idylwood News
February 2024
A publication of Idylwood Civic Club
The concept of a leap year dates back to Julius Caesar, who added a day to the calendar every four years to account for the fact the Earth actually takes roughly 365.2421 days, not 365 days, to orbit the sun. The Julian calendar took effect in 46 BCE. Pope Gregory XIII added caveats (shown above) in the year 1582, attempting to adjust for the fact the added day is slightly more compensation than needed.

The leap year software problem (also known as the leap year bug) results from errors in the calculation of which years are leaps - also from manipulating dates without regard to the difference between leap years and common years. Beware!

Were you born on Feb 29th? Then head out to the 2024 Leap Year Festival in Anthony, TX - the self-proclaimed Leap Year Capital of the World (located on I-10 at the border with Anthony, New Mexico).
President's Corner
Hello Neighbors: We had a great January 16th meeting at Nicole Wood’s house on a very cold evening with 35 neighbors in attendance. Our committee meetings were enthusiastic and are developing great ideas.

Our February 20th meeting will be at the home of Irma Nino & Carmen Martinez, 6626 Meadowlawn. Our guest speaker for the evening will be our newly elected District I Council Member, Joaquin Martinez. Also present will be our neighborhood officials to speak during the meeting. We will vote on several proposed designs for painting the stairs in Spurlock Park. Designs are being developed by neighborhood artists, and we will vote to choose among them.

Meanwhile, the Idylwood Directory has been sent to the presses and will be ready for distribution this month to every neighborhood household. Keep an eye out for your Block Captain to hand deliver a copy to your home. We are also developing a new website for the Civic Club and have ample opportunities for you to participate in both the development and supply of photos and content. Please contact Amy Dinn if you’re interested: [email protected].
The meeting calendar can be found below, but we need additional homes in which to meet. If you can accommodate your neighbors for 2 hours, please let me know: [email protected] or at 281-914-1408.
Best Regards,

Diane Schenke
Idylwood Civic Club
Meeting Calendar
Idylwood Health & Wellness
I’m not sure about you, but February makes me crave chocolate… Maybe it’s the Valentine’s Day effect, but even if you don’t celebrate, you still deserve a chocolatey treat. 

Here is a recipe that’s sweet, creamy, AND nutritious: Chocolate Avocado Mousse. Plus it takes almost no time to prepare. You’re welcome 😉

The not-so-secret ingredient here is avocado, which is a great source of energy for your heart. Cocoa contains polyphenols which support the immune system by decreasing inflammation, and cinnamon is known for its ability to lower blood sugar levels. 

Grab some avocados and give it a try. It’s the perfect sweet treat on Valentine’s or any other time of the year.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Nutritionist,
Candace Hurtado

(click on the recipe to view it at full scale in your browser)
Art 'Round The 'Wood
Attend an Art Show the first weekend in February at Idylwood resident John Paul Segovia's studio located at 3420 Rusk Street.
The Orange Show Center for Visionary Art has released their Spring 2024 Calendar of Events with some unique exhibitions, hands-on classes to attend and performances that you have to see to believe.
Public Art of the University of Houston System, in partnership with Madison Square Park Conservancy, has commissioned a multimedia work by 2006 MacArthur Fellow Shahzia Sikander. The temporary exhibition Havah… to breathe, air, life includes two works: Witness, an 18-foot golden sculpture of a female figure, and Reckoning, a video animation of warrior-like figures in a graceful struggle.

