Drama on the Guadalupe River

Drama on the Guadalupe River

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Padre Island National Seashore Sunrise

The Tropical skies of the Western Gulf of Mexico. One of the many dawn patrol mornings spent checking waves along Padre Island. This was one of those special sunrise mornings...only viewable by those who can get out of bed well before sunrise LOL!

South Texas Juice LOL!

Cold air, warm water with clean little South Texas waves. Yup this is me riding one of dozens of these little clean waves. I started surfing back in Surfside Texas in 1972 and never gave it up. My friend David grabbed my camera and snapped a few shots of me during a rest. If it wasn't for David....I probably wouldn't have any recent surf photos LOL!

Endless Summer

October......sunrise.....an early morning "dawn patrol" surf session. It's 44 degrees with a stiff North wind...the first coastal blast of the year. The water temp is 76 degress, warm below and cold up top.....a late fall surf scene in South Texas.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bob Hall Pier - Hurricane Alex

Using the pier as a reference......the Gulf of Mexico surf line churns large.

The Morning After

The Padre Island National Seashore, south Texas, the morning after Hurricane Alex landfall in Mexico.

On The Prowl

This young Little Blue Heron is wading hard for dinner.

Caspian Tern Madness

Caspian Tern Madness, originally uploaded by Rob Zabroky.

Just another coastal scene - a gaggle of Caspian Terns doing nothing but resting and taking in the morning's sunshine.

Roseate Spoonbill with a Little Blue Heron

A slightly pink Roseate Spoonbill (Platalea ajaja), Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea) with a pair of gulls wade the shallows.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Da BoyZ

Da BoyZ, originally uploaded by Rob Zabroky.

Bachelor bucks feeding together along an open field edge.

Old Boy in Velvet

This old buck and I go back several years now. He's an old boy now, fat, swayed back with equal size....shoulders to rump.

The spring rains have come and gone with the long grass now showing signs of early drought.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Nature's Baby

Just a wonderful animal.....a young whitetail fawn strolling in the sunlight.

Cool Drink

Water dripping from her lips...this mature whitetail doe enjoys a late afternoon drink.

Fawn with Velvet Buck

Vivid red summer coats...a young fawn and new velvet growth whitetail buck feed beneath the oak tree canopy.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Wild Gobbler

This old boy simply gobbled at everything. I don't know what his deal was but gobbling and staring for ladies was his routine before moving on.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Black-tailed Jackrabbit (Lepus californicus)

This young Blacktail jackrabbit blends into his surrounding very well. These rabbits are very fast with the largest reaching speeds of 40-45mph with leaps covering 19ft per bound. Life with the coyote.....survival.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Friday, May 14, 2010

Bachelor Group Jump Up

Well the boys are now roaming in small groups, growing new bone and working hard at doing nothing. This group of bucks are resting in the shade with one raising up to stand.

Note the last remnants of this bucks winter coat near his neck. Shedding that winter coat is nearly complete.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Chicken Turtle (Deirochelys reticularia)

Caught this Chicken Turtle working her way into a nice cool swim. Their name references the taste of their meat, which years ago, popular in Southern markets. This particular turtle is a female...I'm working from her size more than anything making this comment. Male Chicken Turtles are typically smaller and this old girl was very large and mature. They live roughly 20-25 years and my thought is she is well into old age now. Note the circular round dark marks along the yellow section of her shell...very intricate and unique.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hollering in the Hills

Spotted a pair of gobblers working along the Guadalupe River valley near home yesterday afternoon. This old boy belted out a healthy GOBBLE after I gave him a few quick hen clucks. I've spent so much time with wild turkeys....I don't need a turkey call to work them up LOL!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Still At It

A wild turkey gobbler still thinks it's the spring time good time. Several hens are feeding slowy nearby and in tow, this young gobbler struts and drums.

Pregnant Whitetail Doe

This mature whitetail doe is days away from giving birth to her fawn. Her winter coat is nearly gone, fur showing signs of new summer growth. Healthy and fit, she feeds on new spring growth for her and her offspring.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Texas Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus olivaceus)

Cruising along a lonely rural backroad this morning I noticed a small blur zipping across the road. Closer investigation....well well...its a Texas Spiny lizard!

Native to Texas and Northern Mexico, Spiny lizards live off the ground preferring trees, fence posts or log piles. They have excellent climbing skills, utilizing their sharp hooked claws to dig into the tree's bark. Diet consists entirely of insects. The females lay eggs, males are territorial and they are fairly common here in the Texas Hill Country.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

New Velvet!

I've been out of touch with the whitetail lately....so today I ventured out to reconnect. I knew the old boys would more than likely have fresh velvet but I was unable to locate new baby fawns. Many of the does are extremely pregnant now and it's only a matter of days before many of them give birth to one of the cutest babies on earth.

I'm certainly looking forward to watching this seasons whitetail activities. Each year I learn something new about these animals...most of it centers around native habitat, diet and social interactions between the various family groups.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Drink Wild Turkey

A pair of Rio Grande wild turkey gobblers find a cool natural spring fed drink.

