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Posts posted by woody_hawkeye

  1. I also read that somewhere. My yard (growing up) had chinese tallows, a magnolia, and a china berry...always got the two chinese names mixed up. The chinese tallow was a good climbing tree, those shells hurt to walk on, the chinaberry is still one of my favorites. Very colorful (reds & yellows in the fall), grows tall. Asians had plant nurseries & rice fields in Houston in the early 1900's...could be why the tallow was introduced here.

    I loved the chinaberry as well. As kids, we used to have great "wars" with those berries. I have not seen any issue posed by that tree in our ecology. However, there are quite a few other plants that do create problems in the forest. I will be trying to identify the #2 invasive plant soon. It is probably be another chinese native plant. Excellent point about the Asians and the rice fields.

  2. major housing and commercial developments have always been planned for this area. the article is poorly written and the alarmist undertone is unnecessary. it isn't a big deal.

    I have to agree with you. I am excited about Townsquare and the entire waterway/lake area. At first it was not what I had envisioned and a little too shiney, but now that I have adjusted to it, it has become a better part to the rest of the community than I would have ever believed.

  3. I've started something new in the Woodlands Commentary. If there is something of interest, I might very well write an article on it with photos, to supplement what happens here. Certainly I will try. Ideas seem numerous, but I will steer towards items of interest. I know many of you have interest in the building architecture here. The waterway development is continuing to take better shape. Although small now, it will be larger in the future.

    Two articles just published

  4. This is a very interesting subject. Part of the equation in my estimation is not necessarily proximity to Town Center but just being in The Woodlands. The desire to live here is driving up the prices. Desire is being pushed by the Town Center's advertising and marketing processes. So we see the effect of demand. Some of us may be priced out of remaining here in very few years because of taxes, especially those of us who are retired. Assessments are skyrocketing. Houses have been selling rapidly in Indian Springs.

  5. Now that I have two trees downed in my yard and a mountain of brush, the challenge is its disposal. There are two trends of thought -(1) recycle for composting and (2) landfill. I am hoping the composting argument wins. Will advise when I know more.

    Still have the biggest tree yet to cut down. It must be 30 or more feet tall.

    I get to reply to myself this time. I found out that we can dispose of the tree trash in the regular wood trash recycle process. There is sufficient material picked up for mulching here and the process used is a heat composting process which neutralizes the effect of the natural herbicides. I updated the blog entry to reflect that new learning. If the methodof recycling is merely cutting into mulch material, the process is insufficient and the material needs to be burned or buried.

  6. You can all thank South Side Place for the spread of tallow trees. All of South Side Place's streets were lined with them back in the 60's and 70's. Hopefully the teardown crews are including the tallows as they make their way through to the last structure.

    I brought down my third of four trees today. Now I am faced with a disposal dilemma. Searching for a service to dispose of the leaves, limbs and trunks without using it for mulch. I am betting that a lot of mulch has this material in it - a natural herbicide.

  7. Woody-

    Have they started construction on the new Y or the Lone Star College satellite campus yet?

    All I've seen on Gosling is the Woods Edge Church going in.

    Are the Y and the campus going in somewhere around there?

    The college will not start for a while. It is actually located on the other side of Kuykendahl. The Y has begun but I am not sure if it has gone past the ground clearing and leveling yet. Last I saw the construction phase had not begun. There are signs up now where these places are to be built, except of course the college.

  8. Two house sold on our street this past month. One had a pool and the other one did not. The one without sold the same weekend it went on the market. The other one sold in two weeks after it went on the market. Both were ready to move in without any repairs or upgrades. Fron what I have seen, the most important consideration is that poeple do not want a house that is out of date or in disrepair. New flooring whether it be carpet or wood is usually a very good selling point. It just depends on the neighborhood and the buyers. Some people would never have a swimming pool due to the danger to children. I have observed that folks with teenagers usually want swimming pools so that they can bring friends to their home, while younger families do not, but that is far from being universal. So how do you compete? Curb appeal and inside upgrades.

