March 29, 2011

More Spring Break Hiking

Before spring break ended I took one last trip out to the Greenbelt to help my friend collect plants.
One of the 3 Red-shouldered Hawks that live by the trail.

My first encounter with a Rock Squirrel, very cute and very skittish.

Fuzzy bunch of Daddy Longlegs

Tufted Titmouse (black crested variation) investigating my camera.
Same titmouse taking off.

One of the many Texas lizards.

Another lizard, much tinier.

Swallowtail butterfly laying eggs.

Assassin bug, their bites hurt horribly, like being stung by a bee.

This is going to be my last set of pictures from Texas for a while. On March 31st I'm moving out to Missouri so I can work my new job. I am now officially a Research Assistant for Emporia State University in Kansas. I'm going to be bird banding and point counting and lots of other fun stuff for one of the grad students. So for the summer most of my pictures are going to be from the midwest, and probably actual wilderness since the town I'm staying in is definitely not a suburb. Wish me luck!

March 23, 2011

Spring Break Hiking Trips

The past couple of weeks have been spring break for all of my friends so I've been out hiking and helping one of my friends collect a bunch of native Texas plants. The following pictures come from the local park, another park in Austin and the Barton Creek Greenbelt.
Little water snake pretending to be dead.

Painted Lady having a snack.

This little spider just wants a hug.

European house sparrows stealing the purple martin houses.

Buckeye chilling on the sidewalk.

This squirrel was staring at me.

Mating Damselflies.

Another Painted lady on snow drop flowers.

Damselfly on a stick.

Sarcophagidae fly (also known as Carrion Flies).

Butterfly trying it's best to be a dead leaf.

Baby spiders that just hatched.

Ant having a tasty snack of dead spiders.

Mating tiger swallowtail butterflies.

Yellow-rumped warbler.

Tiger Beetle at Walnut Creek.

Once upon a time this was a living thing, now it's just an impression.

Daddy Longlegs hiding in the limestone.

One of the pair I scared out of hiding.

Another daddy longleg trying to get away.

Sparrow of some sort? I'm not sure.

Painted lady again, these butterflies are everywhere and very good at staying still.

Black and White skipper on a redbud tree.

Red-shouldered Hawk flying over the Barton Creek Greenbelt.

This picture was taken about 2 seconds before this hawk dived for a snack.

Cardinals were easily the most populous bird on the trail.

Very fuzzy caterpillar.

This snake is blowing you a raspberry.

Butterfly on a mountain laurel.

White-eyed Vireo, this is the only picture I managed to catch before he flew off.

There were a lot of Carolina Wrens hanging around the limestone cliffs.

Lots of Carolina Wrens.

Cool Lizard about to enter breeding season, soon his whole belly will be blue.

March 9, 2011

Enchanted Rock

So this weekend my family and I took a trip out to Enchanted Rock in the Texas hill country. If you've never heard of it Enchanted Rock is a set of hills composed mostly of Texas pink granite (same stuff our capitol is made out of, yes, the Texas capitol is pink). Since the hills are granite instead of limestone like everything else they've weathered the years very well, but are also incredibly bare. There's some really cool rock formations out there and it is definitely worth the trip to go climb all over the rocks. Even if you're in horrible shape like me.

Anyways, I toted my huge-ass camera with me the whole time and this is what I ended up with.

Cool rock formations at the base of the hill
View of the hill next to enchanted rock.
Juvenile cardinal about to enter breeding season.
Male house finch, these guys are loud.
Lizard hanging out on a tree.
Roadrunner trying to avoid all the people on top of the hill.
Speed is the only thing Looney Toons got right about this guy.
This rock looked so out of place. Where could it have fallen from?
Male cardinal
Crested Caracara that was snacking on a flattened skunk.
Bald eagle in it's nest off Highway 29.
We actually visited the Eagle's nest twice that day, but the second set of pictures came out a lot clearer. However I did notice that it wasn't the same bird I was taking pictures of both times. The first bird still had a dark colored head, meaning it was a juvenile hanging around mom and dad hoping for handouts. Reminds me of someone I know... Oh, right, me.