November, 2005






President           Randy Moss

Vice President    Tom Watson

Secretary        Nancy Turner

Treasurer      Winifred Simon

Training Committee

                            Joe Piazza

Records Committee    

                         Judy Telford

State Advisory Board 

                        Walt Krudop

Editor           Richard Barnett              

Webmaster       Dave Schwarz

Extension Agent   Bryan Davis         












     November 1, 2005 Class Meeting: Land Fragmentation, Dr. Neal Wilkins, Chapter

      7; Land Stewardship & Sharing Your Knowledge Effectively, Sonny Arnold


     November 2, BRIT Lecture Series at LBJ Wildflower Centre: The Evil Influence of

    the Lazy Root: Social History Through the Potato's Eye; Speaker:  Larry

     Zuckerman, Ph.D., Historian and Author. Reception at 6:30 pm; lecture at 7:00 pm. 

     For more information about the BRIT lectures, visit


     November 3, Blanco River Land Conservation Seminar, 3:00 pm, Old Glory

     Ranch, Wimberley. For registration and information, contact Steve Jester, The Nature

     Conservancy, 512-847-0790,


     November 4 –6, Texas Trail Network Conference, San Marcos. For information

     and registration, contact


     November 8, 2005 Cougar Class Graduation: Keynote speaker, Randy Simpson,

     TSU Biology Department expert on cougars. Opening and closing remarks by Bryan

     Davis and Joe Piazza.


     November 12, Preserving your Paradise: A workshop in Holistic Management on

     small acreage. Wimberley, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm. More information below.

     November 17-19, Statewide Conference on Non-native Invasive Species. LBJ

     Wildflower Center


     November 17. HCMN Annual Business Meeting and Election of Officers.

    Location:  Wimberley. Details below!


     December 9. Regional Master Naturalist Christmas Party at the Cibolo

    Nature Centre in Boerne. 6:00 to 10:00 pm. Details below!


     December 15. Annual party and presentation of awards. Details below!    


April 5-7, 2006. Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute 25th Anniversary Symposium featuring "Frontiers in Wildlife Science: Linking Ecological Theory with Management Applications." Omni Bayfront Hotel in Corpus Christi and Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Center in Kingsville. For details of the symposium and registration information , please check  or call 361-593-4025.











Annual Chapter Business Meeting

And Election of Officers



The Hays County Master Naturalist chapter will hold its annual meeting on Thursday, November 17, 2005 at the home of Cougar Class member Susan Nenney.  The meeting will be held for the purpose of electing new officers for 2006 and will feature a speaker whose presentation will count for advanced hours.


The meeting begins at 6:30 pm with a potluck dinner. We ask everyone to bring a dish for themselves with enough for 1 or 2 others.  The program will follow the dinner and business meeting and should commence by 7:30 pm, if not earlier. 


The directions to Susan’s home follow below. Her home is very near the site of the graduation for the Cougar class and uses the same entrance from FM 3237 (i.e., Red Hawk Road).


Our speaker this month will be Jacob Hetzel, Wildlife Biologist, with Texas Cooperative Extension – Wildlife Services.  Jacob’s presentation will be “Deer Populations: Landscape Damage Control and Human Health and Safety Issues.”


All chapter members (including all Cougar Class graduates) are strongly urged to come, participate in this year’s elections, and volunteer to serve in the leadership (board and committees) of the chapter.  We need your services, expertise, and ideas in order to continue providing for and improving our chapter.  We need your help to make our chapter better.


Directions to the Susan Nenney home:

The address is 820 Red Hawk Road, which is off FM 3237, about 3 miles E of Wimberley and about 6 miles West of FM 150 and FM 3237 junction at the Hays City Store.   We will have an MN sign at FM 3237 and Red Hawk Road to help you find the turnoff.  If you attend the graduation you will probably remember the way to Red Hawk Road; because, the site is located just off this street. 


From San Marcos take RR 12 to Wimberley and turn right on FM 3237 before entering the Village then proceed to Red Hawk Road on your right.

From Dripping Springs, take RR12 through the town center of Wimberley and turn left at the intersection of FM 3237 about ½ mile beyond then proceed to Red Hawk Road on your right.

From Kyle and Driftwood, take FM 150 to the intersection with FM 3237 at Hays City Store then follow FM 3237 West for about 6 miles to Red Hawk Road on your left.


