SMGA News: November 2022
BANDANAS ARE BACK
A big thank-you to SMGA member and Great Springs Project* staffer Kenny Skrobanek for the beautiful design on our new SMGA bandanas. As you can see, the bandana features an up-to-date trail map of Spring Lake Natural Area, along with the three trailheads and nearby streets.
The three-color design is printed on a 22”x22” 100% cotton bandana. The size and weight of the fabric will make it ideal for tying around the forehead or neck, and the “natural” color will make the map easy to read.
A price hasn’t been set yet for the bandanas, but you can expect to see them soon. Caps will be next!
* The bandana also bears the logo of the Great Springs Project, which we are happy to have as an ally in our effort to protect natural areas.
SMCISD HERNANDEZ FAMILIES WELCOME FALL WITH HIKE IN OUR NATURAL AREA
Coach Jimmy Presley recently reached out to SMGA to join his school families on a hike in Lower Purgatory. Everyone enjoyed the relaxing, yet busy hike past fissures, invasive plant removal and archeological site, Matilda the bridge, and the huge caliche hills left behind after one of our major floods. No bears were seen, but the children gained a lot of confidence in trail safety and learned what to do if they meet a critter along the way. And of course, sticks, a pile of sand, and large rocks to climb on kept the children learning. Thanks to Coach Presley, Principal Jennifer Gonzales, and PE coordinator Leslie Adamson for supporting our Natural Areas and bringing students and families outside to play.
INSTALLING A NEW BENCH IN UPPER PURGATORY
BIRD WALKS IN OCTOBER & NOVEMBER
On the first day of October, San Marcos came alive with activities outdoors in the cooler weather. The birding community swelled to 30 as we visited a CoSM property called Retreat at Willow Creek.
The sunrise walk began with a sighting of a least grebe enjoying a solitary swim in the retention pond. The birds were very vocal early in the morning as they flew about the willows and white bush shrubs making viewing easy. The bird list can be found at https://ebird.org/checklist/S119758284
It’s not one of our natural areas, but rather, a spot of water in the Blanco River. Like Spring Lake and the San Marcos River, riparian areas like Five Mile Dam Park almost always bring some variety to the sightings. This time it was a pair of grey foxes on the opposite riverbank. The walk was enjoyed by 18 of us, including two too young to walk and a family from Iowa.
We sighted 32 different species of birds in the two-hour leisurely walk. View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S121939905
Photo caption: The Blanco River at Five Mile Dam Park
EVERYTHING REQUIRES MAINTENANCE
Whether it’s your car, your body, or your favorite trail, keeping it in good shape means care and sometimes repairs. Such was the case with the wooden walkways at the N. LBJ trailhead to Spring Lake Natural Area.
Team Flora and members of the trail crew have been spending time repairing the trail this month. This has meant replacing warped and split boards as well as adding a major support under each of the walkways to accommodate the amount of traffic the popular trailhead receives.
Thank you to contributors Lance Jones and Monique Tschurr, Outreach Committee.