HPPR Environment

Science news

Luke Clayton

Deadsticking is a term used for fishing a bait, usually a soft plastic but not always, very slowly during the winter months when water temperatures are at their lowest. When the water is cold, fish become lethargic. They must eat but they prefer a meal that remains somewhat stationary rather than something they must chase down. Thus the reason that 1.5 inch soft plastic shad imitations held motionless near the top of big schools of white bass provided so much excitement at Cedar Creek Lake last week.

Winter Watering

Mar 5, 2014
masterofhort.com

A trip to the county extension office for a botanical diagnosis of a sickly tree branch paid off with reassurance that all was well.  While I was there I was also served up a refresher course in wise watering practices for our consistently dry and thirsty area.  We reviewed some things I knew about, but am sometimes lax in following.  And I learned a thing or two about making every precious drop of moisture count, even when rainfall is skimpy.   

Jeff Vanuga / USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Deborah Clark and her husband Emory apply the principles of holistic ranch management, and they use managed intensive grazing on their stocker cattle operation on 14,000 acres in north-central Texas.

USDA: Prairie Heating and Carbon Dioxide Enrichment (PHACE) Experiment

Most climate models paint a bleak picture for the Great Plains a century from now: It will likely be warmer and the air will be richer with carbon dioxide. Though scientists don’t yet know how exactly the climate will change, new studies show it could be a boon to some invasive plant species.  

A growing problem

 

This breakfast is easy to make, and easy to clean up.  The only pan you need is a cast iron skillet. 

undertexasskies.blogspot.com

After a month of love in the form of hearts and roses, we'll take a final look at a plant that is actually a noxious weed. But it's long been a part of my botanical background, having been introduced to me by my hill-country grandmother, a woman who planted by the signs and believed there was power in both the light and the dark of the moon.  Today we'll look at loveweed, an ages old method of finding true love long before internet dating sites.     

Scott Bauer / USDA, NRCS

Rancher Grady Grissom discusses the lessons he's learned from deploying a deferred-rotation system of managed grazing on his 14,000-acre ranch. But he doesn't like the term "grazing system.

Sometimes when Larry and I get together, our conversations head toward the past... and stories of our "firsts."  Larry's asking me about the first time I went out calling.  Here's my story:

edmondhistory.org

What better way to celebrate the month of love than to turn our attention to a rose that never needs watering, weeding or feeding.  We'll look at the scientific makeup of a geological rose from Oklahoma, and then visit the heart-breaking Cherokee legend that gave the botanical name to these unusual rose rock formations.

Scott Bauer / USDA, NRCS

Good grazing management is good for the livestock producer and for wildlife.  When grazing-land is healthy, cattle put on the weight, and birds benefit from healthy grassland.

Winter varmint calling

Feb 14, 2014

This week around the campfire, Larry Weishuhn and I were talking about winter varmint hunting.  Winter is a perfect time to get out and do some calling.  With varmints here on the High Plains, this is a true challenge.  You don't have to be a pro, even extreme novices can be successful using an electronic caller.  Now my friend Larry, you can't believe the sounds he can make with his mouth.  It is unbelievable.  He can sound like white tail deer, rabbits, but me, I have to use a call. 

kaweahoaks.com

Living in the same region and sharing roads, doctors, schools, and hair stylists doesn’t mean people see a common experience from the same perspective. Everything that’s happened to individuals prior to those events colors their interpretations. It’s true of two kids who grow up in the same house with the same parents but tell two different stories about their upbringing. People spin their own explanations. 

Looking to help farmers adapt to climate change, the U.S Department of Agriculture is setting up seven new research hubs, including a handful that will cover the Great Plains and Midwest.

The new research centers, anchored in different regions, are tasked with charting how climate change poses risks to farming, ranching and forestry. Then they are to devise strategies to adapt.

wikipedia.org

When planting season arrives this year, give yourself a belated valentine by adding dicentra spectabilis to your perennial bed.  The common name of 'bleeding heart' makes it a perfect love note, with the tiny pink or white hearts hanging from the stems, like a heart-shaped necklace.  Today our GHP story starts with an answer to the Shakespearean question, 'What's in a name?' as we look at the history of this valentine plant, and then we'll turn our attention to growing these beauties in a shady nook, something not easily found on our sunny High Plains.

Let me tell you, folks, some of my favorite hunting memories are not about bringing home a trophy buck or making the record book, but about some of the mishaps that have happened along the way.  One of those times was when Larry and I were out deer hunting.  We were not having much luck, so we decided to do a little calling.  We were getting a little hungry, nothing was happening, so we decided to head back to camp to get something to eat.  I pushed on the door to open it, and the thing did NOT move.  The hasp had slipped down and locked us in!

