Something for everyone at Nature Festival

If you haven’t heard yet, the First Annual Milam County Nature Festival is coming up this Friday and Saturday at Wilson Ledbetter Park in Cameron Texas.

A lot of love and dedication went into organizing this event, and it is set to be a prime draw for people inside and outside Milam County. Wilson-Ledbetter Park has been transformed into a showcase of native vegetation, from wildflowers to native grasses.

So much is happening at the Nature Fest, it’s hard to decide what to highlight.

What’s sure to be interesting is the keynote speech at 8 p.m. on Friday by Andrew Sansom. He will speak about a topic near and dear to all of our hearts – water, and the availability of it now and in the future.

Another activity on Friday is the “Sounds of the Night.” In previous articles I’ve spoken about amphibians, in particular frogs and toads. They will play different frog and toad calls, and then you will get to listen for some real calls to see what kinds of frogs and toads live in the park. With all the rain we’ve had, and the continuing humidity, it’s sure to be a cacophony of sounds as the males croak and trill their love calls to the females.

Round out Friday night by staying to watch the outdoor movie America’s Endangered Species: Don’t Say Goodbye at 9:30 p.m. There will even be popcorn!

I’ve also written about wildscaping, and how to bring more native plants into your landscape. You can learn directly from the expert, Mark Klym, about how to build your wildscape to attract all kinds of birds and butterflies. He is an expert on hummingbirds, so bring your questions.

Last week’s article was about the Mexican Free-tailed bat. Just so happens that on Saturday kids can visit the Bat Table and learn all about bats! Wow, what a coincidence!

Saturday is jam-packed with activities.

Start your morning with a 9 a.m. presentation about dragonfl ies, then learn about horny toads, and even about identifying venomous snakes and what to do if you get snake bit.

And don’t miss the raptors. These birds will be on show early Saturday morning before the heat kicks in. After the show check out the White Tailed Deer exhibit, see some antlers and participate in the discussion about hunting.

If you are into fish, there is even a “Fish Trailer” that will show and tell about the aquatic life in Milam County.

Spider Joe will be leading a search for spiders, and teaching about their habitat, food, and other interesting tidbits.

History buffs can learn about the National Historic Trail that runs through Milam County, and then listen to stories about the Native Americans that lived in the area. Afterwards, learn the art of making arrowheads the way Native Americans used to do it from local knappers using materials found locally.

Since you’ve learned how to make arrowheads, take the next step and learn how to identify animal tracks. You will even get to make some tracks of your own.

Artsy craftsy types can learn about yard art from a noted landscape designer, and even make their own Garden Goddesses using gourds.

Bird-friendly people can take home bags of nesting materials and food in the form of pine cones coated with peanut butter and rolled in bird seed.

Plenty of food and drink vendors will be available, and for those who like to add a little shopping to their festival experience, artisans and crafters will be selling their wares.

Hours are Friday 6–10:30, and Saturday 8:30–5.

For more information, including a complete list of all activities, visit our website: grovesite. com/tmn/ecrmn.

El Camino Real Master Naturalists:

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