Naturescapes Deadline Approaching - July 12

Only days remain until the deadline, so snap and submit those photos. Read more on SMGA's web site.

Entries Due
Monday, July 12, 2010

Naturescapes Awards Reception
San Marcos Activity Center
Saturday, Sept 11, 2010
5:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Naturescapes Exhibition
San Marcos Activity Center
Sept 11 - Nov 5, 2010

Silent Auction
SMGA is gathering items for our second annual Naturescapes Silent Auction, September 11, to benefit SMGA. If you have an item, gift card, or service that you wish to donate, we will gladly display and acknowledge the donation at the auction and on our auction items web page. No item is too small. Email or call 754-9321 if you have an item to donate.

See winning Naturescapes photos on Flickr.

Sink Creek Bridge on Lime Kiln Road

Sink Creek Bridge on Lime Kiln Road will be discussed, 6 to 7:30  p.m. on July 1, Thursday, at the Travis Elementary Cafeteria.  Karen Ford, Hays County Commissioner for the Lime Kiln area, along with county staff and consultants, will discuss the plans for elevating this low water crossing to make it safer. Please help spread the word among all those who live out in that area.

Photo Hike at Ringtail Ridge

Under cloudy, muggy skies that acted like a light tent, a handful of adventurous phototgraphers gathered at the Ringtail Ridge trail Saturday, June 5th.  The National Trails Day hike was led by Clint King seen here showing Todd Derkacz and Dianne Wassenich his latest digital capture.

Tips on good macro photography and just observing and recording what was going on around the hikers made for an entertaining morning.

Numerous wildflowers were still in bloom while many others including a bountiful bluebonnet bloom having gone to seed were in evidence.

Ringtail Ridge trail located off Ranch Road 12 was particularly blessed with abundant rainfall this year and the amount of Texas thistle, bluebonnets, Johnson grass and numerous other flora showed the trail in many colors.  An overabundance of prickly pear cactus stands, chinaberry and mesquite are  projects for future efforts.  The two bur oak and Montezuma cypress planted earlier this year are growing strong with the rains.  -- Lance Jones

Birding with Jesse Huth

Master Naturalists and members of the San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance marked the International Bird Migration Day May 15th with a birding walk in Schulle Canyon Preserve. It had rained earlier in the morning and the clouds kept the skies overcast and humid.

Jesse Huth an expert birder from Wimberley led a half dozen interested walkers along a trail designated in the Heart of Texas birding trail through a live oak, ashe juniper, and elm preserve in the city limits. When the sky was overcast and cool, the birds remained in the tall canopy and sang nosily. Warblers were in abundance as the magnolia, yellow, common yellow throat and Wilson’s warblers were heard and then seen as they passed through the Hill Country for destinations north.  Numerous native birds were also sighted including red-eyed vireo, Bewicks and Carolina Wrens, and mockingbirds.

All the activity wasn’t confined to the skies as student Master Naturalists Gena Fleming, Judy and Richard McBride found a wealth of insects including beetles and caterpillars climbing about on the tall grasses and wildflowers.  

The walk concluded just as the sun broke through and the temperatures began to rise.  -- Lance Jones

Thank You Bobcat Botany Club

Look in a kiosk near you for an informative poster on invasive and native plants. The Bobcat Botany Club at Texas State contacted SMGA in the spring, and we worked together to come up with this informative and useful project to help the natural area users. Thank you to Heather Dammyear, Johann Souss, Kelly Goodsheller, Dori Thompson, Val Yerby, Patti Valella, and especially Amanda Birnbaum! Great job!

Articles of Interest - Purgatory Trail Part of CIP

Planning and Zoning approves $122m plan for capitol improvements
San Marcos Local News

The San Marcos Capital Improvement Plan, recommended by P&Z at their recent meeting, included development of a trail along the Purgatory and Willow drainage creeks. This project is intended to provide access for neighborhoods to the downtown central business district, for $2.4 million (2013).

TPW to Assess Property as County Shooting Range - San Marcos Local News

Bullseye: Officials Draw a Bead on Site for Park and Shooting Complex - San Marcos Daily Record

Citizens transformed barren flood plain into Austin icon -

Potential legal issues may hinder plans for new boardwalk -

Volunteer Opportunity: Data Entry Trail Crew Hours

Description: Help SMGA enter information from volunteer sign-in sheets into a spreadsheet.
Approximate time requirement:  Approximately 2 hours every 4-6 months.
Desired skills: Knowledge of the web, word processing, and email; SMGA will provide training and is available for on-going assistance.
For questions or to volunteer, contact: Maggie using the contact form on our website, by emailing