Northeast Texas Naturalist and Author, Matt White, addresses the Bright Star Gardeners
at Tuesday Night's monthly meeting.
Bright Star Garden Club Hosts
Author Matt White, Tuesday Night
by: Bobby McDonald
It was a real treat and a very informative program, as the Bright Star Garden Club hosted Northeast Texas author and naturalist, Matt White, for their January monthly meeting, on Tuesday night, in the Senior Citizen's Building. Members and a number of guests enjoyed White's program as he discussed the many, many bird varieties in Northeast Texas, that he features in his book, Birds of Northeast Texas.
White, a teacher at Paris Junior College in Sulphur Springs and a resident of Campbell, told the group of gardeners that Northeast Texas is one of the premier birding areas of the entire country. "There are approximately 650 species of birds in the state of Texas and some 450 to 500 of those species can be found right here in the 20 country area that we call home, in Northeast Texas," related White. "We're in the Central Flyway Zone and have an abundance of lakes, woods, and natural habitats for birds, that enjoy visiting the Post Oak Savanah, Blackland Prairie, and Piney Woods Regions of the state!"
Local gardeners presented White with a new bird feeder as a token of their appreciation for his
very informative program.
White encouraged gardeners to go on the internet and research a number of unique species, as well as the more common birds found in the region. He advised reseaching the Pelican, Crested Cara-Cara, the Least Tern, Cedar Wax-Wing, Western Kingbird, Grackles, Robins, Cattle Egrets, Ring Turtle Dove, Monk Parakeets, Painted Bunting and Indigo Bunting, and the Woodcocks, just to name a few of the interesting species you're likely to see in this region.
Author, Matt White, answered a number of questions, following his presentation on Tuesday night, to the Bright
Star Garden Club.
"I fear that most people in Hopkins County don't know what a treasure they have in Coleman Park, that is right here in the city limits of Sulphur Springs," added White. "It's a haven for many, many species of birds and located right in your own backyard. Take advantage of the many, many birds that you can see, observe and photograph at Coleman Lake, as you walk the trails and enjoy nature!"
Bright Star Garden Club members and guests enjoyed a very informative program, a "pot luck" dinner,
and visiting at Tuesday night's monthly meeting.
A question and answer session involved the audience at Tuesday night's presentation with many of the audience asking White about species that they have found near their homes and feeders. White also advised local bird feeders to use a quality Black Oil Sunflower seed mixture in their feeding regimen and to make certain that you change it annually to keep the birds coming to your feeders.
White also discussed a subject that is "near and dear to his heart," the preservation of the natural prairies of Northeast Texas, that he discussed in his book, Prairie Time. "You have some native prairie here in Hopkins County that needs to be protected and made certain that it isn't lost to development and farming," advised White. "This native prairie is 'unbroken' and has the native plants, wildflowers, and a window to what this country looked like before settlement. It's a natural treasure that needs to be protected for future generations. The trained eye can 'spot' it at once and we need to make certain that future generations have the opportunity to know what natural life was like, before settlement."
Another discussion developed concerning the fact that many local gardeners have noticed that there aren't as many fire ants, as there once was in the region. White advised that phorid flies have been released in the Northeast Texas area, that are a predator of the fire ants and have made some progress in eliminating this introduced hazzard to bird populations in the area.
Mrs. Tobie Reeves chaired Tuesday night's meeting, where a "pot luck" dinner was served. Anyone interested in joining the Bright Star Garden Club can pay an annual dues of $15.00 and enjoy the many, many informative meetings and programs that are conducted throughout the year.
White personally signed books for those who purchased them at Tuesday night's meeting.