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Get 'A Taste of Nature' with your morning coffee

They aren’t the prettiest birds, but the black vulture and turkey vulture play important roles in the ecosystem. They are one of the many topics that will be covered by the 'A Taste of Nature' series at Numinous Coffee Roasters in Marble Falls. Photo by Phil Wyde

Billy Hutson was enjoying a cup of coffee at Numinous Coffee Roasters in Marble Falls, talking nature with a growing group of eager listeners, when he had an epiphany.

“If this many people were interested enough to listen to me spout off about the conservation and biodiversity of Texas’ natural resources and the intricate symbiotic relationship between all the natural world, why not continue in this venue?” said Hutson of the Upper Highland Lakes Nature Center.

After making arrangements with coffee shop owners Kathy and Alex Payson three years ago, he began "A Taste of Nature," a series of displays and discussions held on certain Saturdays in the winter and spring.

The series recently resumed; the next program on "Fascinating Fish" is Saturday, November 30, at the coffee shop, 715 RR 1431 in Marble Falls.

The come-and-go events are from 9 a.m.-noon and open to the public.

During each program, volunteers and presenters set up two tables at Numinous. Presenters are Master Naturalists and Master Gardeners, members of Friends groups, Upper Highland Lakes Nature Center experts, or state and federal wildlife agency staff. Topics for each presentation vary. Nothing is formal: People stop by, ask questions, and learn.

“This is our third year of successful talks, and we introduce new talks every year,” Hutson said. “We call it ‘A Taste of Nature’ since customers get nature with their coffee.”

The 2019-20 "A Taste of Nature" schedule includes the following Saturday presentations:

  • November 30 — "Fascinating Fish — What's Swimming in Our Lakes and Rivers?"
  • December 14 — "Vultures — Nature's Cleanup Crew"
  • December 28 — "Archaeology of the Hill Country — Who, What, When and Where?"
  • January 11 — "Native Peoples — Their Sacred Gardens"
  • January 25 — "Edible Plants — Wild, Wonderful Edible Herbs of Texas"
  • February 8 — "Bats — Curious Critters of the Night"
  • February 22 — "Monarchs and Other Butterflies — Nature's Beautiful Dancers"
  • March 7 — "Trees — The Beauty and Majesty of Our Hill Country Woods and Forests"
  • March 21 — "Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge — A Unique Habitat Right in Our Backyard"
  • April 4 — "Invasive Species — More Than Just the Zebra Mussel to Worry About"
  • April 18 — "Geology — Take a Trip Through a Billion Years and Never Leave Texas!"
  • May 2 — "Birds of Texas — Getting to Know Our Fine Feathered Friends"

The Upper Highland Lakes Nature Center is located on Reveille Peak Ranch, 105 CR 114 in Burnet. It offers educational and recreational outreach programs. Visit its website for more information.

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