Shaking the Trees

Edition 04 – Shaking The Trees – May 15, 2020

The edition IV of Shaking the Trees!

Several of our tribe submitted photos and anecdotes.

We will help you out as needed and send up special prayers for special needs.
Many have said they will pick up, deliver, or help any way they can.

Feel free to join in by sending us a wave and general info, links that we all just can’t live without, or how we may be of service.

The tribe has your back. Send to or to Slight editing will protect your privacy.


Terry Comingore – Proud Grandpa of Heron Chicks pics


Jim Dulian – Herons are thriving in his back yard.


Greg Hayden – Now a New Mexico Naturalist
Robins and Dark-Eyed Juncos, which we enjoyed in profusion seem to have moved on … the House Finch still graces us with his/her presence though, I believe in fewer numbers … I see the Lesser Goldfinch, the Yellow-Rumped Warbler, the Spotted Towhee more often and the White-Crowned Sparrow is now the dominant species at our feeder … the two species of Dove (Mourning & Eurasian Collared) visit the feeder and splash in the fountain too … the Black-Chinned Hummingbirds bathe each morning in our fountain and then make their way to the HB feeder … Ah, the Wonder of it!



Clyde Camp Wildlife Blog – 5/10/2020
Nothing much going on but I’ve gotten behind in posts and video upgrades. The last one was May 1 and it’s visible in the post from the 6th.
There seem to be fewer feedings by George this time around and Hunter seems to be taking longer breaks throughout the night, maybe feeding outside the box.
Video #1 – 5/1/20 –
Hunter departs for her first nightly potty break at 6 minutes and less than a minute later George arrives briefly to check out the situation. He beats a full retreat less than a minute later in time for Hunter to return at 7:45. This was the first time that we’d seen all three eggs.
Video #2 – 5/2/20 –
A short video was taken during the day with some vocalizations we’d not heard before.
I’ll get the 8 or so 8-hour videos taken over the last week or so processed and uploaded this coming week.




Edition 03 – Shaking The Trees – May 1, 2020

Edition III of Shaking the Trees!

Several of our tribe submitted photos and anecdotes.

We will help you out as needed and send up special prayers for special needs. Many have said they will pick up, deliver, or help any way they can.

Feel free to join in by sending us a wave and general info, links that we all just can’t live without, or how we may be of service.

The tribe has your back. Send to or to Slight editing will protect your privacy.

Laurie Sheppard – Rare skipper at Hagerman NWR
Last week I found a Dotted Roadside-skipper at Hagerman NWR. Although it is reportedly increasing its range, this species is normally found in southwest Texas and parts of New Mexico and Arizona. This sighting is the first time the butterfly has been identified in Grayson County.
It’s nice that my naturalist friends are posting plants and other things – birds and butterflies have to be my contribution, but I’m learning from all of you! Here is photo of a very vain osprey and the skipper.



Dave Powell – Walking and healing his wing.
I am walking at the Heard on Tuesday and Thursday at 1:30 usually about 2 hours. Some photos of what I am seeing included. I thought I knew these pretty well but having to use iNat to correctly identify.
I do know Eastern Gamagrass, Wild Blue Indigo, Foxglove.


Clyde Camp – Owl Blog Surprise coming through in the clutch
Owl Blog 2 – 4/23-27
I may have spoken too soon. It looks like we may be starting over. After three days of seeing neither of them, Hunter popped into the box last night at about 10 pm and sat in the entrance for half an hour barking and trilling before leaving. Hunter blasted in 10-15 minutes later, checked the box out, called twice and left. Both were gone the rest of the night.
But she was in the box at 9 am this morning and slept there throughout the day until 6:30 pm tonight at which point she was -all- over the box for 45 minutes, rooting around in the mulch, pecking at the walls, whining, exhibiting nesting behavior and clearing a space down to the floor just like in late February before she started laying the first clutch.
Then she sat in the entrance for over an hour, whinnying every now and occasionally trilling before flying off at 8:15. Then we heard trilling, first far away then closer and George crashed into the box a few minutes later looked around and left.
Hunter was back in the nestbox this morning. I was gone from about 9 am to 1:30 pm and she was still there when I got home. Kathi said she let out a long loud trill once, maybe twice during that time. Until then, she was quiet until just after 8 pm when she started preening. At 8:15 she stretched for the entrance hole, hopped up, and was off for the nightly hunt. And behind her, as she left was … an EGG!
Clutch two is underway!!


