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NUT

September 2007 Volume 2, Issue 9

Review: Water From Stone by Paul Sumrall Award-winning author Jeffrey Greene provides a portrait, by turns lyrical and provocative, of J. David Bamberger's unlikely transformation from first, a vacuum cleaner salesman, then to co- founder and CEO of Church's Fried Chicken, to an internationally recognized conservationist. In fact, Greene tells two integrally related stories: the evolution of one man's business sense, applying profit incentives to land restoration and nature conservancy; and the creation of a Texas Hill Country preserve where he effectively demonstrates his own principles. Growing up in rural Ohio during the Great Depression and World War II, Bamberger learned at an early age to shun waste, grow food productively, and admire the Amish for living in harmony with the land. His mother taught him to love the natural world and gave him a book that would set the course for his life: Pleasant Valley, by Louis Bromfield, a visionary American advocate for land restoration. Inspired by his new role model, Bamberger would say, "If I ever make money, I want to do what Bromfield did." After finding that financial success, Bamberger bought what he describes as "the sorriest piece of land in Blanco County" and entered upon his decades-long effort to restore the ecological balance of 5,500 acres that had been virtually destroyed by more than a century of misuse. Naming his preserve Selah, from the Old Testament term meaning "pause and reflect", Bamberger dedicates himself and his resources to protecting species and educating school children, conservation groups, government officials, and everyone else who will listen to his central message, delivered with evangelical zeal: We must take care of the earth, and anyone can help. This book is an easy read, and provides a very personal perspective on Walnut’s Springs neighbors on the southern end of our ranch. The foundation that Margaret and David Bamberger have built will sustain the land and programs shared by Selah. Land stewardship is a must-know for all newcomers to the Hill Country, and Water From Stone is a testament to positive impact of responsible land use and rehabilitation. Pick up your copy of Water From Stone at The Clubhouse at Walnut Springs for $25 each, and get to know your neighbor.

Inside this issue: Review: Water from Stone

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Whitetail Deer Census

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Striped Skunks

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Whitetail Deer Census (cont’d)

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Swiss & Walnut Pears

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Calendar

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The Preserve at Walnut Springs

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THE NUT THE PRESERVE AT

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

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

Phone (830) 868-2155 Fax (830) 868-2156 www.PreserveatWalnutSprings.com


White-Tailed Deer Spotlight Survey Courtesy of Texas Parks & Wildlife A deer spotlight survey is a method of sampling a given area of land and estimating density of deer found there. Area is expressed as the number of visible acres which is determined by taking a series of visibility readings along the designated route at 1/10th mile intervals. Data collected on a deer spotlight survey is expressed as the number of acres per deer. Multiple counts are required on the repeatable route for reliable estimation of deer density. Estimates of deer density and habitat surveys can help determine whether your deer herd is at, above or below carrying capacity of the habitat. Deer carrying capacity is the density of healthy and productive deer the land can support without causing habitat damage. A knowledge of the deer density and herd composition is necessary to regulate annual deer harvest (how many bucks or does to harvest). Daylight herd composition counts may be used in conjunction with the spotlight census data to more accurately estimate percentages of bucks, does, and fawns in the deer herd. The spotlight census also enables landowners to monitor progress of habitat and harvest strategies in reaching specific deer management goals and objectives. Select all-weather roads that go through a variety of habitat types. Avoid roads that frequently wash out or become impassable following heavy rain. The transect should sample different habitat types in proportion to number of acres they represent on the property. Avoid roads by feeders or food plots where deer may be concentrated. Spotlight surveys conducted during August and September are less likely to be influenced by seasonal environmental factors, food distribution, acorn-drop, or other biological events affecting deer. On large tracts, more than one route may be required to adequately sample a ranch. Make a map of the route for use on future counts. Continued Page 3

Striped Skunks by Jane Jones I don’t think there is enough tomato juice in the state of Texas to eliminate the pungent musk odor when an agitated skunk sprays. If you ever get close enough to observe a skunk’s behavior leading up to it spraying you will hear a peculiar purring sound and a growl. They typically express their anger by rising upon their hind feet, lurching forward, stamping both front feet, and at the same time clicking their teeth. The expelling of musk generally follows this behavior. Striped skunks have few natural enemies. Owl, hawks, coyotes, bobcats, foxes, and dogs may occasionally take one, but most predators are repulsed by the odor of their musk. Striped skunks are highly susceptible to being struck by vehicles, and road-killed animals are commonly seen along highways throughout Texas. Individuals seldom live more than two years in the wild. They inhabit wooded or brushy areas and their associated farmlands. Rocky defiles and outcrops are favored refuge sites, but when these are absent the skunks seek out the burrows of armadillos, foxes, and other animals. In central Texas, favored refuge sites are under large boulders. These skunks are largely nocturnal and seldom venture forth until late in the day; they Striped Skunk on the prowl retire to their hideouts early in the morning. Breeding begins in February or March. After a gestation period of about 63 days, an average of five young are born. In Texas, most of the young appear in the first half of May. The nursery is a cavity under a rock, a burrow, or a thicket of cactus or other protective vegetation. Usually the mother builds a nest of dried grasses and weed stems for the blind, helpless young. The young remain in the nest until their eyes are open and they are strong enough to follow their mother. Their diet consists of insects and includes millipedes, centipedes, spiders, small mammals and vegetation.

