East Texas Naturalist Blog

Information and photographs mainly about nature in east Texas. Our authors have widely diverse backgrounds and write on a variety of topics.

If you write about nature in east Texas and would like to join us here, please contact us.

Spring in the Lost and Found Box

Spring in the Lost and Found Box
Eastern Kingbird

Great Blue Heron

Brown-headed Cowbird

Female Red-bellied Woodpecker

Diamondback Watersnake

Northern Cardinal

We had a big storm blow through the Lake O' the Pines area last night. For a while, the winds were rather fierce accompanied by a drumming rain that brought a bit of hail and just ...
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Here is an Nine Thousand Word Post

Here is an Nine Thousand Word Post
BumbleBee061216 (5 of 1)
CarpenterBeeOnFalseDandelion 062316 (8 of 1)
DolichopodidFly 062016 (2 of 1)
FiveLinedSkinkFemale050316 2
RambursForktailDamselfly 062116 (1 of 1)
RobberFly061216 (3 of 1)
WillowLeafBeetle 060216 1
TurkeyVulture 062016 (1 of 1)

I have been unusually busy lately so here I wanted to post a major article - here is the equivalent of 9,000 words.  That is, if indeed a picture is worth a thousand words.  

All of these images were taken within a couple of hundred yards of my front door.  

Female Green Anole

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The Things I Did at Nine Years Old Would Get Me Put Under the Jail Now

The Things I Did at Nine Years Old Would Get Me Put Under the Jail Now

When I was growing up in east Texas, I caught everything I get my hands on including using various kinds of traps.  In particular, there is no telling how many snakes, lizards, turtles, toad, frogs and salamanders that I at least temporarily added to my collection.  At the time there were no laws related to collecting or capturing reptiles and amphibians.  Wow, has that changed.

One important part of all this is that you cannot even temporarily capture or handle reptiles or amphibians even if you are just trying to photograph them if you are on a road, shoulder or unpaved part of the right of way unless you have a Texas hunting license with a reptile and amphibian stamp.  It is up to a $500 fine.  

This also includes your actions as a citizen scientist working with the TPWD Texas Nature Trackers (only on public roads).  That program is for private lands, not public areas or roadways.

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Turtles, Lizards and Snakes - Oh My!

Turtles, Lizards and Snakes - Oh My!
LOP ElegantSlider
image

After making the comment back in October that I haven't seen many reptiles, I have made an effort to spend a little more time this Spring watching to see if my initial feeling was correct.  Well, I have definitely seen more reptiles but still not in the numbers of my childhood.  Not by a long shot.

A walk in the woods (across the street from my RV) has produced Anolis specimen but in small numbers.  I can usually spot 5 or 6 in a half and hour walk.  I used to be able to see dozens in that time period.  I have seen a fair number in town (Gilmer) around houses.  

My walks have also produced a few Five Lined Skinks, Plestiodon fasciatus, but I am still surprised that I am not seeing any Sceloporus in what I know is excellent habitat.

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