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Monday, August 1, 2011

Bona Dea Update










Bona Dea has been very, very hot and dry for the last couple of months. There have been several days of over 100 degrees F. with heat indexes around 110 degrees. Very little rain in this period of time. However the vegetation and animal wildlife doesn't seen to be effected other than the birds stay inactive in the middle of the day. An interesting site a couple of weeks ago was out at the Disc Golf Course that I have talked about before, where at the small cross over iron bridge across the canal was a rather small black and white pigeon. This pigeon sorta resembled a Birmingham Roller pigeon. When I was a kid, I used to raise them and watch them tumble or somersault in the air. I got real close to it and it did not fly. I backed off and went the other way and someone else came across and it flew in strange patterns diving down and going back up before landing in a nearby tree. Did not get a photo but this is what it looked like preening itself. First and only one I have seen there or at Bona Dea. At a local restaurant close to Bona Dea, I was walking down the drainage ditch in back and happened to see this Common American Snapper Turtle. I am sure it was a female looking for a place to dig a hole to lay her eggs. At Bona Dea on Rabbit Run Trail on the south side of the park, I had noticed where the private land by the fense had been mowed in just one place. So I had jumped the fence and saw a wildflower that I had not seen there before. It just a few feet from a pond. It turned out to be a False Fiddleleaf wildflower-Hydrolea ovata. As you can see, it has a very pretty blue bloom. The days have been so hot that this bloom had started to wilt. The surprise came when in route to the Fiddleleaf plant, I saw this juvenile Texas Ratsnake, Pantherophis obsoletus, going across the trail. I followed it and took these photos. No signs of the Alligator in quite a while now. They have posted signs at both park entrances to beware of them and not to feed them. There have been swarms of grasshoppers all around this area during the summer. They are all over the place. It appears they are the species Differential Grasshopper Melanoplus differentialis. We really need it to cool down and rain.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

your prairie kingsnake is a texas rat snake

John said...

OK Anonymous, I agree. It is a juvenile Texas Ratsnake. Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

10-4. enjoying your posts. keep them coming.

John said...

Thanks Anonymous. I have been lazy lately.