Category: In the Field

Dear Urban Hiker

We’ve spent way too much time in the house, binge-watched Netflix until we get pulled into the screen and sucked dry. We’re trying to get through a crisis where people are dying and others are wondering how they will make a living. Uncertainty and…

Passing the Creek Along to a New Generation

In about 1962 or ’63 I was given a gift that lasts a lifetime. I was introduced to a certain creek in western Tarrant County with clear running water rippling over white limestone and gathering in shaded pools. In deeper, still water the sunfish…

Finding a Box Turtle

(I wrote this in The Great Rattlesnake Highway blog, several years ago. I thought it was worth bringing over here before I finally retire the other blog.) In May of the year 2000, Steve Campbell and I found a box turtle on our way…

The Western (or “Texas”) Ratsnake

Many years ago I was contacted to go to my son’s day care, which had some land and kept a few animals around a small barn. They said that a big snake had been eating the duck eggs, and the culprit had been spotted…

The Racer and the Jump to Light Speed

This article originally appeared in The Great Rattlesnake Highway blog. There was once a time when I could chase down an Eastern Yellow-bellied Racer. Well, if it was on a flat surface … maybe if I had a head start. Probably not now, unless…

The Cloud Castles of Heaven, Seen From the Texas Plains

Or, in Plain English, a Visit to Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge Last month, Meghan Cassidy, Paul Mendoza and I visited the Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge for two days, a brief trip in search of open skies, prairie, and Sandhill Cranes. It was part of…

Christmas Eve, at Home In the Woods

Everyone should have a home, a place where we feel like we belong. Ideally, home is a place where mostly good things happen over a long time, so that it feels comfortable and familiar. Americans move around a lot, so that long-term familiarity might…

Winter Solstice

Good morning Weathercock: make this day bright. Put us in touch with your fair winds. Sing to us softly, hum evening’s song. Point the way to better days we can share with you. -Jethro Tull, “Weathercock,” from Heavy Horses The sun has set on…

Endings and Renewals in the Woods

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” – Bilbo Baggins My favorite way to dodge weekend chores and recharge for the…

A Walk in the November Woods

(I’m very fortunate to be able to use some photos by Meghan Cassidy in this post. The captions identify which ones are hers, but basically the way to tell is to look for the really good ones – they’re hers!) On a visit to…