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. 

Visiting Cameron City Parks

by Catherine Johnson

Our Let’s Get Outside project took us to Cameron City Park, 12 Street Park, Cameron and Airport Park, and O. J. Thomas Park. 

At Cameron City Park we saw natives, mushrooms , and former swimming pool.

12 St. Park has beautiful trees and a nice pond. 

Cameron Park has a fun pool and Airport Park great baseball fields.

O. J.  Thomas Park has swings and basketball hoops.  All were very well maintained and offer quiet, pretty places for recreation, walking, picnics, or observing nature. 

Bitterweed photo by Nick Moore on iNaturalist. Used with permission.

I focused on three small yellow wildflowers in order to learn to distinguish them–Bitterweed, Camphor weed, and Straggler Daisy.  The leaves are very different.

Bitterweed, camphor weed, and straggler daisy (left to right)

You will be amazed at how much you will know in a few years if you learn in small steps. Attending these latest walks were Linda Jo, Donna, Scott, Debra, Jackie T. , Connie, Pamela and Ruby, Kim and Catherine (me).  Most fun–eating together at Dairy Queen and listening to Connie’s (who was mayor of Cameron for many years) tales of the city’s history.