Drama on the Guadalupe River

Drama on the Guadalupe River

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.