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.

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Spring in the Lost and Found Box

Carolina Wren

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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Appreciating Spring Can't be Done on the Computer

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With the arrival of Spring, even after not much of a winter, my life changes. I am not crazy about being inside all the time anyway, but with Spring, it is all I can do to spend any time inside. After all, how many Springs do we have in our lifetimes? Maybe 70 good ones (taking away a few from when we are too young to appreciate them)? When you have a bunch of Springs behind you already, you sure don't want to miss any of the ones that are left.

It has been a busy Spring for me, but I have managed to get out and enjoy it. In keeping with that thought, I am not going to spend a great deal of time typing away here. Instead, let me share some of the photos that I have taken this Spring.

 American Robin

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I Know Why My Frustrated Mockingbird Sings

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Ah, it is Spring, and, as they say, a young man's fancy turns to love.  Well, a bird in this case. 

Last Spring, I had a Northern Mockingbird pair in my yard.  They built a nest in a tall bush about twenty-five feet from my front door and fifteen feet from the feeders.  For a couple of weeks or more it was interesting to watch their courtship and nest building.  

In a few weeks they were a bit more secretive and then a few weeks after that, three little fledglings appeared.  They would often sit in a group and beg whenever one of the parents got close.  All in all, as before, fun events to watch.  

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Someone Flicked the Spring Switch to ON

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It is amazing what a difference a couple of days have made.  It has been so rainy and cold for over a month.  The temperatures were so much cooler than the calendar would suggest.  Then a couple of days ago the sun came out.  The temperature actually moved into the lower 80s.  On top of that, the trees are turning green. I made mention of the fact that the birds didn't care what the weather was presenting, they were acting like it was Spring.  Now all the signs are there.  It is so cool.

The first hummingbird came to the feeder today.  It was a beautiful male.  About an hour later, another male came.  I am pretty sure that it is a different one.  The first one was in much better color.  It was nice to see them here.

I also have a pair of Robins building a nest in the tree/bush just outside my window.  This is the same bush that I see the Phoebees in quite often.  The Robins have been really busy today, flying back and forth with twigs and grass.  I don't know that they will really stay there for they have not been exposed to the "normal" human traffic in that spot.  That includes a two year old who is quite active and is often pushing all sorts of rather loud wheeled toys just under the branch where they are nesting.  We'll see how brave they are.

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