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Phone (830) 868-2155 Fax (830) 868-2156 www.PreserveatWalnutSprings.com


White-Tailed Deer Spotlight Survey Continued from Page 2 Once a route has been selected, an estimate of the number of visible acres along the route must be determined. During the summer months and prior to the first official count, drive the route at night with two observers on the back of the vehicle. Using the same type of spotlight you will use to count deer, have the driver stop every 1/10th mile. The observers estimate how far they can see a deer (or where the brush becomes too thick to see deer) in a straight line perpendicular to the truck (ie Left 150 Yards and Right 50 Yards, etc.) up to a maximum of 250 yards from the road. A visibility estimate is also needed at the start point of the line. Visibility readings may be recorded on a form or tape recorded for later tabulation. This process is repeated for the length of the route. On dead-end roads, record visibilities only going down the road, and resume taking visibilities when a new portion of the route is begun. When conducting additional counts on the same census route, it is not necessary to retake visibilities. Visibility estimates may be used for several years unless significant changes in vegetation have occurred along the route. The following formula is used to convert 1/10 mile visibility estimates into acres of visibility: Total yards of visibilities / number of 1/10 mile stops +1 X Number of miles X 1,760/4,840 = Visible Acres Spotlight surveys should be conducted during the months of August, September, and October. Deer are generally well distributed in their home ranges during this period of the year and are more easily identified by sex and age-class (fawns). Each route should be counted 3-4 times to improve reliability of the data. Do not conduct surveys during rain, high wind, or following significant disturbance along the route during the day of the count (working cattle, construction, etc.) Begin all counts one hour after official sunset. Contact the local Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game warden prior to conducting spotlight surveys. Also, notify neighbors or adjoining landowners who might see the lights to alert them about your activity. Use 100,000 candlepower tractor or utility lights, and be sure to take a map light, clipboard and pen with census tally and route map, and binoculars. Drive 5 to 8 miles per hour. In open terrain where visibility permits, speed may be increased to 10-12 miles per hour. Stop only to identify deer or determine the number of deer in a group. Unless all deer observed in a group can be identified by sex and age-class, record ALL these deer as unidentified. Recording only bucks from a group will bias data and reflect a better buck to doe ratio than may be present. Record deer as bucks, does, fawns, or unidentified. Deer are usually first spotted by their greenish-white reflective eyes. It is imperative that binoculars be used to identify all deer observed to prevent other wildlife, birds, fence posts, and livestock from being mistaken for deer. Keep the lights moving as the vehicle moves, checking both ahead of and behind the vehicle. The observer on each side of the vehicle shines only his/her side to prevent blinding the other observer. Deer observed over 250 yards from the vehicle should not be recorded. Divide the number of deer into the total number of visible acres observed to determine the number of acres per deer on the route. The estimated deer population for the ranch can then be estimated by dividing the total acres of the ranch by the estimated acres per deer figure. An estimate of the number of bucks, does, and fawns in the population my be determined by multiplying the total number of deer by the percent of deer identified that were bucks, does, and fawns. Owners may contact the Ranch Office at Walnut Springs for our deer census routes and census tally and to borrow spotlights if you would like to take your family on a census outing. The office will notify the game warden and neighbors and lend binoculars and spotlights for your outing.

Swiss and Walnut Pears recipe courtesy of Southern Living Magazine This recipe goes together in a jiffy. It’s perfect as a quick snack or an appetizer for those unexpected but very welcome guests. Ingredients: 1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts 1 Bosc or Bartlett pear 3 (3/4-oz.) wedges Swiss spreadable cheese

Preparation: • HEAT 1/3 cup of finely chopped walnuts in a small nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, stirring often, 2 to 3 minutes or until toasted. • CUT 1 Bosc or Bartlett pear into about 20 equal slices. • STIR together 3 (3/4 oz.) wedges of Swiss spreadable cheese. • SPREAD bottom half of 1 side of each pear slice evenly with cheese. • SPRINKLE with walnuts.

Phone (830) 868-2155 Fax (830) 868-2156 www.PreserveatWalnutSprings.com

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The Preserve at Walnut Springs P.O. Box 133 Johnson City TX 78636 Upcoming Events: September 2007 Labor Day September 3rd Grandparents Day September 9th First day of Autumn September 23rd Arts Encounters, Benini Foundation Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 1-6pm www.ArtsEncountersatBeninis.com September 29th & 30th Kirchman Gallery reception 4-7pm www.KirchmanGallery.com September 29th Baskin-Elde Branding Party September 29th

2,000 ACRES OF HILL COUNTRY ENJOYMENT RIGHT OUT YOUR DOORSTEP

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. Tow Head Creek by Jon King Phone (830) 868-2155 Fax (830) 868-2156 www.PreserveatWalnutSprings.com


TheNutSeptember_2007