This Nature blog is a joint effort with my wife Martha.
We are Texas Master Naturalists and photographers.
Here we will primarily address the natural world consisting of flora and fauna. geology, weather, habitats and other factors associated with flora and fauna.
I was born and raised on a blackland soil cotton farm in North Central Texas. As an only child, I spent a lot of time roaming the woods around our house and my grandfather’s nearby with my faithful dog. My curiosity about the animals and plants often got me bitten, stung, clawed, scraped, or cut from handling everything and examining it up close. My parents warned me a lot about snakes because we had copperheads, water moccasins, and coral snakes in our area. So that is the only animal that I feared. We had lots of large nonvenomous snakes that loved the eggs of our chickens. After stepping on one of those, it took me a lifetime to be able to appreciate the beauty and adaptations of any snake.
I was fortunate to be able to put this love of nature to use as a teacher of biology for 30 years, and environmental science for 15 years. It all started with my own high school biology teacher who made us assemble wildflower, leaf, and insect collections. I perpetuated that requirement when I became a teacher because nothing substitutes for hands-on experience. Over the years, students brought me all sorts of live critters for the class to observe. As fate would have it, during the 20 years that I taught in the semi-arid Texas Panhandle, the animal type that students brought in most frequently was snakes!
I was doubly blessed when I met and married a man who shared my interests, and we have been exploring nature for 48 years together. We sometimes exasperate other people who go on nature walks with us (especially bird guides) because we stop and look at everything that looks interesting. We have traveled all over the USA (lack 4 states including Hawaii) and Alaska, plus 5 Canadian Provinces, most of Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, Venezuela, and various Caribbean Islands. Most of our traveling has been in Texas, and we still haven’t seen it all! So much to see and learn and so little time.
<Under Construction> Come back later.
I don’t write as well as Martha, so I will have to think about this for a bit.