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CDRI Desert NewsFlash
August 2023
Black-chinned hummingbird feasting on the Havard Agave blooms in front of the Powell Visitor Center. Image by Alan Wintz. 
You're Invited!
CDRI's BBQ & Auction Fundraiser
Saturday, August 12, 2023
We've got an exciting line-up for this year's fundraiser, and we're looking forward to sharing it with you!
Martin Stringer will lead the Live Auction, and Rick Ruiz is providing the music.  Lisa and Mark Sanchez of Sanchez BBQ will cater this year's event, serving brisket, sausage, and all the trimmings. 
The Live Auction is bursting with fabulous offerings.  We hope you come ready to bid big for a win-win for you and for CDRI. Artists represented in the auction are listed below:
Fine Art
Julie Speed
Bruce Lee Webb
Lindy Severns
Liz Culp
Mark Spicak
Mary Bonkemeyer
Leslie Wilkes
Lisa Chestnut
Mike Capron
Carol Fairlie
Lanna Duncan
Jane McCrary
Joe Davis

Gregory Tegarden
Carl Block
Carol DiQuilio
James Evans
Jeff Lynch
Mary Lou Saxon
Danny Hancock 
Hand-crafted Jewelry
Randy Glover 
Margaret Matthews
Getaway Vacation 
Marfa Garden Casita 1 or 2, Marfa, TX 
Treehouse Utopia, Utopia, TX
The Crepe Myrtle Cottage, Fredericksburg, TX
w/Wine Tasting at 4.0 Cellars & The Grape Creek Vineyard, Fredericksburg, TX
Cool River Cabin, at the Native American Seed Farm, Junction, TX 
Birding Adventure, Alamo Inn B&B, Alamo, TX 
Cibolo Creek Ranch, SSW of Marfa, TX
The Lodge Resort & Spa, Cloudcroft, NM 
Lajitas Golf Resort, Lajitas, TX
Willow House, Terlingua, TX
More Great Offerings
 A year's supply of coffee from Big Bend Coffee Roasters 
Dinner for 2 at LaVenture Restaurant at the Hotel St. George, Marfa, TX
Burnished wood “snake” walking stick by Faith Hille Dishron
Andalusia, Single Malt Whiskey, Andalusia Whiskey Co., Blanco, TX
Casa Dragones Tequila and Agavales Gold Tequila
Large, potted yucca, Comanche Yucca, Fort Stockton, TX
And the Cherry on Top
CDRI's Education "Paddle Raise"
Tickets are $30 per person.
Tickets will be available until they are sold out.
We currently have only 50 tickets remaining. 
(175 have already been sold)
Click here to purchase tickets! 
Thank you!
CDRI BBQ & Auction
Host Committee

Anne Adams *
Judy & Stephen Alton
Greg Brock
Edwina Campbell
Martha Atiee & Michael Carter
Don Coan & Veleda Boyd
Liz & Rick Culp
Barbara Curry
Tom Edens *
Lanna & Joe Duncan
Kristin & Tom Feuerbacher *
Ben F. Foster, Jr.
Beth & Larry Francell
Lisa Gordon
Rick Herrman & Margaret O'Donnell *
Tom Jacobs & Vilis Inde
Donald & Pat Kuhnel
Chuck Loban
Jim Martinez & Jim Fissel *
Jane & Guy McCrary
Debbie & Mike Murphy *
Joyce & Joe Mussey 
Clint Parsley & Alex Albright
Chris & Pamela Pipes
Susan & Jerry Pittman
R. Edward Pfiester *
Rebecca & Sam Pfiester
Lana & Robert Potts
Shirley & Mike Powell
Joni & Tim Powers
Paige & John Pritchett *
Bob Rice & Judy Reichelderfer
Cecilia Riley & Mike Gray
Sheri & Grant Roane
Michael Schramm
Anita & Warren Shaul
Ron Sommers & Charles Mary Kubricht
Daryl & Mary Styblo
Dedie Taylor
Bette & Ralph Thomas
Suzanne & Stephen Tuttle 
Joe Williams *

* Denotes current member of CDRI's Board of Directors.
Thank you, Event Sponsors!
Thank you to the following businesses who are partnering with us to help make the BBQ & Auction a success!

Cactus Liquors, Marfa, TX
Indoors, they're all about Liquors — outdoors, they're all about Cactus, native plants, and garden necessities.
For the 2023 BBQ & Auction, Cactus Liquors is generously donating wine for the event. Thank you! 
Fort Davis State Bank
 Fort Davis State Bank's home office is located in Fort Davis, with branches in Alpine and Presidio. The bank has supported CDRI's BBQ & Auction fundraiser for many years. Thank you for your continued support and generous donation. 
Glazer's Beer & Beverage
We are happy to welcome Glazer's Beer & Beverage, with a distribution center in Odessa, Texas, to our BBQ & Auction! Glazer's is donating Coors Light, Miller Light, Shiner Bock, Dos Equis XX, and Lone River Ranch Water.  
Thank you to Glazer's Beer & Beverage for generously donating to the BBQ.

Fort Davis
Chamber of Commerce
The Fort Davis Chamber of Commerce is generously loaning its chairs and tables to CDRI for the event. Plus, they have cheerfully promoted and advertised the event on their webpage.  Thanks!
Gary Nabhan to headline     the Roger Conant Distinguished Guest Lecturer Program on September 14
Please join us at the Crowley Theater, on Thursday, September 14, for the Fall 2023 Roger Conant Distinguished Guest Lecturer Program. Our distinguished guest lecturer will be Gary Paul Nabhan
 An internationally-celebrated nature writer, agrarian activist, and ethnobiologist, Nabhan tangibly works on conserving the links between biodiversity and cultural diversity. Nabhan's talk, titled "Fragrances of the Chihuahuan Desert: The Desert Osmocosm Smells Like Rain," will focus on the scents and fragrances of the desert. Osmocosm is defined as joining osmo, "smell," and cosmo, "universe," to describe the world of smells. Nabhan fans will recognize right away the reference to his first book, published 41 years ago, "The Desert Smells Like Rain: A Naturalist in O'odham Country."

The lecture will be held at the Crowley Theater in Marfa, Texas, on
Thursday, September 14. 
Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with the lecture starting at 7:00. 
Free admission.
Hors'd'oeuvres and beverages will be served after the program.
Welcome, Pam and Ted Freeman, 
CDRI's Newest Host Campers
We are delighted to welcome CDRI's current volunteer Host Campers, Pam and Ted Freeman. They arrived on July 1, and they'll be with us through September. The Freemans work as Information Desk Hosts Thursday - Saturday. 
One of the often-occurring "bonuses" of CDRI's Host Camper program is that the Host Campers come with an added skill set when those skills are needed most. It's happened again with the Freemans! The following describes the situation we were faced with.
We currently use Intuit/QuickBooks for CDRI's Point of Sale (POS) system for CDRI's Gift Shop sales. With Intuit discontinuing its POS department effective October 1, we're faced with migrating to a new system. It sounds pretty simple, but to use an old saying, the devil is in the details when transferring the inventory and the Gift Shop history. 
So, how does this involve Pam and Ted? Ted's work history before retirement was in IT. Thankfully, Ted knows how to communicate with the techs at Shopify (the new software provider for CDRI's POS system) as he works through the tedious steps of threading the needle and migrating CDRI's data safely to the new Shopify system. To say we are grateful to Ted for accepting this assignment is an understatement. We're hopeful the system, once functioning, will be quick for the team to learn and easy to use. Why? With the BBQ & Auction being 12 days away, we hope to use our two new terminals at the auction payout table. Challenging? Yes. But there is no better time to get something done than now.
The other half of Pam & Ted is Pam. Pam has an invaluable skill for communicating with visitors. Upon entering the Powell Visitor Center, Pam makes sure that every visitor feels welcomed, they are well-informed, and they are ready to "hit" the trails. Pam also demonstrates an unwavering determination to assist visitors in identifying unusual plants, birds, snakes, and lizards, which leaves visitors feeling great about their experience, knowing more about the Chihuahuan Desert, and leaving with a heightened appreciation for nature. 
When Pam and Ted were asked how they found out about CDRI's Host Camper program, they replied that they read about the program in one of the articles in the Desert NewsFlash! So, for anyone wanting to find out more about a future Host Camping gig, please email your inquiry to Lisa Gordon at lgordon@cdri.org
Thank you, Pam and Ted!
Johnson Grass, Sorghum halepence, (above).
Summer's invasive weeds
On the hot summer days that lay ahead, you'll likely find invasive plant species growing along roadways and disturbed or scraped areas. Hopefully, your garden isn't inundated with weeds, but we've learned that you've always got to be watchful.
There are several invasive species to watch for this year. Two of those that we want to emphasize are Johnson grass and goat head weeds. 

