Month of Tweets
Of the 654 species of birds documented in Texas, over half are migratory. Millions of these will fly the Texas skies starting this month on their way to northern breeding grounds after wintering in Mexico and Central and South America.
Some species, such as the prothonotary warbler and red-eyed vireo, will go no farther north than Texas, where they’ll make their home until the fall, when they migrate south again.
Since the Boy Scouts of America created the Eagle Scout rank in 1911, about 2.6 million Americans have earned one of Scouting’s highest honors. Until last year, all Eagle Scouts were boys.
When Abby Winkelman, whose family is a member of Sam Houston Electric Cooperative, became an Eagle Scout in October, when she was 14, she made history, becoming one of the first girls to reach the rank.
“I don’t think I’ve ever set a goal this ambitious for myself, so I’m just really proud of myself that I met my goal,” said Winkelman, of Troop 5131 in Austin, “and I planned and I got help from all my friends and all my community.”
Hank the Cool Dog
Texas’ coolest dog meets Texas’ coolest character.
A new podcast series stars Matthew McConaughey as Hank the Cowdog, based on the long-running series of children’s books written by Texan John R. Erickson, illustrated by Gerald L. Holmes and set in the Panhandle.
The podcast, which debuted in the fall, is available on all major podcast platforms.
“I will never forsake Texas and her cause. I am her son.”
—José Antonio Navarro
Drink to That
Using Houston as a model, researchers at Rice University have developed a plan to recycle wastewater economically and make it drinkable, which could reduce the need for surface water—from rivers, reservoirs and wells—by 28%.
“All the technologies needed to treat wastewater to drinking water quality are available,” Rice researcher Qilin Li said. “The issue is that today they’re still pretty expensive.”
This proposed system makes up for that by bringing down the cost of a city’s water supply. Recycled water doesn’t have to travel as far and is therefore cheaper.
J. Mason Brewer, the premier African American folklorist of the 20th century, was born 125 years ago this month. He was the first Black member of the Texas Folklore Society and the Texas Institute of Letters.
He was born March 24, 1896, in Goliad, 60 miles north of Corpus Christi.
Sheryl Swoopes, a basketball superstar who won an NCAA championship at Texas Tech University, four WNBA titles with the Houston Comets and three Olympic gold medals, turns 50 this month. Swoopes, who in 1996 became the first player to sign with the fledgling WNBA, was also the first woman to have a signature athletic shoe—the Nike Air Swoopes.
Swoopes was born March 25, 1971, in Brownfield, near Lubbock.
The Other Football
When the Major League Soccer season kicks off this month, Texas will be better represented than ever as Austin FC kicks off its inaugural season, joining a league that already includes the Houston Dynamo and FC Dallas.
Austin FC will be the first major-league professional sports team based in Austin, where its $240 million, 20,500-seat stadium boasts the second-largest roof among soccer-specific venues in the league.