From Red Hawk Road take an immediate left at the Lone Man Creek sign, cross the dam, and keep right at the fork in the road (left fork goes to White Wing Unity Church, graduation site).  Proceed for 1.1 mile to #820 on the mailbox (you will pass a “rogue” address of #1000 before getting to #820!).  If you get lost, please telephone 842-1465 or 289-8166.




Regional Master Naturalists Party



The Alamo Area Chapter has organized a Regional Christmas Party for Master Naturalists at the Cibolo Nature Centre in Boerne on December 9,  from 6:00 to 10:00 pm.


Chapter President Holly Camero announces that 6:00 to 7:00 pm is the social hour, followed by the buffet. There will be time for Chapter introductions, etc.


The Alamo Chapter will supply the main entrees, paper products, and basic beverages such as punch, lemonade, tea, and coffee. It is OK to bring beer wine and "adult beverages." We will also supply snacks.


We ask that members of other chapters bring sides and deserts and nature or native theme centerpieces for the tables.


We welcome your assistance in decorating, set up, cleanup, or reception.


 Please RSVP by December 1st. Chapters can gather the RSVPs and then e-mail them to Holly Camero


It would be wonderful if there are musicians, songsters or other entertainers in your chapter who would like to perform. If your members have outstanding specialties in food, by all means encourage them to bring them. This is a fun get together! Any suggestions will be appreciated.


The Alamo Area Chapter buying a brick for the Nature Center in thanks for allowing us to host this party. Nothing is expected of anyone else.


  If anyone wants to participate in the planning / set up part. Please contact Holly Camero,
Alamo Area Master Naturalist President, at, 210-490-4882; 210-861-5004 cell.



Joint Master Naturalists and Master Gardners Christmas Party



The joint Master Naturalists and Master Gardeners Christmas Party will begin at 6:30pm on Thursday, December 15 at the Hays County Extension Office. 

Like last year, we ask members with last names A-S to please bring salad or other side dish; and T-Z to bring a dessert.

Each member or guest will please bring a wrapped gift of $5-$10 value for our Gift Exchange.  These will be put on a table, and each person will have a turn to choose one.  The Master Gardners Association will bring a turkey. The Master Naturalists will provide another meat, such as ham or sausage.

In place of an outside speaker, we will have annual award presentations and reviews of the achievements and prospects of both the Master Gardener and Master Naturalist programs.



2005 Certification Awards



To be recognized as a Certified Master Master Naturalist for 2005 and to receive your 2005 Certification Pin at our December 15 Christmas party, please send your Volunteer Hours and Advance Training reports to Judy Telford (, 2303 E McCarty Lane, San Marcos TX 78666) by November 25. Our deadline for ordering the pins from state headquarters is December1.

Members need to complete 40 volunteer hours and 8 Advanced Training hours annually to maintain their certification.

If you cannot attend the December 15 party to receive your award, please submit your reports no later than January 5, 2005.








Advanced Training






Preserving your Paradise



Preserving your Paradise: A workshop in Holistic Management on small acreage
How do you know which actions to take or to avoid to keep your land healthy?
Holistic Resource Management of Texas invites the public to a one-day intensive workshop on managing small tracts (5 to 50 acres) with or without grazing animals. This event will be held outside, on the land in Wimberley, Texas, from 8:30am to 4pm, November 12, 2005.

      Cost for the day is $25 and includes handouts and a catered lunch. Register online at or by calling Peggy Cole 512-847-3822.

The workshop will address the following concerns:
*     How do I plan for the maximum enjoyment of my land?
*     How do I make sound management decisions?
*     Restoring springs -water for wildlife, for plants and for pleasure
*     Vegetation -- the good, the bad and the ugly. What plants do/don't I want and how do I ID them easily??
*     How much cedar should I remove and how should I do it?
*     What is the land going to look like in 50 years if I do nothing or if I do____?
*     What are the best ways to restore my land's health?
*     How can I graze my animals without harming the land?
*     How can I attract certain birds (song birds, quail etc.), butterflies?
*     Is the only good bug a dead bug?
*     Who is underfoot and why should we care?
*     Do I need to reseed or how do I reseed the place and with what?
*     How do I work with my neighbors and the surrounding community to influence
a greater whole?
After a variety of speakers on the above topics and a catered lunch, participants will go out in teams on the 15-acre tract to practice making a land plan, while they learn plant identification from team leaders. Consolidation of the plans and brainstorms will follow with a panel of experts to answer questions specific to your own operation or the practice tract.
Holistic Management enables you to improve the quality of your life while enhancing the environment that sustains us all. And it's all based on a simple change in the way you make decisions. Holistic Management gives you a practical way to develop a clear, focused vision for your future, and enables you to plan how to get there in the most economically, environmentally and socially sound way. Join others who love the land in an enjoyable and informative hill country event -- a great place to meet new friends and neighbors. Please reserve your space by November 5, so we can plan lunches and handouts. Dress for walking on hilly grassland.
















