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micro fish angler san jacinto day fry flower the milky way sand dune stars pier sign at ranch tarantula sundew trail

Photos shot for the May issue

Russell Roe, our Managing Editor, has been fortunate to check off some items from his Texas bucket list recently.

He watched from a boat with other Families In Nature members as rare whooping cranes foraged in the marshes at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. He met his longtime goal of visiting the 26-foot-long White Shaman pictograph above the Pecos River. And he got caught up in the thrill of the chase when he joined birders from across the country hoping to catch a glimpse of the bat falcon at Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge.

Have a great spring — we hope you can check off some items on your Texas bucket list, too.


Twister Chasers

Ride along with a Panhandle weather team's 'eyes' in the field.

It's muggy outside, even for late April in North Texas. Juicy air from the Gulf of Mexico pumps across the state with an incessant southerly breeze.

All afternoon, my teenage son and I have been working the land on our small Fannin County farm. He's been riding the tractor for the past hour, plowing through the black dirt to prepare a one-acre plot for his cotton patch.

I've been keeping one eye on him and another on the sky. Gradually, the clear blue skies yield to puffy white clouds that pile higher, then grow darker.

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The Hunt For the Bat Falcon

When a new species shows up, birders race to catch a glimpse.

"Pull over! Pull over!"

My heart thumping, I quickly steer the car off the road and turn into the entrance of the Rio Grande Valley's Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, where a rare raptor has recently been sighted.

We spot a bird of prey on a power line. It flies around the park entrance and lands on a telephone pole, just as the rare bird is known to do. My girlfriend, Heather, grabs her camera with the long lens. Is this the never-before-seen spectacle that's taken the Valley's bird-watching scene by storm and spurred bird watchers to fly in from around the country?

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Sincerely Yours, Rachel Carson

'Silent Spring' author's forgotten letter to a Texas biologist is found decades later.

It's a short note, but it speaks volumes. A bit of serendipity helped Texas state ornithologist Cliff Shackelford discover it.

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Flying Dark

Turning out lights at night is for the birds.

One spring night in 2017, about 400 migrating birds crashed into Galveston's One Moody Plaza, home to American National Insurance. Twenty large lights, which illuminate the building, likely disoriented the fliers, luring them to their deaths.

The company immediately turned the lights off, says Kathy Sweezey, bird-friendly communities program manager for Houston Audubon, and has conintued to do so during peak migrations ever since. Building in Houston and Dallas are joining in as part of a campaign called Lights Out.

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KTW 2011 cover KTW 2011 cover

Keep Texas Wild

It's not just for kids. If you like nature-related topics in an easy-to-read format, you can find three years of our popular Keep Texas Wild issues and the teacher resources to go along with them.

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