Spring, 2014 Gathering the Adder`s-tongue

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Spring, 2014 Gathering the Adder`s-tongue
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preservation
restoration
education
research
Director
Dr. Ken Steigman, 972-219-3926
[email protected]
Restoration Manager
Richard Freiheit, 972-219-3827
[email protected]nt.edu
Education Coordinator
Lisa Cole, 972-219-3930
[email protected]
Educators
Brigid Corbett
Morgan Larson
Cindy Schlaht
Erin Taylor
Diane Wetherbee
Gate Hosts
Virginia Griffith
Sue Southworth
972-219-7980
Mailing address:
Lewisville Lake Environmental
Learning Area
1801 N. Mill Street, Suite A
Lewisville, TX 75057
www.ias.unt.edu/llela
Like LLELA on Facebook! Go to
www.facebook.com/
LLELALewisvilleLake
A quarterly publication of the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area
Spring, 2014
Gathering the Adder’s-tongue
Nearly 200 Adder’s-tongues have recently joined the Green Dragons, Bladderworts, and other plant oddities which add richness and diversity to the native
ecosystems represented at LLELA. Never heard of an adder’s-tongue? That’s
not too surprising. Limestone Adder’s-tongue (Ophioglossum engelmannii) belongs to an obscure group of uncommon small ferns that are rarely seen, except by those who make it a point to search them out in appropriate habitat.
LLELA staff visited a population of these unusual ferns a few weeks ago,
thanks to an invite from local naturalists Jim Varnum and Carol Clark. Contrary to the plant’s name, the site was not on limestone soil at all, but on very
sandy Eastern Cross Timbers soil. Standing under a canopy of post oaks with
the ground covered in fallen leaves, we could not see any adder’s-tongues
until we swept away some of the post oak leaf litter. After some searching, a
few leaves were found barely protruding from the ground. Once the search
image solidified in our brains we found several more plants. As we began to
carefully dig in the loose sandy soil literally hundreds of these tiny ferns were
evident, just under the surface of the soil. Many of them had developed horizontal root systems that routinely budded vertically from the nodes.
Ferns are unlike most of the plants we grow in our gardens. They make no
flowers, and no seeds. Instead, a mature fern produces spores which blow
away on the wind. When they reach a spot in which to germinate, each spore
will produce an intermediate stage called a gametophyte. Gametophytes produce both sperm and egg cells, and can be self-fertilized or cross with other
gametophytes. Once fertilized, the gametophyte produces the “fern” we recognize, which is the sporophyte (mature) stage. But the adder’s-tongue does
not look very familiar even in its sporophyte stage. It is basically a small elliptical leaf which grows a little spore-producing stalk.
continued
At left, you can see
why most people
never notice adder’stongue at all.
At right, notice the
horizontally creeping
root system of this
fern, and one of its
growth nodes
We were originally summoned to this site for a plant rescue, as we were told the immediate area was going to become a
road and these secretive little plants would be lost. However, before our departure we learned that the development
plans had changed and they were in no danger after all. Great news! Since we found that there were thousands of the
plants in the area, we were granted permission to remove a small number for relocation in appropriate habitat at
LLELA. Currently some have been planted in like soils, while the remainder are growing in the LLELA propagation
nursery. One more native plant has found a home at LLELA, as we work to rebuild our ecosystems…sometimes one
diminutive species at a time.
At left, a newly-dug
adder’s-tongue is
cradled in LLELA
Director Ken Steigman’s
hands.
At right, a few of the
adder’s-tongues are
settled into pots in
LLELA’s greenhouse.
Did You Know?
Species in the Adder’s-Tongue family (Ophioglossaceae) have the highest chromosome numbers of any
known vascular plant species...as high as 600+ pairs. Humans have only 23 pairs.
Spring Kayak Tours on McWhorter Creek
Would you like to see yourself in this picture?
LLELA staff is leading a number of kayak tours
on McWhorter Creek this spring. All skill levels
are welcome; paddlers receive an introduction to
kayaking on dry land before pushing off into the
water. All equipment is provided. Don’t delay in
registering; these trips fill up quickly.
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March 2, 2:00—4:00 p.m.
March 23, 9:00—11:00 a.m.
March 29, 2:00—4:00 p.m.
