From Drought to Floods

There has been an old saying in Texas, that 'If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes'. Well, for the first 5 months this year it has pretty much been rain. Normally we are to 100 degree days by now, but not this year. The rain has brought needed relief from the drought the past few years, however we now have an over abundance with lakes spilling over the edges and flooding becoming and every day occurrence.

With all the rain and change in temperature, it has provided an opportunity for me to see things I normally wouldn't as snakes and other creatures are pushed from their homes. It has delayed migrations and plants are behind normal blooming schedules.

I saw some interesting things this year and many things I saw were after flash floods at the Heard Museum in McKinney, Texas. Here are some of my postings:

http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/1564092 - this is currently identified as a white river crayfish. Note his defensive stance in the picture on a gravel road that was flooded. He took this stance when I tried to pick him up and it worked as I never could grasp him after that.

Saw lots of snakes and have become better at identifying them. So good that when I watched the channel 8 story on water moccasins invading yards, I noticed the video clip was of a diamondback water snake.

http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/1442502 - Diamondback water snake
http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/1540441 - Rough green snake
http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/1424029 - Blotched water snake
http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/1404080 - Copperhead
http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/1369796 - Western ribbon snake

While I've seen many turtles, I got my first look at a soft shelled turtle this year where it was in the mud on the side of a flooded road. I also saw the snapping turtle (est. 15-20 lbs) walking across the road from one flood plains to the other.

http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/1540124 - snapping turtle
http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/1539871 - soft shell turtle

I think the most unusual thing I saw was a Gar crossing the road and flipping from side to side. I didn't even know we add them in the creeks here. I'm guessing the floods help move species around that otherwise would be limited to reproduction in one area.

http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/1539997

So while the rains have been unprecedented, it did allow me to see different species that I might not normally have seen. I did not want to stay inside everyday and waiting for the rain to stop was pointless.

פורסם על-ידי butterflies4fun butterflies4fun, מאי 31, 2015 03:02 אחה"צ

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butterflies4fun

תאריך

אפריל 18, 2015

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Heard museum (Google, OSM)

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butterflies4fun

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אפריל 29, 2015 07:24 PM CDT

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Heard Museum (Google, OSM)

תיאור

Sitting on a log in the wetlands. Quite large and my guess is 5-6 feet if stretched out.

Just cropped another picture and now I think it is two snakes intertwined making them probably 3 feet I'm guessing.

Do snakes do that? Is that a mating thing? Family?

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butterflies4fun

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מאי 24, 2015 04:18 PM CDT

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Several of these enjoying the creeks overflowing roads from the rain.

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butterflies4fun

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מאי 24, 2015 04:23 PM CDT

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Heard Museum (Google, OSM)

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Any idea what type this is? Was found in the field from overflow flooding. As we tried to take a picture it took off running. Who said turtle were slow?

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butterflies4fun

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מאי 24, 2015 04:17 PM CDT

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Heard Museum (Google, OSM)

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Gar was seen on a creek overflowing across a road as it flopped to get to the other side. I did not get a good look at it, but not sure what else it would be unless another type of gar.

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butterflies4fun

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מאי 24, 2015 04:12 PM CDT

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Heard Museum (Google, OSM)

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snapping turtle

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butterflies4fun

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מאי 24, 2015 04:05 PM CDT

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Heard Museum (Google, OSM)

תיאור

Diamondback water snake

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מה

נחש עשב Opheodrys aestivus

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butterflies4fun

תאריך

מאי 24, 2015 03:42 PM CDT

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Heard Museum (Google, OSM)

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I stepped right over this and didn't see it. When my family did, we noticed it just stayed frozen.

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butterflies4fun

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מאי 29, 2015 05:55 PM CDT

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Heard Museum (Google, OSM)

תיאור

Day following at least a 4 inch rain overnight with already soggy land. These were found on the gravel road that overflowed with water. I'm assuming these were flushed from their holes in the ground where they live. I tried to pick up for picture, but he went into protection mode which worked as I did not not him up but it did make a good pose for the picture.

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butterflies4fun

תאריך

מאי 24, 2015 03:53 PM CDT

מקום

Heard Museum (Google, OSM)

תגובות

2015 was only partly wet for us: wet spring, dry hot summer, wet fall. Record flood on the Blanco River, but not the Pedernales. 2016 was different - wet all year that carried over to this year. Unfortunately after Harvey, rains have ebbed and we're facing drought again.

פורסם על-ידי billarbon לפני כמעט 4 שנים (סמן)

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