Here’s my research to answer these questions, found on Pg 42 of the Dedicant Manual, Our Own Druidry….
What is the source of your drinking water? What rivers make up your watershed?
I live in the Lampasas River watershed region; more specifically, the Lampasas River (segment 1217 in the Brazos River Basin), rises in western Hamilton County 16 miles west of Hamilton and flows southeast for 75 miles, passing through Lampasas, Burnet, and Bell counties. In Bell County the river turns northeast and is dammed five miles southwest of Belton to form Stillhouse Hollow Lake (segment 1216). Below Stillhouse Hollow Lake, the Lampasas River flows to its confluence with Salado Creek and the Leon River to form the Little River. I happen to own land that backs up to Stillhouse Hollow Dam, part of this watershed area.
Additional information: Currently, the Lampasas River is characterized by relatively low water levels most of the time and is situated within a predominantly rural and agricultural landscape. We’re in a drought right now, and this seems to occur more and more frequently each year.
Texas requires that water quality in the Lampasas River be suitable for contact recreation and a healthy aquatic ecosystem. The Lampasas River above Stillhouse Hollow Lake is listed as impaired on the Texas Water Quality Inventory and 303(d) List due to elevated bacteria levels. Surface water quality monitoring also indicates a dissolved oxygen concern on North Fork Rocky Creek. In addition, population growth and rapid urbanization occurring in the lower portion of the watershed further stress the need to protect the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the river.
What are the prevailing winds? What are the major influences on your local clouds, rain and storms?
This is how my sister’s allergist described this area: think of a giant sink, and we’re in the drain area, and all the wind, storms and allergans swirl in from every direction, as far away as Houston in the south, and Amarillo in the north. This 150 square mile area is one big giant allergy sink, with dust, debris, pollen, impurities and gunk from every which away. This year in particular, has been fiercely windy, with gusts normally up to 30-40 mph on a normal day. That doesn’t include actual STORMS, mind you; and they come from every direction.
What is the composition of your soil? Is it acid or alkali? What are the major crops grown in your region?
There’s about 6 types of soil in my county. It is variable, and on my land and in my yard at home are generally a blend of clay, silt and chalk with limestone content. That makes this immediate area fairly alkaline. In my immediate subdivision, the soil is really poor, with lousy drainage, and most of the suburban folks around me water copiously and plant lots of non-natives, which doesn’t make any sense to me at all. The soil in this county is mostly deep, with a base of marl, marly clay and limestone, according to the Soil Survey of Bell County, conducted in 1977 by the Department of Agriculture. Major agricultural interests for this area include beef cattle on range land, in addition to hay, wheat, oats, sorghum, corn, cotton, peanut, and pecan operations.
Identify 5 species of trees in your area. Then, learn 4 more!
The five trees are: Ashe’s Juniper, Green Ash, Live Oak, Pecan and Texas Red Oak
And four more are: Black Walnut, Black Willow, Box Elder (Ash-Leaf Maple) and Red Mulberry
Identify 5 herbs for health in your area. Then, learn 4 more!
Five herbs that grow well here are rosemary, oregano, lavender, thyme, basil; and four more are dill, fennel, marjoram and sage.
Identify 5 species of birds common to your area, and 5 species of wild animal.
Five species of birds common in my immediate area are Blue Jays, Grackles, Crows, Blackbirds and Scissor-Tail Flycatchers, and 5 species of wild animal are armadillos, skunks, grey fox, coyote and rabbits.
Know the three major sources of air and water pollution in your area.
You mean, besides Ft. Hood and the military shelling and other waste??? Two other sources of pollution are the urban growth and unchecked building and strip mall development and other construction, and the agribusinesses that raise both cattle and corn / wheat / other crops that use factory farming techniques and pesticides.
Know how your area deals with trash and garbage. Consider recycling and/or composting.
Right now, my city does offer recycling curbside on plastics, cardboard and aluminum cans; also, newspaper and junk mail. Yard waste is also picked up curbside, materials like tree trimmings and grass clippings. And yes, I already recycle. The transfer station, will, for a fee, take things like AC units, construction debris and other contaminants. I don’t compost, however; I also don’t water or do anything else to the yard. It must fend for itself, except in extreme weather when I have to water my house foundation to prevent cracking. Only the hardiest, most established plants survive. When I plant anything, it is native.
Learn about environmental action groups in your area; consider joining and/or working with one or more.
There is one for kids and teens called the ‘Nicodemus Wilderness Project’, part of the Apprentice Ecologist Initiative, that is active in this area. The Sierra Club has an Austin Regional Group, also, that may encompass this area. Right now, they’re currently combating Texas legislation on the Groundwater Bill, and a rally against the use of coal.