June 2022
Note from the Nature Center
School is out, the weather is warm, and the humidity is rising. Summer is officially here. As you plan your family outings this month, we hope you’ll visit Kleb Woods Nature Preserve. There are so many ways to enjoy the park. Hike the trails to see what plants and animals you can find. Request a tour of the 1896 Kleb family home and learn why we call the Julius Fehlau barn the new barn of 1901. Cool off in the nature center while learning about the area’s history. Explore the Young Naturalist Room and meet our parrots. Participate in Discovery Days this summer to experience life as a blacksmith, try your hand at old farm chores, learn about plant and animal life cycles, meet Houston Audubon’s raptors, and more.
In the summer, many critters try to escape the heat by hiding in the shade, napping, or even going underground. This is the perfect time to focus on the small stuff. Inspect plants up close to appreciate leaf shape, texture, and color. You may spot an insect that has made its home on the plant or a green lynx spider waiting to ambush its prey. Notice the activity around water sources. You can often get up close with dragonflies, frogs, mosquitofish, fishing spiders, giant water bugs, and more. If you need something identified, take a photo to show one of the knowledgeable naturalists or park interpreters at the nature center.

There's always more to discover in the park. We hope to see you soon!
Discovery Days – Life Cycles with the Texas Wildlife Association 

Thursday, June 2, 10 – 11 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Designed for school-aged children.
Senior Birding Bus Trip – Exotic Bird Species of the Greater Houston Area

Friday, June 3, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Free for those 50 and older.
Discovery Days – Being a Blacksmith

Thursday, June 14, 10 – 11 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Designed for school-aged children.
Into the Woods
Eastern Screech-Owl
June marks the tail end of breeding season for eastern screech-owls. By now, many owlets have fledged, or become able to fly, but some lucky visitors may still see an owl peeking out from one of the nest boxes around the park. As the young owls mature, they venture away from the nest, stepping and hopping on nearby branches, testing their wings, and waiting to be fed. This is called “branching.” If you see a baby owl out of the nest, do not assume it has fallen or needs rescue. Ask a staff member to investigate or call a local wildlife rehabilitator.
Most people think of eastern screech-owls as gray, but they actually come in two color morphs, gray and rufous (or rusty brown). Gray morphs are more common in our area, but a few rufous morphs also inhabit the park. At approximately 8 inches long and 6 ounces in weight, eastern screech-owls are by far the smallest owl in the region. However, the title of smallest owl belongs to the elf owl of West Texas. Weighing just 1.4 ounces, they are the smallest owls by weight in the world.
Discussion Preview
Join guest speaker Kathleen Kelly on Thursday, June 9, from 9 – 11 a.m. to discuss her book “Indelible Footprints in San Felipe de Austin: Trailhead to Texas Independence.”

Through first-hand accounts in letters and diaries, the book tells the story of how Texas was established and what life was like for the Old Three Hundred, the settlers who received land grants in Stephen F. Austin's first colony. This discussion is best suited for adults and older students with a keen interest in history.
Join us on a Farm Tour!
The Kleb farmhouse is available for tours by request or by reservation for larger groups. Tours include a brief history of the Kleb family and a peek into what life was like in the early 20th century. 
Are you interested in a farm tour?
I've already taken a tour.
How Did You Do?
Answer to Last Month's Your Knowledge Test
There is only one bird whose entire breeding range is limited to Texas. It nests nowhere else on Earth! Can you name that bird?

  • The correct answer is golden-cheeked warbler.

Poll Results
19.5% of you chose painted bunting.
59.7% of you chose golden-cheeked warbler.
20.8% of you chose brown pelican.
Volunteer Spotlight
We’re so proud of our Master Naturalist volunteers! Anytime you admire the water features, flower beds, and fruit orchard at the park, you are witnessing the result of hours of pruning, raking, weeding, trimming, and mulching. The park looks its best because of their efforts. If you would like to volunteer, visit the nature center on Tuesdays, 8 a.m. – noon. There’s much to be done!
Harris County Precinct 4
Commissioner R. Jack Cagle

Thank you for reading this monthly newsletter from the staff at Kleb Woods Nature Preserve & Center. I hope you learned something new about our services, activities, and programs.

As your county commissioner, I’m proud of the work your Precinct 4 staff and volunteers perform every day to improve access to greenspaces. We pledge to continue this service in the future. 

Please stay tuned for our next issue to learn more about Kleb Woods events, activities, and news!