Great Texas Birding

Black-bellied whistling duck. Copyright © Justin W. Moore. See more photos at

Black-bellied whistling duck
Copyright © Justin W. Moore

Location: Corpus Christi, Texas, and vicinity
Time of Year: Mid-August
Weather: Sunny, windy, and hot
Activities: Birding, photography

As our last trip of the summer, we made a whirlwind visit to over a dozen sites on the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. We tried to pack a lot of birding and photography into each day, but with 95 sites on the Central Texas Coast (CTC) section of the trail, we barely scratched the surface. Eventually, the entire Texas coast will feature birding trail sites, each marked with brown signs featuring the trail’s black skimmer logo. [Read more…]

Two Miles from Hell…

Palo Duro Canyon trailside view | Photo credit: Justin Moore

Location: Palo Duro Canyon State Park (Canyon, Texas)
Time of Year: Late July
Weather: Sunny and hot, high 100+ degrees
Activities: Hiking, photography

Palo Duro Canyon State Park is, by far, one of the most beautiful Texas parks we have had the pleasure to visit. After spending the prior three days in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park, we found the rugged canyonlands of Palo Duro provided an especially stark and memorable contrast. In just ten hours of highway travel, the snow-capped mountains surrounding Estes Park, Colorado, gave way to the vibrant red, purple, yellow, and orange hues of Palo Duro’s 800-foot-high canyon walls. Sounds heavenly, right? [Read more…]

Sultry Hill Country SNA

West Verde Creek Campsite (#130). | Copyright © Shannon D. Blackburn

West Verde Creek Campsite (#130) | Photo credit: Shannon D. Blackburn

Location: Hill Country State Natural Area (Bandera, Texas)
Time of Year: Mid-June
Weather: Sunny and humid, highs in the upper 90’s
Activities: Camping, hiking, birding, photography

This visit was inspired by a severe case of “camping withdrawal”, having not camped since a January visit to Bastrop State Park. After a crowded visit to Garner State Park in early June, Hill Country State Natural Area, with over 5,000 undeveloped acres and 36 miles of hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian trails was the perfect antidote. [Read more…]