Little L Ranch's Journal

Journal archives for April 2022

April 04, 2022

Texas Master Naturalist, Rio Brazos Chapter and Native Plant Society of Texas, Prairie Rose Chapter assist the S.M. Tracy Herbarium with updating the plant species existing in Somervell County, Texas

On February 19th, 2022 the Curator of the S.M. Tracy Herbarium (Dale Kruse) presented a lecture to 40 Texas Master Naturalist and Native Plant Society of Texas members at Little L Ranch. The purpose of the lecture was to train a group of volunteers in the art of collecting and pressing plant samples suitable for presentation to S.M. Tracy and other herbariums.

Dale plans to make 3-4 trips to the ranch annually with a group from Texas A&M over the next 2-3 years, while updating the plant species in Somervell County. Between his trips, those that attended the lecture will be collecting bryophytes (Dales speciality), forbs, grasses, shrubs and tree samples. These samples will be pressed, dried and mailed to the Herbarium where everything will be properly identified, mounted and samples shared with other herbariums.

The collecting of plant samples for herbariums is important for the study of plant taxonomy, as well as understanding the distribution of plants not only now, but how those plant distributions change over the years. This role is becoming more important as human influences move plant species to locations far from where they evolved. Additionally, with the influence of climate change and habitat destruction, tracking regional changes of plants has a direct influence on migration patterns and suitable habitat for the survival of all animals.

Posted on April 04, 2022 02:28 PM by robertjwalker robertjwalker | 0 comments | Leave a comment

8 Texas Master Naturalist collect and press plant samples for the S.M. Tracy Herbarium

On the first and second of April, 2022 Charlene Davis, Nancy Haubert, Dagmar Higgins, Gary Hinds, Susan Reece, Alan Robertson, Valerie Taber, and Robert Walker gathered at Little L Ranch in search of herbarium material.

Objective determined and battle plan drawn, we charged the confines of Little L Ranch. With the purpose of accumulating as many species as possible, we permeated the landscape in search of biota. But alas the weather Gods had not shared our plan, and the fruits of our labor (as well as the fruits of plants), were stymied by lack of spring rain.

Although our hopes of discovering a plant cornucopia had been dampened, our spirit was not! A quick change of battle plans, and into the juniper groves and seeps we slide in search of bryophytes (Dale would be so proud of his fledged neophytes).😂

At the end of the day our labors had not been totally unrewarded. A quick count of bags yielded 38 sacks of bryophytes for the A&M crew to labor over through the lens of their microscopes. Unfortunately, the forb count wasn't quite as lucrative. Final count approximately 25 forbs and one shrub tightly nestled and warming in a plant press.

Soooo, plan is for a secondary attack on those little forbs as they stick their heads out of the foxholes in the coming days. Battle plan update pending!

Posted on April 04, 2022 04:39 PM by robertjwalker robertjwalker | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 15, 2022

A great day for collecting!

The weather was great... and so was the collecting!

Valerie Taber, Alan Robertson, Diane Humphries, and Robert Walker enjoyed a splendid day of collecting for the S.M. Tracy Herbarium while traipsing through the plants at Little L Ranch.
Although, lack of significant rain still hinders the emergence of flowering forbs, the team managed to add an additional 25 forbs, 3 tree species and a mixed bag of unusual bryophytes to our collection of plants drying in presses. These plants will eventually find their way to the herbarium to update the species existing in Somervell County Texas.

Posted on April 15, 2022 02:05 AM by robertjwalker robertjwalker | 0 comments | Leave a comment