THE OUTDOOR NATURE CLUB OF HOUSTON, TEXAS
San Jacinto River
By ADA S. REEVES
Nature lovers know that a threatening
day in the city with drizzle, with sloppy,
cheerless streets, has a different aspect
in the woods. The pine needles, the dead
grass and leaves do not suggest sloppi-
ness, and even the drizzle seems absorbed
by the trees. We may miss the sunshine,
but many a treetop glints with the golden
rays of the yellow jasmine.
There is warmth in the glow of red
maple keys against the gray moss. In
many places the violets are thick under
foot and their bits of blue substitute for
the absent blue overhead. White asters
(leftovers from fall) and dainty bluets
are answering the spring roll call.
With most trees bare, the smilax vines
of several varieties are conspicuous: the
green briar, the stretchberry smilax, the
true Southern smilax with thick clusters
of berries; also the cross vine, the honeysuckle, the bamboo, the wisteria, and the
The Texas redbud, with its red-purple
glow, is as thrilling as a blush on a
We observed some relationship of the
magnolia and the sweet bay tree. The
leaves of the young magnolia sprouts are
identical with the bay leaves. The wild
peach, with its glistening green leaves,
are full of delicate, tiny, white blossoms.
The cypresses are laden with long, gracefully swinging catkins. The ironwood are
full of short, green catkins not yet developed.
A species of water lilies, some bulbs of
which we picked up last fall, have leaves
eight to ten inches high shooting up
from the water. A member of the Outdoor Nature Club has them half as high
growing in a bowl of sand and water in
her sunny dining room.
The trained eye, assisted by field
glasses, could catch sight of many birds;
some robins not yet making their northern flight; the myrtle warbler, red-bellied
woodpecker, bluejay, mockingbird, cardinal, bluebird, chipping sparrow, vireo,
thrasher, titmouse, kingfisher, kinglet
Outdoor good manners suggest culture
and refinement just as much as parlor
manners. The way we treat our fellow
men, the way we conduct ourselves in the
presence of others, tells what we are
even more distinctly than words. Courtesy is a mental attitude that works itself
out in small acts as well as the regular
conventions of civilized usage. But it is
possible to carry our courtesy a bit further and even make it include the wild
flowers and forest trees, the greenswards
where we eat our picnic lunch.
The beauty spots that we visit in the
more secluded sections of our city parks,
and even the great wild woods, deserve
our care and courtesy; they attracted us;
they will attract some one else; tin cans
and litter can hardly be a favorable recommendation when the next party happens along. Good manners are contagious;
there is an appeal to the better nature;
we like to imitate cultured people.
This part of Texas is a land of sunshine, singing birds and colorful flowers.
Wonderful forests! Magnolias! Cypress
swamps! Trailing ironwoods and paper
birch that tempt our curiosity, liveoaks
that invite and offer hospitality, grand
old giant sycamores, leaning basswoods
with tree ferns forming a lacework almost to the skyline. Life is abundant,
but there is no harshness; every day is
a holiday. In this enchanted garden of
life, there is patience, perseverance and
a calm resignation to the general scheme
of things. Life lessons, the efficacy of
meditation, hope, a quickening of the
heart, an uplift of spirits—it is the mood
of the woods.
The meadowlark sings of a world full
of wonder. You are awakened from
dreams, and you find that dreams have
been changed to truth.
Tiny bluets! Scented love, perfumed
romance of jewel blossoms.
The English sparrow, like the poor, the
noisy, the ill-mannered, we have with us
Men have always been inclined to accept any and all good things without
question, without thankfulness.
The fret of spring, the swelling of
buds, the pale green of tender leaves, the
lisping chirp of a pine warbler, the sharp
whistled "whe-euu-u" of a brown thrasher, flashing redbird, acrobatic chickadee,
bare-armed sycamore and peach-tinted
elm reaching into opal sky. It is Washington's birthday on Buffalo Bayou—and
who would, or could, tell a lie ?
Dr. Bud A. Randolph
The ceremony of planting a magn'
tree to the memory of Dr. Bud A. 1 i^B
dolph, February 16, recalled many evey
in the history of the Outdoor Nature
Club. Mr. Randolph was one of the organizers and third president of the club,
a guiding spirit and a tireless worker
when the club was small and needed optimism and encouragement and much work.
Since "Magnolia Grandifolia" was Dr.
Randolph's theme when he graduated
from college, a magnolia seemed most
fitting, and the recreation grounds the
ideal spot. J. M. Heiser, Jr., was in
charge of the exercises that were held in
the recreation house. Brief addresses were
made by Arthur Lefevre, Jr., J. W. Stiles
and Miss Corinne Fonde. A marker will
be placed by the tree.
The Mayor and the Park Board ha'-
accepted the idea of making a primi ad
wild life preserve in Memorial P ™
They have chosen an ideal location. Wh_-
and free from encroachments, the winding bayou has protected a tract of tangled, overgrown trees and brush that
show just what the bayou was like when
the first white settlers arrived. This is
a wise provision; in years to come scientists and nature lovers can study at first
hand the primitive first forms, just as
they contend and struggle with one another in the harsh, unrelenting competition of nature in the raw.
The Texas Centennial movement is
getting under way again. Off to a slow
start after the award to Dallas, the people of Houston, San Antonio and the
many other communities who had plans
and suggestions are becoming reconciled
to the decision, and they are coming forward with plans for pageants and c
brations at the historical locations i^B
will kindle interest in these shrines . ^^
become real attractions to the many visitors who come to Texas during the Centennial period.
A machine age! A speeding up of industry just tends to make work more
mechanical, more tiresome, more fatiguing and less interesting—and here is
a place for your hobby.