Archive for June, 2010

Dutch Oven Cooking, 1

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

This is passport to Texas

Whether the Dutch invented the Dutch oven isn’t exactly clear. What is clear, is using one of these cast iron pots simplifies outdoor cooking.

:06—And you can cook anything that you would at home, on a fire, outdoors, while you’re camping with your family or friends.

Tim Spice is in education and outreach at Parks and Wildlife and currently serving as a Command Sergeant Major in the Army Reserves in Iraq. In use since the 1700s, Spice says Dutch ovens have changed little.

:10—Today the Dutch oven has legs on the bottom and a rim on the lid so that you can put coals under it and on top of it and cook as you would in your oven at home.

Temperature control is critical in any kind of cooking. Dutch ovens don’t have a thermostat or controls, so what do you do?

:22—You hold your hand six inches above the coals…thousand one…thousand two….thousand three…if you have to pull your hand away sooner because it’s uncomfortable from the heat – it’s hotter than three-fifty. If you can hold your hand longer than three seconds, it’s colder than three-fifty. And, since most food is cooked at three hundred and fifty degrees in the oven, that’s where you’ll want to start gauging your heat.

Spice says have fun with your Dutch oven.

:12—Don’t be intimidated by that Dutch oven. Grab one and take it home and practice. And then, take your folks out to the state park and spend the day and have a great meal at the end of a great day outdoors.

That’s our show for today… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti

Ticks–Prevention and Treatment

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

This is Passport to Texas

Anyone who enjoys the outdoors has probably had a run-in with a tick.

Music–Under My Skin

And under your skin is where this denizen of field and forest embeds its mouth parts as it dines…and the meal is on you… actually it is you.

Ticks are after blood…but corpuscle cuisine is too thick for them to consume easily. To thin his meal, the tick secretes saliva into the puncture wound, which is not only disgusting, but potentially dangerous as this arthropod harbors bacteria in its gut.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease are two possible outcomes of tick bites. Your first line of defense is a good offense. Wearing long sleeved shirts and long pants with the cuffs tucked into your socks is a start. And donning light colored clothing allows you to spot ticks more quickly. Oh, and don’t forget insect repellents.

Always use the buddy system to check your body during and after outdoor excursions — and don’t be modest – the ticks aren’t.

Music–I’m too sexy

To remove ticks grasp them by their mouth parts with tweezers and pull straight up. If you develop flu-like symptoms after a bite…see your physician immediately.

That’s our show for today…

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti

SP Getaway–Primitive Camping in State Parks

Monday, June 21st, 2010

This is a Passport to Texas State Park Getaway

Maybe one day you’ll own an RV with all its creature comforts and use it for overnight outings at state parks. Until then, Bryan Frazier says primitive tent camping remains a simple, yet enormously satisfying alternative.

For most people who are beginners, that’s the way they’re going to go.

And so we have lots of tent camping available, but we have variations in our primitive tent camping as well. We have tent camping that has water outlets there in the tent camp site, with fire ring and picnic table and a lantern pole, which a lot of people appreciate. But we also have hike in sites, where you have a little bit of a hike to your tent camp site, and maybe it’s a little less developed.

And then we have true back country campsites in some of our parks. And that can be really whatever the person’s comfortable with. Some people really want to get away and have a solitude and a peace, and really like nothing else like a tent camping experience in our back country can provide. And we have some parks, particularly out in far west Texas that you can do that—and you may never see another person.

We always encourage people to be safe in all of our campsites, but we want to say, too, in addition to what we have in developed campsites, we do have primitive tent camping that cane be as comfortable and convenient near a parking lot, or as remote, really, as someone is looking for.

Thanks Bryan.

Find more state park information on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

That’s our show … For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

TPW Magazine–The Water Issue

Friday, June 18th, 2010

This is a Passport to Texas

Just as swallows return to San Juan Capistrano, California, and buzzards return to Hinckley, Ohio, water issues return to the July edition of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine. Editor, Louie Bond.

Well, we dip ourselves into the cool water in July and study water—just water in general in Texas. It’s the most important issue for us, for you, for everyone. Without water we’ve got nothing.

So, each year we try to look at the most important water issues facing Texans. This year. We’re taking it from your own backyard, from the urban creek and the little critters that dwell there. I know that was my first experience with sticking my toes in the water and becoming fascinated. I think that will resonate with a lot of readers.

We’d like to know how are those streams doing….are those critters still living there…are there healthy streams for our kids to play in. And then we take it through urban partnerships and watershed protection, all the way down to the coast where we’ll look at sea level rise and see how that’s going to impact the Texas coast in the future. So, join us in July to find out what the state of water is this year.

Thanks Louie.

The Texas parks and Wildlife magazine’s water issue is on newsstands now.

That’s our show … For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Volunteering at Texas State Parks, 2

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife

Texas State Parks rely heavily on volunteers.

07—Over the last several years it’s been pretty consistent; we clock about six hundred thousand hours of volunteer time.

And that’s just manual labor, says Lori Reiley, state park volunteer coordinator. Those 600-thousand volunteer hours translate into big savings for state parks.

12—That is equivalent in this fiscal year to about a ten million dollar savings in personnel costs. Our volunteers make up about a third of our workforce. So, we really couldn’t function as well without them.

Volunteers do everything from mowing lawns and scrubbing toilets to taking entrance fees and leading interpretive programs. Reiley says state parks encourage and welcome new volunteers.

16—We could always use their help. And while we get the occasional civic organization or nonprofit that wants to volunteer for service projects, we really could always use more individuals just on a regular basis to come out and volunteer in the parks.

Find out how you can volunteer at state parks on the Texas parks and Wildlife website.

That’s our show for today…we record our series at the Production Block Studios in Austin… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.