CRITTERS
This page was born 12/01/2002.  Rickubis designed it.  (such as it is.) Last update: 10/01/2014
Images and contents on this page copyright 2002, 2014  Richard M. Dashnau

Here are my other Brazos Bend and/or critter pages:
 ----------------------------------------------------------------                  OR,  FOR OTHER ANIMALS:
Alligators at Brazos Bend State Park Introduction                 Critters at Brazos Bend State Park Page 1
Snakes-nonvenomous 1-------------------------------------------     Critters at Brazos Bend State Park Page 3
Snakes-nonvenomous 2-------------------------------------------------Insects, non-toxic
Snakes-nonvenomous 3------------------------------------------------Spiders
Snakes-venomous------------------------------------------------------Mammals
Birds-Waders----Birds-Raptors---------------------------------    Lizards!--Turtles!
 Cookiecutter Shark Attack!  Hammer-headed Worms  Acid-Spitting Arthropod

-In keeping with the zoologic tone that most of my web domain has adopted, here is a page dedicated to those bits of wildlife that I may encounter OUTSIDE of Brazos Bend State Park that I can't put on another page yet.

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February 23, 2002   I was visiting Donna, and went out for a walk around her house. I saw this...mass... moving near a shallow pool off near the cove, just at the edge of her yard.  On closer inspection, it turned out to be lots of little fiddler crabs. They were quite responsive to my presence, clearing the area while I was at least 20 feet away. I walked into the grass, and flushed some out so I could capture their image on video.  Click here to see it. (.mpg, no sound, 1,671kb) The image below is a picture of one of the crabs in my hand.

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---------FFIDDLER CRAB

October  26, 2002 Another rather cool, wet weekend.  I was on Galveston Island saturday, and while I was working on a PC belonging to my significant other, I heard an odd screeching outside. Donna looked out the window, and exclaimed "That's an Osprey!" So, I looked out, and saw one flying into the wind, and sort of hovering from time to time.  We went out the back door, and saw that the one making the sound was holding what appeared to be a small fish in its talons. This flapping/hovering/calling went on for a few minutes, and then I saw another osprey behind and below it. The first osprey then flew up, circled back, and then seemed to be trying to overtake the second osprey. This went on for a while, with both birds flying into the wind for a while, then slowly gliding back, and with that circling around behavior.  Donna went back inside to continue her project.  I started back to the car for my camera. Then, a short while later, the osprey with the fish circled back and then flew directly over me, slowly,  about 30 feet high, and then over the house!  'What an excellent picture this would make!". I thought.  Yes, EXCELLENT! Unfortunately, I'd only STARTED towards the car for my camera when this happened, and so I could only watch the osprey as my camera relaxed quietly in my car.

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                              OSPREY OVERHEAD!                                                         FLYING FISH!

I hurried to the car and returned with the camera. The osprey made another pass, though not as close. This time, I was able to get a short video clip with the Olympus C-700. The image above (FLYING FISH) is a frame from this video.  The two groups of 5 images below are sequences also taken from the video clip.  Click here to see the video clip. (flv video 280kb) Sometime later, we were driving from Donna's house, when we saw a solitary osprey on top of a power line pole. I stopped the car, and tried to get close enough to get a picture. The pole was too high for this, though, and even with the 10x optical zoom on my camera, the pictures didn't come out well; especially against the bright grey sky.  However, as I slowly moved closer, the osprey cried once...then twice...another time or so, and then it took off, and flew over me. That's when I took this picture (OSPREY OVERHEAD!, above).  Next time will be better.

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         IMAGE SEQUENCE  2A                                               2B                                                              2C                                                               2D                                                          2E

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         IMAGE SEQUENCE  3A                                                   3B                                                           3C                                                              3D                                                           3E

January 1, 2003 HAPPY NEW YEAR!  If you don't feel like wrecking yourself with various recreational perception-altering substances on New Years' Eve, then you can wake up at a decent hour and really enjoy the first day of the new year.  I realise this sounds blasphemous to a large number of people, but what do they know? After all, "partying" for a number of years has certainly had deleterious effects on their brains. Hence, they are thinking at less than optimum capacity, anyway.

So...it was a beautiful day. While wandering around Galveston State Park, Donna and I encountered this alligator in one of the fresh-water ponds. (New Years Gator, below)  When we first noticed him, he was further away, and was showing this posture. As we watched, it turned 90 degrees, still maintaining posture, and then reversed direction, and returned to original position. We approached closer, and were about 15 feet behind when I took the picture.  I saw no other alligators around.  Then, later in the afternoon, I was in the front yard of Donna's house when I noticed an amazing thing. Thousands of strands of web (or some kind of "arthropod silk") were spread over the entire yard. They weren't visible unless I caught the sun relflection off of them at the correct angle. The image below (WHAT THE HECK?!) shows a portion of the yard with these strands. Click here to see a larger (800 x 600) image which shows a greater area. When I examined some of the strands closer, I couldn't find any kind of organism attached to them. But, there were so many strands, it was hard to pick out a single one. The other picture below (MY GOSH! IT'S FULL OF STRANDS!) shows another portion of the yard, and the webs can be seen some distance away.  Since I had to have the sun in front of me to see the web material, it was hard to get a clear picture.(clicking the image will show an 800x600 version).  I called this "arthropod silk" since I can't be sure that spiders were the organisms responsible for this--not since I learned about Barklice.

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                   WHAT THE HECK!?                                    NEW YEARS GATOR                   MY GOSH, IT'S FULL OF STRANDS!

If you'd like to know more about the park follow these links:

Brazos Bend State Park   The main page.

Brazos Bend State Park Volunteer's Page  The volunteer's main page.
 

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