Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Spoke

A few weeks ago I was contacted by a Texas Parks and Wildlife biologist in charge of helping ranchers optimize the plants on their land for livestock and wild animals such as deer, turkeys, and other game. He had heard me talk back in the spring and thought the ranchers might be interested in learning about the wild plants they themselves could eat. Cool!

So Saturday I found myself making the two-hour drive up to Dubina, Texas to talk about calorie-rich seeds, nuts, and tubers to 124 ranchers and their families. In return they treated me to a good old-fashioned country church potluck supper, a tour of their beautiful painted church, and future access to some of the best feral hog hunting grounds around. Sweet deal my friends. Sweet deal indeed!

The Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius.
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Inside the church.
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Icons. The church I attended growing up in Minnesota had these same statues!
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Tree. The branches were propped up with iron pipe.
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Inside the +100 year old meeting hall.
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I spoke for 30 minutes on the physiological effects of starvation followed by talking about the wild plants they can harvest to stave off those affliction. Apparently the presentation was a big hit as many of the ranchers came up afterwards and thanked me profusely and asked for more information. Texas Parks and Wildlife wants me to give this talk to other rancher associations which is totally cool.

Adventure! Excitement! Public Speaking FTW!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Burning Texas

Texas has had record heat and record drought this year. Last week tropical storm Lee failed to bring rain but it did bring wind and suddenly Texas was engulfed in an inferno. Tens of thousands of acres burned and over a thousand homes were destroyed. Where there were woods there were fires.

I live surrounded by woods.

Luckily the nearest fire was stopped at the banks of Spring Creek approximately 1 mile from our neighborhood. This was a small fire and only took two days to control but it did fill our neighborhood with smoke. Once it was out I was able to get a few picture.

Burned undergrowth but the fire didn't reach the crowns of the trees.
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The fire caused weird sinkholes throughout the forest. I have no idea why.
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The worse fire was in nearby Magnolia, TX and was only a few miles from where I work. For three days we watched the billowing clouds of smoke to the northwest.

Crappy cellphone picture of billowing clouds of smoke.
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Another cell phone picture of the smoke.
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The sun through the smoke.
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The fire-fighting helicopter. Its "bucket" seemed very small.
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Several friends and coworkers lost their houses in the Magnolia fire so if you want to donate to the Red Cross to help these victims of the Texas fires I'd be most thankful.

Adventure! Excitement! Burned!