One of my sons lives in the “Greater Katy Area” on the west side of Houston, Texas. His home is one of thousands in a highly populated residential area containing closely spaced, mostly two-story homes. However, a 450-ft-wide green area and drainage canal splits the area as shown in the Google Maps satellite image below. This drainage area separates my son’s backyard fence from his back door “neighbor” 450 feet away.
The ground level photo below shows a portion of the drainage area described above.
Olympus E-M1 (32mm, f/7.1, 1/400 sec, ISO100)
Recently we walked along part of this drainage area near Exploration Park, a short drive from my son’s house. The first thing I saw was a Great Egret perched on one of the rock jetties that run partially across the canal.
A little farther down the canal, I saw a juvenile Tricolored Heron at the water’s edge.Canon EOS 7D (600mm, f/8, 1/800 sec, ISO320)
The image below shows a Killdeer strolling along a muddy portion of the bank.Canon EOS 7D (600mm, f/8, 1/800 sec, ISO320)
A short distance downstream from Exploration Park, the drainage channel runs behind woods instead of homes. There I saw two birds in a tall tree, a juvenile Great Blue Heron perched above a Great Egret. They seemed to coexist quite well, staying together while I took several photographs of them.Canon EOS 7D (600mm, f/8, 1/800 sec, ISO800)
Without a doubt, though, the most interesting creature of the afternoon was found sunning itself on one of the jetties. Below is the best head-to-tail shot I could get of it.Canon EOS 7D (600mm, f/8, 1/800 sec, ISO800)
This American alligator stayed on the jetty long enough for me to get several photos. Here is one of the (not too) closeup shots I got.Canon EOS 7D (600mm, f/6.3, 1/800 sec, ISO125)
Although I suspect most of this wildlife is attracted by the woods mentioned above, much of it is often seen near my son’s backyard several blocks upstream from the area photographed here.
Hover your mouse cursor over any marker in the map below to see which photos were taken at that location.