Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day!

I know the full moon was Monday, but I've been crazy busy this week and haven't had a chance to do a full moon garden post yet. I'll try to get one done as soon as I can, but in the meantime, here are some pictures of our recent trip to Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge. It looks like we were a little early for Golden-cheeked Warbler fledgelings, but it was still an enjoyable hike.

If anyone knows what species of lizard this is, please let me know. He was running around on the rocks near the trailhead. He obviously "owned" those rocks, and would puff up and bob up and down when we got too close. He zipped around really fast, had a rather upright stance, ran with his tail sticking up in the air, and had some really cool stripes on his sides.

Edit: Found out it's a Texas Earless Lizard, and a male one at that. Cool!
This is the fallen tree area along the main trail that has a lovely view of the Hill Country.
Ancient Ashe Junipers with Bear Grass underneath. The blooms make it pretty obvious that Bear Grass is not a true grass but actually in the yucca family.
Here's the ONE Golden-cheeked warbler we saw, though we heard more off in the distance. We'll have to come back in about a month which is closer to the time we went last year and saw lots of fledgeling warblers (and I forgot my camera that time, so I'd better not forget it again next time). Golden-cheeked warblers are one of the two federally listed endangered species that this wildlife refuge was created to protect, the other being the Black-capped Vireo which I've never seen before. They live in a different habitat in a different area of the refuge. Maybe next time I can try to find some vireos too.

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