April 13, 3:00—5:00 p.m.
$15/paddler plus $5 LLELA gate fee. Ages 7 years and up.
Contact [email protected] or 972-219-3930 to register. Registration is required.
Follow Friends of LELLA on Twitter:
@LLELAFriends
Friends of LLELA members enjoyed food, fun, and prizes at our 2014 kick-off meeting on a recent
cold February evening. A poll taken at the meeting indicated that a majority of members preferred
to hold quarterly meetings, so watch for our next gathering in May.
Please plan to attend our “Greenhouse Warming” on March 8 (see below). Although we will be having chocolate and champagne (or wine) we invite you to dress in your warmest woolies and wellies
(boots) and come out to celebrate this wonderful addition to LLELA.
Woolies and Wellies
Champagne and Chocolate Tasting
Celebrating the Opening of the LLELA Greenhouse
And Honoring LLELA Friends, Volunteers & Donors
March 8, 2014 • 7 to 9 pm
Special Presentation at 8 pm
Put on your warm clothes and wellies and join us at the greenhouse
for a beautiful outdoor evening at LLELA!
It’s upscale gone back to nature.
For more info or to RSVP:
214.478.1064 or [email protected]
Before the greenhouse warming event, we would like to ask our friends and volunteers to come out
and help us spiff up the greenhouse grounds on Saturday, February 15, from 10:00-Noon (there will
be coffee & donuts!).
March and April will be busy months for LLELA. Ambassador training will be held on March 19 and
22. This training will equip volunteers with the information and tools they need to spread the word
about LLELA as we move into manning booths at local fairs and celebrations and making presentations to various groups.
Please contact Scott Kiester ([email protected]) for more Ambassador information. Scott will announce exact times for training after conferring with our soon-to-be LLELA Ambassadors!
On April 26, 2014 LLELA will host the “One Ale of a Trail” Run. Proceeds from this event will benefit LLELA operations and programs. This will be a huge fundraiser that will require lots of volunteers to direct people, hand out water and snacks to runners, etc. The Friends of LLELA will be a key
part of the Run’s success.
Please contact Kristy ([email protected]) or Elaine ([email protected]) to volunteer
to help that day with the run. Please also let them know of any possible corporate donors you think
may be interested in being a sponsor for this event. Generous sponsors
will be the key to realizing great success for LLELA.
Please check out this link to learn more:
http://www.onealeofatrail.net/
Special Classes Coming Soon at LLELA
Edible Wild Plants:
March 23
1:00--5:00 pm
$50
Survival Mini-Trip:
April 25 at 9:00 am
to April 27 at 5:00 pm
$200
To register, contact
Mark Suter
979-777-3902
[email protected]
We are excited to welcome Mark Suter of Primitive Texas back to LLELA! Mark is an accomplished survivalist
whose knowledge, environmental ethic, and personality make his classes popular all over Texas.
Edible Wild Plants
The class will consist of wild plant identification walks through the natural habitats at LLELA. Emphasis will be
placed on physical plant characteristics, edible plant parts, proper plant preparation, and available season of harvest. Some poisonous wild plants will also be covered, since these often grow right with the edible ones. Come join
us as we explore the world of edible wild plants and expand your diet to include these nutritious wild resources!
Wilderness Survival Mini Trip
You'll have fun and feel more confident after spending three days and two nights in the field. Skills covered may
include creating shelter, purifying water, finding edible wild plants, primitive hunting, and trapping (no animals
will be harmed). Maximum 10 students - sign up soon!
Spring Break
Eco Adventure Camp
at the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area
March 10—14, 2014
9—12 year-olds
8:30 a.m.—4:00 p.m. Monday—Friday
$190/child; Registration deadline: March 3, 2014
Five full days of exploration! Campers will enjoy a wide variety of activities:
Animals
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Bird watch
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Go fishing
Investigate
insects
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Explore a
pond
Track animals
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Kayak
Forestry
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Meet (and climb) a
tree
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Discover woodland
wildlife
and more!
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Aquatics
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and more!
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and more!
Survival
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Learn orienteering
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Blaze trails
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Identify plants
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and more!
Play
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Games
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Questing
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Nature art
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and more!
