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June 2007 Volume 2, Issue 6

Dwyer Branding… Rain or Shine

by Paul Sumrall

What a spectacular evening of Saturday, May 26th. We branded the Dwyer’s Walnut-Springs-style with an action-packed barbeque. Rain loomed on the horizon as final plans were made, so the Equestrian Center was cleaned and became a rustic dining hall adjacent to the petting zoo, slide and bounce in the covered arena. Over 120 guests stopped in to welcome the family to Johnson City and wish Stephen Sumrall Orsak a happy 9th birthday.

The Dwyers by Mary Jo Snider

More Than Hay for Dinner by Mary Jo Snider

Inside this issue: Dwyer Branding 1 Mourning Dove


Lavender Festival


Cinco De Mayo


You Should Have Seen It


Father’s Day Black Cherry Dessert Cake





Mourning Dove

Jane Jones

The sweet sad song of the mourning dove is common throughout the United States. As seed eaters, they are particularly happy in the hill country this spring as water is plentiful and grasses and wildflowers are flourishing. A favorite snack for all of our doves is, not surprisingly, called “dove weed.” It’s a dusty green, low growing weed that tends to show up in areas disturbed by livestock or construction. It is intentionally grown in areas where dove hunting is allowed. One of the special characteristics of any member of the pigeon family, including mourning doves, is that they feed “milk” to their young. Of course, it isn’t milk issued from a mammary gland, but is a nutritious liquid from a gland in the bird’s crop. Chicks insert their bills down the parent’s throat to get the liquid. Mourning doves are common in lore. From ancient Greeks to American Indians, their striking song has inspired tales of harmony and cooperation. When you hear the call of the mourning dove, consider that she might be reminding you of the natural harmony all around you. It’s something we cherish at Walnut Springs.

Walnut Springs P.O. Box 133 Johnson City, TX 78636 Paul Sumrall General Manager Linda Kester Administrative Assistant

M.J. Love Sales Associate Jane Jones Wildlife & Equestrian Programming Jesus, Jesus Jr, Isidro, & Nolberto Cuellar Cowboys

Phone (830) 868-2155 Fax (830) 868-2156

Third Annual Lavender Fest June 9th & 10th

by Linda Kester

Dry weather and alkaline limestone soils make the Blanco County area particularly suitable for growing lavender. Hill Country Lavender, the first commercial lavender to open in Texas, was started near Blanco just a few years back in 1999. This year, and just 3 years after the First Annual Lavender Fest, nine lavender farms in the hill country will be open for tours and cutting lavender blooms. Johnson City’s Chantilly Lace, with over 1500 plants and six varieties of lavender, will participate daily from 9 am to 6 pm. A shrubby plant indigenous to the mountainous regions of countries bordering the western half of the Mediterranean, lavender is mostly cultivated for its calming fragrance. Oddly though, a principal constituent of lavender is the an oil known for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Lavender is used in soaps, shampoos and body lotions and is considered a natural remedy for a range of ailments from insomnia and anxiety to depression. Lavender is also used to treat skin ailments such as fungal infections, burns, wounds, eczema and acne, and is used externally in healing baths for circulatory disorders and as a rub for rheumatic ailments. For information about the Third Annual Lavender Fest visit

Cinco De Mayo by Linda Kester General Manager Paul Sumrall likes to keep our Concierge Staff on its toes, and true to form he called the office on May 3rd and asked us to pull together Cinco De Mayo Margaritas with appetizers at the clubhouse. We like a challenge, so we pooled our resources and delivered a beautiful, quality event with margaritas and appetizers all prepared onsite. Musician Cassie Maenius performed on acoustic guitar in the crisp evening breeze as our guests gazed at one of the most spectacular sunsets so far this year. Owners Rich and Rebecca stayed late visiting, Rebecca sporting super soft hair, a testament to their new rainwater collection system here on the ranch. Special guests Jack and Ann Hewitt of Austin drove up for the evening and stayed over at Manor House, enjoying a last-minute diversion from the City.

