• Outdoors,  Texas

    The Big Thicket

    The Big Thicket is a patchwork of forest in east Texas that is run by the National Park Service. It is similar to Big Cypress National Preserve in that hunting and other recreational uses are allowed unlike many other national parks in the system. I had been here 9 years ago in a wetlands class in college but didn’t quite remember everything about it. We went to a few different trails, the Sundew Trail, the Pitcher Plant Trail and the Beech Woods Trail. The last ivory billed woodpecker verified in the United States was seen in the Big Thicket near the Neches River. Interesting stuff! We found a black rat…

  • Appalachian Trail 2010

    Trail Tales 12: New York

    When we arrived in New York we did not hear Frank Sinatra singing to us the ode we all know, instead we were dripping with sweat and moving along slower than we were expecting. We had though we’d passed the Village Vista Trail which would signal we had about 2.7 miles to the road where more ice cream was waiting, but when we arrived at the sign we were greatly disappointed. Luckily the trail smoothed out a bit and we breezed down to the road and had ice cream before dinner. The Bellvale Creamery was heaven 0.2 miles off the trail and it was also packed. We got a few…

  • Contests,  Texas

    *Contest Winner* Five Lined Skink

    Our contest winner is Christine who I figured might be the first person to guess. Honestly, I thought this would be trickier than it ended up being! Next time I will crop it differently to make it more difficult! The other morning I was doing some QC on some trash lines in the forest when I looked down over a smashed pine log and saw the skink just sitting there. It’d been a chilly morning but I wasn’t going to take my chances so I took my initial “I saw it” photo and then decided to try to get closer. It worked! These little guys/gals are quick and are incredibly…

  • Appalachian Trail 2010

    Trail Tales 11: New Jersey

    New Jersey is a state that most people don’t equate with mountains and nature, but it is a very beautiful part of the trail. When we left Delaware Water Gap we stopped at Sunfish Pond, the only part of the trail that Chris had been on previously. We ran into the Traveling Circus, Moose & Tetherball and Cubbie and Dilly Dally while there. It’s an easy hike up to the pond and the pond itself is a popular day hike destination. It was sprinkling a little that afternoon but we made a nice day out of it. We were planning for camping somewhere after near Blue Mountain Lakes Rd and…

  • Thoughts

    Floating Along….

    Things started changing around here last week at work so I ended up on the trash crew instead of the drill crew because that section of the project was ending. My technical title is Biologist, but right now we have switched to being monitors for the trash crew that is going back and cleaning up all of the flagging that lined the trails through the woods. There are miles and miles and miles of this. I walked a four mile section with the Mexican worker that I am monitoring last week, and that was only for two hours. We get up even earlier for the safety meeting which is in…

  • Outdoors

    *Contest: Name That Fauna*

    Contest Rules: Take a stab at what the animal is in this photo by Friday at 6pm CST. The first person to guess correctly will win an 8×12 open edition print of your choosing from our new photo website and gallery that will be debuting in a few short days. My apologies to those who are not heavily interested in wildlife, but we’ll have another contest soon, I promise! If no one guesses by the closing on Friday I will post a second photo hint.

  • Thoughts


    I’m here. Been working longer hours as the project shifts gears. Been working on the website, too. Have 5 days off this week and am hoping to get a jump start on some things. Or not. Who knows. Just feeling lost without a home base right now. Missing the Big Dog and the Big Tiger right now. Hopefully more productive blogs this week.

  • Thoughts

    The Fall Glow

    The late afternoon is when the forest glows so beautifully. The morning has its moments, but I am fond of afternoon sunlight. How is it November already? Sometimes I wonder where the past three months went. It will be almost three months ago that we were on Katahdin. I am certainly not where I thought I would be. I think I figured we would have a place of our own by now and a ‘real’ job. Still waiting for both. Red lycoris lining the side of a forest road; a house is nearby. I finished reading one book last week, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. On the whole I thought it was…

  • Friends,  Shameless Stuff

    Pepsi Refresh Contest: The Cat Network

    My friends Marc and Eliana work for The Cat Network in Miami and work their butts off spaying and neutering cats all over the county. They are in the running for $50,000 with Pepsi Refresh Contest and need your help! You can vote for them multiple times a day so please bookmark the page and pass it along on your Facebook page. The spay and neuter Dude and Dudette.