A Little Farther West
This past weekend I got to spend some time out in the Texas Hill Country.
Depending on who you talk to, Texas can be divided into seven to eighteen different ecological zones, and each one has its own flavor. Here is one map from Texas Parks and Wildlife that keeps it pretty simple, with ten regions, and I think just about anybody would notice differences if they went from region to region.
Source: Texas Parks and Wildlife (And if you want to see more regional maps, you can look at them here.)
Our family properties are in two very different areas. Where we live full-time in the Pineywoods (the green region in the map above), the views are closed in by tall, spindly trees, and it is usually hot, humid, and shady. Our other place is 300 miles west from here (482 km) in the Texas Hill Country, on the Edwards Plateau (light blue region on the map). There, the views are wide across rocky, brushy land, and it is usually hot, dry, and bright.
Our life out there is pretty basic. My husband’s friends love to come out, and they all do manly things like hunt, barbeque, build things, and fix whatever it was they built the last time.
I like to sneak off into a thicket by the water trough and wait for the birds. Some of the birds are ones I commonly see here in East Texas, but I can get closer to them there because they are coming to the only water source —
And then I get to see some species that are more common in the western half of the state.
We never get to stay for very long, but it’s a refreshing visit.
Beautiful post. The wildlife you have is amazing and your photos are lovely. Thanks for the explanation about Texas too. It is a huge state isn’t it? (The UK is only 1400 km from top to bottom!) I noticed on the map one of the light blue areas is named McCulloch – my husbands family name. Are these regions named after local families?
Yes, most of the counties are named after local settlers or famous people. I looked up McCulloch and I know it for the town of Brady, which is the geographical center of Texas! It was named for Benjamin McCulloch who was a Texas Ranger, in our well-known law enforcement agency, but he was also a Confederate general! McCulloch County was separated from Bexar County in 1856, so that helps me date an old map we have – McCulloch is on it, so now I know that map is from after 1856. Maybe y’all should come and see where your relative ended up!
Thanks very much for that. I will let my husband know that he has relatives in Texas. He will be surprised!
I love reading about your locality – so much I didn’t know about Texas – sounds an amazing place. Your bird pics are just great – fascinating wildlife.
Yes, we Texans are sort of known for telling everybody what an amazing place it is! 🙂 I do love the fact that we have a lot of different eco-regions so close together, but I like everywhere else that I go too!