Category Archives: texas

East Texas Backyard Critters

I apologize for the lack of focus on some of these but they are timid little guys.

The cardinal is one of my favorite birds because of the male’s bright red color.

cardinal
Cardinal

The Blue Jays in Texas look quite different from the Stellar Jays I’m use to west of the Rockies.

blue jay
Blue jay

The squirrels don’t look any different from my point of view though.

squirrel and blue jay
Keeping an eye on each other

This little Mockingbird might have left the nest too early.

Mockingbird fledgling
Mockingbird fledgling

It mostly hopped across the yard a few jumps then flapped his wings in that quivering kind of way that baby birds use.

mockingbird fledgling trying to fly
I saw Mama do this

When I saw the chicks coming out on the Martin house deck I knew the fledge was close.  It was early morning and the windows were dripping with dew.  I went out on the deck to take some photos and the camera lens kept fogging up.  Combine that with the breeze blowing the branches in front of the bird house and it took a while before I could get a photo.  These are not Martins.  Maybe starlings?

Not Martins in the Martin house
Not Martins in the Martin house

We were gone for a couple days and didn’t see the chicks again.  But something stinky must have happened inside.

Turkey vulture on Martin house
Turkey vulture on Martin house

I’m not giving them their cleaning deposit back!

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Nighttime on the Lake

I missed the full moonrise last night and it would have been perfect with the clear sky.  So I looked up the time for the moonrise tonight and headed down to the boat dock with my camera.

I can’t seem to remember that the moon is about 45 minutes late getting up above the hills and trees around Houston County Lake in East Texas.  So I stand around enjoying the sounds around this pretty little lake after dark.

It’s 80 degrees and a nice breeze keeps the humidity down.  The lake isn’t as smooth as glass but it is pretty close.  The occasional fish-splash keeps the surface moving.  I hear tree frogs all around me and even from across the lake.  The neighbor’s door opens and closes and he softly whistles for Ranger, the favorite neighborhood dog, to come home.  He must be coming because I hear different dogs bark as he runs by their homes.  I’m all alone on the deck, wondering if I’ll get to see the moon.  Looking straight up I cannot even see any stars because of the clouds.  I walk to the edge of the dock and start having silly-creepy thoughts:  what if a crocodile explodes through the surface and lunges at me onto the dock!  or what if Swamp-thang reaches up and grabs my ankle and pulls me under, without hardly a peep?!   hahaha – I step back… just in case.

Looking at the horizon again I’m thinking, well, I’ve seen it before maybe I should just give it up.  Then, of course, I see the sliver of orange above the clouds.

full moonrise, houston county lake, texas

It didn’t last long.  There was another cloud that the moon immediately disappeared behind.

full moonrise, houston county lake, texas

Thanks God, for letting me have another peek.

Backyard Birds of East Texas

I love to be outdoors but, I admit, I’m a fair-weather outdoors-girl.  As I was in east Texas, on Houston County Lake, over Labor Day, the temps were close to 100.  Looking outside I could see a gentle breeze that kept enticing me out.  Any who have spent a summer in Texas know what happens as soon as you go outside.  I began to sweat and couldn’t even find relief from the heat in the shade or the breeze.  But I wanted to get some pix of the backyard birds so I pulled up a chair and tried not to exert any energy.  🙂

Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker

I thought the above photo was of a red-headed woodpecker but I got some help with the bird identification from nature@twpd.texas.gov.

Goldfinch
Goldfinch

My Dad says his mother used to call the goldfinch “salad” birds.

Downy Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker

The Downy woodpecker is such a cute little bird.

Eastern Bluebird
Eastern Bluebird

The Easter Bluebird is pretty common; especially if you put up a nesting box for them.

bird identification request
Female Red-bellied Woodpecker

Again, nature@twpd.texas.gov helped me out to identify the bird in the above photo.  It is a female Red-bellied woodpecker.  The Yellow-fronted woodpeckers aren’t found in this part of Texas.

As I came back in the house, where my parents stayed, my Dad asked me what I was doing out there.  I told him I was taking photos.  He told me I should have gotten some good pix of the birds who came to see the crazy person sitting outside in the Texas heat because they never see that.  🙂

Listening to General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.