The Native Plant Society of Texas Symposium (NPSOT) was a fantastic experience!(minus the Austin traffic) The atmosphere of the symposium was both professional and friendly, as were the many representatives of the agencies present. I was able to attend a botany field trip at the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Preserve and nearby conservation easements. The tour leader, a retired Fish and Wildlife employee, was very knowledgeable about the local flora of the area and enthusiastic about sharing his wisdom with us. Unfortunately, a few of the field trips near Bastrop State Park and the Lost Pines area had to be canceled due to a wildfire. Topics presented at the symposium included: prairie restoration of parks, observations of the local flora, and the recovery of the Lost Pines from 2011 Bastrop fire. The presentation over the 2011 Bastrop Fire was quite ironic, considering some of the area included in that study was currently ablaze again. I would highly recommend to anyone, who is even slightly interested about Texas plants, to go to the next NPSOT meeting.
The week after NPSOT, I had the privilege to be a guest on the Texas Nature Conservancy’s Clymer Meadow Preserve at Celeste, TX to survey for monarch butterflies and Ascelpias spp. I had previously learned about the preserve from one of my former professors, who happens to be the former preserve manager. It was an awesome feeling to be working at a place that I had previously studied in the classroom.
The migration of the monarch butterflies along the I-35 corridor ended with the coming of a major storm system that brought North Texas a tremendous amount of rain and cold weather. It has been three weeks since I have seen a monarch butterfly. The storm system not only ended the migration, it brought major flooding to Corsicana, TX, the town where my wife and I both live.
Stay warm my friends. Winter is coming.