  9. Wow, slime in the water machine!

    Yep, there are many issues that are man made. That is one reason people are afraid of genetic engineering. We do not understand the consequences of what we do when we fool with mother nature.

    I attended a recent seminar on this subject, but it was very localized and thelist is relatively long. Of course Hyrdrilla, another aquarium species is a major issue on our ponds and lakes,

    We could spend a few years in this one thread if we were to take to such broad discussion. If interested, we could discuss a few other related issues in separate threads. Right now, as noted, the focus is on one species. Taking care of one is a big chore and expensive I might add. I looked through the list and beleive by far the most threatening of the invasive plants here today are two varieties of water plants and this one tree.

  10. I really don't mean to be argumentative, but I've probably seen scenes like this hundreds of times and never noticed it other than to think "Oh, good, there are still some woods around that haven't been paved for a Home Depot or such ilk." As I posted earlier, I grew up with a tallow (we had some smaller ones in the back yard too) and, interestingly enough, it was one of the few in our neighborhood. I'm not seeing the urgency of the "problem."

    Someone may have commented on this before me, but I just wanted to point the issue. What you see in that photo is an example of the tree overtaking the prairie. It is not a case that there remains forests. The case is that there does not remain a prairie. Birds and anilmals that live on the prairie have been robbed of their habitat. The prairie does not have trees! It has marsh, prairie grass, various bushes. Those can not grow when a species from China displaces it and poisons the ground. The fruit is worthless to the wildlife here. Fortunately, the birds are not poisoned by the seeds because there is an outer covering that is not permeated when the birds "eat" the seed. It just goes through the bird's gut without nourishment. I am not sure if the toxicity of the leaves and sap kill many animals or birds, but it might. e are advised here not to put the branches out with the other material to mulch, because it is like putting a herbicide on your yard and plants when the mulch is used containing parts of the plant.

  11. The basic reason I posted this here is because we tend to focus on construction. Every single new home and office building developer needs to consider how they landscape their new creation. It is as part of the development as the construction itself. Given a stand of trees does not mean that the trees need to stay. Landscaping responsibly is important. The invasive species list is fairly long now. I saw one being sold at a garage sale this last weekend. They are typically pleaseing to the eye, but come from the far reaches of the earth. Over the past few decades we have learned a lot about landscaping. Most of the professionals will make thoughtful recommendations using native trees and shrubs, but some will not.

  12. They are both similar to me. The only difference is Sugar Land started off as a town/city and actually has some history and not a master-planned community.

    I searched all over the Southeast Texas area before I settled on The Woodlands as a place to live. It is the most incredible place I have ever seen or lived. I owned property in a large planned community in Tennessee and it does not come close to comparing with this place. I think you have to live here to appreciate it. Otherwise it is transparent to the normal observer. I gained more appreciation for the place after I moved here. Sugarland is suburbia, a nice place in Houston, but it is not The Woodlands by far. I lived in southwest Houston for many years. It was the city and had no natural conservation nor any planned means to be a part of nature. It was part of the city. The Woodlands is a township aptly named, which grew out of, around and consists of the forest. It was carved out of vision. The 1960 area mnight be called a satellite of Houston. It grew up hap-hazard with isolated little suibdivisions merging into a hodgepodge of city confusion. I do not consider Pasadena a satellite, nor Pearland, nor La Port. Remember when the airport was built? It wmight be called a satellite of Houston, but in reality it was built as a regional service area far away from the city. Part of the forest of East Texas was grabbed by the city in an effort to keep the airport away. Absolutely nothing in Houston caused The Woodlands to be built. That city was born of commerce and resources to its south. It was created far enough from the coast to protect it from storms but it was put there as a port. Some businesses started in The Wodolands and eventually got caught up in mergers and moving to the big city. Some people came to The Woodlands to be work in Houston and live in the tranquility of the forest. It is made up of so many types of people that one cannot characterize it in any way but in its own terms. The Woodlands is as Conroe or as Tomball but planned to the hilt with each village having the same demographics as much as possible. There are not pockets of race nor economic zones. It is an amazing place with a lot of thought and vision going into its plan.

