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March 2008 Volume 3, Issue 3

Hill-Country Bandits by Jane Jones An evening or moonlight stroll at Walnut Springs may allow for an encounter with one of our endeared nocturnal friends, the raccoon. They are easy to spot with a distinct black mask, outlined in white, which extends across the raccoon's eyes, cheeks, and snout, while the rest of its rounded body is covered in dense, gray or brown fur. Their long, bushy tail is ringed with four or more black stripes. Adults measure twenty to thirty inches in length, and can weigh up to thirty-five pounds. Raccoons are omnivores, meaning they consume a variety of foods. Their diet is made up of aquatic life, such as crayfish, crabs, and oysters, as well as mammals, reptiles, birds, insects, nuts, and fruit. The use their highly developed senses of hearing, sight, and touch to locate food quite readily. They are talented climbers and swimmers. Adult raccoons have few natural enemies. Juveniles are preyed upon by owl, wolf, coyote and bobcat. Raccoons may live up to ten years in the wild. On his first day on the job at Walnut Springs, General Manager Paul Sumrall was welcomed to the ranch by a mother and three babies crossing the road near Lot 33.

Inside this issue: Raccoons


Texas Paintbrush


Dark Skies


DEW Committee 3 Review Membership Meeting


Walnut Frittata


Upcoming Events


The Preserve at Walnut Springs



Texas Paintbrush by Linda Kester The Texas Paintbrush is an upright, hairy annual, perennial or biennial herb native to Texas with single erect stems and a slender taproot. The terminal red-orange flower is a misconception. Actually the flower is tiny, creamy white to pale yellow, encircled by the red-orange leaf-like bracts. It blooms from March until June. This is my favorite Texas wildflower which begins to bloom about the same time as the Bluebonnets. I love the red orange flower and the way it splashes color along the country side. It reminds me that Winter will soon be over and Spring is just over the horizon.

Walnut Springs P.O. Box 133 Johnson City, TX 78636 Paul Sumrall General Manager Linda Kester Administrative Assistant Chad Frank Ranch Foreman Jane Jones Wildlife & Equestrian Program Dominique LaBaron Equestrian Program Jesus, Jesus Jr, Isidro, & Nolberto Cuellar Cowboys

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

The Skies over Walnut Springs by Jane Jones I’m really not a star junkie, but I do try to keep up with basic constellations and am a total freak when it comes to the Perseid meteor shower in August. In fact, we’ll be hosting a star party for that magical event … but that’s later. My head is in the stars right now because I recently stumbled across a website I want to share with you. Check out I asked one of the authors if I could share excerpts from her article and she generously agreed. With permission by Deborah Byrd:

Give me 5 minutes, I’ll give you Saturn in 2008 I want you to see Saturn at its best in February and March, 2008. In its yearly orbit around the sun, our planet Earth goes between Saturn and the sun every year. In 2007, that happened on February 10. In 2008, this event – called an “opposition” of Saturn – will happen on February 24. That makes late February and March of 2008 the best months for seeing this most amazing and beautiful of planets. Can you see the rings of Saturn if you look with the eye alone? No. But you can see this bright golden world with your unaided eye. It will appear as a bright golden “star” ... very beautiful! And since Saturn moves only slowly with respect to the true stars, once you notice the starry pattern around Saturn, you can spot this planet for months on end. What makes it possible to pick Saturn out from the multitude of glittering stars? The answer is that Saturn will be bright. In fact, every year around the time we go between the sun and Saturn, the ringed planet is at its closest to Earth and brightest in our sky. In late February and early March of 2008, Saturn is the brightest “star” ascending in the east after sunset. So if you’re outside in the evening – looking in the direction opposite the sunset – you can’t miss seeing it. What’s more, Saturn is near a recognizable pattern of stars in 2008. Well … hopefully recognizable, once you tune your eyes to noticing patterns on the sky’s dome. This pattern has the shape of a backwards question mark. It’s part of the constellation Leo the Lion, and it’s known as “the Sickle” in Leo. The brightest star in the Sickle is blue-white Regulus, whose name means “little king.” If you see an object you think is Saturn, look for this star, Regulus, nearby. Notice the color contrast between Regulus and Saturn. Regulus is blue-white. Saturn is golden. Once you start looking carefully, you might even notice that Regulus is twinkling, while Saturn is shining more steadily. You know the old folk wisdom about stars twinkling and planets shining with a steady light? It’s true. In March, 2008, and beyond … After February 24 – when Earth goes between Saturn and the sun – Earth will be fleeing ahead of Saturn in the race of the planets around the sun. That fact will place Saturn higher in the east at sunset every evening, beginning in March 2008. The ringed planet Saturn is the sixth planet outward from the sun. It takes nearly 30 years to orbit the sun. Earth is the third planet, and our orbit takes only one year. That’s why we go between the sun and Saturn nearly every year. - Deborah Byrd One of the great advantages of living in unspoiled country is the opportunity to witness these celestial treasures. Our Design Guidelines, a component of the Master Plan at Walnut Springs, contain language that today would be phrased a ‘dark skies’ clause, which protects the night skies of the Hill Country by stipulating the types of lighting appropriate on the ranch. Most lighting manufacturers now have ’Dark Skies Approved’ lighting to select form. We don’t want you to walk into a tree or trip over a rock, but do remember to look up once in a while. There are secrets in the skies.

