force ready to share our experiences at the Cameron May Day picnic on April 30. The set-up was in the shade of giant, ancient trees on the Courthouse Square, and most of the day was mild. 

Beautiful shade tree kept our area cool.

There were worm growing demos, live spiders and grasshoppers, turtle discussions – with live turtles – pollinator discussions, and many questions answered. 

Look at all those volunteers!

There was a pleasant flow of parents with children and many of our visitors were friends. 

Lots of kids were there.

We had a retired member re-join, and while walking around to visit the other vendors, Carolyn Henderson, our President, had four people inquire about how to join!  I hope they come to our monthly meetings, too. 

The STARS of the day were these Milam County turtles.  They were on the road when Alan was driving over from Deanville. He went to Anderle’s Lumber and bought them each a nice tub.  The red slider was gorgeous, with a yellow and green shell. He was the larger of the two and had water in his tub to keep him comfortable and safe. 

The brown box turtle is terrestrial and had rocks in his tub.  They were both returned to their habitat locations on Alan’s trip home. 

Here we are doing what Master Naturalists do best, talking about anything and everything. 

Booth staff

There was a lot of literature given out, stories shared, and new contacts made in the community.

Chapter members enjoying themselves

The kids, of all ages, really enjoyed seeing our display of turtles, bones, fossils, grasses, worms, and pollinators. 

A very nice day to share the nature of Milam County.