Hill Top at Sunset

Just a bit to the northwest of Hunt Texas.....a place to unwind with room to spare.

Black Eyed Susan - Fields of Yellow

The last real blooming flower of the Texas Hill Country spring, the Black Eyed Susan. These flowers certainly give the Texas Bluebonnet a serious visual run for the money.

Probably one of the best Spring wildflower seasons I've ever experienced this year. A mild wet winter contributed to this year's awesome wildflower display.

Death Along a Flooded River

Last night (April 15) the Upper reaches of the Guadalupe River flooded in a classic flash flood event. This scene is near Hunt Texas, a dead crawfish laying along the roadway. The river crested last night around 1 am, 13.5ft above normal. Last night's flood line was roughly 10ft over the dead crawfish's body. if you look closely at the river's other side, a pickup truck sits standed along the west bank, unable to cross till the water subsides. Last night's flash flood hit the distant trucks mark at flood peak.

Several miles to the North of this spot, near Hunt, 3 people were swept into the River as they attempted to cross low water crossings at night in their vehicles. Two women were rescued, one clinging to a tree for literally an hour before the White Water Rescue Team pulled her free. The other woman was swept off into the River in her car and somehow managed to swim to shore saving her life. The third person, a male, was swept off into the river in his vehicle....his body has yet been recovered.

The Texas Hill Country river system is very dangerous...most particularly after sunset when river crossing conditions are not easily read by motorists who think they can cross.

This region has experienced constant rain this year, ground saturation levels beyond spring time conditions. Last night's flash flood followed 3 days of non-stop rain with heavy Thunderstorms working the Upper reaches of the Guadalupe River Valley right around sundown.

Guadalupe River - Fall Color

Shot this past fall.....the Guadalupe River at Schumacher Crossing Texas.

On The Prowl

With excellent vision, this wild Rio Grande gobbler slowly scans for insects and seed. Turkeys eat various seed, berries, grass and insects..which includes ticks. The eye sight necessary to see ticks buried in the grass gives insight into how strong their vision really is.

Resting Pair

Late evening roost over the Guadalupe River, a pair of turkey buzzards rest. The entire Guadalupe River valley is covered with black vultures and turkey buzzards right now. The recent flash flood killed a lot of animals along the river's path.....the vultures are roosting over the bodies. Below this scene, another dead animal lays along the banks of the river.

Forest Falls

The Guadalupe River at Schumacher Crossing.

Strut Mr. Jake Strut!

Here's a young gobbler....a Jake....strutting like mad. Off in the distance is one lone female hen. She's not interested...probably has a clutch of eggs nearby...her breeding season done. But Mr. Jake doesn't know this and considering he's a very young gobbler, well into his first year of Wild Turkey breeding.....he's not about to give it up just yet.

Young Jakes typically get no respect from their older Gobbler counterparts. Hot hens are typically courted by the dominant males....this guy is certainly not one of them. He's a big bird though....as most Rio Grande gobblers are.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Strutting Rio

The wild turkey spring mating season continues! I think the Rio Grande turkey is the most colorful bird of North America's 4 species. They certainly are the largest turkeys...this old boy is probably around 25+ pounds.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Bluebonnets, originally uploaded by Rob Zabroky.

A field of Bluebonnets along the Texas Hill Country Escarpment (Edwards Plateau) near San Antonio.

White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica)

White-winged dove.....deep in South Texas the white-wing fly by the thousands during that last hour of sunlight. Native to the American Southwest and Northern Mexico.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Sea of Colors

A Sea of Colors, originally uploaded by Rob Zabroky.

Along the coastal plains of South Texas....spring has sprung for miles and miles!

Friday, March 26, 2010


Ally loves the South Padre Island dunes.

Photo captured 14 Mar 10

Floating the River

Sunset this evening on the Guadalupe River. Celebrated St Patrick's day chasing green fish from the kayak.

Enjoying the beautiful early spring weather..... hawks and buzzards soaring thermals overhead, fish popping the river's surface, whitetail feeding along the river's banks.....the upper Guadalupe River valley.

Photo captured 17 Mar 10

Spring Wildflowers

This year's spring colors are folding in with vibrant gusto!

I'm out of here!

Caspian Terns (Hydroprogne caspia) bracing together against a strong Northwest wind along the Gulf of Mexico shoreline - Padre Island National Seashore Texas.

Surfs Up!

After a 2 day onshore blow, Saturday's mid-day cold front shaped the surf nicely along Padre Island National Seashore. Enjoyed a few hours of surf today...in spite of a cold brisk NW wind, the Gulf waters were nice and warm.

Photo captured 20 Mar 10

North American Raven (Corvus corax)

Much larger than the American crow, the Raven is more angular with a hooked beak. The average wing span of the American crow averages 2.5ft where as the Raven averages 4ft and weighs nearly 4 times more.

Ravens are predators and are very adaptive, preferring sheep carrion, a livestock industry alive and well in the Texas Hill Country.