Archive for the 'Shows' Category

Texas State Bison Music Fest

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017
Bison making plans to attend Bison Fest September 23.

Bison making plans to attend Bison Fest September 23.

This is Passport to Texas

Caprock Canyon State Park is home to the official state bison herd, comprised of descendants of the original southern plains bison that wandered the Great Plains.

We think we’re at about 150 [bison], plus this year’s calf crop, which should be about 30 or so.

Superintendent Donald Beard oversees this growing, free-roaming herd. Restoration efforts of the animals and their native habitat takes time and money. That’s where the Texas State Bison Music Festival comes in.

We were just looking for a fun fundraiser, and we decided that this would be pretty fun. And by all means it is. This year we’re headlining it with the Randy Rogers Band. But we also have Mark Powell, Zach Wilkerson, Sarah Hobbs, and Kevin Deal. It’s a street dance; we close off part of the town. The festival is held in the town of Quitiquae. We have all kinds of live music. Food vendors. Arts and crafts – and all day fun on a Saturday. This year it’s going to be September 23rd.

Proceeds from The Texas State Bison Music Festival on September 23, go directly to bison research and habitat restoration at Caprock Canyons SP. Find compete details and ticket prices at

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

New Pictographs Discovered

Monday, August 21st, 2017
Pictograph at Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site.

Pictograph at Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site.

This is Passport to Texas

For thousands of years, people have trekked to the rock hills in far west Texas where they found rainwater pooled in natural basins called huecos.

Today, visitors to Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site enjoy the rock hills for bouldering, which is a form of rock climbing, and the rock paintings, or pictographs, left by those ancient people.

After a year-long survey using D-stretch image enhancement technology, researchers discovered previously unknown pictographs in 29 locations. These areas will remain closed to recreational activities to protect the fragile artwork from potential impacts.

A list of closed climbs has been provided to the guides and to visitors on the North Mountain.

The majority of the pictographs are in the Jornada style, named for the prehistoric Jornada Mogollon culture of western Texas, southern New Mexico and northern Mexico.

These Native Americans were the first farmers in the region, and it’s believed they created the paintings about 550 to 1,000 years ago for use in prayers for rain. Some things never change.

Hueco Tanks is a significant cultural resource in the El Paso area that reflects at least 10,000 years of history. Find more information about the site at

That’s our show for today… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

TPW TV — Hop for the Future

Friday, August 18th, 2017
Collecting data on Kangaroo Rat.

Collecting data on Kangaroo Rat.

This is Passport to Texas

According to Dr. Randy Simpson, kangaroo rats are…

They’re about the handsomest rodent that you can find.

The problem is, you can’t find them. At least not many of them, anyway. Simpson is Wildlife Biology Program Director at Texas State. During a Texas Parks and Wildlife TV segment airing next week on PBS, graduate students, including Silas Ott, survey the species near the Texas/Oklahoma border.

So, it does seem to be pretty rare geographically. It’s only been found in 11 counties in Texas. And within the past 20 years, it’s only been found in five of those 11 counties.

Ott and his cohorts locate fresh burrows and set traps and cameras. Dr. Simpson.

Are we seeing just the last vestiges of populations that are hanging on? We don’t know. I think that that’s the reason Texas Parks and Wildlife and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service want to find that out.

Nathan Rains is a Wildlife Diversity Biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife. He’s assisting Texas State, and says the agency helped to fund the research through its grant program.

It’s obviously declining. We don’t have a lot of great information on this species, so we’re trying to learn as much as we can. But it’s a species we’re concerned about, and it’s been a concern for awhile.

Catch the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV segment Hop for the Future next week on PBS. Check your local listings.

The Wildlife restoration program supports our series funds kangaroo rat surveys and management in Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti

LBJ — In His Own Words

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017
LBJ and Lady Bird enjoying the wildflowers in his beloved Texas Hill Country.

LBJ and Lady Bird enjoying the wildflowers in his beloved Texas Hill Country.

This is Passport to Texas

Even though Lyndon Baines Johnson spent many memorable years in Washington DC, the Texas Hill Country held a special place in his heart.

Here is where I would always return, to the Pedernales River, the scenes of my childhood. There’s something different about this country, from any other part of the nation.

LBJ often credited these pristine surroundings of his youth as a major influence in his life and presidency.

It is impossible to live on this land without being a part of it. Without being shaped by its qualities. This molds the character of the people here. But it is also a bold and beautiful land, where the air is clear and the water is pure and the wildflowers flashing in the sun

And it is where he returned when he left the White House.

I guess every person feels a part of the place where they were born, he wants to go back to the surroundings that he knew as a child and this is my country, the Hill Country of Texas.

The LBJ State Park and Historic Site, located near Johnson City, gives visitors a chance to experience the land which President Johnson held dear.

There’s something about this section that brings new life and new hope and really a balanced and better view point after you have been here a few days.

Learn more about the LBJ State Historic Site, log on to the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife… I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Landscaping to Save Water

Monday, August 14th, 2017
Cottage Garden, WaterSavers Lane. Photo: Pam Penick.

Cottage Garden, WaterSavers Lane. Photo: Pam Penick, from her blog: Digging — Cool Gardens in a Hot Climate.

This is Passport to Texas

It’s possible to conserve water and have a lush landscape. And they prove that point every day in San Antonio.

The San Antonio Botanical Gardens is home to six miniature houses on Water Savers Lane, which showcase unique landscapes that feature water-saving designs. Sir Oliver Smith, a master naturalist, describes the typical landscape, complete with a water thirsty lawn.

This is what most people have. They have the traditional hedges at the door and all that manicuring you have to do every week. So this is probably what we don’t want if you want to save on money and save on grass and save on water.

For comparison, he points out an attractive landscape that replaces turf with groundcover.

People like this look; it’s a little less maintenance. And you’re replacing some of the lawn with Asiatic jasmine, which takes no water.

While the jasmine isn’t native, the others are. Native plants generally require less water to survive.

Everyone thinks native plants are just a sticky agarita and the yuccas and the sotals. But all the other things in this garden are native. Vitex and desert willow and redbud and there are a lot of other things that do very well with almost no water.

Check out the Wildscapes plant guide on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website and discover which plants thrive in your area.

That’s our show for today… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

For Texas Parks and Wildlife I’m Cecilia Nasti.