Sea Gull Chatham Outdoor Fixture

From the Walnut Springs Design Guidelines: 2.11.Site Lighting Excessive and obtrusive lighting can be invasive to neighboring Lots as well as intrude upon evening Hill Country vistas and the night sky over The Preserve at Walnut Springs. No light shall be emitted from any Lot which is unreasonably bright or causes glare for any adjacent Owner. All exterior lights shall be downcast by design at no less than a 45-degree angle and shall radiate within a limited radius of ground focus not to exceed ten (10) feet. Lights cast upwards towards walls or trees shall not be allowed on any lot. All exterior lighting must provide for complete shielding of light sources; no bare lamps will be permitted. All interior lights shall be designed to avoid glare or unreasonable brightness from being emitted from any window, door, or other opening in the building. All building plans shall include specifications for both the interior and exterior lighting plans and shall be subject to approval by the Design, Environment and Wildlife committee at its sole discretion.

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

DEW Committee Highlights - February 2008 by Paul Sumrall DEW committee has set its calendar for 2008, with monthly meetings scheduled for the 3rd Monday Monthly at 11am Central Time. Meetings are open to membership. Please contact the ranch office for dial-in instructions or attend in person. •

• •

At its meeting on February 18th the committee reviewed the following items: Architectural Review Lot 69 - The owners asked if guest accommodations above a barn structure would be considered under the current language in the CC&Rs which addresses Guest Houses. As the current restrictions do not stipulate whether or not the guest house must be detached from a garage/barn structure, this concept was Approved by the committee. New guidelines addressing the construction of a guest house above a garage/barn will be presented to DEW. Lot 45 Fencing Plan - The owners withdrew their request for review of their fencing plan and asked DEW to consider an alternative whereas the Longhorns on the ranch were contained within fences. Benefits included that owners would not need to each fence their one acre building envelope and utilities, would help preserve view corridors and could address some future safety concerns. DEW requested that the staff put together a plan for fencing the cattle in to include; the location of pastures, size of pastures, impact on herd, cost to construct, impact on horseback riding, and impact on wildlife habitat. Lot 64 Approval of Road Plan - In preparation of work at the near the springs, alternatives to allow equipment to the site without negatively impacting the area were discussed. A direct route which could be mitigated by planting at a later date would be more cost-effective and leave the current trails more natural. DEW approved construction of the new road only if alternative construction equipment and use of the current trails was not possible. Architectural Guidelines & CC&R’s - A sub-committee of Sue Knelman, Rich King, and Mike Halpin was formed to work together to realign the Architectural Guidelines and make recommendations to DEW for amendments where reasonable. Plant Palette - A sub-committee of Sue Knelman and Steve Jackson was formed to review and recommend changes to the current PWS Plant Palette.

Annual Membership Meeting by Paul Sumrall •

At the annual Membership Meeting in January, the Board of Directors of The Preserve at Walnut Springs HOA was elected to include Jerry Halpin, Mike Halpin, Frank Chambers, Will Jenkins, Alice Starr, Paul Sumrall, & Rusty Yates. An amendment to the CC&R’s regarding the building envelope for Lot 53 was offered and approved by the membership. The 2008 Operating Budget was approved and Annual Dues were set at $4,990 for the 4th year and are due January 31st. Planned & Completed Open Space Improvements were reviewed. The Owner Services Program, Equestrian Services Program, and Wildlife Management Plans were all reviews. DEW Committee meeting schedule was set. Discussion of the installation of a Spa at the clubhouse was tabled. Removal of the High-Speed Tower near Lot 40 was tabled.

• • • • • • •

Farmhouse Walnut Frittata by Linda Kester Ingredients • • • • • •

1/3 cup each julienne yellow, red and green peppers 1/3 cup chopped scallions 1/2 cup chopped walnuts 1 1/2 cups egg substitute 2 Tbsps nonfat yogurt Tbsp Asiago or Parmesan cheese

Instructions Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a medium oven-proof skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Over medium heat, sauté peppers, scallions and walnuts in skillet until vegetables are soft. Beat egg substitute, add yogurt and pour mixture over vegetables in skillet. Stir and cook over medium heat until eggs begin to set. Sprinkle cheese over top of frittata and bake at 350°F for 8-10 minutes or until eggs are well set. Cut into wedges and serve. Serves 4.

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: March 2008 • Wimberley Farmers Market, Wednesdays 3-6pm at Lion's Club on FM 2325 March • Hill Country Wildflower season, visit March 1st - June 1st • Designing Your Native Plant Garden, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center March 1st • 8th Annual Spaghetti Dinner/Bingo Night benefitting JC March 1st • Rockin’ Rod Weekend Fredericksburg Event Center March 7th – 9th • Guided Bike Tour of the LBJ Ranch with Luci Baines Johnson March 8th • Native Plant Selection, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center March 8th • Day light Savings Time Begins March 9th 2,000 ACRES OF HILL • Wildflower Days, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center March 10th – April 30th C OUNTRY ENJOYMENT • Trade Days, visit March 14th – 16th RIGHT OUT YOUR • Native Plant Selection II, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center March 15th DOORSTEP • St. Patrick’s Day March 17th • Nature Nights Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center March 21st • Walnut Springs Owner’s Horse Camp – Spring Break March 17th – 21st • Geno Family Branding Party March 22nd • Good Friday March 21st • Easter Sunday March 23rd • Botanical Adventures Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center March 23rd & 30th • Native Garden Maintenance Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center March 29th • Urban Art Painting, Herb Farm visit www.geocities/ March 29th • Arts Encounters, Benini Foundation visit March 29th – 30th • Kirchman Gallery Reception visit March 29th • Texas Men's State Chili & BBQ Championship Cook-off: Blanco Fairgrounds March 29th – 30th

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.

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


Dark Skies 2 DEW Committee Review 3 Membership Meeting 3 Walnut Springs P.O. Box 133 Johnson City, TX 78636 Paul Sumrall General Manager Lin...

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