Johnson Grass, Sorghum halepence
Considered one of the ten worst invasive weeds in the world, Johnson grass is a coarse, herbaceous perennial grass that grows from 3 - 7 feet tall.  A prolific self-seeder, a single plant can produce 80,000 seeds in a growing season. Johnson grass also spreads via an extensive rhizome system.
Johnson grass is native to the Mediterranean region of Europe and Africa. It invades wetlands, floodplains, irrigation ditches, prairies, savannas and riparian zones, and along highway right-of-ways.
Historical records show Sorghum halepence was growing in Southeastern U.S. by 1830 and possibly earlier. An Alabama farmer, William Johnson, whom the plant is named after, established Johnson grass along the Alabama River in the 1840s as a forage species.  Escaping its cultivation, Johnson grass spread rapidly across the South, expanding its reach across much of the United States. 
Maintenance control of Johnson grass
The preferred treatment is hand pulling of individual plants immediately upon discovery. All plant parts, including rhizomes, must be removed. It may be necessary to hand-pull a population several times to obtain control. Surrounding seed sources should be eliminated where possible to prevent continual re-invasion. A shovel may be required to reach the plant's roots if the grass is more fully developed. 
Johnson grass growing on Alamo Street in Fort Davis. 
Goat Head Weeds, Tribulus terrestrias
Anyone who has ever stepped on a goat head sticker knows that goat head weeds are unwelcome.  The spiny seedpods have also been known to puncture the soles of shoes, bicycle tires, and an often unsuspecting paw.
Goat head weeds are an invasive weed originating from Southern Europe. They were first recorded in California in 1902. The plant was classified as an invasive species due to its formation of a dense mat that smothers and outcompetes native plants. The plant grows close to the ground, its stems producing small leaflets and bright yellow, 5-petaled flowers. It blooms from July through September, producing 200 to 5,000 seeds in a season, depending on moisture.
The above photo is used courtesy of Texas A&M University, Agrilife Extension. 
A patch of goat head weeds in  Fort Davis, Texas. Now is the best time to remove them before they flower.
Controlling goat head weeds in your garden 
The best way to control goat head weeds is to not let them get started. However, if they are present, remove the entire plant and its taproot before the plant flowers. Be sure to carefully rake up any seed pods in the area. And if you've removed a goat head weed with flowers or seedpods, do not carry it across your yard or property to dispose of it. The seedpods can drop and disperse while being carried. Instead, carefully place the weed for disposal in a container close to where it was dug up. 
Although you probably won't be flooded with compliments or praise about how well you have weeded your garden, weeding is all a part of achieving a beautiful garden. And at the end of the day, weeding has its intrinsic rewards. 
Update - Horseweed (Conysa canadensis)
CDRI had a great turnout of volunteers (11 in all) on July 3 to remove Horseweed from an expansive area of the grassland section of the property. There was so much of the plant to remove that it took a second day, again with dedicated volunteers, working across the grassland area of CDRI.
Horseweed is a strong competitor for water, and it spreads rapidly across an area. We left several of the plants in the tank/reservoir area because of the thick expanse of Horseweed and the difficulty getting into that site. They will require careful monitoring later this summer and next spring.   
We're looking forward to seeing you at the
CDRI BBQ & Auction Fundraiser
(Details below)  

Wherever you find yourself this summer, we wish you happy trails and the good fortune to discover a nice shaded place to enjoy the peaceful feeling of the desert.
Thank you for your support!
Photo taken along the Scenic Loop Trail inside the Botanical Gardens by Lanna Duncan. 
Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute, P.O. Box 905, Fort Davis, TX 79734


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