  13. You are in the Woodlands because of Houston. Without Houston, there would be no The Woodlands. The HOUSTON Museum of Natural Science is building a small musuem in the Woodlands. Not the Woodlands Museum.

    Sorrry buddy. I did not move here because of Houston. I moved here becuase of The Woodlands, period. There are many here for the same reason. Just because The Woodlands is close to Houston does not make it a satellite of Houston, nor exist because of Houston. I know, the early stages brought oil people out here, but that only accelerated its growth, but did not cause its ultimate existence. It came out from the timber business of the East Texas forest. As far as I am concerned, the museum can be called The Woodlands Museum or the Conroe Museum or the Tomball Museum, but Houston is just a nearby city in Texas where we must pass through to get to Galveston. It has a few nice places to visit and is a very big city, but it is certainly not a place for naturalists. Had it not been for the state, the nation and some visionary people, Houston would have destroyed this entire area like 1960 and Greenspoint and many other areas that were once beautiful places in our great forests.

  14. Seems to me that The Woodlands is the gateway to the north. Talking about education in Houston does nto apply. This is a case where a major educational and recreational center is brought closer to smaller towns and the countryside, making an experience in the museum more available to those living distant to the city. I can see a case to have one to the west also as the sprawl reaches out further. This is a natural extension caused by distance. The cost of gas is going to affect the outer reaches in the number of visits to the central part of Houston. The closer one lives, the more accessible these nice amenities being proposed. I have taken my family to the museum once in 10 years. I will take them much more often if it is located within 20 miles of my home. It is difficult to have everything available. If that was a priority, we would live closer to town. But that is flat prairie, not where we want to live. Many of us here prefer to live in the pines of the forest. Just because we live near Houston does not make us part of Houston. Some of us do work there but many do not. Times are changing and so are the relationships of businesses and recreational areas. Close proximity to recreation and educational services have significance to families out here. To me the museum will be great for families in a large area to the north of Houston. With additional transportation connectivity to enable faster and more efficient mobility, we should see a very broad range of interest in northern family-centric art and recreational facilities.

  15. I really wondered about this from the start. I am told the terrain is wet even when dry. Imagine slipping and hitting a tree or being run over by other runners. Let's see what happens in April. The trails will be great this summer but at this time of the year, well, we are talking 100 year plain turf! It needs to remain natural, so I hope they are not planning to put drains in. This may be an event more suited for May or even June. Isn't it a 5K? One can run 5K in warm weather. I can run a 5 mile in warm weather, but a 10K would be a more difficult thing to do in warm weather.

  16. 2 cent sales tax, plus a 30 cent property tax is what I read. Of course, I also read that Nelda Luce Blair is "ecstatic" about taxes. Could it be because her law firm files delinquent tax lawsuits against homeowners?

    I would also consider it news to find out my taxes were doubling in 2010. It looks to me that Grogan's Mill, Panther Creek and Cochran's Crossing currently have 14 cent association fees. These fees will be replaced by the 30 cent property tax PLUS the 2 cent sales tax, in addition to the MUD taxes that appear to remain unchanged. Hardly sounds like something to be "ecstatic" about.

    Current Woodlands Tax Rates

    The problem here is that we have a heavy discount for two years because of surplus bank funds by underspending the budget, which accrued over several years. The older parts of The Woodlands is in the WCA. It also includes Indian Springs east. In 2010 that discount will go away for those villages, a true fluke in the process, masking the reality of the tax situation. Of course if one spends a lot of money in The Woodlands, he might be paying a lot more taxes but when I computed my purchases that will be taxed, I gain a lot by the new taxes. The reason? I bear less of a percentage of the tax burden because I spend less with a lower income and partof the sales tax revenues are applied to the association service costs (the fire fighting services). The ad valorum is lower than my association dues. The tax rate in 2010 will be lower than 2007. But the tables look neat.

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