This weekend, Kelly and I flew to Minnesota to celebrate his youngest brother Chris's wedding. It was a great weekend of spending time with friends and family, and of course, supporting Chris and Jess as they committed their lives to each other.
The year's second brood of Mourning Cloaks (Nymphalis antiopa) are starting to emerge. There might be flashier butterflies, but this is definitely one of my favorites.
Sarah and I went out one night to see breeding amphibians. We saw some neat species, but the Gulf Coast Toads (Bufo nebulifer) were the most entertaining.
The Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia sp.), which is all over the place, has been blooming. There is some color variation across plants, but this all yellow form is the most common.
There's something atmospheric about the silhouette of a dead tree full of vultures.
Sarah and I found this Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) crossing the road. It takes many years for them to get this large, and it's a real shame that so many are killed on roads. In these long-lived and slowly-maturing species, even a small increase in percentage of deaths in reproductively mature adults can cause considerable population declines. I used to pick them up by the tail, until I learned that this can cause severe spinal injury to the animal. I'm holding this one by the carapace (top of shell) just above the hind legs.