Documenting the Diversity of Dallas/Fort Worth Urban Wildlife Since 2005
Summertime at the Dallas Arboretum
The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is a local treasure. The park is home to 19 different gardens, each showcasing a varied collection of beautiful plants, flowers, water features, sculptures, and unique architecture. Nestled on the shores of White Rock Lake, the arboretum is located perfectly to provide amazing views downtown Dallas, which is located just a few miles to the southwest.
The abundant and lush vegetation in the arboretum provides around 66 acres of prime habitat, and the park is home to an plethora of delightful urban wildlife. The attractive layout of the grounds is very photogenic, making it almost impossible to take a bad picture. All together, these great characteristics make the arboretum a fantastic place to practice the art of wildlife photography. Spending a day there is an excellent way to refine and improve your craftwork.
On any given summer day you might expect to find a number of different lizards, frogs, turtles, and birds on the grounds. Green Anoles dart about the foliage, flashing their bright red dewlaps. Broad-headed Skinks and Texas Spiny Lizards patrol the branches. On the ground you might spot a rare Texas Garter Snake if you keep a careful lookout. A sharp eye is also required to catch a glimpse of one of the charming Eastern Screech Owls that frequent the park. In and around the flower gardens you might find buzzing hummingbirds, bees, wasps, butterflies, and other insect pollinators. Multiple species of dragonflies dart about the arboretum’s many water features. And of course, there are the Blue Jays, Cardinals, Robins and squirrels, which are abundant, attractive, and always available for picture taking. Many species of bird can be counted on to make an appearance, depending upon the time of the year—the beautiful Baltimore Oriole being a popular example.
This past summer we held a couple of Wildlife and Nature Photography Workshops on the grounds as part of the annual Summer at the Arboretum festivities. Turnout was good, and many excellent wildlife pictures were recorded. We spent each morning with a guided tour of the grounds, stopping to take pictures whenever interesting wildlife or scenery was encountered. A good time was had by all. Afterwards, many of the participants were kind enough to share some of their best shot with me. See below for a selection of the pictures that were recorded.
A special thank you to all of the workshop participants who so graciously shared their pictures with me!