Newspaper Archive of
Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
January 27, 2016     Hays Free Press
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January 27, 2016

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+ -7 "=- - i:/47:+. RAIDED? + :+ ? NFL team rumored to move to San Antonio - Page 1D J[ree ress January 27, 2016 ' Page iC Mt. City Montage by Pauline Tom right glints of azure flashed in the air as we neared the Garraway's yard on Mon- day's KissMe walk. I pulled up my iPhone's eBird app to record "four eastern bluebirds." Atop their nestbox a male wing- waved. Stopped mid- street, I entered into eBird a northern cardi- nal, two golden-fronted woodpeckers, 2 Carolina chickadees, and, a blue jay. The timer feature of eBird showed "three minutes." eBird is soooooooo easy. Just a few years back folks were paying a lot of money for software that took some effort. Now, through Cornell Lab of Ornithology's app, it's free. It's easy. And, Cornell's "Merlin Bird ID" is a handy app (App Store and Android) to identify birds. From eBird sightings, Merlin knows what birds have been reported recently in and around Mountain City (or wherever you might be) and at this time in past years. Merlin asks, "What size was the bird?", "What color(s)?", and "what was bird doing?" Ta DA! Like magic, Merlin shows photos of the most likely birds. Upon your selec- tion, it provides the bird's sounds and a map of the species' distribution. Pretty cool. On these warm days, cavity-nesting birds start claiming their nestbox for their first nesting. The bluebirds at the Gar- raway's bluebird nestbox from Texas Bluebird Society give good hope for an upcoming nesting there. Bluebird nestbox distribution happens right here in Mountain City. Searching for your nearest nestbox distribu- tor on the Texas Bluebird Society website, my name pops up. Ta DA! Like magic, bluebird nestboxes are available. The organization gives a free nestbox with a $15 membership and sells nestboxes for $17, including sales tax. Ron spotted a new woodpecker hole in the trunk of a tree in our side yard. Downy's, ladder- backs, and golden front- ed's frequent our peanut feeders, and, now, our shelled sunflower seeds. Tractor's Supply has the best prices I've found on black-oil sunflower seeds and shelled sun- flower seeds. Some birds that cannot crack the seeds flock to the shelled. The price seems high. But, there's no waste and no shells littering the ground under the feeder. Lesser goldfinches re- turned this past week to our thistle feeders, filled with Wagner's thistle from Home Depot. So far, they're not drip- ping all over the feeders. Rather, four or fewer at a time. Tractor Supply sells thistle socks. I bought the last of some wildlife attractant vines this past weekend when we went shopping for farm fresh eggs and grass-fed meats. The pungent smell of the Dutchman's pipe vine blooms should attract MONTAGE, 3C PHOTO BY MOSES LEOS III Kyle residents Cicely Kay (left) and her father Thomas Kay (right) watch as former Hays High teacher and author Betty Harrison signs her book "Images of America: Kyle" during a book signing at the renovated Kyle Train Depot on Jan. 23. Harrison's book signing was held during a soft opening for the Kyle Train Depot, which will function as a museum and visitors center. Harrison will hold two more book signings, which will be held from noon-2 p.m. at the Kyle Public Library on Jan. 29. Harrison will have another signing at the Texas Pie Company on Jan. 30 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. PHOTO BY PAIGE LAMBERT The 2016 Hays County Livestock Show excitement began with the announcement of the show duchesses and queen. These include, left to right, Hannah FuRs, Makenna Hawkins, Avery Herren, Shamar Woods, Bailey Anderlitch, Kate Mc- Callick, Grace Baxter and Queen Madison Hawkins. Not pictured: Taya Schwiening Hays High senior, Livestock Show O een preps for show BY PAIGE LAMBERT Hays Free Press Reporter Hays County Livestock Show Queen Madison Hawkins begins her day around pig- pens and makes sure her pigs get breakfast before she does. Following a long day at school, she does it all over again, spending hours washing, feeding and walk- ing her pigs and lambs. But for the Hays High School senior, there's nothing else she'd rather be doing. "I really wasn't into dance and I wasn't really into sports," Madison said. "I get to be out;doors and I love showing." Madison shows her four pigs and two lambs with 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA). While FFA is a great experience, she said, it's only limited to high schools. 4-H is one of the largest youth development and mentoring or- ganizations in the country. There are nine clubs in Hays County and anyone can join. Madison joined when she was eight years old. Madison, accord- ing to her morn, Betty, began by showing rabbits. "Rabbits were the girls' first project and typically it's a very short commitment, so we could see if they were interested," Betty said. "Then we added on and now we have rabbits, lambs, pigs, chickens, you name it." Madison wasn't completely in the dark about showing. Both her parents showed in high school. In addition, the 4-H community always lent advice, anything from where to get feed to correcting showmanship in the ring. "We have project leaders, so whoever did rabbits in our club would help me," she said. "Still to this I still have one of my friends who graduated help me and share tips." Madison said the community and the advice they give is one of the greatest parts of 4-H as she correctly leads her lamb with her PHOTO BY PAIGE LAMBERT Madison Hawkins sets her lamb, Uno, in a showmanship stance in preparation of the Hays County Livestock Show, Hawkins and other Hays County students spend hundreds of hours caring for their show animals. bare hands. To prepare for shows, like the Hays County Livestock Show, Madison has to give the animals more attention and mix special feed. The extracurricular can get expensive. 4-H clubs and local shows focus on building the commtmity. Most county shows are nonterminal, where the owners get to keep their animals. "We aren't selling our animals, people are giving us money and sponsoring us," Madison said. "I take that money and put it back into them." Kima Coltharp, aWimberley resident, said she got her sons involved because of the family involvement and the skills they learn. QUEEN, 4C Easy to grow and super Ask Chris by Chris Winslow Last spring was the first time I had tried to grow a crop of leeks in my south Austin garden. It was so successful that I want to share all of the info that I have on this easily-grown and highly nutritious plant. Placed in the genus Allium and the family amaryllidaceae, leeks are closely related to onions and garlic. However unlike onions that are day-length sensitive, and garlic which requires a winter 'vernalizing' period to bulb, leeks are 'day length neutral' - which simply means IT'S ABOUT THYME, 3C Check It Out by Melinda Hedges I edS are some of our atest readers at e Buda Public Library and they have pretty great taste! Whether for school, fun, or reading with friends, there's always something good to check out at the library. Take a look at the top chapter books, picture books, and audio books (by checkout) from 2015! CHILDREN'S CHAPTER BOOKS: "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days" by Jeff Kinney 32 checkouts "Diary of a Wlmpy Kid" by Jeff Kinney 31 checkouts 'q'he Vanishing Coin" by Kate Egan 25 checkouts "Always, Abigail" by Nancy J. Cavanaugh 23 checkouts "Zane and the Hurricane" by Rodman Philbdck 23 checkouts, PICTURE BOOKS AND LEVELED READERS "Dog vs. Cat" by Chris Gall 24 checkouts "Spooky Riddles" by Marc Tolon Brown 22 checkouts "Biscuit Plays Ball" by Alyssa Satin Capucilli 22 checkouts "Where is Baby's Belly Button"~ by Karen Katz 21 checkouts CHECK IT OUT, 3C +