John Garbutt – Woodpecker wonders
Really enjoying these since we all can’t get together. I’ve been out birding and doing some iNat observations. A couple of note: I’ve been monitoring a Downy woodpecker nest cavity and Cooper’s Hawk nest since late March. Both in Frisco.
I’m thinking the downy eggs should have hatched last week. If not, this week for sure. I need to go check and listen for any noise in the snag.


Dick Zartler – Fire on the prairie is success
Thought I would share photos of before and five weeks after the burn at the Raptor Center. (Cannot wait to see more results)



Deborah Canterbury – Insect “didja-knows” taken away from wandering through bug blogs
Pandemics happen to insects, especially ants. Ants are extremely social creatures. Viruses that spread socially love ants, and they can quickly wipe out portions of a colony as the ants have no ability to prevent the spread of viruses & diseases.


Paul Napper – East Texas Live
Late April provided an opportunity to make a trip to East Texas to retrieve two deer stands and a camera that were in the woods for months. I hunt game trails and keep three cameras going all season.
Today I’m sharing a few pictures from the over 2000 pictures taken on this one camera. And. By the way, Paul did not meet the deer in person. “Enjoy”.


Terry Comingore – Blue Heron update
I finally caught a feeding period. You could easily tell the dominant nestling but the feeding parent made sure to share the food. Great fun to watch them try to grab food from each other.


Mikel Salsgiver: Once a Teacher…
I really enjoyed the second edition – only now able to lift my head out of my fog to look around.
I have been teaching freshman biology from home.
Which has a lot of ‘shaking the trees’ in itself!
My students and I are in the midst of our Plant unit, however!
  • One assignment was to submit a favorite plant – but somehow I got a lot of pictures of student’s dogs and cats instead. hmmm
  • My workstation is placed so I can enjoy all the green outside along with all the critters – birds, snakes, toads and insects in the lot.


Beverly Carpenter – It’s baby season!
I just thought I would share this information in case you are interested in checking out the Rehab and specifically the NICU. If you aren’t familiar with where to get this information I included the directions which may not be necessary.
Go to
Click on the heading Raptor Rescue Questions then go to Rescue
Next click on RaptorMed
That will bring up a list of all the patients in Rehab
Left-hand column is patient # which is what you Click to see all info.
Here are some suggested patients to look at that will show you the variety of bird babies we currently have.
We use abbreviations to identify species.
  • BLVU= Black Vulture
  • EASO. = Eastern Screech Owl
  • GHOW = Great Horned Owl
  • RTHA= Red Tail Hawk
Click on # 20-0053 GHOW click on each photo to see the progression of growth
( to get back to patient list just click on arrow in top left corner of screen )
  • # 20-0065 GHOW
  • # 20-0067-71 EASO ( 5 BABIES came in at same time)
  • # 20-0084 GHOW
  • # 20-0087 BLVU
  • # 20-0101 RTHA
  • # 20-0102 EASO
Other interesting things to note is the additional 20 EASO’s and 4 GHOW’s which all arrived on Monday. Erich was super busy just do the in-take for these not to mention the feeding for the entire Rehab population.


Edition 02 – Shaking The Trees – April 19, 2020

Edition ll of Shaking the Trees!

Several of our tribe submitted photos and anecdotes. Request by bobcat rescue in Terrell included.

We will help you out as needed and send up special prayers for special needs. Many have said they will pick up, deliver or help any way they can.

