Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Texas Wildlife & Wildflowers

Texas is well known for its wildlife, from the Coyote Ugly bars in San Antonio, to the beaches on the Gulf Coast, but from the moment we arrived in Texas, we realized that the wildlife here, in the form of birds, deer, turtles, turkeys, wild pigs, and even a panther or cougar of some sort that I saw and nobody could seem to identify, is abundant everywhere. From a maddening good hour before you wanted to wake up, the birds sang a cacophony of tunes that dazzled the senses. At the same time, some of them were predictable, and began each day with the same tune at the same time and led us to wonder, was it the same bird? At any rate, wherever you turned in Texas, there was wildlife in abundance.

One day I came across a group of wild sow pigs that were nurturing their suckling piglets. There were only perhaps a half dozen mamas or so, but there were easily 50 or more tiny piglets traveling aside, “How cute” I said as we drove by them. “Not really” my Texas companion replied. “These pigs are not indigenous to the area, and those 50 piglets will become 400 pigs within a year, and will eat everything in sight, causing huge environmental problem. There is an open season on hunting pigs year round, and hopefully, the landowner here will realize that they have a problem and come down and slaughter as many of these pigs as they possibly can.”

I love animals, and the thought of destroying them really bothers me, but man has created a situation where it is very easy for some of these life forms to get out of control. This includes deer, pigs, and turtles among others, and it breaks my heart to think of having to slaughter them, but we have upset the natural balance, and it seems that all the king’s horses and all the king's men will not make it natural again.

And then there are the wildflowers. Although we left Texas just as the wildflower season was going into full bloom, the flowers here are amazing. Everywhere you go the fields and roadsides are alive with color.

So there were snakes on the road, birds in the trees, deer in the bush, turtles in the ponds, pigs on the run, big cats in the bush, and wildflowers everywhere. Texas is blessed with a plethora of wildlife, but it also has a responsibility to it as well, and I think and hope that they will take it seriously.

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