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May 2008 Volume 3, Issue 5

Texas Coyotes by Jane Jones Also known as the "prairie wolf," the coyote is Texas' most frequently viewed large carnivore. Characterized by a dog-like body and a long, bushy tail, the coyote weighs an average of thirty pounds. Wearing a thick grayish coat with reddish tinges to the legs and ears, and a lighter-colored belly and nape, the Coyote’s yellow eyes reflect as greenish-gold as their mournful howls and yapping barks often fill the night with haunting songs. The Coyote characteristically runs with its tail down instead of horizontally like foxes, or up like wolves and dogs, and he is a strong swimmer. These are extremely intelligent animals with keen senses of hearing, sight and smell. They are primarily nocturnal and very opportunistic, which has provided them the full advantage of surviving in a rapidly changing environment. Coyotes will eat just about anything. They feed primarily on rabbits, rodents and insects, but they also eat carrion, lizards, snakes, fruit, vegetable matter and even fish. Mates are considered monogamous, with pairs remaining together for several years, although not necessarily for life. Coyotes breed from mid-January to early March. After a gestation period of 63 to 65 days, a litter of five to seven pups is born. During the weeks following the birth, the male will bring food to the family, but the female will not allow him inside the den. Coyote life is extremely precarious; less than one half of all juvenile coyotes live to reach adulthood. Those that do manage to survive have a life expectancy of ten to fifteen years.

Designing a Life by Linda Kester Owners Rusty & Ellen describe the process of designing their home on lot 38 as a “great experience, working with a dedicated team which includes architect Lance Tatum and general contractor S&W Construction. “We’ve been planning the design of our home for years and credit Lance for our dream becoming a reality” according to Rusty. “The interesting experience about designing this project was working with an exceptional client,” counters Lance. “The most successful and worthwhile projects most often evolve from the best clients. The client - husband and wife - both are very well read and culturally savvy people with exquisite taste in all areas including those that support design such as art, photography, interior design and especially compositions of materials. Among those enhancements to the project development stage were the Walnut Springs’ Design Guidelines. These thoughtful restrictions are sensitive to the land and overall environment, giving special attention to conservation and building materials supports the opportunity for good design rather than discourage it.” Continued Page 3

Inside this issue: Coyotes Homestead 38

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Fire Ants


Equestrian Interns


What Are We Doing Here?


Equestrian Calendar


Upcoming Events


The Preserve at Walnut Springs



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

Red Imported Fire Ants - OUCH!

by Linda Kester

Areas with high densities of red imported fire ants (RIFA) can impact the survival of many wildlife species. Fire ants attack deer fawns, young birds, small mammals, and reptiles. Furthermore, RIFA compete with species such as Texas horned lizards and young quail for food. This limiting factor may be the most significant reason for the decline of these species. Red imported fire ants are imported fire from South America. RIFA are small but highly aggressive. They inject a necrotising, alkaloid venom when they sting. The stings result in painful, itchy, and persistent pustules, and sometimes in severe allergic reactions. When a fire ant mound is disturbed, workers boil to the surface, run up any legs, arms, etc. in the vicinity, grab the victim's skin in their mandibles and sting synchronously in response to the slightest movement. The attacks are coordinated and dozens or even hundreds of workers sting in unison. RIFA colonies are extremely destructive. They dominate their home ranges due to their large numbers and aggressiveness. The lack of natural enemies results in population booms in areas they invade. RIFA alter the composition of the ecological communities in the areas they invade. They outcompete and frequently eliminate native fire ants. They also compete with other animals for food and alter abundance of prey species. The ranch’s primary fire ant control product is Over & Out, a granule bait preparation that doesn’t kill instantly, but instead gives the worker ants a chance to take the bait back to the mound as food where its pesticides disrupt reproduction by hormonal control over queen ants. The ranch follows these guidelines: The height of fire ant activity is in early spring and again in fall, but you should treat fire ants whenever ants are active. The two keys to successful fire ant control are using baits and broadcasting applications. By broadcasting fire ant bait over your entire lawn, you are treating both visible and hidden mounds. Foraging fire ants above the ground mistake the bait for food and bring it back down into the colony where it is eaten by other ants, including the queen. The larger the area treated with a bait, the longer it takes for re-infestation to occur. So, organize your neighbors to make broadcast applications of bait on the same day. Get ’em while they’re hungry! Apply bait when fire ants are actively foraging, usually in the early morning or the late afternoon. Fire ants hate soggy food! The ground should be dry when you apply bait, and no rain should be forecasted for the next 24 hours. Just check the weather. Fire ants hate spoiled food! Use the bait promptly after purchase. The product will retain its effectiveness for up to 3 months after the package has been opened. Be careful not to disturb mounds when you are treating fire ants. Doing so may cause the fire ants to move the colony or, worse yet, attack and sting you!