Feel free to join in by sending us a wave and general info, links that we all just can’t live without, or how we may be of service.

The tribe has your back. Send to or to Slight editing will protect your privacy.


Diamondback Water Snake with Turtles at the Heard by Lu Anne Ray


Rick Travis: Shaking the ground too

Lisa and I have been doing A LOT of walking/hiking and “iNaturalisting” (I don’t think that’s really a word).

Photos for your pleasure.

Terry Comingore: Keeping an eye on big blue nest

The Blue Heron left her nest last Thursday. Sure she’s exhausted after hunting all Monday (from street level and from 60X). Sunday I saw her feeding the nestlings but didn’t have the scope.

The nests (there are 2 but one is hard to view) are in the wetlands where Maxwell Creek crosses Woodbridge Parkway.

Jean Suplick: Bewick’s Wren family counselors

Michael and I are all kinds of nervous over watching our nesting Bewick’s Wrens.

It’s amazing how those little creatures know just what to do. Our pair, affectionately called Lady and Sir, laid one egg per night for seven nights, starting about March 18th. After the seventh egg was laid, incubation began.

It’s been non-stop feeding for Lady and Sir. So exhausting to watch! Every few minutes a new insect arrives. Sir is funny. He won’t go into the nest. He just clutches to the opening and stretches in to feed the chicks. Lady, on the other hand, shoots right through that opening and like she owns the place. And of course, she does!

They were about 1.5 g at hatch and will fledge at about 10.5. We expect them to fledge Friday, April 24. I don’t know if my nerves can take it. Thank the stars that we have lots of native biodiversity, at least in our yard.

In the photo for the eggs, you can see blue plastic on the right.  Bewick’s Wrens, according to Cornell, are documented lining their nests with snakeskin or cellophane.  We watched Lady, on her first day of incubation, retrieve dove feathers from a couple Cooper’s hawk kills in the yard.

Tom Shackelford: Nature Story in Popular Mechanics

I would never have thought there would be a story about soil.

Despite being hard to place, there is a clear source for that unmistakable springtime smell: geosmin, an organic compound commonly found in soil. Scientists in the U.K. and Sweden discovered the smell has passed the test of time due to a symbiotic relationship between the soil bacteria Streptomyces and six-legged creatures known as springtails.

Geosmin, is the soil-based compound responsible for those hard-to-describe olfactory sensations. Our noses are so finely attuned to the organic compound, in fact, that we can detect it better than sharks can recognize blood. Want to know more?

Nancy Taylor wanted to keep her seasonal greetings board going so attached are photos of her yard natives.

American Beautyberry (Left)
Texas Mountain Laurel (Below).


Jim Dulian: Night heron update
I haven’t seen any activity since Friday now.  
There is one barely visible from the ground gray mass on top of the nest that may or may not be a bird sitting very still, but if that’s what it is, it hasn’t moved in three days.  
I took a picture of the droppings under the nest this morning so that I can see if more are showing up the next few days.
Wylie Field of Bluebonnets by Elly Tittle
Fairy Flowers on Bluesteam Trail at the Heard by Lu Anne Ray
Turtles at the Heard by Lu Anne Ray
Edition 01 – Shaking The Trees – April 12, 2020

Welcome to Shaking the Trees – COVID-19 Member Outreach!


We will help you out as needed and send up special prayers for special needs.
Many have said they will pick up, deliver or help any way they can.
Feel free to join in by sending us a wave and general info, links, or how we may be of service.
The tribe has your back.
Send to or to
Slight editing will protect your privacy.


