Lost Pines Texas Master Naturalists
Texas Master Naturalists are certified citizen scientists who spend a year training, studying, and volunteering in an intensive program to earn their title. Once certified, they commit much of their time to volunteer for parks, education, and nature projects. I recently learned through the Lost Pines Chapter newsletter that volunteers perform biocensuses for private landowners like us who want to know more about what’s living and growing on their land.
I contacted the Lost Pines Chapter of Texas Master Naturalists right away, and was referred to member Kathy McAleese. Kathy put together an amazing team for a Little Piney biocensus last Saturday. Six enthusiastic naturalists arrived at 10:00 am with checklists, cameras, and bags for specimens. Walking slowly over the land, we found grasses, legumes, sedges, wildflowers, milkweed, insects, and a tiny snake. The whole team was knowledgeable and focused, but everyone deferred to Liz, a walking botanical encyclopedia. She was the eldest of us all and an inspiration. Saturday was one of my favorite days ever at Little Piney combing the fields and woods with like-minded nature-lovers who enjoyed sharing their knowledge. Before I knew it, the time was 1:30, and we were all hungry! They left with notes, photos, and samples and a plan to create an online project on the iNaturalist website. The Little Piney Project is where the findings will be posted and shared with all. Once the identifications are complete, I will post a link to the project. We have 108 species so far.
Lost Pines Texas Master Naturalists Team
Discoveries from Little Piney
This one is a Box Elder–
And this one is an Osage Orange or Bois D’arc Tree
Master Naturalists in Action