I'm catching up with some reports on events I posted earlier and also posting some reminders of upcoming events.
If you weren't at the Living Well With Less Water symposium on October 1, you missed a great learning experience. It was a full day of interesting speakers and vendors. The central theme of the conference was that our local area is becoming hotter and drier. The amount of rainfall has been dropping and the temperature has been climbing for years. Our "normal" annual rainfall, currently at 28 inches will be more in the neighborhood of 22 inches by 2040 and the hot summer of this past year will be the norm. The severe drought we experienced this year is forecast to continue for at least one more year and perhaps longer.
Given that cheery news, it wasn't surprising that the remainder of the day was spent talking about landscaping in a way that will conserve our water resources. If the Master Gardeners host a similar program in the future, plan to attend. It would be tough to top this year's program though.
Smith's Gardentown will be hosting a short workshop on this issue as well on October 22 at 10 AM. You can RSVP here The seminar is free, but Smith's is asking for an RSVP to have adequate materials and seating.
Lake Arrowhead State Park (LASP) has a lot going on. John Ferguson, the "new" park superintendent (he's been there a couple of years now, but that's still relatively new) has been working hard to add programs and amenities to the park to increase visitation. The Friends of Lake Arrowhead was formed in this past year to help the park do things with a more limited state budget. If you want to keep up with the programs at the park, friend the Texas Parks and Wildlife Lake Arrowhead State Park page on Facebook (there is another Lake Arrowhead State Park page as well, but that one isn't current, so be sure to get the correct one.) The Friends of Lake Arrowhead State Park also have a page. Although you don't have to be a member of the Friends group to like the page, it certainly would be nice if you would consider joining.
One of the projects under development is a large butterfly garden. The Rolling Plains Texas Master Naturalist chapter maintains a small butterfly garden near the main gate in addition to the nature trail. The new butterfly garden will be a much larger project and developed over the next couple of years. I imagine both the Master Naturalist chapter and the Friends of Lake Arrowhead will be involved (there is a lot of overlap between the groups.)
A couple of upcoming events at LASP that should be of interest to readers of this blog include:
October 28: Bring the kids out for a Halloween program at the park, beginning at 6:30 PM. Children will be able to color and wear various animal masks and there will be an after dark listening for night sounds activity. The program is free, although attendees will need to pay the park admission (why not make a day of it?)
November 5, 9:00 AM - Noon: Mark Klym, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Wildlife Diversity Program, will conduct a free workshop on wildscaping. If you want the CD with resources, it will be available for purchase for $5. Again, entry to the park is required.
December 12 - 15: LASP will be holding a Waterfowl Hunting Education class and mentored hunt. The 3-hour class will be held on December 12 and 13 at 5 PM and the mentored hunt for Canada geese will be on December 14 and 15. The park will be closed to the general public during the hunt for safety reasons.
There is a Sierra Club meeting Tuesday evening at 7:15, but I still don't know where. As soon as I hear, I will post the meeting here.
Don't forget the EcoFair meeting Thursday, 5:30 PM at River Bend Nature Center. With the change to the Earth Day time frame, there is much to be done in very little time.