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moss Abilene fish bird watching water bird photos ice cream mission tournament trout fisheries windmill windmill

Photos shot for the April issue





Spring Fever

Who can withstand that sensory onslaught of joyful birdsong, Monet-worthy landscapes, the warmth of sun we've longed for all winter and the tantalizing fragrance of Texas' springtime wildflower sachet?

We've left a trail of bluebonnets through this April issue, so let your spring-fevered daydreams carry you through our adventures before you embark on your own.

Black Market Wildlife

Texas game wardens protect the state's wildlife from illegal trade.

The fish dealer arrives in the San Antonio parking lot with a carload of illegal aquarium fish — vampire tetras, piranhas and the big prize, an arapaima, one of the biggest freshwater fish species in the world.

“Did you bring my big fish?” the buyer asks.

The seller says he had to purchase the biggest ice chest he could find to transport it, and even then, it was a tight fit for the big fish.

Opening the lid, he says, “I told you he was big, man.”

(read more)

Rockport Revenant

Note to Harvey: You can't keep a good town down.

Robert Hamilton eases the 23-foot flats boat out of Cove Harbor. With the land behind us, suddenly our world goes flat.

Aransas Bay at sunrise ripples slightly in a light wind, and the eastern sky is slowly ripening to a cantaloupe orange. We clearly see the palm trees on San José Island to the east and, far off, the ghostly shapes of the three drilling rigs beside the Port Aransas ferry dock. To the south, the bridge to the Port A causeway humps like the back of a diving whale. Three wade fishers cast their baits into molten gold. Rockport slumbers behind us.

We are in the middle of a John Cowan painting.

Hamilton has a spot in mind where he’s been catching early-morning speckled trout, and he turns 225 horses loose to get us there before someone else claims the location. But we’re too late. Another boat has won the race, and we can see that Hamilton was right in wanting to be there. They’re catching trout.

(read more)

Backroad Bike Camping

Follow country roads connecting state parks for the ultimate bicycle trip.

Students in the Photography I class at Texas Tech University lean forward intently, captivated by today’s lecture as their professor, Jerod Foster, 35, shows them his rugged bicycle. The Niner RLT 9 gravel bike emanates cool. It looks like a traditional road bike, but beefed-up knobby tires and disc brakes divulge its true purpose: traversing gravel roads and moderate trails in search of adventure.

Every inch of Foster’s gravel bike is loaded with 30 pounds of camping gear and photography equipment. He shows the class what he’s bringing along on a four-day trek through Central Texas, shooting the photos for this article.

(read more)


KTW 2011 coverKTW 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.

    Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine