2017 Pix
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© 2017 - All Rights Reserved

Here are some pictures from 2017. Just so you know there is all kinds of great stuff to see.
It's just that I can't get good photos of it. These are mostly docu-grab-shots.
They are the photos used for the weekly breaks on the bird news page in 2017, in reverse
chronological order (last break in Dec. at top-start; first in Jan. at bottom-end).
A camera change occurred after mid-year, starting with the Purple Martin photo pix are
taken with a Canon Powershot SX40, prior are pixel paintings with a Sony Mavica.

Quick links to the last few years.
2015 pix
2016 pix
2017 pix
2018 pix
2019 pix

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing


Blue Grosbeak - male


Cedar Waxwing


The great blizzard of 2016, on Dec. 7, was 15 minutes like this, and 15 lighter.

Zone-tailed Hawk

Zone-tailed Hawk


Man, they got it all in Utopia, even aquatic bats.
This is the Red Bat I watched plop into the river a few months ago.
Pulled it out and left it on shore...   Bat rescue, how may we help you?

Filigree Skimmer

Filigree Skimmer (dragonfly) - check out those eyes!
I want sunglasses that look like that! You'd be
the coolest one at the dragonfly society meeting.

Thornbush Dasher

Thornbush Dasher

Summer Tanager

Summer Tanager, female working on a hackberry.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, male. Note the tail is in
the 'scissor' position with the sides crossed
just below the base of the tail.

Vermilion Flycatcher

Vermilion Flycatcher

Green Kingfisher

Male Green Kingfisher at Utopia Park.

Yellow-throated Vireo

I love this lichen on the branch... and oh yeah, a
Yellow-throated Vireo in fresh plumage on Sept. 28.
Yeah I know bad light, but as often as not, that is
how we see birds. Anyone can ID them in good light.

Easter Tiger Swallowtail

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Buttonbush

Bewick's Wren

I am bark. I love trees. Bewick's Wren hugging a tree.
I have seen them do this when a predator was present (hiding), and when not,
whence I wonder if they are listening for critters in crevices.

Purple Martin

Male Purple Martin is a beauty, that calls "beer, beer". What's not to like?

~ ~ ~ from above and on shot with Canon Powershot SX40 ~ ~ ~
~ ~ ~ most prior pixels with Sony Mavica (floppy disk) ~ ~ ~


One of the Catacola Underwing moths we have locally, probably C. obscura, or something similar. They are nearly invisible on tree bark. Some types have striking red, pink, or orange and black banded hindwings you see when they explode off a tree trunk, and names like Darling, Sweetheart, and Girlfriend. This is our most numerous one though, with dull boring brown hindwings you can just see the corners of.

Spotted Skunk

One of our neat local friends, a Spotted Skunk.


I have not ID'd this yet, being botanically challenged.
Was at Lost Maples in late May, and a beauty it is.

Black Rock Squirrel

One of the Black Rock Squirrel at Lost Maples.
They are a ground squirrel, though rarely you
may see one up in a tree. If the food is there.

Banded Pennant

A teneral (just emerged) Banded Pennant dragonfly.

Dusky-blue Groundstreak

One of five Dusky-blue Groundstreak that came
into a nightlight for bugs after dark June 23.
Sometimes butterflies are attracted to lights at night.

Neoclytus Cerambycid

This methinks is a Neoclytus sps. (c.f. mucronatus) Cerambycid.
One of the many Longhorn Beetles we have here.

Violet Dancer

This is a Violet (formerly Variable) Dancer .
(Pretty sure this was taken with the Canon SX40)


This is an Amblyscrites (Roadside-Skipper) of some sort.
I think that is Texas Milkweed it is nectaring on.
Lost Maples SNA, May 29, 2017

Velvet Worm

I think this is a velvet worm. They look like a slug,
but are dry with no mucous, except a scant trail, and
they look remarkably like velvet.

Ironclad Beetle

A fancy Ironclad Beetle (family Tenebrionidae), most are just black.
They can bend mere mortal insect pins in case you wondered.
I believe this is Zopherus haldemani or something similar.

Springwater Dancer
Damselfly - Springwater Dancer (Argia plana) at Lost Maples May 29.

