To me Brazos Bend State Park is the jewel of Houston, the massive sprawling and menacing metropolitan.
I arrived at the park in the early morning and started my walk around Elm Lake. Almost immediately I heard the distinct whistling sounds of black-bellied whistling ducks. To me this colorful duck is the quintessential southern species — in the south, I see them all the time in the bayous, lakes, even retention ponds in neighborhoods, but I haven’t seen them in other locales.
In the lake, there are many common moorhens. Together with the whistling ducks they are the most abundant birds. I see many families of these colorful birds and their more drab-colored young. I also saw a purple gallinule, a very similar bird to the moorhen but even more vividly colored.
The thing I like about this lake and this park is the abundance and variety of wildlife. Even though Texas is in a prolonged and severe drought, and the fall migration season has not yet started, there is still many species of birds abound, such as this little blue heron, and a white ibis, even a pied-billed grebe:
But, of course you cannot go to the park without noticing the American Alligators — after all, the park prides itself as “Home of the American Alligators”. Just before I left, I discovered a group — maybe 30 or more — baby alligators in the lake. These two were apparently having a staring contest:
I thought I had left Texas for good. But it always draws me back. With places like Brazos Bend … alright!