HPPR Environment

Science news

landscapingnetwork.com

 This week begins a series about xeriscaping.  Sometimes our growing conditions leave us feeling as if we’re living in the desert.  Today, Skip will teach us what kind of landscaping thrives in heat without much water.  

Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism

Mark Hilliard of Hale County, Texas, says, "This is cotton country. It's rare to find a pristine playa lake."

wodumedia.com

Millard Fowler is a centenarian from the panhandle of Oklahoma.  He remembers the 1930s when he was a young, newly married farmer. 

colostate.edu

The fire outlook for Colorado was recently released by the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention & Control.  The document shows the areas with the greatest potential wildfire danger are the plains of Eastern Colorado reported Laura Palmisano for KVNF

southwestfarmpress.com

Increasing temperatures and decreasing precipitation may not be cyclic.  Dr. B.A. “Bob” Stewart recently released an analysis of data from 1895-2013 for the Texas High Plains.  He found the area is getting warmer and drier, and the recent drought is not a temporary state according to a study by Dr. Stewart for WTAMU.

stevegarufi.com

This week GHP looks at the best way to insure success with shade trees, starting at the very beginning with good ideas on planting.  We've turned to Master Gardener and long-time tree grower Shirley Buller to line up some simple tips and techniques to get your trees started down the right road to a long, healthy, and shady life.

texastribune.org

The depleting of aquifers and endless drought has spurred discussion, debate, and even court cases about who owns the water.  Groundwater and rain are familiar disagreements, but in Texas wastewater has stepped on stage. 

wikipedia.org

Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill this week that tells the U.S. government it has no authority to regulate prairie chickens within the state of Kansas.  The bill also threatens lawsuits against federal conservation efforts in an escalating dispute over reversing the population decline of the lesser prairie chicken according to a recent article from the Topeka Capital-Journal.

everythinglubbock.com

A huge wildfire swept through Hutchinson County Sunday and Monday.  About 100 houses were damaged or destroyed.  The bulk of the damage was at the Lake Meredith Harbor subdivision reported the Amarillo Globe-News.

Michael Pearce / kansas.com

McPherson County landowner Dale Schmidt bought ground he intended to farm, but often it was too wet to plant, or to harvest.

statesymbolsusa.org

Typically, when you see wild turkeys, you see them in a flock. If they are seeking a morning breakfast of grasshoppers and other early rising insects, several dine together.  At night, they gather in  large groups to roost in a big tree that provides each bird its own branch.  However, they perch close enough to one another for the turkey equivalent of The Walton’s “Goodnight, John-boy” evening song.

tpwd.state.tx.us

Palo Duro Canyon is No. 1 on Fodor’s America’s 10 Best State Parks reported the Amarillo Globe-News.

distancebetweencities.net

Amarillo residents are not conserving water.  The city’s water usage goal is 52 million gallons per day.  Every day this month has exceeded that amount reported the Amarillo Globe-News.

Chris Coleman / StateImpact Texas

Forecasters say it looks like El Niño will reappear this fall.  That usually means more rain for Texas, but one meteorologist says it will have mixed results in the Lone Star State reported StateImpact Texas.

blog.cartwrighttree.com

  

If you're looking for ways to cut energy costs in your home or business, don't just look inside.  Turn your gaze outside and consider planting some shade trees to help cool your abode in summer and keep it protected and filled with the warmth of natural sunlight in winter.

osuwheat.com

Drought and a late April freeze could produce the worst wheat harvest in decades for the western part of Oklahoma history reported The Oklahoman

http://theprowersjournal.com/

Skies over southeast Colorado have cleared of the choking dust propelled by high winds, but the effects are evident.  Prowers County residents are dealing with the aftermath of fallen trees and dumpsters scattered like bowling pins.  More about the storm and its lingering effects are available from the Prowers Journal.

  There is a great deal of information available on most aspects of wild hog hunting but the art of using calls to attract porkers within shooting range is one that is often skirted around, probably because of lack of factual information. Through the years, I’ve had very limited success using calls to attract hogs. The lion’s share of my failures I attribute to lack of skill on my part and possibly the fault of the calls I used to perfectly duplicate the sounds made by wild hogs.

The Texas Tribune

Texas is the nation’s biggest beef-producing state, and as the state enters the fourth year of drought, ranchers, consumers, and grocers are feeling the effects reported The Texas Tribune.

nps.gov

New hiking and mountain biking trails open at Lake Meredith this weekend according to the Amarillo Globe-News.

Skip Mancini

 Last week Skip told you about the efforts to attract great horned owls to her home, and the enjoyment watching these wonderful birds gives her.  This week, she shares owl facts, separating fact from fallacy.  

If you'd like to learn how to build a nesting platform for these magnificent birds, or if you'd like to see the family residence at Skip's, simply drop her an email using this link.

wikipedia.org

The high winds plaguing the High Plains this week moved real estate ranging in size from bits of soil to the Chase Tower located in downtown Amarillo. 

Texas Parks and Wildlife

Research indicates that a buffer surrounding a playa lake, consisting typically of native grasses and forbs, prevents migration of upland topsoil and farm chemicals into lowland wetlands such as playa lakes and rainwater basins.

droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

Drought conditions expanded in the central and southern Plains where winter wheat is struggling to grow according to the U.S. Drought Monitor report released this week.

123rf.com

One of my favorite novels to teach is John Steinbeck’s The Pearl. I love his use of landscape, the very human ways the main character Kino and his young wife Juana face ills that befall them, and truths about human nature the author unfolds in quotes that spill from memory at odd times. One of those instances occurred recently.

J.N. Stuart/Flickr Commons

It's prairie chicken mating season!

Still, it's tough being a lesser prairie chicken these days. This type of grouse once spanned an enormous area, though now they survive mainly in pockets of Oklahoma and Kansas. Their numbers are plummeting; in 2012, the population dropped by half.

Luke Clayton

Howdy Folks!

Today, we wrap up our visit with Milo Hanson.  Milo has the world record typical whitetail, and he's made the record book again with the rack shown in this picture.  

The world record changed the lives of Milo and his family, and it also affected his community.  At one point his wife said she'd "like to beat the record with a hammer."

Take a listen.  This man is a great story teller. 

Dale Daniel

Playas are those big ponds you see dotting across the High Plains.  They provide habitat for amphibians and points for aquifer recharge.  A study from Oklahoma State University suggests the Federal Conservation Reserve Program does have a positive impact on the health of the playas, but does not restore them reported The Environmental Monitor.

homeadvisor.com

Amarillo is in the fourth year of drought conditions, yet residents continue to exceed city water usage goals.  During the month of April, there have only been three days when water use was below the goal of about 44 million gallons.  This past Monday, residents used almost 60 million gallons according to the Amarillo Globe-News.

Skip Mancini

 Years ago the resident architect joined up with the family environmental engineer to create a very special abode.  They spent the weekend fashioning a nesting platform for great horned owls, in hopes of providing the perfect honeymoon cottage for the pair that spent the previous year in the shelterbelt.  Ollie and Big Owlberta moved in and set up house.  Their struggle to survive in this sometimes brutal land has taken the architect and the engineer on a rollercoaster ride of joy, grief, and worry.  

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