Susan Kirchman & Warren Vilmaire

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Phone (830) 868-2155 Fax (830) 868-2156

You Should Have Seen It… by Jane Jones For three blessed mornings, the annual bird count requires us to slow down and look closely at land we see every day. And this year was phenomenal. Highlights of Thursday’s tour of the north end included the dazzling Vermilion Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebes, Yellow-billed Cuckoos, Canyon Towhee, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Scarlett Tanagers and an entirely unexpected Golden-cheeked Warbler passing through the old Keller place on Mike and Bev Halpin’s lot. This endangered song bird isn’t found anywhere in the world other than the Texas Hill Country and we are honored to host several pairs in the south canyon.

Lorraine Benini & Courtney Sullivan

This is the first time we’ve recorded a Goldencheeked Warbler sighting on the north side of CR 204 so it was quite a thrill. The south side presented us with more Goldencheeks, Ladder-backed Woodpeckers, White-Eyed vireos, Golden-fronted woodpeckers, a Green-backed heron, Painted buntings, Blue Grosbeaks, Summer Tanager, and a thrilling fly-by from a Crested Caracara. The Preserve at Walnut Springs is grateful for the assistance of Diane Newell and Courtney Sullivan, who joined us from Oklahoma and New York respectively; and our esteemed neighbors Lorraine Benini and Zena Stetka Howe. Birding is a great excuse to spend quiet time outdoors with good friends but be careful … it may be habit forming.

Diane Newell & Zena Stetka Howe

Father’s Day Black Cherry Dessert Cake by Linda Kester Ingredients: • 2 Eggs plus 2 egg whites • 2 Tblsp Water • 3/4 c Sugar-in-the-raw • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract • 1 c All-purpose flour • 3/4 c Whole wheat flour • 1/4 tsp Almond extract • 1/8 tsp Salt • 1 1/3 c Cherries, fresh, sweet, pitted • 2 tsp Baking powder • 1/2 c Walnuts, chopped

• • • • • • • •

BEAT eggs until light. Gradually add sugar and beat until lemon-colored. ADD sifted dry ingredients. ADD water, vanilla and almond extract. Mix well. POUR into a prepared nonstick Bundt (or similar) pan. DROP cherries over batter (save some for garnish). SPRINKLE with chopped walnuts. BAKE in preheated 350 degree oven for 40-50 minutes. Cool 10 minutes, then turn cake onto plate or rack. SERVE warm with vanilla yogurt & garnish with whole cherries.

Phone (830) 868-2155 Fax (830) 868-2156

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The Preserve at Walnut Springs P.O. Box 133 Johnson City TX 78636 Upcoming Events: June Flag Day June 14th Father’s Day June 17th First Day of Summer June 21st Armed Forces Day June 19th Third Annual Blanco Lavender Festival visit June 9th & 10th


The Preserve at Walnut Springs Walnut Springs offers all the benefits and pleasures of a beautiful private 2,000-acre ranch for a fraction of the price. With sweeping 360 degree views, meandering waterways, lush canyons and abundant wildlife, a homestead in this exclusive community comes with access to 1,500 acres of protected open space for recreational use. Amenities include a premier equestrian center and 20 miles of horse trails, two swimming pools and a spacious clubhouse, barbeque facilities, tennis courts, stocked ponds, wireless Internet access and much more. Located in Johnson City, it is ideally situated near Fredericksburg and the Highland Lakes. Best of all, owners do not have to work the ranch, but just enjoy it as the onsite dedicated cowboys and concierge staff care for the ranch and property maintenance. Whether watching a beautiful sunset from your porch, from horseback along a ridge line trail, or from poolside with family and friends at the clubhouse, it is hard to believe that Austin and San Antonio are just an hour away. Only sixty-six prime home-sites are nestled at this uniquely appealing ranch in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. Stephen Sumrall Orsak by Mary Jo Snider Phone (830) 868-2155 Fax (830) 868-2156


M.J. Love Sales Associate Jane Jones Wildlife & Equestrian Programming Jesus, Jesus Jr, Isidro, & Nolberto Cuellar Cowboys Paul Sumr...