Society

A ‘wildscape park’ for a back yard


Johnny and Evelyn Hirt spend lots of time at ‘park headquarters,’ their back yard gazebo surrounded by nature in all its glory. 
Reporter/Mike Brown Johnny and Evelyn Hirt spend lots of time at ‘park headquarters,’ their back yard gazebo surrounded by nature in all its glory. Reporter/Mike Brown Johnny and Evely n Hir t don’t have to travel far if they want to visit a state park.

Itprettymuchinvolves opening their Allday Street back door.

The Hirt property is now recognized as a Texas Parks & Wildlife Texas Wildscape.

TP&W began the program in 1994 to certify properties who “put out the welcome mat” for wildlife and encourage “gardening for wildlife.”

The Hirts qualify at all levels. “We’ve seen deer, raccoons, cottontail rabbits, lizards, frogs, butterflies, all kinds of birds,” Evelyn said.

The clicking-buzzing of hummingbirds is commonplace for any visitor who rests for more than a couple of minutes.

Ponds sport several kinds of fish and are landing strips for dragonf lies and screech owls are common night-time residents.


It’s not a chameleon but this lizard was only green while visiting this plant in ‘Hirt Park.’ It’s not a chameleon but this lizard was only green while visiting this plant in ‘Hirt Park.’ “ I’ve got a ‘ fr iend’ I see almost every day,” Johnny said. “He’s a foot-long wood lizard who lives in a birdhouse.”

Dozens of plant species adorn the yard. “I’ve got a place I call my wild corner for the native plants,” Evelyn said.

Evelyn applied for the Texas Wildscape designation after seeing a form in a newspaper. “We sent in photos and lots of information,” she said.

For information call TP&W at 512-389-4644.

“There are times we’ve thought about going somewhere to see wildlife and we’ve decided just to stay home and look at our own back yard,” Johnny laughed.




A pair of llamas, Rocky and Legacy (above), greet Evelyn Hirt as she tours part of her back yard ‘Wildscape Park.’ The llamas aren’t native to Texas but the hummingbird (L) sure is. If any security is required, for two or four-footed visitors, the Hirt’s ‘guard goose’ (R) is definitely up to the task. A pair of llamas, Rocky and Legacy (above), greet Evelyn Hirt as she tours part of her back yard ‘Wildscape Park.’ The llamas aren’t native to Texas but the hummingbird (L) sure is. If any security is required, for two or four-footed visitors, the Hirt’s ‘guard goose’ (R) is definitely up to the task.


Click here for digital edition
2011-05-05 digital edition



The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


Click here to register for the 5 Kay!