For registration information contact:
Lisa Cole (LLELA Education Coordinator)
at 972-219-3930 or [email protected]
or visit LLELA.org
What’s Happening at LLELA?
** Schedules are subject to change. Call the LLELA Gatehouse at 972-219-7980 to confirm.**
Homestead Open House
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February 15, 12 —3 p.m.
March 15, 12—3 p.m.
April 19, 12—3 p.m.
May 17, 12—3 p.m.
Bird Walks.
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February 8, 7:30 a.m.
March 8, 7:30 a.m.
April 12, 7:30 a.m.
May 10, 7:30 a.m.
River Trips by
KayakPower.com
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February 15, 9 a.m.—2 p.m.
March 15, 9 a.m.—2 p.m.
April 19, 9 a.m.—2 p.m.
May 17, 9 a.m.—2 p.m.
Nature Walks
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February 8, 10:00 a.m.
March 8, 10:00 a.m.
April 12, 10:00 a.m.
May 10, 10:00 a.m.
Gather at our Campfire
 March 7, 6:30—8:30 p.m.
 April 12, 7:30—9:30 p.m.
**Last campfires of the season!
Night Hikes
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February 15, 6:00—8:00 p.m.
March 22, 7:30—9:30 p.m.
April 18, 8:00—10:00 p.m.
May 10, 8:30—10:30 p.m.
Stars on the Prairie
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February 22, 6:30—8:30 p.m.
March 29, 7:30—9:30 p.m.
April 25, 8:00—10:00 p.m.
May 30, 8:30—10:30 p.m.
Walk through LLELA’s restored 1870’s log home and smokehouse,
a replica dugout, and an unrestored barn. Friendly and knowledgeable staff and/or volunteers will be available to answer questions. There is no fee for this program, but LLELA’s admission is
$5/person without an annual pass.
Accompany a master birder on a guided hike. Over 280 species of
birds have been documented at LLELA, so there’s no telling what
you might find! Birders of all ages and skill levels are welcome, $2
program fee required per person (annual pass holders). Reservations are not required. Bring your own binoculars.
Whether you’re got lots of river time under your belt or have never set foot in a kayak, you’re welcome here! Kayak Power will provide equipment and instruction followed by a six-mile trip down
the Elm Fork to a shuttle vehicle. Contact [email protected]
or 214-669-1663 for information.
Reservation required. www.kayakpower.com for details.
Explore LLELA’s trails with a Texas Master Naturalist in this
guided search for animal tracks and signs, and learn more about
the natural history of LLELA. $2 program fee required per person
(annual pass holders). All ages are welcome. Reservations are not
required.
Meet us in the campground, where a cozy campfire will be waiting
for us. People of all ages will enjoy traditional campfire fun, which
may include stories, songs, and more, plus of course toasted marshmallows. $5/person (annual pass holders). Registration is required
at 972-219-3930 or [email protected]
Follow our trail guides on a moonlit stroll down the nature trails.
Coyotes howling, owls hooting, and other nocturnal sounds will
provide an out-of-the-ordinary hiking experience. Ages 5 years
and up. Registration required at 972-219-3930 or [email protected]
$2/person for LLELA annual pass holders.
Join us for a fascinating evening as we explore the wonders of the
night sky with Clyde Camp, Master Naturalist and amateur astronomer (over 30 years of experience). Ages 5 and up. $2 program
fee per person (season pass holders). Reservations are required at
972-219-3930 or [email protected]
LLELA Weekends-at-a-Glance: MARCH
FRIDAY
1
SATURDAY
2
10:00 a.m. Kids’ Fishing Day
1st to 2nd
SUNDAY
2:00 p.m. Kayak Tour on
McWhorter Creek
1:00 p.m. Log House
Volunteer Training
7
FRIDAY
6:30 p.m. Campfire
7th to 9th
8
SATURDAY
9
SUNDAY
16
SUNDAY
23
SUNDAY
7:30 a.m. Bird Walk
8:00 a.m. Trail Guide training
10:00a.m. Nature Walk
No RSVP for either walk
14
FRIDAY
15
SATURDAY
12:00 p.m. Log House Open
House. No RSVP
14th to 16th
21
FRIDAY
22
SATURDAY
7:30 p.m. Night Hike
21st to 23rd
9:00 a.m. Kayak Tour on
McWhorter Creek
1:00 p.m. Edible Plants with
Mark Suter
28
FRIDAY
29
SATURDAY
30
SUNDAY
10:00 a.m. Girl Scout Animal
Habitats badge
28th to 30th
2:00 p.m. Kayak Tour on
McWhorter Creek
7:30 p.m. Stars on Prairie
***ALL EVENTS REQUIRE A RESERVATION UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED!!! ***
Also this month:
Spring Break Eco Adventure Camp for 9—12 year-olds: March 10-14. More information at LLELA.org.
