April 7

During the winter,  I get stuck in the office for months at a time.  My hiking boots get crusty, my Camelbak gets moldy, and I loose my fearlessness of snakes and spiders.  Then usually on March 15 each year, the first day of golden-cheeked warbler survey season, I am violently chucked back into the great outdoors for two months.  No food, no water.  Just me,  a clipboard, my trusty compass, and the woodland beasties to guide me through the Hill Country outback.  You’re lucky I made it back to the office to write this blog.

I jest.  I have a GPS and some homemade trail mix to get me through.  I’m not kidding about the beasties though.. they follow me.  It’s why I wear these:

Yeah, and I shimmy all up on them like that too.

It was gorgeous for today’s field work though, which consisted of looking for toads and toad habitat out east of these parts.

This is my friend, Mike.  He is looking for snakes.  And he ain’t got no snake guards.  I stood back by the truck and used the zoom feature.  He didn’t find any.

A few weeks back he and I were out in the field and he caught a snake.  It was terribly exciting.  Diamondback water snake. Nonvenomous, but he sure does put on an angry show to try to make you think he is.

I like my job because I get to see species that a lot of people don’t get to see, usually because they are listed as endangered by USFWS.  Today I added a new species to my list:  Houston Toad… tadpoles.

It is estimated that there are about 200,000 of these little guys in the pond.  Only about 4 of them will make it…

Wow, that was tragic. So I’ll leave you with this shirt, which is a real live shirt for sale on the interweb. Why won’t natural selection select out stupid t-shirt makers?

It’s only mildly funny because I am a redhead.

‘On Thursday — it’s a holiday!’ – TMBG


About REL

Austin, Texas
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