Who ate all the oak leaves? Katy did

This report forwarded to us from Hays Master Naturalists:
The hill country is currently experiencing a major outbreak of red katydids. They are currently in the nymph stage. When they develop wings later this month, they'll start singing day and night. They feed primarily on oak trees. I've received reports from the following counties:
Bandera, Bexar, Burnet, Comal, Hays, Kerr, Medina, Menard, Schleicher,
Tom Green, Travis and Williamson counties
Here's some links to information on the red katydid:
http://www.texasento.net/Paracyrtophyllus_robustus.mp3 - sound file of
what's coming...
Please share this information with your members.
Thanks, Mike Quinn, Austin
Texas Entomology

More Feral Hog Sightings

We are noticing increasing feral hog activity in our natural areas. Please report such activity to Melani Howard mhoward@sanmarcostx.gov. For more information on feral hog management, the Wildlife and Fisheries unit of Texas AgriLife Extension Service released four new videos directed at landowners. The links to the videos are below.

History, Biology, and Population Dynamics - http://youtu.be/GDDuYu0uiqM

Why do Landowners need to Control Populations? - http://youtu.be/FwjS059_gjg

Control Techniques and Regulations - http://youtu.be/L9F2clhrOPY

Exclusion Fencing around Feeders - http://youtu.be/1uKbZQ9IYIA

Upcoming Land Management Plan Meetings

On July 25th the City will be seeking input on the land management plan for Spring Lake Natural Area from the Spring Lake and Tanglewood Neighborhood Associations.  The meeting will be at the Activity Center Multi-purpose room 6pm.

On August 1st, the City will be seeking input on the land management plan for Purgatory Creek Natural Ares from the Willow Creek and Westover Neighborhood Associations.  The meeting will be at the Rec Center (next to Lion's Tube rental) 6pm.

The city is currently looking at 5 areas of interest in the land management plans: water quality/quantity, fire breaks, wildlife, plants, and recreation.

For more information contact Melani Howard at mhoward@sanmarcostx.gov

Support River Parkland Tuesday, 7/17, 6PM

Your support is needed this Tuesday night, July 17, for river parkland acquisition around Stokes Park on the east side of San Marcos. The meeting will start at 6PM (but plan to arrive at 5:45 if you wish to sign up to speak during the public comment period at the very beginning of the meeting). Whether or not you speak, your attendance will make a difference: Many will stand or raise a hand in support when speakers ask for that sign from the audience.

Two council members have asked that a discussion item be on the agenda in response to recent public demand for river parkland east of IH-35. Residents near Stokes Park, plus SMGA and the San Marcos River Foundation, have asked the Parks Board, P&Z and Council to acquire more riverside parkland around Stokes Park. This item placed on the agenda for Tuesday night is the culmination of that work, so please plan to be there. The actual public discussion by Council will be at the end of the meeting, but if you cannot stay for that, at least come for the beginning public comment period.

The thought of pavement and buildings near even a portion of our river is hard to imagine yet possible if we do not act. In contrast the benefits of river parkland acquisition are many. Parkland along the river furthers our vision of greenway connections that protect both water and wildlife. Creating opportunities for human access to natural areas benefits our health (spiritual, emotional and physical) and our economy; people want to visit and live in a city with a well-developed parkland system that provides access to a clear, swimmable river.

If you cannot attend on Tuesday, be sure to can email the Mayor and Council at Mayor_Council_Info@sanmarcostx.gov.

If the Council sees a lot of support Tuesday night, it is possible that they could put parkland acquisition east of IH35 on the November ballot as a nonbinding referendum to help them determine whether there is community-wide support. They will have to make this decision in the next two Council meetings to put it on the ballot. Please attend this important meeting Tuesday night or send an email to move this important initiative forward.

Bird Walk at Ringtail Ridge July 7 at 7:30 am

In seach of the Summer Tanager, June 2012.
Have you seen a Bluebird?  What about a Painted Bunting?  Both (and many others) have been seen at Ringtail Ridge natural area. Join Stephen Ramirez and others on the hunt with binoculars, spotting scopes and long lens cameras for some of the Hill Country's colorful and interesting characters.
Stephen's website is birdsiview.org and a description of the trail is located at http://www.smgreenbelt.org/SMNaturalAreas.htm#Ringtail
The trail is located on Old Ranch Road 12 between Dakota Ranch Apartments and Crestview Business Center.

--Lance Jones