Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘Pedernales Falls State Park

First fox

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Over the 44 years I’ve lived in Austin I’ve only rarely seen a fox, and in those cases I couldn’t get any pictures because the foxes quickly ran off. My luck changed on March 4th at Pedernales Falls State Park. After hiking all the way back up from the river to the parking lot, I noticed a young couple sitting in camp chairs nearby. Then, behind the woman, I saw a fox sitting patiently. I learned that the couple had earlier thrown bits of food toward the fox, and it obligingly had come forward to grab them. That’s why it was still sitting there hoping for more. When the couple saw I’d started taking pictures, they resumed throwing bits of food, and the fox kept coming forward to retrieve them, then retreating a bit. It looks fiercer in the top picture than it really was as it went toward a bit of food. The second photograph shows how it looked when sitting and waiting. From what I’ve seen online, this appears to have been a grey fox, Urocyon cinereoargenteus.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 21, 2021 at 7:32 AM

Greater earless lizard

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As we began leaving the sandy area by the river in Pedernales Falls State Park on March 4th for the climb back uphill to the parking lot, Eve called my attention to a lizard alongside the path. I stopped, swapped out the 24–105mm lens that was on the camera for my 100–400mm telephoto, and used it at its maximum zoom to begin photographing the lizard (see above). In my experience most lizards quickly scamper away from people who move; this one, however, showed no inclination to budge as I gradually worked my way forward, taking pictures as I did so. Soon I reached the lens’s close-focusing limit, so I slowly backed up to my camera bag, put on a 100mm macro lens, worked my way back to the complacent lizard, and eventually got so close that the far end of the lens was within inches of it (see below). Only then did it finally move away. My herpetologically inclined friend Ed Acuña tells me it’s a greater earless lizard, Cophosaurus texanus. He says it’s more common in west Texas than in our area, which explains why I don’t remember seeing one before. Oops: memory is fallible, and I see now that I did show one of these lizards in 2015.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 17, 2021 at 4:38 AM

Pedernales Falls State Park

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On March 4th we visited Pedernales Falls State Park, which lies about an hour west of Austin.

Did you know that the Spanish word pedernal (with plural pedernales) means ‘flint’?

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 15, 2021 at 4:39 AM

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