Columns/Opinions

Wed
12
Sep
Edgar's picture

Hill Country Naturalist

How to Live in the Country Without Spoiling It

Often, in talks to various groups on the subject of our native habitat, I say there are three forces over which we have very little control but which are decreasing the amount of native habitat in the Hill Country.

The three are: (1) farm and ranch land sold to development {housing projects, shopping centers, schools, parking lots, roads, etc.}; (2) land fragmentation of larger ranches being broken up into many small parcels, thus, giving myself and many others a place to live in the country; and (3) the projected doubling of the state population in the next 30 to 50 years. Economics is obviously the main driver for all of the above.

Wed
12
Sep
Edgar's picture

Happy Herman's Hideaway

Fishing You The Best

Hello wonderful San Saba friends! It’s me Herman. Oh wait, it says Happy Herman’s Hideaway…who else would be writing the column…a random skunk passing by my laptop? I wonder how a skunk would begin an article to you, probably with…:” Hey, if you think your life stinks people of San Saba you should smell mine!” Of course I don’t want to be putting words in a skunk’s mouth, I don’t wish to get near enough to put anything near them! I think they are cute, don’t get me wrong but I like to think they are cute from a safe distance.

Wed
05
Sep
Edgar's picture

Hill Country Naturalist

Whenever anyone in this part of Texas thinks of a disease of trees, or just thinks of trees dying, they always think of oak wilt. And with good reason. Oak wilt is probably the proximate cause of the death of more mature oak trees in the Hill Country than any cause, other than man.

But there is another fungal disease, called hypoxylon or hypoxylon canker (Hypoxylon atropunctatum) that infects and kills oaks. Both oak wilt and hypoxylon are caused by fungus, both cause a destruction of the vascular tissue of the trees. Red oaks are the most susceptible and quickest to die from both diseases.

That is about where the similarity ends. Oak wilt is a primary pathogen which means it can infect a perfectly healthy host. Hypoxylon is an opportunistic pathogen which means it is always or usually ever-present but only infects the host when the host is stressed.

 

Wed
05
Sep
Edgar's picture

The Richland Springs Report

By Sue Ransom

think, but I may be imagining that the early morning breeze has autumn’s feel about it. The afternoons still belong to summer and I see no break in that for some time. Recess for the kids is short, but their little cheeks come in all flushed and reddened by the heat and exercise. Once the cooler weather gets here they will want to stay outside longer, but school work calls them into the class.

I have about 8 people coming on the Washington trip in May, but I would like to have at least two more boys. That would make a room full of Coyote boys. I already have a full room of girls with at least one adult left over. I like to be a little more selective this late in the trip because I want the kids in a given room to get along. This is a fast paced trip that keeps us running hard all day long. Even we adults have to keep up with the tour guides. So if you have an 11-13 year-old, give me a call.

 

Wed
29
Aug
Edgar's picture

The Idle American

Diapers and Other Changes…

By Dr. Don Newbury

Diapers haven’t been discussed often at our house for several decades. In fact, even when they were budgeted items, not much was said about them. Actually, most young parents in the 1970s opted for fabric diapers. Most of our discussions centered on whether we could afford a home diaper delivery service for successive months.

To avoid misunderstanding, I should explain that such services meant that fresh diapers would be delivered as scheduled several times monthly, with soiled ones taken away.

This was a “tidy” approach that went the way of baby scales after infant number one. Firstborn are treated differently, of course. We didn’t weigh babies number two and three daily, deciding that weights recorded during visits to doctors’ offices would suffice. Yep, it takes just one baby to reduce parents from “up tight” to “down loose.”…

 

Wed
29
Aug
Edgar's picture

Hill Country Naturalist

Predators and Prey: A Complicated, Often Misunderstood Relationship

A while back, I was watching a herd of deer gathered around a feeding station where feed had apparently just been dispersed (a practice I don't recommend). Then, all of a sudden, the entire herd bounded off in one direction, tail flags up, clearly having been spooked by something. Then, a few seconds later, I saw a lone coyote trotting up from the opposite direction. He had obviously lost the element of surprise and decided not to try a probably futile pursuit. He sniffed around the feeding area for a short time and finally trotted off in a different direction.

This event got me to thinking about the relationship between predators and prey, how complicated it is and how it is often misunderstood. The word "predator" usually conjures up thoughts of large predators: wolves, bears, cougars, lions, etc.; But most predators are much smaller, and are interested in correspondingly small prey.

 

Wed
22
Aug
Edgar's picture

The Richland Springs Report

By  Sue Ransom

Here we go everyone the 2018-2019 school year has begun. Our halls came alive with the sound of young voices. We were pleased to see some new faces along with our familiar sweeties.

Everyone is excited this first week of school. It doesn’t always last for everyone, but here at the beginning all is good. I am looking forward to a super successful year. Our school scores were good, but we want them better. Time will show us if we succeeded.

Teachers have been blessed with more paperwork thanks to someone who is not in the classroom. Apparently we have to keep samples of all work so that we can prove we have spent time teaching.

 

To read more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition http://www.etypeservices.com/San%20Saba%20News%20and%20StarID404/

Wed
15
Aug
Edgar's picture

The Postscript

By Carrie Classon

I come from a family of letter writers.

On my mother’s side we have a tradition that began well before I was born, called the “Round Robin.” The Round Robin is a circulated letter sent to a list of almost two dozen family members. When the Robin arrives in my mailbox, my previous letter will be the oldest in the pile. I read all the letters that came after mine, put a new letter on the top, and mail it to the next person on the list.

 

To read more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition http://www.etypeservices.com/San%20Saba%20News%20and%20StarID404/

Wed
08
Aug
Edgar's picture

The Richland Springs Report

By Sue Ransom

VBS is here! The first night was a little short on kids, but did we ever have a great group of adults and older students to make all systems go. My personal helpers were Lanie and Piper. By the time we had learned the opening song, taught four separate classes and finished off on the grand finale, we were all exhausted.

Debbie Phelan had a great group of youth helping her with the crafts. I have to admit crafts were always my favorite part of VBS. Our trusty leader was Karla Steele, and she kept us all on track. We are hoping for a much larger group of kids tomorrow night. Johnnie and Lynn Reeves, Mrs. Kubin, Kay McKee and a host of other excellent teachers and helpers are making this a fun-filled blast of the gospel. Whether we have 10 or 100 we are excited to present the saving message of the Bible. I hope you were one of the parents that sent your children to this once a year experience.

 

Wed
08
Aug
Edgar's picture

Hill Country Naturalist

Can We Save Our Hill Country Water for Future Generations?

What got me to thinking about this topic, again, was an article I found in the Cynthia and George Mitchell blog. The article was written by Katherine Romans, the very able and knowledgeable Executive Director of the Hill Country Alliance.

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