Members and guests of the Mason Bluebonnet Study Club met at the Richard P. Eckert Center on May 17. Featured guest speaker for the occasion was Bill Lindemann of Fredericksburg. Mr. Lindemann is a retired geologist who spent 32 years exploring for Exxon. His travels took him to Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, China, and other Far East Countries. Since his retirement, he has made a study of the native plants of Texas and is an avid conservationalist. He writes a weekly birding column for local media outlets, has served extensively with the Native Plant Society of Texas, and encourages conservation of the natural and historical heritage of the Texas Hill Country.
Using color pictures projected on the wall, Mr. Lindemann began his presentation with the history of the area. He told the group that 100 million years ago, all the land in our area was a part of the Gulf of Mexico, and explained how the progression of soils developing after the water receded controls what grows here. Along with geological factors, rainfall amounts and temperature determine what will grow well. He explained that many plants that were introduced to our area have become naturalized such as crepe myrtle, Johnson grass, Chinaberry, and Horehound. The orange colored Lantana is native while the pink one is naturalized from India.
The Texas redbud tree which is native has numerous trunks, while the ones with only one trunk has been introduced from another locale.
Mr. Lindemann suggested that one could look at the plants that grow wild along the roadways and see what plants will do well in the landscape. Using native plants in the yard will conserve on water and attract more birds and butterflies than non native plants.
The current president of the Native Plant Society of Texas, Jane Crone, was in the audience and invited those interested to visit the web site NPOT.org for information on meeting times and places. Other information about native plants is also posted.
At the close of Mr. Lindemann’s presentation, refreshments were served to Bridget Langdale, Edna Earle Benton, Tommie Luckenbach, Brinda Pape, Carol Jordan, Rosemary Kruckmeyer, Mary Ellen Merkel, Betty Meyer, Mary Carlman, Sabin Nelson, Sally Capps, Welda Armour, Sarah Banta, Eva Tannahill, Bill Lindemann, and Jane Crone by hostesses Tanya Lamoreaux and Mary Hemphill.
A business meeting was then called to order by president Mary Hemphill. Minutes, roll call, and treasurer’s report were given. Scholarship chair Tanya Lamoreaux announced that the $500 Ruby Kettner Memorial Scholarship is being awarded to Justin Yonker who was selected from a field of very outstanding Mason graduating seniors.
Under Federation Report, it was announced that the club recieved two awards at the state level. A first place designation was awarded in GFWC Home Life Department Focus on Financial Issues (a program presented by Kristy Powell, County Extension Agent) and a first place in Membership program was also recieved.
A motion that scholarship donations be collected at each meeting during the year to supplement fundraising for this purpose was approved.
A planning meeting will be held at Sabin Nelson’s home on June 14 at 10:00 a.m. Attendees are asked to bring a salad to share for lunch. New officers will be installed.
The Mason Bluebonnet Study Club is a member of the Alamo District of Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs which is a part of the General Federation of Women’ s Clubs, an internation service organization.