THE OUTDOOR NATURE CLUB OF HOUSTON, TEXAS
THE OUTDOOR NATURE CLUB
OF HOUSTON, TEXAS
National Association of Audubon Societies
OFFICERS, SPRING, 1937
OSWALD MUELLER, President.
ROBERT VINES, First Vice-President.
LOUIS DESJARDINS, Second Vice-President.
CHAS. B. BOONE, Corresponding Secretary.
W. H. POWELL, Recording Secretary.
MISS MARGUERITE FITZGERALD, Treasurer.
MRS. EDNA W. MINER, Parliamentarian.
MISS TILLIE SCHMIDT, Custodian.
All officers and J. M. Heiser, Jr.
Anyone interested in the objects of the Club
may make application for membership on a card
provided for that purpose, signed by the applicant
and one member of the Club, and accompanied by
membership fee for the current year.
Active Member.... $ 1.00
Life Member $50.00
This Bulletin is No. 6, Second Series. Through
error the Spring, 1935, issue of the Bulletin was
marked "No. 7 Second Series." It should have
been identified as No. 5, Second Series.
Correspondence regarding this Bulletin may be
addressed to Chas. B. Boone, 2524 Cragmont
Street, Houston, Texas.
OBJECTS OP THE OLT/B
To make stronger the bond of friendly understanding that exists among all lovers of Nature.
To study our local flora and fauna- and work
for the preservation of all useful and interesting
. To encourage hiking and interest in the outdoors as a source of health and inspiration.
REGULAR MEETINGS AND OUTINGS
Regular meetings of the Club are held on the
third Thursday of each month (except June, July
and August) at 8 p. m. in the Public Library, and
it is the occasion for an educational lecture, an
exhibition of nature films, or some similar formal
Club outings are open to all members and to
visitors who are willing to follow the few simple
rules observed by all similar clubs.
Membership: Miss Marguerite Fitzgerald; Mrs.
Adele Harrison; Arthur Lefevre, Jr.
Conservation: J. M. Heiser, Jr.; Miss Mabe!
Cassel; Mrs. Susan Cottrell.
Program : Mrs. Edna Miner ; W. H. Powell;
Robert A. Vines.
Outing: Louis Desjardins; Mrs. Frances Harrison ; R. L. Padgett.
Publicity: Chas. B. Boone ; Mrs. Ada S. Reeves:
R. A. Selle.
Let's Visit the Club Custodian
Colored slides of many ramifications
of nature study, odd rocks, pictures reminiscent of "the good old days," bulletins,
nature books, and curiosities galore were
piled high on Miss Tillie Schmidt's large
table. The Club custodian had invited
the Arts Committee to plan means of
making club properties more useful to
the membership. A special committee
was appointed to dispose of out-dated
items. A prize possession which new
members will thoroughly enjoy seeing
projected is two hundred feet of 16 m.m.
film on bird life on Vingtune Island.
Visions of many pseudo jaunts which
club members can take at odd moments
were prompted by sight of the custodian's library of books. The Bulletin
gladly satiates the reader's curiosity
about the titles and authors of some of
the books but it is up to the individual
to do his own foraging by calling at
2359 South Shepherd Drive, where Miss
Schmidt will cordially assist him.
Official Guide—The New York Zoological Park, by William T. Hornaday,
High Country, The Rockies Yesterday
and Today, by Courtney Ryler Cooper.
Rainbow Bridge, by Charles L. Bern-
On the Roof of the Rockies, by Lewis
Trees and Shrubs of California Gardens, by Charles Francis Saunders.
A Tropical Tramp with the Tourists,
by Harry Foster.
Constructive Forestry for the Private
Owner, by J. J. Crumley, Ph.D.
The Boys' Book of Canoeing, by Elon
Camping Out, by Warren H. Miller.
The Twin Grizzlies of Admiralty
Island, by John M. Holzworth.
Bobbie—A Great Collie, by Charles
The Meadows, by John C. Van Dyke.