Ongoing enrollment for Home School Natural Science Classes. Class dates are April 3, April 24,
May 8, and May 29. More information is at LLELA.org.
LLELA Weekends-at-a-Glance: APRIL
4
FRIDAY
5
SATURDAY
6
SUNDAY
13
SUNDAY
10:00 a.m. Kids’ Fishing Day
4th to 6th
11
FRIDAY
12
SATURDAY
7:30 a.m. Bird Walk
11th to 13th
3:00 p.m. Kayak Tour on
McWhorter Creek
10:00a.m. Nature Walk
No RSVP for either walk
6:30 p.m. Campfire—RSVP
18
FRIDAY
8:00 p.m. Night Hike
18th to 20th
25
FRIDAY
8:00 p.m. Stars on Prairie
25th to 27th
Mark Suter Wilderness
Survival class all weekend
19
SATURDAY
20
SUNDAY
27
SUNDAY
12:00 p.m. Log House Open
House. No RSVP
26
SATURDAY
8:00 a.m. One Ale of a Trail
Run at LLELA
10:00 a.m. Girl Scout Bugs
badge
8:00 p.m. Girl Scout Night
Owl badge
***ALL EVENTS REQUIRE A RESERVATION UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED!!! ***
Contact Lisa Cole at 972-219-3930 or [email protected]
Event details at LLELA.org
LLELA Weekends-at-a-Glance: MAY
2
FRIDAY
3
SATURDAY
4
SUNDAY
11
SUNDAY
18
SUNDAY
10:00 a.m. Kids’ Fishing Day
2nd to 4th
9
FRIDAY
10
SATURDAY
7:30 a.m. Bird Walk
9th to 11th
10:00a.m. Nature Walk
No RSVP for either walk
8:30 p.m. Night Hike
RSVP required
16
FRIDAY
17
SATURDAY
12:00 p.m. Log House Open
House. No RSVP
16th to 18th
23
FRIDAY
24
SATURDAY
25
SUNDAY
30
FRIDAY
31
SATURDAY
1
SUNDAY
23rd to 25th
8:30 p.m. Stars on Prarie
30th to June 1
***ALL EVENTS REQUIRE A RESERVATION UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED!!! ***
Contact Lisa Cole at 972-219-3930 or [email protected]
Event details at LLELA.org
Texas Amphibian Watch volunteer training at LLELA
March 17, 6:00—9:00 p.m.
Contact Lisa Cole at 972-219-3930 or [email protected] to register
It’s not easy being green. At an international conference in 1989, scientists all over the world for the first time
became alarmed at what appeared to be dramatic declines in some amphibian populations. Then, in 1995, a
group of school children in Minnesota were the first to notice an alarming rate of malformed limbs in some
frog populations. Because amphibians use wetland habitats during at least part of their life cycle and because
they have permeable skin, ecologists believe that declines in amphibian populations and malformations may
serve as early warning indicators of broader changes in ecosystems.
Participants in Texas Amphibian Watch have an opportunity to contribute data which can help scientists
monitor and understand amphibian populations in our state. Master Naturalist Scott Keister will give a
presentation to acquaint volunteers with the monitoring program and frog identification, then take the group
onto LLELA’s Bittern Marsh Trail for a bit of on-the-job training.
There is no fee for this program, but we encourage people who attend the training to make a commitment to
participate in a new, ongoing amphibian monitoring project at LLELA. In other words...if you show up, we
are going to sign you up! Please contact Lisa Cole at 972-219-3930 or [email protected] to register.
Calling male Woodhouse’s Toad
(Bufo woodhousii)
Photo by Diane Wetherbee
Southern Leopard Frog
(Rana sphenocephala)

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