Trip Report - Austin Texas Area 4-29-05

 

I had the opportunity to do a little photography while on a business trip to the Austin Texas area in April of 2005.  The following are just a few highlights from the evening of April 28th and the morning of April 29th.

A Texas Sunset... The night is just starting and I am on a quest to find some of the nocturnal creatures of the area...

First up is one of many Gulf Coast Toads I would find during the evening hours...

Unfortunately, this beautiful specimen of a Texas Rat Snake was hit by a car just in front of me.  It was still quite alive although badly injured when I stopped.

This Blotched Water Snake was the last snake found this evening, a young and feisty example with a great urge to bite me as many times as possible...

Next day I took an early morning walk along a creek bed not too far from my hotel.  The area was thick with Thistle which in turn attracted hundreds of butterflies like this Black Swallowtail.

Here's the creek, upstream

And downstream...

This large bug was hanging out over the waters edge, it's the size of a fifty-cent piece to give you some perspective...

In the afternoon, after I was done with meetings I drove out to Bastrop State Park, a walk along this utility path was productive...

I was very fortunate to spot this beautiful Broad-banded Copperhead hiding along the side of the trail under some decomposing wood.  You can see  how their coloration would make it very difficult to spot in the shadows, the browns and copper colors quite closely matching the colors of the leaves and fallen bark found in the area.

He didn't like the fact that I was taking pictures of him and moved surprisingly quickly from his "hide' in search of better cover.

Close-up of this remarkable creature.

I heard this incessant pounding coming from the top of a tree and was stunned to see my first Pileated Woodpecker blasting away at the top of this rotting tree.  Chips of bark were flying everywhere as this crow-sized woodpecker started hammering away again after a quick glance down to check me out.

Bullfrogs were the prevalent species at the myriad of little streams and ponds in the area.

This Black Vulture paid no attention to me as he went about his activities, whatever they were...

A lone Broad-winged Hawk sat above a trail for a brief moment allowing me one shot at him before taking off, never to be seen by me again.

This Mississippi Mud Turtle was a little more cooperative than the Hawk, allowing me to approach a little closer before it slid effortlessly backward into the water.

Last critter was this surprisingly colorful Texas Spotted Whiptail...

Page last updated:  06-29-2008



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