Myrmecology: EnchANTed by Nature

Is there a group of animals that can conjure up the creepy crawlies and visions of ruined picnics like the ant? For most, only one experience with an overlooked ant pile can quickly create a negative impression for a lifetime. However, if we do like an ant and dig a little deeper, we can discover … Read More

The Secret Farmers of Long Acres Ranch – The Leafcutter Ant

Look closely! If you walk through the beautiful woods and thickets at Long Acres Ranch, and don’t slow down and observe the small workings of the world around you, you run the risk of missing out on some truly amazing ecological interactions. One such interaction is between the Leafcutter ant (Atta spp.) and the available … Read More

The Science Behind the Colors

Signs of fall – cooler temperatures, pumpkin patches, shorter days, colorful leaves – well, we in Texas can experience most of these signs of fall and know that for a short while, we may be able to actually enjoy being outside.  One of those signs – colorful leaves – is not so prevalent in our … Read More

Wildlife Diversity- Living on the Edge

Living on the Edge “Using Strip Shredding or Mowing to Promote Wildlife Habitat and Diversity” Life for many during these challenging times, have brought along a new appreciation for being outdoors and enjoying what nature has to offer. Folks are leaving their homes and seeking out parks and green spaces and experiencing the health benefits … Read More

Who Goes There? Finding and Studying Animal Tracks

An animal track is the imprint left behind by an animal in the soil, mud, snow or any other surface that it walks across.  Animal tracks can give us a great deal of information about the ecosystem in which we find them. They are used by hunters in order to track prey or by ranchers … Read More

Nature and Our Brains

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay In recent years, people have begun spending more and more time indoors and online.  Maybe it’s the heat, maybe it’s fear, maybe it’s lack of adventure – whatever the reason, scientists are beginning to find evidence that getting out in nature can have a positive, lasting effect on our brains and behavior.

Quail on the Ranch

If you do a quick Google search, you will find a number of articles on the Bobwhite quail decline.  These quail have been studied more heavily the last several decades, trying to pinpoint the reason for the decline.  The most widely discussed and accepted theories include invasive fire ants, high predator drive from animals such … Read More

Birth of Baby Animals

Have you ever wondered why baby animals tend to be born in the Spring?  What makes this season so different that we can easily spot baby ducks, chicks, calves and bunnies?  There are a few contributing factors to this phenomenon.  First, the more favorable weather conditions are one factor. Warmer temperatures and less chance of … Read More

Long Acres Ranch welcomes hundreds for FFA Career Development Event

 By Scott Lightle In late February, some of the brightest high school minds and future natural resource professionals from all across Texas converged on Long Acres Ranch to compete in an invitational, Future Farmers of America, or FFA, Career Development Event. Opportunities for future leaders and professionals The National FFA Organization is an intracurricular student organization … Read More

Monarch Butterflies and OE

Image by 272447 from Pixabay One of the most recognized butterflies is the monarch. They are easily identifiable by their orange and black laced wings, bordered with tiny white dots.  They are also well-known for their migratory habits from the United States and Canada south to Mexico for the winter.