Tag Archives: Austin Texas

Fun Summer Events at the Wildflower Center Culminate with a tribute to Lady Bird Johnson

Commander Ben during a Nature Nights events at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

It was a great summer of events at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center! Tomorrow brings the Lady Bird Johnson Centennial Tribute Day, and the last two Nature Nights events were held in the latter half of July.

Lady Bird Johnson Centennial Tribute Day

Tomorrow, July 29, the Wildflower Center is having a special Lady Bird Johnson Centennial Tribute Day to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Mrs. Johnson’s birth and a new exhibit on her conservation efforts.

Admission is free for the entire family, and activities include:

  • Lady Bird’s Wildflowers, a children’s play by the ZACH Theatre
  • Music with Lucas Miller, the singing zoologist
  • Storytelling, and much more!

Mrs. Johnson has done a lot for nature! In addition to my frequent visits to the Wildflower Center, I also hiked on the Lady Bird Johnson Grove Nature Trail through the California Redwoods in the Spring.

Nature Nights events

What a wonderful summer for Nature Nights at the Wildflower Center. The last two events in July focused on bats and snakes, and I had a great time earlier this month helping to teach kids about invasive species and become invasive hunters as part of my Invasive Hunter Academy during the Power of Plants event.


I learned about bats at a very young age. My kindergarten class took a field trip to the Austin American-Statesman newspaper office, and in the twilight, we watched hundreds of bats fly out from the Congress Avenue bridge. I remember using a flashlight with red cellophane over the light, so as to not disturb the bat’s night vision.

Highlights from the Nature Night’s evening on July 19 included:


When I visited Onion Creek’s whirlpool springs earlier this year as part of a hike led by the City of Austin’s Wildland Conservation Division, I heard and saw rattlesnakes.

During the hike, someone told me that if your group is walking in a single file line, the third person in the line is the one most commonly bitten. Why? Because when the first person walks by the rattlesnake, it gets mad. When the second person walks by, it’s furious, and by the time the third person walks by, the snake can’t control itself any longer!

Is it truth, legend, or maybe a little of both?

Highlights from the Nature Night’s evening on July 26 included:

I can’t wait until the Wildflower Center’s fall events, including the wonderful Luminations celebration in December.

Your friend,

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Filed under Austin Water Utility's Wildland Conservation Division, Bats, Congress Avenue Bridge, Lady Bird Johnson Grove Nature Trail, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Nature Nights, Snakes, Wildflower center

Invasive Hunter Academy Helps Kids Learn About Invasive Species

Happy Independence Day from me and my dog, Obi-wan!

I’m looking forward to meeting kids, families, and everyone who loves nature at the Invasive Hunter Academy tomorrow during Nature Nights at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. This free event on Thursday, July 5, at 6:00 p.m. focuses on the “Power of Plants”.

I can’t wait to teach kids of all ages about invasive species, the problems that they cause, and what you can do about them. Learn cool combat moves and create an action diorama to take home with you.

Check out the other fun activities during the evening too:

  • Take a special behind the scenes tour of the seed lab herbarium and nursery
  • Learn about edible native plants and make rope and tools using plants
  • Hear about traditional uses of local native plants from Mark Blumenthal, Founder and Executive Director of the American Botanical Council
  • Hike the Wildflower Center gardens with experts, including Ellen Zimmerman with the Austin School of Herbal Studies, botanist Flo Oxley, and Native Plant Society of Texas members, who will teach you about how native plants can be used as medicines
  • Go on a garden scavenger hunt and make seed balls with Master Naturalists
  • Create a paper version of the Venus flytrap using recycled materials with the Teenage Ecowarriors

So be sure to come to Nature Nights and join the elite ranks of the Invasive Hunters! I can’t wait to see you tomorrow!

Your friend,

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Filed under American Botanical Council, Austin School of Herbal Studies, Invasive Hunter, Invasive Hunter Academy, Invasive Species, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Master naturalist, Native Plant Society of Texas, Nature Nights, Power of Plants, Wildflower center