Documenting the Diversity of Dallas/Fort Worth Urban Wildlife Since 2005
DATELINE – Spring 2023
The Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex is blessed with an abundance of reservoirs and lakes–both large and small. Many of the larger lakes are bounded by areas of US Army Corp of Engineers lands, or others types of public property. A good percentage of these public lands have remained undeveloped and are largely unmanaged. These areas then become great places for bushwhacking exploration, if you are so inclined!
For me, there are few things I enjoy more than hiking and exploring off trail. A new plot of land than I have not been on previously is all the better. This past spring, I had the opportunity to poke around on one such parcel of public land–a substantial and feral peninsula jutting out into one of our local reservoirs.
There is always something interesting to be found on parcels of land like this one. Whether it is stumbling across remnants of the land’s past use (much of which is rapidly approaching 100 years of age around the metroplex), or more recent evidence of other human visitors, to exciting wildlife sign or encounters, the notable things you can discover on these kind of hikes is what makes them so much fun.
I visited this plot of land on four separate occasions this past spring, covering a period of time from when things were just starting to green up, until the seasonal vegetation was lush and full. Even though I was thoroughly engaged in hiking and exploring, I still made an effort to document our wanderings in photographs. I tried to take pictures of every notable sight and oddity we stumbled upon.
Further, the abundance of wildlife sign encouraged me to leave behind a few trails cameras to see what they would reveal. Every one of those sets were very productive, and lots of great pictures were recorded. The amount of White-tailed Deer activity–particularly by big, impressive bucks–was remarkable. We placed our cameras in time to catch still-aggressive bucks in some late season sparring, and recorded their interactions until well after the antler drop a few weeks later. The sheer number of pictures we recorded inspired me to begin referring to the peninsula as “Buckland.” See the photo-essay below for more!