Butterflies in Azaleas by Beverly Carpenter
Jim: Night heron central
Day 15 from first sighting and they are still working on the nest. I thought that they were finished a couple of times, but I saw them still at it early this morning. I guess they do most of it at night, being like, you know, NIGHT herons and all. Right now there is one sitting near the nest pruning him-or-herself. The other one is probably on the nest, but it’s less porous than it was, so I can’t be sure. Got to hand it to them, though, they are working from home!
Laura and the Heard:
Speaking of having been a little overwhelmed, the Heard (outdoors only) is still open. People can get admission or membership online and announce themselves at the door to minimize contact. There are SO many scientists working fast-paced on ideas and innovations. It’s really encouraging to see people stepping up and being creative and turning to their energies to the benefit of all.
Tasha is celebrating:
I wanted to let you know we got our wildlife management approval today and I’m so excited. It’s quite a relief and now we will be putting our rabbit habitats – ie, pallets with brush over them.
It really does seem too good to be true.
Hope all is well with you.
I’m really missing classes right now.
Ed’s take:
Well, I tried the leaves (for TP) and it turned out they were poison ivy so I’m itching to get back to my tribe where I might pay more attention to the botany sessions next time around.
(he and his spouse) so far we have found each other to be rather compatible while in solitary confinement and it is amazing how much we get caught up with the fascinating endless list of chores long ignored.
I’m trying to find my copy of Albert Camus “The Plague” to see if any of this really makes sense.
As the ancient Chinese curse goes “May you live in interesting times.”
*** Homemade Cloth Masks Request ***
Susan: Keeping watch
I’m making face masks if anyone needs one. Homemade and not nearly as protective as an N95 but better than nothing.
Other than that, I’m weeding the garden and observing all the little critters living in it: a baby rabbit (trying to shoo him out because of the dog), a toad, lots of baby and adult anole lizards, bees in my bee houses. The June bugs are coming out in droves and kept flying into my hair while walking the dog last night under the full Pink moon.
(If you would like a mask let me know and I will give you Susan’s email.)

Link to Carol Clarks Blog


  Sally: Seeing ‘round the bend

Ode to the virus from Dallas, Texas
The skies are dreary; We’ve all got the blues,
And none of it is helped by turning on the news.
Our schedules have stopped; Gatherings are banned.
We can’t do anything we once had planned.
But look on the bright side, most of us are still well.
So rest your bodies and sit for a spell.
Read a book; Call a friend;
Tackle a closet you should ‘attend’’
Walk around the block and look at the trees;
Ours have budded and burst out with leaves.
Spring has come, the grass is growing;
Soon beds will need weeding and lawns will need mowing.
This virus has stopped us – a pause in our lives
And how we accept it is how we will survive.
You and I – we can do it! Don’t feel fettered!
It might be enriching. We’ll be wiser and better!
For those working who have heavier loads,
Ahead there is sunshine and a smoother road.
Hang in there folks. It will one day end.
Just for now we can’t see ‘round the bend.

Wild Hyacinths by Cynthia Alexander-Coday

Down in Dallas, east of the tollway but still in Collin County, there is a historic church & a cemetery that was part of the Frankford settlement in the mid-late 1800s. A few years ago they decided to stop mowing the land and wildflowers began to appear. They’ve discovered this small 2.5-acre remnant has at least 200 species, many of which are indicators of pristine Blackland Prairie, as cataloged by Rich Jaynes.

Yesterday on my way to the farm I took a detour by the Frankford Prairie.  To my delight, the Wild Hyacinths (‘Camassia scilloides’) were in bloom.

On a personal note, it was high noon and I learned later that afternoon, that it happened to be the exact time my cousin’s daughter Michelle passed away from Coronavirus.

I know things don’t work this way, but she gets credit for pulling me there.

Anyway, if you want to see the miracle of wild hyacinths in bloom on this tiny prairie remnant, visit Frankford Prairie, 17400 Muirfield Drive, Dallas. There is also an Indian Spring by the little bridge.

Wild Hyacinths of Frankford Prairie by Cynthia Alexander-Coday



Clyde Camp’s Screech Owl Cam Footage
Donna Cole’s Brown Snake & BluebonnetsTMN 2020 Storeria dekayi texana Texas Small Brown SnakeLupinus texensis Texas Bluebonnets

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