- The main feature of the monthly Piney Woods Wildlife Society meetings is a presentation about a wildlife, bird or another nature topic.
- NOTE: We have changed our monthly meetings as of Sept 2022 to be on the third Tuesday, instead of on the third Wednesday. Also, our meetings will now start at 6:30 p.m. with social time beginning at 6 p.m.
- Meetings are held monthly on every third Tuesday (except June, July and August) — occasionally, we have to move the meetings to the second Tuesday because of conflicts. These meetings are held in person at the Big Stone Lodge at Dennis Johnston County Park located at 709 Riley Fuzzel Road in Spring. [See below for specific dates for each month.] This park is just east of Old Town Spring 0.2 miles east of the Hardy Toll Road, before you get to the Spring Creek Bridge. Click the link to Google Maps above or see additional directions and map at the bottom of this page. FYI, there are occasional exceptions to the third Tuesday meeting time — when the Big Stone Lodge has other commitments, we generally try to move to the second Tuesday. Make sure to keep an eye here, on Facebook, or on the newsletter for exact dates & location.
- The regular monthly meetings get underway at 6:30 p.m. with snack and social time beginning at 6 p.m. For Fall 2022, we are moving meetings to TUESDAYS. Our upcoming Fall meetings are Nov 15, and Dec 13 (changed 2nd Tuesday to move away from Christmas).
- December 2022 – For the December program for Piney Woods, Fred Collins will be speaking on “Wintering Hummingbirds in Your Backyard”. The program takes place on Tuesday, December 13th, at 6:30 p.m. with social time at 6 p.m. [Please note that we have moved the meeting up from the third Tuesday to the second Tuesday to move further away from the holidays.]
Houston native Fred Collins made his first year bird list in 1962 and has kept one every year since. He earned a B.S. in Wildlife Science and attended graduate school at Texas A&M, where he studied wintering Wilson’s Snipes. From 1994 to 2002 he served as Director of Russ Pitman Park’s Nature Discovery Center. From 2002 to August 2022, he was Regional Park Manager for Harris County Precinct 3, where he developed and was director of both Kleb Woods Nature Center and Cypress Top Historic Park. He sits on advisory boards for Houston Audubon and the Katy Prairie Conservancy, and he is Compiler of the Cypress Creek, TX CBC. As a member of the Texas State Historical Association and a life member of TOS and the Southwestern Association of Naturalists, Fred continues his passion for birding Texas and learning about the history of both its wildlife and its people. He retired in August 2022. He and his wife live on 100 acres of the Katy Prairie with 2 dogs, 7 horses, 100 free-ranging chickens, and 40 parrots. While the nest isn’t exactly empty, their two sons have long since fledged. He and his wife enjoy spending time with their grandchildren on the farm.
The December program for PWWS will be hybrid (in-person and via Zoom) on Tuesday, December 13th, at 6:30 p.m. (snacks & social time at 6:00 p.m.) at Dennis Johnston’s Big Stone Lodge. We’d prefer to have you join us in person, though, at the Big Stone Lodge located in Dennis Johnston County Park at 709 Riley Fuzzel Road, Spring, Texas 77373. If you prefer to join in via Zoom, you can email Claire Moore at email@example.com for the link or you can wait for the meeting reminder email that you should receive the day before the meeting (if you currently receive the PWWS newsletters).
Latest rules for bringing snacks: We are still not allowed to bring homemade items to the Big Stone Lodge (unfortunately) for social time. However, store bought items brought by members are welcome and NO LONGER have to be individually wrapped now. Yeah!
- November 2022 – The November program for PWWS was a presentation from Mary Anne (Weber) Morris from the Houston Audubon Society where she took us on an Avian Adventure. If you missed the presentation, a recording is available online. [You will be prompted for the passcode of 5vtvDj4? (including the “?”).] She told us all the reasons that birds matter in our world, why their conservation is so important and how Houston Audubon works for bird conservation on the upper Texas Coast. From eagles to gnatcatchers, we talked bird! Join Mary Anne Morris, Education Director of HAS, along with two of her feathered friends for an evening for the birds!
Mary Anne Morris (formerly Mary Anne Weber) the Education Director of Houston Audubon Society since 2000, has been teaching about birds for over 30 years. She travels with “feathered” teaching ambassadors who are the “spokesbirds” for the avian world during the more than 300 programs she delivers annually. She graduated with honors from Virginia Tech with a degree in Forestry and Wildlife Biology and a minor in Geography. She was a full-time educator and rehabilitator for the world renowned Raptor Trust in New Jersey where she cared for over 3,000 injured and/or orphaned birds each year and taught thousands of school children. During an eight year period in Montana, she taught bird conservation, presented teacher workshops on migratory birds at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, and served as summer bird educator at Zoo Montana. She served as President of the Montana Environmental Education Association, and is a member of the North American Association for Environmental Education and the International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators. Mary Anne runs Houston Audubon’s Raptor and Education Center in southeast Houston and became a grandma this spring to a beautiful little girl named Adelina.
- Mountain Lions in Texas: If you missed the very interesting November 2021 PWWS Program on the current status of Mountain Lions in Texas, you can view the recorded program at the link below.
We heard all about Mountain Lions in Texas from Monica Morrison, the founder of Texas Native Cats. This is an organization dedicated to providing education, outreach, and advocacy for Texas’ five species of native wild cats: mountain lions, bobcats, ocelots, jaguars, and jaguarundis.
These beautiful animals persist mostly in west Texas with scattered sightings documented. Texas mountain lions face incredible odds. Hunting and trapping remain unregulated and unlimited as habitat shrinks across the state. They are classified as imperiled (S2)/threatened (S3) by TPWD. Learn how the Texas Native Cats organization is building an effort to help our apex predator, through education, collaboration, and strategic partnerships. Their web site is: https://texasnativecats.org/
If you missed the live presentation, you can watch the YouTube recording if you wish.
- PWWS monthly meetings take place at the Big Stone Lodge at Dennis Johnston County Park. Directions to meeting location for Tuesday meetings (709 Riley Fuzzel Road, Spring, Texas):
Aldine-Westfield dead ends into Riley Fuzzel Road just northeast of Old Town Spring so there are several ways to get there:
Take the Rayford/Sawdust exit and go east on Rayford Rd. After about 4 miles, take a right (south) onto Grand Parkway Frontage Road / Riley Fuzzel Road. Drive 1.4 miles to the Dennis Johnston Park (on the right before Hardy Toll Road and after the Spring Creek Bridge). Turn right into the park & drive all the way around following the curve to the left until you reach the Old Stone Lodge.
From I45, take Spring-Cypress Road exit east and follow it across the railroad tracks to Aldine Westfield passing through Olde Town Spring. Turn left onto Aldine Westfield and then right onto Riley Fuzzel for a short distance to get to Dennis Johnston Park. It will be on the left just after Hardy Toll Road and before the Spring Creek Bridge. Turn left into the park & drive all the way around following the curve to the left until you reach the Old Stone Lodge.
From Mercer Arboretum, take Aldine Westfield north until it dead ends into Riley Fuzzel. Turn right on Riley Fuzzel, go under the Hardy Toll Road freeway and turn left into Dennis Johnston Park (before the Spring Creek Bridge). Drive all the way around following the curve to the left until you reach the Old Stone Lodge.
Watch for a sign for the Park on the north side of Riley Fuzzel. You will need to drive all the way back to the Big Stone Lodge and the parking next to it.