Category: In the Field

Summer’s Snakey End

It was September12, with ten days of summer left to us before the autumn equinox, and so we decided that the last outing of summer ought to be spent at the LBJ National Grasslands, in Wise County. It was some combination of work on… Continue Reading “Summer’s Snakey End”

Guiding Another Group of “Rangers”

Yesterday, on a slightly muggy early September day, I walked the bottomlands at Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge with this year’s class of Cross Timbers Master Naturalists. We “met” last week via Zoom as I conducted the class covering reptiles and amphibians, mostly… Continue Reading “Guiding Another Group of “Rangers””

Skinks, Turtles and Birds on a Summer Morning

8/13/20 I knew that having Jim Frisinger join us would be a harbinger of good birding. Jim teaches birding at Southwest Nature Preserve and is the first one we think of when we think about birds at the preserve. And sure enough, even though… Continue Reading “Skinks, Turtles and Birds on a Summer Morning”

Field Herping and Fighting “The Nothing”

(This one first appeared in my earlier blog, “The Great Rattlesnake Highway,” in March of last year. I describe how my field herping evolved as I learned more about the animals and places I love.) I spend as much time as I can in… Continue Reading “Field Herping and Fighting “The Nothing””

An Evening at the Ponds at Southwest Nature Preserve

The long, hot day was surrendering to darkness at the preserve. The trees and shrubs around the edge of the pond were black silhouettes and the sunset was fading. Shades of gold and rose would soon slip into the dusty gray-black that passes for… Continue Reading “An Evening at the Ponds at Southwest Nature Preserve”

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… Continue Reading “Dear Urban Hiker”

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… Continue Reading “Passing the Creek Along to a New Generation”

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… Continue Reading “Finding a Box Turtle”

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… Continue Reading “The Western (or “Texas”) Ratsnake”

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… Continue Reading “The Racer and the Jump to Light Speed”