Category: Naturalist

  • A Naturalist Observes

    A Naturalist Observes

    One of the things I’ve been doing this year has been working towards becoming a Texas Master Naturalist, and I’m halfway there. I’ve completed the training class, and I am working on the volunteer hours that will eventually have me certified as a Master Naturalist. The thing is, it’s not a lot different than what…

  • Observations


    I’m not terribly good at birds.  Today I went on a birdwalk with other naturalists, and it was a lot of fun (plus being good exercise) because I was learning things the whole time. One of the things I already knew: I’m pants at identifying birds, especially when I can’t see them. Birdsong remains a…

  • Natural World

    Natural World

    Is it Monday? No?   Oops. Well, that lasted a long time. Ah, well, I can try to blog daily but I can make no promises. Went for a walk yesterday, and another one today. They cut into my time but they are so rewarding in terms of filling my soul and slimming the body,…

  • Bug Safari

    Bug Safari

    I finally found the time and inclination to do something at this house. After a year of living here (almost!) I got out the camera, macro lens, and went bug hunting.   

  • All the Pockets

    All the Pockets

    There was a conversation, and a side discussion cropped up, as they do, about my perennial joke that I am a hobbit. I’m short, and I have big feet for my stature.  I’m not kidding about the feet, the First Reader and I can share boots, as we wear the same size in shoes.  But…

  • My idea of Fun

    New place, new critters and plants. There’s people and conversations too, but the time to wander quietly was a welcome moment. Nothing to worry about, nothing tugging at my conscience to get done. Just me and whatever I can find. Pogonomyrmex rugosus, the Rough Harvester Ant, doing a bit of housekeeping before winter sets in.

  • Summer in North Texas: Arrowhead Lake

    Summer in North Texas: Arrowhead Lake

    You know it’s a good nature walk when you get to use the line ‘it’s like the Pit of Sarlacc…’ We take a lot of inspiration from the peculiar creatures around us, and that gets used in fiction, like the abovementioned monster. But there are other things that we see, and resonate with us. Like…

  • Inimitable Spider

    Inimitable Spider

    Phiddipus audax, the Bold Jumping Spider, on a Prickly Pear pad. He was doing a threat display for me as I leaned in to take his portrait. The audacity of the wee beast! To take on a human thousands of times his size! You have to respect the unflagging courage of it.  It’s no wonder…

  • Bug Hunting: June 2022

    Bug Hunting: June 2022

    it’s been far too long since I went on a bug hunt in my own yard. Even though we moved in here to the Crooked House in late spring, Texas time, I was too busy to find my camera (it has been located) or even to do what I did this morning and go out…

  • A Spiral Seeded Thing

    A Spiral Seeded Thing

    A small link between Texas and Malta. Medicago orbicularis is a small member of the legume family, with a minute yellow bloom that may go unnoticed in the verges of your paths and roads.  The seedpods, on the other hand!  Our new home has a sadly neglected lawn and garden – which I will be…

  • Crow Poison

    Crow Poison

    One of the plants I spotted blooming on my recent walk was a little white spring flower with grass-like leaves. I could tell as soon as I saw it that it was in the lily family, that it wasn’t Star of Bethlehem (a common invasive) and beyond that? I had to go look it up. …

  • Walking into the New Year

    Walking into the New Year

    One of the places I’ve discovered I like walking here in Texas is the John Burke Nature Preserve. It’s a bit of a detour from work, but not too far, and it’s a very wooded and secluded area tucked almost under the onramps for the big interstate. You are never away from the roar of…