Monday, July 24, 2017
When we are working in the field, we are often distracted by frogs, butterflies, anoles and spiders. Right, Sandy?
Near a shelter in a pen for the Attwater's Prairie Chickens, we found at least three little tree frogs. One of them slurped a bug while Sandy moved in for a photo.
Saturday, July 15, 2017
This dead dragonfly was in a corner of an arbor at a park. I didn't realize it was dead until I got close enough to touch its fragile wings. A live dragonfly rarely lets me get within 5 feet.
It seemed like a fresh death, but what happened? Note the butterfly wing under the dragonfly. Dragonflies are known to eat butterflies. Was this a fight to the finish? Or did the dragonfly and butterfly die natural deaths and simply get swept into the same place by the wind?
Sunday, July 9, 2017
|What are you stopping for?|
Actually I didn't know what kind of bird it was so I posted the pic to iNaturalist. Almost immediately three birders responded: Common Nighthawk (Chordeiles minor). I'm sure they also rolled their eyes when I listed it as some type of "bird."
This pic was taken from the driver's side of the car. When I got out on the passenger's side to see if I could get a better angle, it flew away.
Did it think it was camouflaged on the roadway? Bird guides say Common Nighthawks are usually hard to see when they land and like to nest on gravel roofs.
We also played spot the alligator while we were wandering the park.
|This baby gator made a noise, otherwise it probably would not have been spotted.|
|It's pretty cute.|
Thursday, July 6, 2017
|One of these things is not like the others.|
Confession: Wednesday was a workday for the Wetlands Team. While others went out to rescue plants (a hot job), I opted stay indoors to clean seeds. Then I realized I was the only one doing seed work. After about an hour, I got bored. Without anyone there to shame me into staying, I took a walk.
Next week I'll try to keep on task.
|The American lotus are quite spectacular in the ponds.|
|Signs warn guests not to pick the flowers or leaves.|
Saturday, July 1, 2017
|At Baytown Nature Center|
The basket-flowers are blooming and that makes the pollinators happy. These pics were taken at Baytown Nature Center, Sheldon Lake State Park and my yard.
|Bumblebees collect honey for transport in the pollen baskets on their hind legs.|
|Honey bee adds honey to it pollen basket.|
Sunday, June 25, 2017
|What happened to your neck?|
This week as the rain threatened a strange dove came for a visit. It's been hanging round for the past three days, and I've started thinking of it as sad dove.
At first its distinctive dark color caught my attention. But when I looked closer, I noticed it had lost feathers around its neck. It looks thin compared to the other doves.
What's your story, sad dove? I wonder.
I've started watching for sad dove. It keeps its distance until most of the other birds have left then it approaches the feeder for seeds that have fallen to the ground. In my imagination I've decided the other doves are being mean to sad dove.
When it started raining Saturday, all the birds left the feeder so sad dove moved in.
Sad dove alone pecking under the feeder in the rain. Awww.
This morning sad dove was back although it wasn't near the feeder. But I just looked out the window and didn't see it. I hope it comes back.
It makes me a little sad when I don't see sad dove.
|Wet and thin.|
|It doesn't let me get close for pics.|
|Mourning dove with sad dove.|
|White-winged dove with sad dove.|
Saturday, June 24, 2017
|Feral cats behind a Dumpster near the historic Big Spring.|
Big Spring State Park: One of few Texas state parks with free admission. The Civilian Conservation Corps built the three-mile roadway loop to the top of the scenic bluff and some buildings. The sunset view from the top is supposed to be remarkable, but we were there around noon on Memorial Day and didn't see many people. The playground near the pavilion was empty.
We wanted to see the historic Big Spring, but discovered the spring has its own park. Alas, it was closed for renovation. It looked like trails and landscaping were being added behind the chain-link fence. It should be nice when it reopens.
|I think this is a spotted ground squirrel hiding in the shade at Lake Colorado City State Park|
|Lake Brownwood State Park rents cabins that were built by the CCC.|
The next morning the canoes looked inviting, but it started raining again.
|An easy trail with plenty of wildlife.|
|Not much tree cover along the trails at Copper Breaks.|
When asked about the longhorn herd, the ranger said if we honked our horn at the fence, longhorns might walk up. We decided not to honk because we didn't want to seem obnoxious.