Contact the ranch office if we can treat your homestead for you!

Equestrian Internships by Dominique La Baron Internship Program gives kids of all ages and experience levels the opportunity to learn all aspects of horsemanship including riding, horse care, and barn management. Interns gain ride time in exchange for their help around the barn. Three hours of work for one hour of group lesson time. Three Fridays of every month are dedicated for Trainee Lesson time. Join our Internship, learn the nitty-gritty of horse care and barn operations, and enjoy horseback riding lessons.

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

What Are We Doing Here?

by Chad Frank

“We feed and care for the livestock, horses, and wildlife daily. This is a busy time of the day for us, we need to move quickly through our chores to get onto our projects, all the while taking time to inventory the health and well-being of the animals that count on us,” says Ranch Foreman Chad Frank. “When we aren’t tending to ranch animals, we provide property maintenance services for owners, maintain the Clubhouse and other amenities, and manage a host of land management projects on the ranch, from fire ants to land clearing.” In March the crew embarked on several projects. They assisted with the Spring Break Horse Camp, the Geno Family Branding Party, prepared a homestead for sale, relocated the shop and equipment to the Longhorn Barn, and tackled the bone yard at Homestead 74. According to Chad, “We’re here to please. If you have work for us, give Linda a call and let her know. It’s hard to take notes when your dodging longhorns. We’ll get right back with you.”

Spring Equestrian Calendar Set by Dominique La Baron Friday





4-5pm Private

8-11am Trail Ride

8-11am Trail Ride

4-5pm Private

4-5pm Private

5-6pm Group Vaulting 6-7pm Group – Beginner Western 7-8pm Trainee Lesson

5-6pm Group – Beginner English 6-7pm Group – Intermediate Western

1-2pm Private

5-6pm Private

5-6pm Private

2-3pm Group – Intermediate English

6-7pm Group – Beginner Western Evening trail ride available

6-7pm Group – Intermediate Western Evening trail ride available

7-8pm Group – Adult Western Beginner/Intermediate Moon light trail ride available

3-4pm Group – Adult English Beginner/Intermediate 4-5pm Private Evening trail ride available

Space Taken

Private lessons are available in Western, English, and Vaulting disciplines. Weekly Group lessons are based on age and experience and must be signed up for in advance. Expanded schedules will be available during the summer months. Please call the ranch office at 830-868-2155 for more details and to schedule lessons or trail rides.

Designing A Life (continued from Page 1) by Linda Kester “One thing that I have to tell you,” says Rusty, “the more time Ellen and I spend on the ranch, the more we know we made the right choice in selecting Walnut Springs as our home.” According to Ranch Manager Paul Sumrall, “When Rusty & Ellen began their design meetings, they described their goal of incorporating the feel and charm of a traditional ranch compound, without all the clutter. I met with them throughout the design process, and when they went to DEW committee for architectural review there were no surprises or complications.” “Rusty worked closely with Lance,” says Paul, “designing a home that fit into the landscape, requiring very little change to natural setting.”

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: May 2008 Bison Festival. LBJ State Park and Ranch May 3rd – 4th DEW Committee Meeting May 9th Nature and Wildlife Tours at LBJ State Park May 10th, 17th, 24th , and 31st JCVFD Annual Fish 830-868-7900 for additional information May 10th Mothers Day May 11th Mothers Day lunch at Becker Vineyards May 11th Deadline for The Nut May 15th Memorial Day May 26th BBQ in the famed "Picnic Grove" on the LBJ Ranch May 17th 2,000 ACRES OF HILL Memorial Day Tribute to Service in Vietnam LBJ State Park May 26th COUNTRY ENJOYMENT RIGHT OUT YOUR Arts Encounters at Benini Foundation May 31st -June 1st DOORSTEP Kirchman Gallery Reception May 31st

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


Equestrian Calendar 3 What Are We Doing Here? 3 T HE N UT Inside this issue: Paul Sumrall General Manager Linda Kester Administrative Assist...