Our Natural Places

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Header Image: Anhinga Miles and miles of miles and miles. That was the description of west Texas landscape we heard from more than one Texan as we settled into our new neighborhood. Exploration of the area confirmed the truth of the statement. Most of those miles, at first glance, appeared completely inhospitable. Upon closer examination, we discovered the most incredible array of life forms which had learned to adapt to what, for… Read More

Header Image: Least Bittern Clear skies and the wind had subsided. Two hours before sunset. I had a sudden notion to wander along the western shore of the lake where the sinking sun would provide strong but warm light as I peered into the reeds and trees lining this side of the lake. I knew there were breeding egrets and herons here, but would their nests be visible? When attempting to learn… Read More

Header Image: Snail Kite Most living things are creatures of habit. For good reasons. Over time, we find what works best to ensure our survival. If we happen to be a black bear, we develop a habit of examining certain trees which in the past were used by bees. Yellow-legged Mud-dauber Wasps habitually sting and paralyze spiders, but don’t consume most of them. Instead, they seal a couple dozen in a nest… Read More

(Header image: Peace River swamp.) “The Butcher Bird’s been busy!” This was the third insect Gini had spotted stuck on a fence barb. The Butcher Bird is a nickname for members of the shrike family, in our case it’s the Loggerhead Shrike. They will capture a bug and impale it on a fence barb or thorn to make it easier for them to eat. It is not unusual to find caches of… Read More