With my new wheels, and a different camera, I headed out Friday afternoon for a weekend in nature with the dogs. We made it up to Bastrop State Park just outside of Austin to learn a little bit about the Houston Toad –
an endangered species that was severely traumatized by the drought last year in Texas and the fire at the park.
I joined a group tour for the Friday night “night hike”.
We were aided by a little light from the half-moon, and noted the Saturn-Mars-Spica triangle on the horizon. With the help of the ranger,
we learned about bats, owls, frogs, crickets, and spiders.
Mostly, we heard them, and although the ranger did try calling a owl, we didn’t hear a response, or see any bats by moonlight. We did spot the more common gulf coast toad, which the ranger caught so that we could observe it a little more closely.
The next morning, I was out early at the lake testing out the camera on some water fowl.
As the morning developed, I parked over by the pool, and the dogs and I hiked the primitive trails –
some of which were still not very cleared from the fire damage. There were a few mishaps with trail signs, but we saw some toads at the little ponds, and a got a new pretty complete set of pictures of wildflowers with the camera, noting those that I had not seen in the Houston area.
a whiter variant of what appears to be a wild petunia.
By nightfall, we had a second guided activity recording frog and toad calls at the local pond. The group only saw cricket frogs and gulf coast toads.
I recorded 2 different calls.