Opening Celebration & Artist Talk will take place on Wednesday, February 28, from 5-8 pm at Farish Hall on the UH Main Campus. For complete details and to RSVP for the free event, simply click on the UH map below.
Havah… to breathe, air, life will be on view outdoors from February 28 through October 31 at the Cullen Family Plaza on the UH Main Campus.
Your Civic Club at Work
Two important projects for Spurlock Park
50 trees were planted along the slopes adjacent to the ravine and N. MacGregor to help combat erosion. Pictured are two of the Parks Department personnel watering in the newly planted saplings. Counting these 50 new additions, Idylwood added 300 trees to the neighborhood in the past year thanks to partnerships with Trees for Houston, Harris County Flood Control District, and the City of Houston Parks Department!
Repair work has begun on the large stormwater drain located at the SE corner of the park. The plan is to replace the top of the intake structure (which was damaged by earlier storms), and to concrete the slope leading to the drain to prevent further erosion. The Project Manager promised to send the Civic Club more details about this flood abatement project. Below is a photo of the excavation just beginning at the site.
The projects now underway are the result of meetings with local City of Houston officials and the Community Improvement Committee of the ICC. Many thanks to both entities!!

Speaking about Parks (and we were!) the tennis courts at Mason Park are closed until February 20th for resurfacing. Woo-Hoo! No more baseline shots hitting a broken tile and shooting into the court next door.
Deed Restrictions - Reminder
Section 4.12 describes Subdivision of Lots. No Lot may be further subdivided and no portion of a Lot may be conveyed by the Owner of the Lot if the subdivision or conveyance results in the Lot either having an area less than 5,000 square feet or a width at any point less than 50 feet.
For more details, download a copy of the deed restrictions here

We also have a new email address for reporting potential deed restriction variances and issues:
Upcoming Dates
  • Feb 02: Groundhog Day
  • Feb 02: Groundhog Day
  • Feb 02: Groundhog Day
  • Feb 05: Recycling
  • Feb 06: Heavy Trash
  • Feb 10: Lunar New Year
  • Feb 13: Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday)
  • Feb 19: Presidents' Day
  • Feb 19: Recycling
  • Feb 20: Civic Club Meeting @ 7pm, 6626 Meadowlawn
  • Feb 29: Leap Day for all you Leapers
  • Mar 04: Recycling
  • Mar 05: Tree Limbs & Yard Waste
Idylwood Neighborhood Exchange
The former Idylwood Community Exchange is now being hosted on Google Groups as the Idylwood Neighborhood Exchange. To request an invitation for this group, please send a request to: [email protected]

Please note that like its predecessor, this group is privately maintained by a resident, and not managed by the ICC Board.
Keep in Touch With Your Civic Club
Idylwood Pet of the Month
A look back at some of our pets!
Send us some pics and a story about your furry friend!!
Neighbors: Submit your pet(s) to be featured in upcoming newsletters by sending 1-3 photos with a short story about your best friend(s) with the subject line "Pet(s) of the Month" to: [email protected]
Friendly Reminder From The Pets
For the health and safety of all neighborhood pets and people,
please scoop our poop!
Garden Club News
Please watch for email meeting updates from
Garden Club Meeting Dates and Times

First Saturdays of the Month from 10 am-noon
(Possible exceptions for Labor Day and New Year's Weekends-then it's the 2nd Sat.)
New members are welcome to join us!! Yealy dues are $20.00!!

The "2023-2024" Garden Club Year!
Look at our great lineup !

Sept. 9, 2023: host: Irma Nino and Carmen Martinez on 6625 Meadowlawn; Speaker: Lynette Freeman - topic: Container Gardening
Oct. 7, 2023: host: Peggy Wallace on 6736 Sylvan; Speaker: Amber Leung- topic: Bird Friendly Communities
Nov. 4, 2023: hosts: Amy Dinn & Jake Goldstein on 6724 Sylvan; Speaker: Liliana Cracraft- topic: Herbal Mexican Folk Medicine
Dec. 2, 2023: hosts: Patricia Hattenbach & Jim McCallum on 1404 N. MacGregor Way; topic: Holiday Pot Luck Brunch and Fun Gift Exchange!!
Jan. 6, 2024: host: Robin Raasch on 6655 Rockbridge Lane; Speaker: Dany Millikin; topic: The Houston Botanic Garden on Park Place

Feb. 3, 2024: Cancelled due to rain. The tour of the Edith L. Moore Sanctuary has been cancelled and we hope to offer this fieldtrip in the fall.

