Love from the OEC

It's been an interesting Summer for our staff, but nothing will compare to how our hearts were broken to see such a storm hit our city. Nonetheless when we returned to find out that school had pushed back our staff took up tools and arms to come support our city.

From demolition to serving meals to helping speed up the process of placing students in schools. We were glad to see neighbors helping each other and taking pride in their city. We love you Houston and are excited to finally have kids here at the OEC! 

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Space Invaders!

An invasive species of trees has been a growing problem in our forest. Kids be prepared as we have started enlisting your help to pull the Chinese Tallow tree out so that our other trees may grow big and strong!

Removing these trees will also make room for us to plant new native trees in the area as well!

Pirates on the Lake!

There's a pirate on the lake!

Some kids this week will have the opportunity to ride out on Lake Livingston with local pirate, Ms. Sally! 

On the lake students might be able to visit Goat Island and observe the local bird population.

Students keep an eye out if you are coming here in the winter as the American White Pelicans are on the lake for their migration!

Did you know, Lake Livingston is one of the largest reservoirs in the state. The lake is an impoundment of the Trinity River, and provides water for the city of Houston and other East Texas cities. It is ideal for boating and fishing because of its size and constant level.

Zip it Up!

An Argiope spider was spotted near our garden!

Common Name:  The black and yellow argiope is also called banana spider, yellow garden spider, zipper spider, golden orb weaver and writing spider. 

The largest orb weaver in our gardens is the black and yellow argiope (Argiope aurantia).  The female is large, the males being much smaller by comparison. Although big enough to deliver a bite, these spiders are not poisonous or aggressive.

Scientific Name: Class Arachnida, Order Araneae, many families

Size: Varies

Identification: Spiders are not insects; they have no antennae, eight segmented legs instead of six, as insects do. Many construct webs for capturing prey. Jumping spiders of the family Salticidae are colorful and leap to capture prey on the leaves. Wolf spiders of the family Lycosidae run rapidly on the ground to catch prey at the base of plants. Garden spiders or orb-weavers of the family Araneidae string vertical webs to trap flying insects. Funnel-web spiders of the family Agelinidae create funnel webs and trap leafhoppers primarily. Crab spiders like flowers where they blend in with the colorful petals waiting to ambush their next meal.

Biology and Life Cycle: Males are often smaller than females. Not all spiders spin webs. Some live in tunnels. Most spiders lay eggs in silken sacs, which may be attached to the web or to twigs or leaves. Some carry the sac with them. Young are called spiderlings, look like adults, and are often cannibals.

Habitat: Different spiders live in many different plants and habitats--beehives, wood scraps, fencerows, vegetable crops, and ornamental plantings.

Feeding habits: Paralyze with venom and feed on insects and other small animals.

Ecological importance: Spiders are highly beneficial because they feed on many troublesome insects.