Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Fort Worth Nature Center, Part II

Click here for Part I.

Somewhat surprisingly, the road out to the Greer Island levee crossing was completely passable.  Just some puddles in a couple of spots.  So I ended my visit out there.

Greer Island, Fort Worth Nature Center
If Lake Worth rises another foot, the levee probably won't be above water any longer.  It was lapping right up against the trail in some stretches.

Greer Island, Fort Worth Nature Center
These reeds looked interesting enough to shoot.  As so often happens, once I looked at the shot on the computer I noticed something I hadn't seen in the wild -- the tiny grasshopper near the top!

American alligator, Fort Worth Nature Center
I heard a fairly loud "sploosh" as I was headed back to my car -- whatever made it was likely larger than a turtle.  As I scanned the water to see if I could make out what had made it, I noticed this fellow doing his best imitation of a log.  What a treat!  I'd heard that there were alligators in North Texas, but had never actually seen one in the wild before.  I waited with him until the sun made a brief appearance.

Mimosa, Fort Worth Nature Center
Mimosa tree at the trail head.  A naturalist at the visitor center helped identify several of the wildflowers I saw, and added that this one is not native to Texas.

Prickly pear, Fort Worth Nature Center
The prickly pear cacti were in bloom all over the refuge.

Eastern pondhawk, Fort Worth Nature Center
Eastern Pondhawks were among the many dragonflies I saw along the trail.

Blanketflowers, Fort Worth Nature Center
As I was driving out, I stopped to shoot a patch of blanket flowers near the gate house.

I also saw three armadillos and a painted bunting during my four-hour visit, but wasn't able to get pictures of them.  The alligator was really the big win of the trip.  Apparently the swift-moving waters have been moving some downstream and they get "caught" by the levee.

Just the fix I was looking for after all our wet, overcast weather lately!

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