Springtime in the Hill Country (Pictures!)

Spring in this part of Texas is not really a season. If the year was a play, spring in Central Texas would be intermission…a pause between the dead brownness of winter, and the oppressive heat and mosquito swarms of summer. But that pause is, as they say, refreshing, because a lot happens during that brief… Continue reading Springtime in the Hill Country (Pictures!)

There’s never an ophiologist around when you need one

Alert Gazette readers will recall our encounter with a cottonmouth (aka water moccasin) last fall. Then, a couple of months ago we discovered a four-foot-long blotched water snake in our courtyard. The latter encounter taught me that distinguishing between the poisonous cottonmouth and the non-venomous water snake wasn’t as easy as I had initially assumed.… Continue reading There’s never an ophiologist around when you need one

Clash of Species – Woodpeckers vs Snakes

Earlier this spring, an oak tree across the street from our house attracted the attention of a pair of golden-fronted woodpeckers*. The tree’s trunk has a hollowed-out place about twenty feet off the ground and the opening faces our front windows; I can see it from my usual seat in the living room. Since April,… Continue reading Clash of Species – Woodpeckers vs Snakes

Snake Mistake

“Eric…come quick!” I was sitting in the office late yesterday afternoon when I heard MLB‘s overly excited summons from somewhere in the middle of the house. I ran out to find her staring out the living room windows at something in the front courtyard.  “Oh, man. That’s a water moccasin. Keep an eye on him… Continue reading Snake Mistake

A “Relaxing” Weekend – Pt. 3: Paranoid Hiking

[Part 1] [Part 2] Trigger Warning: Here there be dragons. Or, at least, serpents. Elizabeth, you’ve been warned. Having survived the Great Coax Caper and the Putrid Possum Pestilence, we were looking forward to a relaxing hike on the newly-christened Horseshoe Creek Trail with The Nephew, his wife, and their dog Sophie. (I briefly introduced… Continue reading A “Relaxing” Weekend – Pt. 3: Paranoid Hiking

Nocturnal Neighborhood Visitor

Debbie went outside just before 10:00 p.m. last night to look at the “Supermoon” and came back to report that two women were in the street in front of our house watching what they feared might be a “baby rattlesnake.” I grabbed a flashlight – which proved unnecessary because the reptile was directly under our… Continue reading Nocturnal Neighborhood Visitor