Archive for April, 2014

The Austin chapter of NPSOT will conduct a field trip to Bright Leaf Preserve on Saturday, May 3, led by Bright Leaf docent Bill Dodd.

Bright Leaf is a beautiful, unspoiled 216-acre nature preserve tucked away in the center of Austin, just south of RM 2222 and between Hwy 360 and Mopac.  The undeveloped land was acquired by Georgia Lucas in order to preserve it for future generations to appreciate and enjoy the natural features that it exhibits:  geology, plants (including the rare Bracted twistflower), birds (including the endangered Golden-cheeked warbler, who will be singing now), mammals, reptiles & amphibians, and countless species of the invertebrate world.  In the 1990’s it was put under the protection of TPWD management and is now owned by the Austin Community Foundation.  This private foundation is committed to maintaining the area and upholding the Lucas will.

Please contact Jackie Davis to register for this trip:
jackietexnat@gmail.com
512-292-6261

The meeting from 7–9 PM on May 20 of the Austin chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas will include as its main presentation “Ancient People, Ancient Plants, Central Texas: Things We Know and How We Know Them.” The presenter, Dr. Leslie L. Bush, has this to say about the topic:

“The Central Texas plants we enjoy today have been used for food, medicine, and crafts for millennia by the Native people of Texas. Written accounts by Spanish missionaries and European explorers, Native oral traditions, and archeological investigations provide windows into the many fascinating uses of our Texas native plants.  I’ll discuss some of our more common plants — sumac, juniper,  switchgrass, prickly pear — as well as some very important but lesser-known plants such as little barley and camas.”

Leslie L. Bush is a paleoethnobotanist, an archeologist who specializes in identifying bits of plants preserved on archeological sites, usually in the form of charcoal. She received her Ph.D. from Indiana University in 2001, and her dissertation was published by the University of Alabama Press. She has worked on sites in thirteen states including Maryland, Florida, Iowa, Indiana, and of course Texas. Leslie is currently involved with excavations by the Arkansas Archeological Society in the Ouachita National Forest, Texas Archeological Society investigations near Columbus, and Texas State University’s Ancient Southwest Texas Project near Comstock. She once found a prickly pear seed on a 600-year-old site near Indianapolis.

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The May 20th meeting will take place at our new and more central location: the administration building of the Tarrytown United Methodist Church, 2601 Exposition Blvd., Austin, TX 78703. The administration building is on the southeast corner of Greenlee and Exposition. There is parking in the garage, which also has an elevator. You can enter the garage from Greenlee; look for the signs leading you to the second-floor meeting room.

As usual, we will also have a seed exchange.