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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Walk log, 5/13/09

I haven't posted much since the end of last year. The irony being, the events of the interceding time frame give me more than enough to write about, but I'm still wading through the emotions of it all, and this didn't seem the best forum. Maybe in a while..

For now, I thought I'd start keeping a record of the species, etc I run across in my almost daily hikes or lunch walks at various parks in the area. Something fairly safe and detached to ease my return, I suppose.

5/13/09 - Cullinan Park, Houston

Cullinan Park is a small park consisting primarily of an equally small lake, that runs along a regional creek. Outside of the boardwalk that meanders through some woods and along the lake edge (providing fantastic views of the wetlands and other inaccessible areas), there are only a few unkept trails through second growth riparian corridor. However, I've come to like it as a great place for macro photography.

The lake is getting choked up with lillypads. I think they're american lotus because that's what will be blooming later on in the summer. It's always an odd sight...the seed pods staring like bright yellow sightless aliens in unison across the water. The lake goes from clear all winter long, to completely covered during the summer. It's a pretty fantastic transition, and the species present vary wildly in accordance with the changes.

The lake was practically shimmering from the volume of dragonflies that flitted above it's mottled surface. I saw several of the usual blue dashers and eastern pondhawks. They're swarming all over, must be mating season. That can only mean the golden silk spiders won't be far behind. I also saw at least two other species I have not yet identified. One an almost calico mix of reds and yellows (eastern amberwing?)and the other a dark variety with distinct markings on its wings.

Today was a big day for herps, compared to the usual fare...saw a garter/ribbon snake of a size that would lead me to lean toward the latter, and an unidentified water snake which declined to show anything but its back half...dark, with bright red/orange/brown? rings. Combined with a tiny, delicate yellowish damselfly species and a lark-sized bird I could not see well, I will have several photos species to identify when I get home.

The usual swifts/swallows and vultures were present, along with a few cattle egrets, a yellow-crowned night heron, and a black bellied whistling duck. A Little Blue egret and some moorhens also made appearances to round out the birding list.

I've been on a species photographing/identifying kick as of late. Partly the latent naturalist coming into a more focused pursuit, partly the human collecting urge, I suppose. Someone of greater perception may delve into deeper motivations based on events of late. In any regard, a walk in wild areas is greater balm to me than hashing such ideas out.

Photos, as always, to follow, and also available at:
My Flickr Page

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