March 2, 2024: hosts: Rosie Pesina & Hugo Banda on 6641 Fairfield;
Speaker:Tommy Garcia-Prats -Founder of Finca Tres Robles;topic: Small Places
April 6, 2024: host: Diane Kopfensteiner at the Lamar Towers; topic: Tour of the Urban Harvest Market and Thompson & Hanson's Nursery
May 4, 2024: host: Sally Lehr on 1704 Idylwood; topic: Neighborhood Plant Sale!

For more information, contact the Garden Club President:
Patricia Hattenbach at [email protected] or at 713-724-9608
It's worth the reminder:
Southern Living's passionate and thorough advice on
pruning Crepe Myrtles !

Houston is full of color each year thanks to the jewel tones of Crepe Myrtles. Their variety of sizes -dwarf, medium shrubs, single and multi-trunked trees of varying heights suitable for a range of placements in your landscape. This article provides great information on their care, methods and time of pruning, along with recovery techniques of neglected or overpruned trees.
Click the link below to learn more.

Take a second look!
A beginner's guide to Gulf Coast bird-watching!

Idylwood is just the spot to practice your bird-watching skills! We have such a variety of birds living here or passing through that we are continually blessed by them. Gary Clark, nature correspondent of the Chronicle, shares all the benefits that they offer to us: songs, sounds, color, ancient ancestry, healthy lifestyle, peace of mind, and more! Also, Kathy Adams Clark provides stunning photographs of a few visitors that actually do grace Idylwood!
Click on the link below to learn more!!!
Houston Botanic Gardens
February 2024 Events

Become a Tiny Gardener
February 3 10:00 am - 11: 00 am
Join us for a beginner’s terrarium class with instructors from My DIY Terrarium. Participants will learn how terrariums function a miniature
self-sustaining environments and then craft their own with
soil, pebbles, living moss, and mini figurines.

Gifts of Care for Your Cupid
February 11 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Shop a variety of vendors offering wellness items — from healthy food to
yoga gear — while enjoying the beauty of the Garden. Participants in the afternoon Restorative Yoga & Sound Bath class can arrive early or
stay after to browse and buy.

Restorative Yoga & Sound Bath Cultivate Self-Care
February 11 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Jessica Garcia of Chandra Yoga will guide participants through a relaxing and luxurious yoga session, while Susie Hernandez of Gongsia Sacred Sound Sessions provides a live soundscape of gongs, crystal singing bowls, and chimes to support a meditative mindstate and relaxed body. The overall experience encourages rejuvenation and stress relief
through stimulation of your body’s natural healing response. 

With Park Place Regional Library
February 16 10:30 am - 11:00 am
On the third Friday of each month, our friends at the Park Place Regional Library will present a 30-minute storytime in the Garden at 10:30 a.m. Children of all ages and their parents / care-givers are invited.

Beekeeping for Beginners
February 17 10:00 am - 11:30 am
The Garden’s beekeepers will talk about the lifecycle of a colony of bees over the course of a year, and the different roles bees play during their short lives. They will also discuss what it takes to begin keeping bees in a way that aligns with what bees naturally need to be healthy and productive in Houston’s microclimate from season to season, and how this type of beekeeping aligns us, as well, with the local environment. Learn the pros and cons of different types of hives, hear tips on essential gear and tools, find out how to source your bees, and get a list of resources to get you started. 

Achieve Garden Success
February 17 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
In the Achieve Garden Success series, our Garden experts walk you through some basics of home gardening and share their favorite tools and strategies for growing and keeping yours productive.
This month we will discuss the basics of tomato care.

Buzzed Tasting & Trivia
February 17 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Celebrate your honey-boo with — or bring your bestie to — this engaging and informative mixology class. Participants will mix and taste two different cocktail recipes featuring Angel’s Envy bourbon and Houston Botanic Garden-harvested honey and herbs. Between the mixing and tasting, participants will engage in a competitive trivia competition, with swag, bourbon, and
honey on the line. Attendees must be at least 21 years old.