First Statewide Conference on Invasive Plants



On November 17th and 18th, 2005, the Pulling Together Initiative will host the first statewide conference in Texas on non-native invasive plants. The conference will be held at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas.

The first two days of the conference will be a professional level meeting including plenary, concurrent sessions, posters, and panels. The Professional Meeting is designed to serve scientists, land managers, state and federal agencies, local governments, and other professionals interested in invasive plant research and policy in Texas.

The third day of the conference, November 19, is devoted to Public Awareness and educational outreach and will be open to the general public.

Texas Master Naturalists are invited to participate in this Public Awareness session.  This should provide an excellent chance to learn the latest information regarding invasive species and the opportunities for organizations like ours to be involved. Members should check with Judy Telford for approval of advanced training hours for this activity.

Complete details are available at 

 Conference Goals
Facilitate communication among the state's stakeholders who have a vested interest in non-native invasive plants;
Help develop a coordinated response to address non-native invasive plants on a statewide level;
Provide a venue for sharing information about prevention, early detection, control & management, restoration, and research; and
Raise public awareness of the problems posed by non-native invasive plants in the state of Texas.

Who Should Attend?
Land management specialists from local, state, and federal agencies, including municipal, regional, state and federal parks*
Environmental organizations such as The Nature Conservancy, Native Plant Society, Audubon, Land Conservancies, Land Trusts, etc*
Restoration consulting firms both large and small*
Military establishments *
Researchers and students from State University systems and private colleges*
Companies servicing restoration and weed removal projects including equipment manufacturers, G.P.S. providers, herbicide producers, and landscape architects








Chapter News





 2005 Texas Master Naturalist Annual Meeting


  This year’s TMN annual meeting was again held at beautiful Mo-Ranch near Hunt, and the 240 attendees enjoyed wonderful weather, excellent programs and many opportunities to share with Master Naturalists from the 33 chapters across the state.

  Master Naturalists were treated to advanced training in a wide variety of subjects ranging from learning GIS techniques to building chimney swift towers to a crash course in aquatic ecosystems to everything you might want to know about oak wilt. Some even participated in a volunteer project at Los Rincones Natural Area. There were also sessions and roundtable discussions on various aspects of chapter management and operation.

   The Hays County chapter was well represented by Shirley Danforth, Walt and Cindy Krudop, Joe Piazza, Winifred Simon, KayBeth Williams, Tom  Watson, trainees Marion (and Shirley) Couvillion, Janet Holland and Michael Shirk, and honorary Hays Countyites Ginger and LaRay Geist.
  Tom Watson was recognized for achieving the 500 hours of volunteer service milestone, and Joe Piazza for achieving the 1000 hour milestone. Winifred Simon again won first place in the scenery category  of the photography contest, and Tom Watson contributed photos of our chapter’s activities for the slide show.

  The Texas Master Naturalist program has won a Take Pride In  America award for 2005, a U.S. Department of the Interior national partnership program that supports and recognizes volunteers doing work in natural  and recreational areas. The Texas Master program was one of only 25 winners chosen this year from hundreds of qualified nominees.

  It’s not too early to start making your plans to attend next year’s state conference. Just ask any of this year’s attendees, and you will get a very positive report and enthusiastic endorsement.


                                                                                          -- Winifred Simon





Hays County Bird Checklist now available


Part of our chapter’s "Snapshot of Hays County" project, the Hays County Bird Checklist has been printed and is now available. 

The checklist is a must for anyone interested in the birds of our area and gives expected occurrence by season, nesting status, and a list of accidental sightings.  The list was compiled from previous lists for Wimberley, San Marcos, San Marcos Springs, and the banding records of the Driftwood Wildlife Association.  Nicely printed on card stock for in-the-field use, the list will sell for 50¢ or $1.00 by mail (order from: Winifred Simon, P.O. Box 398, Wimberley, TX 78676).















