Archive for the 'Christmas' Category

Texas Christmas Bird Count 2019-2020

Tuesday, November 19th, 2019
Christmas Bird Count participants. Photo: Camilla Cerea/Audubon

Christmas Bird Count participants. Photo: Camilla Cerea/Audubon

This is Passport to Texas

For Texas birders it is sheer delight now that the annual Christmas Bird Count is nearly in sight.

The Christmas Bird Count is a fantastic way for people to get involved in what we call citizen science. You can be a participant and help count birds during the Christmas season.

Cliff Shackelford is a state ornithologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife.

There’s a three week window that straddles Christmas where teams go out at specific times for 24 hours in a specific 15 mile radius circle and count birds.

The Christmas Bird Count officially started in 1900. Even though it took a while for counts to get established in Texas, some bird counting circles in the state have been in existence for 60 years.

So how can you participate?

The first thing to do is find out if you live in or near a Christmas Count circle. The next step is to find the count compiler, that person who’s in charge of coordinating that circle and making sure that people are spread out and have a little piece of the pie and don’t double up on certain sites.

Find your nearest Christmas count circle at Audubon.org

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

O, Texas Tannenbaum

Tuesday, December 25th, 2018
Christmas Tree inside Saur-Beckmann State Historic Site

Christmas Tree inside Saur-Beckmann State Historic Site

This is Passport to Texas

The custom of decorating trees for Christmas took root in German villages during the sixteenth century.

A lot of Germans, as you know, settled Texas. And they brought a tradition with them of the tabletop Christmas tree.

Cynthia Brandimarte is program director for Texas historic sites.

When you look at interior photographs of Texas houses, you see many tabletop Christmas trees ornamented for the season, particularly in German households in the late nineteenth century Texas.

Ornaments were handmade then, and small gifts often dangled from branches. Eventually, the tabletop conifer gave way to larger trees that became “floor models,” and the decorations sometimes mirrored the day’s events.

You saw more and more seven or eight feet trees that were placed on the floor. And because we had just ended the Spanish American war in victory, there was a fashion in the early part of the twentieth century to decorate trees with a few American flags here and there. We have photographic evidence for that.

If you celebrate Christmas, we wish you a joyous holiday. And if you do not, then it’s the perfect opportunity to spend time in nature, because Life’s Better Outside.

Wishing all of you a Merry Christmas and Healthy New Year.

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

Relaxing Old School During the Holidays

Monday, December 24th, 2018

Christmas at Sauer Beckman Farm.

This is Passport to Texas

We have something in common with early Texans.

Christmas and the month of December—in large part—was the time when Texans gathered.

Cynthia Brandimarte is program director for Texas historic sites. Unlike today when a short trip by car or plane will get us to our holiday destination, travel was difficult for early Texans.

And so when you traveled, you tended to stay. People had time at Christmas to do that—to travel and spend weeks.

Which makes the few days that most of us get off at Christmas seem like a rip off. And early Texans made good use of this block of time.

It was then that they celebrated not only Christmas, but other special events, and planned weddings for the month of December.

Since Texas was mostly rural in the 19th and early 20th Centuries, and there wasn’t a lot of farming that could happen in December…

It almost gave 19th Century and early 20th Century rural Texans an excuse not to work. And thus to play a bit more, and socialize a bit more, than they had time to do many other months of the year.

How will you spend your time off this holiday season? How about making time to enjoy the great outdoors?

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

Christmas in Texas State Parks

Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

Christmas at Sauer Beckman Farm.

This is Passport to Texas

The holiday season is a special time to visit your state parks. Parks throughout Texas offer festive activities that could cause even old Scrooge, himself, to crack a smile.

Check out the calendar section of the Texas Parks and Wildlife website for a complete listing of holiday events in parks. Until you do, here are a few of our favorites for your consideration.

December seventh, join rangers and visitors at Tyler State Park for a stroll around the lake as the sun goes down… and enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of winter.

December eight, Fort Richardson SP & HS—a half hour south of Jacksboro—invites visitors to observe ‘ghosts’ of cavalry soldiers and their families as they celebrate Christmas in an 1870’s U.S military post.

On the 12th through the 15th of December, Daingerfield SP in Daingerfield invites visitors to drive through the park, which will be lit up like Santa Land and meet Santa himself on Friday and Saturday!

And, on December sixteenth, head over to Johnson City for the 49th Annual tree lighting at LBJ State Park and Historic Site. Join the Texas Hill Country Community in this special tradition started 49 years ago by President and Mrs. Johnson.

Enjoy carolers, a live nativity, Santa Claus, refreshments and of course, the spectacular tree lighting. Then revisit the past at the Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm

Find more holiday events at state parks in the calendar section of the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

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

The Christmas Tree in Texas

Monday, December 18th, 2017
Christmas tree inside Sauer Beckmann SHS

Christmas tree inside Sauer Beckmann SHS

This is Passport to Texas

The custom of decorating trees for Christmas took root in German villages during the sixteenth century.

A lot of Germans, as you know, settled Texas. And they brought a tradition with them of the tabletop Christmas tree.

Cynthia Brandimarte is program director for Texas historic sites.

When you look at interior photographs of Texas houses, you see many tabletop Christmas trees ornamented for the season, particularly in German households in the late nineteenth century Texas.

Ornaments were handmade then, and small gifts often dangled from branches. Eventually, the tabletop conifer gave way to larger trees that became “floor models,” and the decorations sometimes mirrored the day’s events.

You saw more and more seven or eight feet trees that were placed on the floor. And because we had just ended the Spanish American war in victory, there was a fashion in the early part of the twentieth century to decorate trees with a few American flags here and there. We have photographic evidence for that.

If you celebrate Christmas, we wish you a joyous holiday season. And if you do not, then it’s the perfect time to immerse yourself in nature, because Life’s Better Outside.

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.