Creative Way to Say "Be(e) My Valentine"
February 17 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Zac Stayton — beekeeper, farmer, educator, and owner of Sweet Wing Gardens LLC — will show participants how to make beautiful, natural,
clean-burning beeswax candles. Unlike most conventionally made
scented candles that can release toxins into the air as they burn,
beeswax candles burn longer and brighter, and can actually de-toxify the air.

Connect With Nature As Self-Love
February 18 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
During the Garden’s third-Sunday micro retreats, we will connect with nature’s beauty, diversity, and wisdom guided by mindful, compassionate, and creative prompts. Each session will include an orientation to the theme of the retreat, an invitation to explore specific aspects of the Garden, and a prompt to capture the essence in creative writing, journaling, or sketching. Participants will have the opportunity to share their experience and
curiosities as a way to harvest the group’s insights and inspirations.

Digestion & Gut Health
February 24 9:30 am - 11:30 am
Come learn about the original medicine, which grows all around us and that you can cultivate in your own garden. Plants! In the this latest session of the Back to the Roots herbalism series, you will learn about foods that support
gut health, and herbs that stimulate, aid, and nourish the digestive system. 

Unleash Your Creativity
February 24 12:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Unleash your creativity and explore biodiversity through the visual arts. Join Houston artist and teacher Roberto Castillo for a cocktail-infused painting party, exploring color and form, based on plants at the HBG. Adults only. No painting experience needed. All art materials provided.

Be sure to confirm February's event details & fees by clicking the link below:
Visit these areas throughout the Botanic Garden:
The Island

Natural Ecosystems
South Gardens ~~ Community Garden

Ticket Window: 713.715.9675 ext. 100
Vegetable Garden Planting Dates Chart
Do you want to know exactly when to plant vegetables and herbs in your garden? Click here for Texas A&M University's yearly planting calendar for Harris County. You may want to print this out for future reference.

Tree Planting Guide For Houston
As our Idylwood trees age, succumb to disease and storm damage, and grow too close to our homes and power lines, we sadly see these marvelous companions disappear. Now is a good time to start researching the best trees for your yard to properly fit your needs, desires and space.

The Houston Area Urban Forestry Council has a fabulous planting guide for trees in the Houston area. This guide is packed with all the basic info you need when considering planting new trees.

Happy gardening!
Remember: COH Tree Trash Gets Turned Into Mulch
When Picked Up on The First Tuesdays of Odd # Months
Keep in mind that trimmings from trees, shrubs and bushes can be placed on your curb for the city's Tree Trash pick-up on the first Tuesday of odd months.
Thanks for your membership and love of nature! 
Let's keep Idylwood beautiful and safe!
Kind regards,
Patricia Hattenbach 

2023-2024 Officers:
President: Patricia Hattenbach
Vice President: Nicole Wood
Secretary: Amanda Cai
Treasurer: Peggy Wallace

Thanks again to Jim McCallum and Patricia Hattenbach for providing the Pet and Yard of the Month write-ups and photos.
It's wonderful to learn more about our great neighbors!
Yard of the Month
The Idylwood Garden Club’s Yard of the Month feature
will resume in March.

click the link above for access to their website

February 2024

Strawberries can be planted now; hanging baskets are an ideal way to grow the berries to avoid fungus and insects attacking the fruit. 

Tomatoes can be transplanted into pots that can be brought inside for frosts and freezes; later on (after last frost) they can be planted in larger pots or in the ground. 

Lettuce can be started from seed, for continual harvesting. Set out fresh seeds every 2-3 weeks through the cool season. 

Bluebonnets are available for transplanting to make a great spring show. It is past the prime time to set out seeds for bluebonnets.

Keep an eye out for loopers and aphids on cool-season vegetables and annuals. Use the most organic solution possible for treating these insects. Check for scale insects on ornamentals such as camellias, hollies, magnolias, and Japanese blueberries. Treat with horticultural oil spray while it is still cool.

