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

Journal

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.

Five owlets! The Owl Chronicles Continue.

The fifth egg hatched on or about April 17 when we noticed the last egg missing, but weren’t sure if the egg had hatched or been eaten. The owlets huddle together in one big fuzzy ball, so it’s hard to tell how many owlets are there, but by Monday the fifth owlet could be seen in the middle of its four siblings, its tiny white head and skinny wings and body sticking out.

May 5th, 2021|

The Owlets Hatch

The first owlet hatched on Monday, April 12, one month from the day the first egg was laid. Two more owlets appeared the next day, leaving two eggs unhatched. On Wednesday, April 14, two eggs were still unhatched with three owlets. Last night only one egg remained, so four have hatched.

April 17th, 2021|

Winter Storm – Part 2

A little warmer today. Last night’s icy precipitation has coated streets, walks and driveways with a dangerous glaze. The driveway (which I attempted to shovel and clear yesterday) is a bumpy crust of snow and ice. No going outside today; too slippery, too much chance of falling. The temperature is slowly going up - 30º at 8:00 a.m. as opposed to 1º at 5:30 a.m. Monday and below 19º at 10 a.m. yesterday.

March 14th, 2021|

Snow!

Snow! Outside, big flakes of wet snow still falling. At any other time I would be delighted by true winter weather. Snow in Austin is cause for celebration and I am winter-deprived, but now I am just cold.

January 31st, 2021|

Entering Winter

Tonight I sat outside as the sun went down, taking in the live oak trees shedding their small oval leaves and watching the screech owl poke his head out of the box. The moon was already up and almost full, an appropriate way to end the year.

January 10th, 2021|

The Screech Owl Arrives and Willis Goes to His First Show in Five Years

The male screech owl showed up on Halloween, peeking out of the owl box entrance just as it became dark. It’s a relief to finally see him; I have been waiting and wondering when – and if – he would appear. Each evening he pokes his head out about 5 p.m., preparing to take flight and leaving around 6 p.m., soaring over the fence and into the trees.

December 1st, 2020|

Doe and Fawn

The doe crosses our lawn in the middle of the hot afternoon. Her fawn rushes ahead of her, turning the corner around the fence, suddenly out of view. She stops and waits, staring toward a place we can’t see, then bends her head to the grass.

July 30th, 2020|

Fawn Season

Each night we walk through the neighborhood searching for does and fawns. The evenings are the best time, walking just as darkness falls when a strong breeze makes it feel cooler than it actually is. This spring we’ve been particularly lucky, beginning with the doe and fawn we saw on May 30.

July 8th, 2020|

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|
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