Marble's Round the World Travel
Guide, by Fred E. Marble, Ph.D.
Birds of God, by Theron Brown.
Field Book of Birds of Southwestern
States, by Luther E. Wyman and Elizabeth F. Burnell.
Key to North American Birds, by Elliott Cones.
Tarantula Versus Tarantula
(Continued from page 1)
the wasp always managed to elude its
grasp. The tarantula killer now changed
tactics. It spun around in dizzy circles,
evidently trying to tire and confuse its
victim. The tarantula tried to keep pace
with its agile antagonist, but soon its
movements became slower, for the poison
of the first sting was taking effect.
Finally it raised itself to ward off another attack. Quick as a flash the wasp
sank its long sting into the breast again.
This must have struck a vital spot, for
the movements of the spider became perceptibly weaker. The wasp now became
bolder and stung the spider repeatedly.
Soon the tarantula sank to the ground,
an inert heap, and only the quivering
body and the spasmodic movement of
the legs betrayed that it was not dead
but in a stupor. The battle had lasted
about five minutes. When it was over,
the tarantula killer actually seemed to
gloat over its victory, for it strutted
about, flapped its wings, and in general
acted like a cock in a barnyard who had
gained the supremacy by whipping all
rivals. From time to time it would inspect its victim, probably to make sure
that it was still helpless.
Since the tarantula was an unusually
large specimen, I decided to add it to my
collection. But I had reckoned without
the victor to whom the spoils belonged
rightfully. When I tried to place it into
a box, the wasp turned fiercely upon me,
and I am confident it would have attacked me, had I persisted in my efforts.
What About Our Prairie
In the spring of 1930, a lone surviving
heath cock appeared regularly at its traditional courting place on the island ofl
Marthas Vineyard, Massachusetts, and
faithfully "boomed" in a last forlorn effort to attract a mate. Seen for the last
time in March, 1932, it is safe to say
that he was the last gallant fighter
against extermination of his species.
Strange it is to recall the legend that
Boston laborers and servants once stipulated with their masters that the heath
hen would be served on their table no
more than a few times a week!
Is the heath hen's cousin, the prairie
chicken of the Texas and Louisiana
coast, about to meet the same fate? In
the memories of young men are recalled
the "boom-a-boom" of the strutting
males in fantastic, colorful courting
scenes enacted by twenty, thirty and
even fifty of these unusual birds, out on
the prairies near Houston, on crisp
spring mornings. "Hunters from Houston used to come out here just to see
how many prairie chickens they could
kill" said a Rosenberg man recently in
lamenting the growing scarcity of the
prized fowl in Fort Bend County pastures.
No one really wants to see the prairie
chicken exterminated. The startling^
whirr of the bird's wings as it arises |
gives the hunter a thrill. Those interested in the meat as a food will find it
is tender, juicy, delicious. From May to
October the prairie chicken eats insects
and grasshoppers that harass the farmer, and during the remainder of the year
it seeks leaves, flowers, seeds and grain.
Those who are anxious to preserve for
America all of its rich inheritance of
natural life see in the prairie chicken
one of the most important game birds
of the nation.
Even with the guns of the hunter
mercifully silenced the prairie chicken
is having an increasingly difficult fight
to survive. Converting prairie lands into
fields has destroyed their covers and
their natural foods. Man has brought
with him cats, rats and roving dogs that
kill the young. Prairie fires and floods
take their toll.
Sportsmen, farmers and just plain citizens with concern for the natural resources of their country should join in
demanding that every effort be made to
help the prairie chicken replenish its
numbers. Certainly it should not be legal
to shoot prairie chickens in Texas for a
number of seasons; and certainly those
in the rural areas should cooperate to^
protect the birds in rearing their young.™
Unless drastic action is taken—watch
out—for the prairie chicken will suffer
the fate of the heath hen within a few
Outstanding in last autumn's activities
was the meeting of Nature Club members and their friends at J. M. Heiser's
Kemah cottage. It was during the
height of the migration season and many
warblers rarely seen here were identified.