Martin Dies, Jr. State Park

Ranger Notes from 2019

The New Challenge Facing Bald Eagles

December 2019

bald eagle on a nest high in a treeOur park offers guided hikes and canoe trips to view a pair of nesting bald eagles, because it’s amazing to see these majestic raptors living in the wild when they came so close to extinction.

Humans were the initial cause of their decline by using the pesticide DDT and not knowing the full effects that it had on our environment. It was also humans that helped them to recover and rebound.

Read more Bald Eagles . . . 

Butterflies Have Lots to Teach

November 2019

tattered butterfly hanging from a branchButterflies are great mascots for conservation. They face challenges in habitat destruction and pesticides, and are misunderstood. Many people think that caterpillars are pests, but they’re not. Caterpillars are a chink in the chain of a butterfly (or moth’s) life cycle.

Read more Butterflies . . . 

Potter Wasps

October 2019

Potter wasp crawling on a flowerHave you ever found a tiny clay pot stuck to your window screen or on the side of a building? What artist creates such a unique clay jug?

Potter wasps are the creators of these small pieces of art. These wasps are not your typical wasp.

Read more about Potter Wasps . . . 

Underwater Treasures

August 2019

inside of mussel shellWhen B.A. Steinhagen Reservoir was drained this summer, most animals were able to retreat into the creeks and river channels, but not all. Sprawled across the dry lake bed were dead freshwater mussels. Their slow mobility led to their demise, but it gave us and biologists a chance to study them up close. Freshwater mussels often go unseen, but they are underwater treasures.

Read more Underwater Treasures . . .