nature journal austin texas2017-02-28T21:11:39-06:00


I began keeping a nature journal decades ago.  Below are excerpts from those journals sharing my experiences with dogs, cats and horses, and observing the natural world in Austin, Texas.

Screech Owl Chronicles – The Owlets Fledge

We woke to an empty owl box on Friday morning. Two owlets took off on Wednesday evening, the first at 8:40 p.m., the second at 9:03, leaving the other two owlets to follow, but they lingered in the box, shuffling the sawdust, hopping up to the entrance, squawking for their parents to bring food. On Thursday morning only one owlet remained in the box, his sibling having left in the middle of the night.

May 13th, 2020|

Screech Owl Chronicles – The Owlets at Two Weeks

The owlets are now two weeks old. I watch them on the owl cam, waddling around the box, shuffling through the sawdust, looking up at their mother who is sitting in the box entrance. She is waiting to leave, anxious to leave. As the owlets grow larger each day and spring days get warmer, the box is becoming crowded and uncomfortable.

April 26th, 2020|

Screech Owl Chronicles – The Owlets at One Week

The owlets are all almost one week old now. The first egg hatched on Thursday, April 9, and the last on April 11, bringing the final count to four owlets. At one week old, the owlets are no longer amorphous blobs; they have wings which they stretch out as they awkwardly push out from under their mother and wobble around, all fuzzy round heads and tiny beaks and black eyes.

April 26th, 2020|

The Last Day of Winter

The last day of winter doesn’t feel like winter. Growing up in New Jersey, today might have brought snow. Back then we wished for signs of spring. Here in Texas, especially decades later, the signs of spring have been with us for weeks. Redbuds in bloom, primroses, bluebonnets, Indian Paintbrush all over the hillsides along 290, Blake Manor Road and the pastures at the barn.

March 20th, 2020|

Screech Owl Chronicles – March 8, 2020

The female screech owl has been in the owl box for over a week now. I was convinced it was the female when she began trilling before she left the box each evening. Each night she leaves a little later. Last night shortly before 7 a second owl (probably the male) dropped into the box, so we know now there are two owls, that this is a pair, and the female is now in the box. Instead of names we have given them numbers like wolves: M20 and F20, “20” for the year. Waiting for the first egg begins.

March 10th, 2020|

Willis’ Christmas Present – December 19, 2019

Willis was treated to a myofascial release session yesterday from Chase of Cadence Therapy. It is deep work, but at the same time light work. Watching, it doesn’t look like Chase is doing much, but Willis obviously feels something judging from his licking, chewing on his crossties and lead rope, turning his head sharply to the side to watch her.

December 29th, 2019|

August 2019

Summer’s heat is smothering us. Day after day of temperatures above 100º with an even higher heat index slowly wears us out. We were cruising along nicely through the summer with mornings in the low 70s when the heat and humidity suddenly shot up. Plants and grass are drying up.

August 20th, 2019|