Monday, September 7, 2009

Annie Draws Inspiration From The Tandy Hills

That's my daughter Annie, posing in her prairie grass. Last year in her science class she participated in an online prairie restoration game. She excitedly related the story to me and then we played the game at home together. I remembered while reading Durango's blog about a place that he hikes frequently, Tandy Hills. I shared the website with Annie and she was so enamored with the prairie and the pictures and the things Mr. Young wrote about the Tandy Hills that she begged me not to cut the tall grasses down in the empty lot next to our house.

"Clouds of busy dragonflies swim on the heavy, morning air. Sky-slashing, Cooper’s Hawks, keep my senses sharp while a growing population of Cottontail rabbits keep Olive the prairie dog on full alert. Life is good at Tandy Hills Natural Area.

After reading those few lines by Mr. Young, Annie's little eyes lit up and she was hooked. Those words and pictures seemed like magic to my nine year old little darling. She asked, "Can we go to Tandy Hills? Will Olive the prairie dog be there?"

Annie keeps very good track of all her money. She's been saving her Christmas and birthday money for quite some time and has amassed a small fortune of $1200. She couldn't ever decide what she wanted to do with it, but said that one day an idea will come to her. That day has finally arrived.

"My imagination is roaming free in grasslands." Annie

With her $1200, Annie purchased four small city lots on the outside of town. Each lot cost $25 each. She and I then did our research and purchased prairie grass seed as well as wild flower seed. Due to the lack of rainfall in our part of Texas we chose drought resistant varieties:

Big Blue Stem, Canada Wild Rye, Porcupine Grass, Indian Grass, White Prairie Fringed Orchid, Common Spider Wort, Purple Coneflower and Wild Bergamont.

She wanted me to purchase the Western Meadowlark birds, but I assured her that once the grasses and flowers were growing and blooming the birds would come.

Now, we're spending time piling up caliche rocks, pruning Mesquite trees and dreaming of a prairie.


Don Young said...

How beautiful! I'm really touched by this. Tell Annie that if she ever comes to Tandy Hills to contact me and I'll introduce her to Olive. Olive is a little thing with a big heart and very mischievous. She loves prairies as much as I do. Funny thing is, I love deserts as much as prairies and have been plotting my escape from Fort Worth to the high deserts of Arizona-New Mexico for years now. Oh, and please post pics or vid of the prairie project in Wink.

Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths said...

Annie loves dogs and if I weren't such a mean momma we'd have more than three doggies! We'll be in the Tandy Hills area October 9th - 11th, visiting Terrell and other attractions. She'd love to meet Olive :)

There's quite a bit of "cheap" desert land for sale in the Las Vegas, New Mexico area...Watrous particularly. There's a really cool cemetery there, very old tombstones just nestled in the wide open.

Durango said...

The Queen of Wink and Princess Annie are coming to the Tandy Hills?

I've been to Las Vegas, NM, spending the night in a van outside ol' Fort Union. I've always said I'd like to live in Las Vegas, but I always meant the one a couple states to the west.

Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths said...

Tee hee...there's not much in Las Vegas, NM...I should know, I spent the Christmas holidays there last year.

John Snowden said...

Annie: What a beautiful sentiment for such a young girl! I firmly believe God invented prairie grass so He could listen to His own voice playing on the wind, and reassure us that there are good things in the world. I suggest that you ask your mother to take you along the nearest railroad tracks, but safely, and look for grasses with real windmills on top. That would most likely be Hooded Windmillgrass, a really neat, native prairie grass for your area. Get some seeds, and maybe get some transplants in the winter and nurture them with some water next spring. They will grow nicely! The Grassman, Arlington