White-tipped Dove

One of the White-tipped Dove at Lost Maples this spring,
this at the feeding station, and which are surely breeding.

Texas Spiny Lizard
Texas Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus olivaceous).


This is the answer to last week's photo quiz.
Taken through a window and a screen from the office.

mystery eyes

This is a photo quiz for those guys that put up the
ID quiz photos with one obscure mark barely showing.
Something like the bifurcated scutes on the metatarsals.
So for you guys. Take this! Hint for the rest: mammal.
Now what do you wanna bet one of those smart alecs
will e-mail me with the correct ID. I tried to shoot it
with flash but too far so mostly just got some eyeshine.
Probably ID-able though.

Pine Warbler

Here is the north end of a south-facing Pine Warbler,
the male that wintered and is presumably a returnee
visiting the yard regularly for at least 3 winters now.


Mudbug if you are in cajun country, Crawdad in
most places, or Crayfish to be most accurate.
Barred Owl and Red-shouldered Hawk seem particularly
fond of them. I once knew some Pied-billed Grebes
that lived on them.

Texan Crescent

Here is the Texan Crescent we saw at the park in
late January, probably my first ever in Jan., and
obviously a mint fresh individual.

Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren, which does not have spotted wings.
They have a spotted lower back, which you will hardly
ever see. This cold one has its wings tucked up tight,
and under its back feathers which are draped over the
wing, making it superficially appear as though the
wing is spotted. It pays to know all the parts.
The Sibley Guide is the one book in which I have
seen this character this well-illustrated.

Nysa Roadside-Skipper
This is a Nysa Roadside-Skipper from a couple years ago.

House Finch
Here is another example of how red a male House Finch
can be here. Ross Silcock of Nebraska took this photo
at Lost Maples in February. We have a similar bird here
in yard among a couple dozen. Note the extent of the red on
underparts, for which one gets no idea can occur from
the field guides. Thanks for letting us share the pic Ross!

Spotted Skunk Spotted Skunk
On left is the business end of the Spotted Skunk that is around the house a bit.
Sometimes in the shed! I hope you appreciate how brave I was to get these photos.
Of course had I gotten sprayed it would have been how stupid I was. Funny how results
have great bearing on our perception of actions. The yellowish circle on right photo
is the flashlight beam, oops and sorry. Trying to get autofocus to focus...

Black Rock Squirrel
Black Rock Squirrel is a terrestrial (ground) squirrel
rather than an arboreal (tree living) type like Fox Squirrel.
Though rarely you might find one up in a tree.
(Taken through old grayed window and screen)


Western Ribbonsnake. It is one of the Gartersnake group.
The dorsal stripe can be cream, yellow, orange, or even red!
I saw a stunning red one off of S. Thunder Creek Rd. once. Most here look like this one.


This Anole took this Pipevine Swallowtail right off
a flower. Pipevines are alleged to be distasteful,
like Monarchs due to what the caterpillar eats,
Pipevines. Unfortunately I couldn't follow the
lizard for a day or two to ask it if it got indigestion.
It took hours but it worked the wings off and ate it.

Pine Warbler

Probably the same adult male Pine Warbler here now,
this pic taken a couple winters ago on the patio.

White-tipped Black

There was a bit of an invasion of White-tipped Black
moths this past fall. They are LTA - less than annual, here.
Neat how I cut off one of the white tips on the White-tip.
Call for free tips on how to screw up photos...


Hey can you pick those leaves off that for me?
Porcupine gets a bit ratty during late-summer shed.
They drink like dillos, ten minutes at a sitting.

Golden-fronted Woodpecker

This is one of our dependents on the sunflower feeder.
It is not unusual for a male to have some red feathers
in the orange nape patch. (Golden-fronted Woodpecker)

Berteau House

Just to give an idea, here is a pic showing part of the yard, house and cottage, so you can get an idea of where much of the stuff being written about is being seen. This pic was May 2013, barely two months after we moved into this place. Now there are butterfly flowers around the porch. Yard lists are: about 40 species of odes (dragons), over 85 sps. of butterflies, 7 sps. of frogs & toads, 7 sps. of lizards, 20 sps. of native mammals, about 100 sps. of plants (mostly wildflowers), and at the 4 year point, about 215+ species of birds.

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