Creature Feature

Took a photo-stroll through the Houston Arboretum and found the pond by the Woodway parking lot abuzz with critters. July 19, 2021.

Flame Skimmer (or Neon?)
Blue Dasher
Blue Dasher
Yellow Garden Spider
Brazilian Skipper
White Stripe Longtail (skipper)
Spicebush Swallowtail

(All IDs subject to scrutiny but I’m not saying it unless I believe it.)

Call Me Ishmael

In the first place, I did not know that cormorants hunt in packs.

At Brays Bayou in Houston, TX this morning I witnessed a flock of maybe 40 in an absolute feeding frenzy, working their way downstream in a tight grouping and spreading terror, no doubt, throughout the fish community below. I captured some surface turmoil at one point and later discovered this huge fish had burst into the air to the amazement of everyone, including the cormorants.

Anyway, I had no idea there were fish this big in the local bayous. What do I know? Next to nothing, apparently.

Black Velvet Leatherleaf Slug

Native to South America, the Black Velvet Leatherleaf Slug is by far the most stylish of mollusks. In appearance it is unlike any of our native slugs and is being monitored as an invasive species by the scientists who concern themselves with that sort of thing. It is clearly the Batman-villain of lawn sod and forest leaf mat. Sightings have been recorded in all the US gulf coast states since 2005, when it was first spotted in Florida. This one crossed my path at a nearby park here in Houston, Texas.

#Sluglife

The Visible Wavelengths III

When the plastics reach the apex of second half-life they will lose all mass and become weightless misshapen orbs of light, floating up out of the depths of the oceans to disperse and litter the skies, eventually forming a vast blanket around the planet and reflecting the sun’s energy back into space. By this time humans will have devolved into tadpoles incapable of abstraction and the petrochemical winter will blot out most of the higher life forms.

Somewhere, in a self-sustaining cryogenic chamber, one man will survive to fight back against the coming end of civilization. That man will be played by Vin Diesel. No, no. Nicolas Cage.

Cliff Swallow

The bridge spanning White Oak Bayou is a busy nesting site for Barn Swallows, Cave Swallows and Cliff Swallows. This is a couple of juvenile Cliffs waiting for mom to return with some more take-out.