Apply pre-emergent to stop spring weeds such as crabgrass, goosegrass and dallisgrass before they start. Corn gluten meal is an organic approach, while Barricade is a non-organic approach (both products can be found in our plant care shed).

Lower purple martin houses, clean and repair as necessary. Re-raise and position for martin scouts. Keep 20 feet away from trees and buildings for a clear flight pattern. Goldfinches are feeding. Hang thistle or nyjer seed socks for these cuties. Keep suet feeders filled for hungry winter birds – their natural food sources are slim right now.

Continue to keep an eye on the weather and stay informed on night time lows. Have frost cloth on hand for light frosts. If the temperature drops below 32, double wrap tender plants to ensure proper insulation. Avoid using plastic against foliage, but it can be used as the second exterior layer when covering plants. Remove plastic during the day. TIP: Heavy duty clothespins or spare bricks can be used to secure and weight down cloths.

Lower purple martin houses, clean and repair as necessary. Re-raise and position for martin scouts. Keep 20 feet away from trees and buildings for a clear flight pattern. Goldfinches are feeding. Hang thistle or nyjer seed socks for these cuties. Keep suet feeders filled for hungry winter birds – their natural food sources are slim right now.

Fertilize established trees and shrubs, except Azaleas and camellias with a good all-around organic fertilizer like MicroLife.

If going out of town, alert your neighbors and request a Vacation Watch from Precinct 6 Constables. Click HERE to access the form.
Please keep an eye out for unusual activity and report to HPD (713) 884-3131 and the Constable's office (713) 274-3400. Please keep your home and cars locked at all times. Report any incidents to ALL authorities;
more reports = more patrols.

HPD is moving to a National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS). To view crimes reported to HPD from Jan-Sep 2023, download the HPD Excel file here and sort by zip code or beat. Our beat is 11H10, which includes several zip codes.

A screenshot of last month's crime map is below. To interact with this map, including date ranges and area, go to Community Crime Map.
Jake Goldstein and Steve Palmer co-chair our patrol group and report the group’s collective 30 patrol hours per month to HPD. Please contact Jake if you are interested in volunteering with our citizens patrol group.

Having a patrol presence in the neighborhood is a crime deterrent and a great way to give back to our community.

Please join us! More information on HPD's Volunteer Citizen Patrol is available here.
Stay Informed!
Check out info about the neighborhood, including downloading a copy of the deed restrictions here.

Report a pothole, get your trash bin repaired or replaced, report a problem with a traffic signal, missed trash pickup, and more.

Call the East End District at 713.928.9916 during business hours with the tagged address, intersection, and colors.
Stay Connected!
Great way to connect with East End residents. It’s a great place to report or look for a missing pet, announce a garage sales, put out a crime alert, etc. This site is endorsed and its use encouraged by HPD. Sign up here


Google Email Group - Idylwood Neighborhood Exchange
If you are not currently a member and would like to join, please send an invitation request to [email protected].
If you have something you would like to see published in the Newsletter, drop us a line. Comments or concerns?
Let us know how we're doing.
Idylwood Officers and Directors 2023-2024
PRESIDENT: Diane Schenke (Fairfield)
VICE PRESIDENT: Keith McCarthy (Merry)
TREASURER: Nicole Wood (Idylwood)
SECRETARY: Monique Studak (Sylvan)
Directors: Class A (two-year terms ending in December 2025):
Patricia Hattenbach (N. MacGregor); Tim Johnson (Wildwood); Danika Murphy (Rockbridge); Irma Niño (Meadowlawn); Richard Vela (Lindy)
Directors: Class B (two-year terms ending in December 2024):
Beth Barrette (Meadowlawn); Amy Dinn (Sylvan); Joshua Espinedo (Meadowlawn);
Jeff Klemm (Merry); Paul Leggett (Merry); Laura Manion (Meadowlawn)
Post Office Box 9225
Houston, TX 77261-9225