Volunteer Opportunities





Wild Connections Field Trips for

Elementary Students

HCMN Project 531


This new program teaches students about spiders, ecology, and scientific process. Here is the agenda, as currently planned by Julie Goodin of Wild Connections Butterfly Farm & Nature Center, 10802 Kit Carson Drive, Austin, TX  78737, 512-301-5533,


Starting date: October 14, 2005. Ending date: May 31, 2006.
            Daily Schedule:
9:45am - Buses arrive
10-10:45am - Presentation indoors
10:45-11am - Split into groups, assign each to a volunteer
11-11:45am - Outdoor investigation with volunteers
11:45-12:15pm - Lunch
12:15-12:45pm - Final discussion
1:00pm - Buses depart

During the presentation Ms. Goodin will, among other things, introduce the children to spiders and present them with a science experiment. The experiment follows:

(1) Ms. Goodin tells the kids about three different spider habitats: leaf-litter, fields, and tree branches.
(2) Ms. Goodin asks the kids to think about which of these habitats would have the most spiders and why. They each come up with a hypothesis and write it down.
(3) The kids separate into groups, each led by a different volunteer, and depart down the various paths.
(4) The volunteer visits each of these habitats and uses various equipment to locate spiders and other bugs.
(5) The kids observe the critters found. The volunteer helps the children distinguish spiders from non-spiders and helps them summarize their observations.
(6) The volunteer records their actual findings, based on what the kids conclude. (I'll make this easy.)
(7) The kids have time to think things over during lunch.
(8) Ms. Goodin leads a final discussion, involving all the kids, to share what each group found. We talk about whether we're able to draw conclusions, what else might need to be investigated, and what we learned from the whole process. It would be helpful to have the volunteers here for this, but it isn't necessary.


In summary, we need volunteers to perform these tasks:
     (1) Lead the children along a path.
     (2) Use equipment to collect insects and spiders.
     (3) Help the children distinguish between spiders and non-spiders among their findings.
     (4) Help the children summarize their findings and tally the results.

The volunteers won't be responsible for keeping track of children or keeping them well-behaved, as school teachers and parents will be along for that. The volunteers will be asked to encourage both kids and parents to abide by the outdoor rules, though.

We will need each volunteer for at least an hour, but ideally they would show up 20 minutes before we anticipate needing them, just in case the plan doesn't go as scheduled. Volunteers may need to stay longer than an hour in some circumstances.

It would be nice to have the volunteers around for the discussion that follows lunch, to help their groups remember and articulate their findings. This would keep the volunteers around for 2 hours, though.

So we're looking at 1-2 volunteer hours each week that we have a field trip. In addition, Ms. Goodin will provide 3 hours of volunteer training sessions prior to the first field trip. She will cover this material:
     (1) Explanation of the experiment and the volunteer's role.
     (2) How to distinguish spiders from non-spiders.
     (3) How to use the various equipment for rounding up or locating bugs and spiders in particular (includes sweep net, beat sheet, sieve, spritzer, brush, etc.).
     (4) Safety around spiders.
     (5) General information about spiders, answering volunteer questions.
     (6) Familiarizing the volunteers with the trails and habitats.

Ms. Goodin proposes the following:
     (1) 3 hour advanced training sessions.
     (2) Seven to ten 1 to 2 hour volunteer opportunities, one per week, starting mid September.
     (3) Volunteers are needed ASAP









Wildscape Garden, San Marcos Nature Center

HCMN Project # 405


The remnants of the passion vines continue to support a few Gulf Fritillary butterflies, and Mexican milkweed and blue mistflower attract an occasional Queen, but we have observed only the occasional Monarch. The variety of butterflies visiting our garden has increased somewhat, though it falls far short of 2004. Hackberry butterflies are regular visitors to the lantana, and we observe an occasional Crescent and a variety of Skippers.


