March and April 2019 – Dallas County
I often assert that quality naturalism and wildlife photography can be accomplished just about anywhere in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. It can also be done casually, without the need for elaborate planning. As a case in point I offer this collection of photographs taken during spur-of -the-moment and spontaneous visits to one of DFW’s many urban lakes.
Spring time in North Texas is a great time for these kinds of outings. In the metroplex there are, on average, only a handful of perfect days every year… The days I’m talking about are those with a shinning sun, clear blue skies, and big white clouds. The breezes are gentle, the temperature is cool, and the air is fresh and clean. When one of these days comes around–and overlap with a weekend–you have to take advantage of it. No excuses.
You hang a camera around your neck, load the dogs in the car, and head down to the lake for a long walk. If you plan your route in advance with consideration for time of day and lighting, a walk like this can be a great opportunity to do a little casual wildlife photography.
This past spring I managed to set aside worries and responsibilities long enough to enjoy a couple of these perfect Sunday afternoons. The pictures I took reveal that wildlife can easily be observed and photographed even in the most urban of areas. It’s surprising sometimes the quality of observations that can be during an impromptu excursion like this. There is a lot of wildlife to be seen in our big, modern cityscape.
On a couple of occasions, the confluence of perfect spring time conditions encouraged me to lose track of time and space. In these moments I became so absorbed in what I was doing that the rest of the world melted away and became lost to me. Zen-like moments of single-minded focus are rarefied for me these days. I treasure them. When I would snap out of it, hours and miles had passed by.
Please enjoy this little portfolio of springtime urban wildlife photos!
That one point along the way I witnessed a little springtime-induced tussle between two male Mallards. It was quite raucous. Check the video below to see for yourself…
This park has a well establish population of introduced Monk Parakeets. These pretty birds are always a pleasure to photograph. On one outing I noticed a parakeet feeding on the heart of a cattail reed. A new behavior in my experience… I’ve never seen them do that before!
Another time I noticed a large snake sunning behind a patch of tall grass near where I was standing. This was a non-venomous Diamondback Water Snake–very common in these parts. Once I knew to start looking, other snakes became easier to find–including some in the act of mating surreptitiously!
The waters of this lake and all of its feeder creeks are absolutely full of aquatic turtles. Watch in the video below as a group of over eager male turtles pursue a reluctant female into the depths…
4 Replies to “Life by the Lake”
We are supposed to have Wood Ducks out in Rains County but I have never been able to find one.
Have you considered red wolves? They were spotted a year ago on the Texas coast on their own island. Probably what saved them.
There are no Red Wolves in Texas. The news that came out a few years ago was misleading in the way it was reported. There is a dwindling population of wild Red Wolves in North Carolina, but there are only a handful of individuals left. Red Wolves are in real danger of becoming extinct in the wild again—likely sometime in the next year or two. See this article for more information…
Terrific assortment of photos! I am planning a trip to White Rock Lake this week and am interested where to go to see the colony of Monk Parakeets. I just saw some at Marsh and Belt Line a couple of days ago… and, now I am obsessed! Can you suggest a certain area that is accessible by car to park and get photos of them? Thanks!