Love in a Mist

Feb 5, 2014
edenbrothers.com

We'll start out our valentine month with a look at an annual flower with an old-fashioned look and the great common name of Love-In-A-Mist.  I think the name fits nicely, as from a distance a mass planting of these blue, white, pink or purple flowers can look like they're floating above the ground.  The fern-like foliage adds to its buoyancy, and the whole image goes well in containers or hanging baskets.  

Luke Clayton

Howdy Folks!

I have had quite the adventure spending time with big bore air gun designer and builder,
Terry Tate.   I'm kinda sad to see our time come to an end.

howstuffworks.com

Our final look at plants that are a part of aromatherapy involves a discussion of several scented herbs and a deciduous shrub that grows successfully in the HPPR broadcast area.  All of these plants provide the aroma of citrus fruits and are being used in treatments for several ailments, especially those involving depression, anxiety or the mental confusion of Alzheimer's disease.  Lemon balm, lemon verbena or lemon scented thyme and basil can be grown in an herb garden.  The white blossoms of mock orange shrubs can provide the scent of oranges and can serve as an accent plant or a privacy screen in landscaping plans.     

Luke Clayton

Howdy folks!  You have got to listen to this week's show!  I'm talking with big bore air rifle designer and builder Terry Tate.  We had quite an adventure hog hunting, and I got my first big game with an air rifle. 

grangegardeners.wordpress.com

 Rosemary is one of the most versatile herbs as it plays roles in the kitchen, bath, or medicine chest.  The tangy scent and fresh green needles give the smell and appearance of evergreens. It has proven itself to have antibacterial properties and has been used to fight diseases from medieval times to the present day.  It has a colorful history, being a part of both ancient Greek mythology and the background of Christianity.  This tender perennial can grow on the High Plains, but it needs protection from winter weather.

DAVE FEHLING / StateImpact Texas

Texas has the most miles of natural gas pipelines.  It also has the most accidents.  Federal pipeline regulators say Texas and Florida give the most exemptions regarding who has to notify a pipeline or utility company before digging according to StateImpact Texas.

PRISM Climate Group/Oregon State University

Midwest farmers that depend on recently drought-stressed rivers like the Platte, Republican, Niobrara, Missouri, Arkansas and Mississippi received some good news this week, along with Rocky Mountain skiers.

Courtesy of Carol Kwiatkowski / Colorado Public Radio

Chemicals used in gas drilling work against our endocrine system, a network of glands and cells that release hormones into our bodies.  The chemical disrupters can effect fertility, sperm counts, cause breast and prostate cancer, compromise our immune system, and even contribute to obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.  

AP Photo/Pantex, File / mercurynews.com

Pantex is the nation’s only plant for assembling and disassembling nuclear weapons.  The plant was added to the national Superfund cleanup list because of past site practices of burning chemicals in unlined pits, burying waste in unlined landfills, and discharging waste into on-site surface waters known as playa lakes in 1994.  The first five year review of the site was recently completed, and it appears efforts to clean up soil and groundwater contamination have been effective according to The San Jose Mercury News.

whatscookingamerica.net

Lavender is perhaps the most popular aromatic herb, and has a long history of being used as a part of soaps and bathwater, even as far back as the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations.  Amid the numerous types of this sweet-smelling herb, some of the most popular have taken geographic names.  English lavender is the most common, followed by Spanish and French lavenders.  Though a tender perennial, this fragrant herb can be very successful in High Plains gardens if some care is given to protect it from winter freezes. 

earthyreport.com

If someone dumps trash in your garage is that trespassing?  Obviously, the answer is yes.  But, if someone dumps trash water and it contaminates your water, is it still trespassing?  The Texas Supreme Court is deciding that issue right now.

John Lavey / Sonoran Institute

State boundaries would be a lot different if a 19th Century idea would have been used to determine boundaries, and not railroad companies.  Colorado Matters recently explored the premise with John Lavey, a land use planner at the Sonoran Institute in Montana.

Ranchers Rediscover Burning

Jan 14, 2014
Texas Panhandle Prescribed Burn Association

Biologist Peter Berthelson of Pheasants Forever took action to educate land managers how to burn and created burn trailers stocked with all the hardware required to safely conduct prescribed burns.

ga.water.usgs.gov

The annual High Plains Irrigation Conference is for everyone concerned about water.  Regional water issues, an update on Texas Water Board Programs, irrigation trends, best practices for irrigation, and risk management tools are conference topics.  A research panel will also debate the issues.

bugguide.net

When most of us see bugs of any kind in the house, our immediate response is to grab the fly swatter or the bug spray, but there’s one insect you might want to consider having as a house guest.  

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