Apart from the cultivated lantanas and the last rose mallows, salvias, and Turk’s Cap, our garden lacks color right now. We have no fall-blooming wildflowers

If you have seeds, bulbs, hardy seedlings, or extra specimens of native annuals and perennials that need a home, we invite you to share them with the Wildscape Garden. Native plants that attract butterflies and hummingbirds are doubly welcome. Gayfeathers, Indian paintbrush, standing cypress, Texas verbena, plains agalinis, zexmenia, blackfoot daisy, scarlet pea, palafoxia, dalea, slender vervain, phlox, blue-eyed grass, Herbertia, celestials, rain lily, copper lily, skeleton flower, Barbara buttons, prairie larkspur, skullcap, penstemon, ageratum, mistflower, or tansy, for example, please test them in the Wildscape Garden. If they can grow Texas bluebells at the old fish hatchery, we might as well try too.

The soil is a mixture of black clay and assorted stony scrapings from road shoulders, leavened with bits of modern and Indian artifacts. Much of it sits on a layer of asphalt paving or is leavened with lumps of asphalt paving. It’s not what you would choose for a rose garden, but bluebonnets don’t mind and other attractive native plants may flourish too and add colour throughout the year.

A prickly poppy or two would not be out of place, but we will have to think twice about bull nettles. We have enough trees, shrubs and sage, and more than enough lantana, ruellia, and pink evening primrose. Frogfruit and straggler daisies are also doing very nicely without encouragement.






Wimberley Visitor Center Flower Beds

HCMN Project 529


The Wimberley Visitor Center provides information about Wimberley and the Hill Country to visitors. The Center occupies an attractive modern building in Hill Country-style at 14100 Ranch Road 12, Wimberley, TX 78676, in front of the new Civic Center and The Refuge, Wimberley’s first bird sanctuary. Next door to the south stands the Wimberley-Winters House, the restored home of Wimberley pioneer families.

The Civic Center has gardens in front and behind that need regular watering, trimming and maintenance. HCMN Project Contact Linda Hoppes ( plans to provide deer-resistant native plants that support beneficial wildlife. Linda also wants to install more birdhouses and butterfly houses. The grounds of the Civic Center, The Refuge, and the Wimberley-Winters House together offer several acres of habitat for birds and other wildlife. Much still needs cleanup and restoration elsewhere, but most of the dirty work lies in the past at the Civic Center grounds. 

The HCMN Executive Board approved this new project on August 4, 2005.






CCC Butterfly and Hummingbird Gardens

                 HCMN Project 527


The Campus Christian Community at 604 N Guadalupe provides services to students, faculty, and staff at Texas State University and is the meeting site for the San Marcos Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship. The building has some landscaping in the front, but it is not well maintained. In the gaps between existing plantings, we will fill the area with plants that will attract butterflies and hummingbirds. The back area is covered with St. Augustine grass.



Design and construct a butterfly & hummingbird garden with a meandering path.

Plant materials will be low-maintenance, natives.

Gather as much free compost, mulch, rocks, and plants as possible.

Maintain the garden.

Improve and enlarge as time and money are available.


The executive board of Hays County Master Naturalists has approved this new project. The HCMN contacts are Anne Allen, Barbara Jacobson, and Judy Telford.















State News



Texas Monarch Watch





Next year's annual meeting has the possibility of being held in a different area of the state with your help in locating a suitable facility to meet all of our needs! 

If any individual or a local chapter is aware of a facility where we could hold the 2006 (or any following years) Annual Meeting and you are willing to help with the local arrangements please contact the state office.  Please keep in mind that the best facilities include a meals and lodging plan and adequate meeting space for all of our meeting events at a reasonable cost. 

Our Annual Meetings on average have an attendance of about 200 people.  Many of our training sessions have a need for quick and easy access to outdoor learning areas and/or natural areas. Hotels are not ruled out, but they typically are costly and/or don't have the outdoor learning areas our group needs.  We will need to hold the annual meeting on one of the last two weekends in October as usual.  If our searches end up futile for a new location in 2006, then we will plan on meeting again at MO Ranch, where we currently have a standing contract.

Please contact Michelle Haggerty at the State Office of the Texas Master Naturalist Program,  







Local News





















Links to Chapter Sponsors and Partners




Texas Master Naturalist - State Website -
Texas Cooperative Extension –
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department –


Bamberger Ranch --                    

LBJ Wildflower Center  --                                                                 

Native Plant Society of Texas –
Texas Cooperative Extension – Sea Grant Program –
Texas Forest Service –
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers –
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service –
U.S.D.A. Natural Resource Conservation Service –




















© 2005 Hays Master Naturalists