Texas Wild is a new wildlife series on PBS created and hosted by two wildlife biologists turned videographers, Dr. Raymond Matlack and Jessie Story. Travel the vast landscapes of the Lone Star State alongside Jessie and Ray as this team of two seeks out the wildlife that thrives in these far reaching spaces. Discover cave-dwelling critters, venture through the great desert regions of west Texas, plunge into murky swamps, climb the Piney Woods and even discover an abundance of wildlife in your own backyard.
The hoary bat is a foliage roosted bat found throughout Texas. Ray and I were lucky to catch a hoary bat while mist netting in a state park as part of a research project. These bats are quite a sight to see, one of the larger bats found in Texas, they stand out due to their looks. They have thick fur that blends browns and reds near the face with a white frosting overall. This white frosting gives the bats the appearance as though they are speckled with snow.
When distressed this bats emit a call that sounds like water being drip on a red hot skillet. Your thoughts?
One of the great benefits of working with Jessie is I get to see wildlife from her perspective. This has me generally looking for small, macro-sized critters. As you can tell from our abundance of macro photography and video, we are both pretty excited by things small.
One of Jessie’s favorite places to hunt tiny things is around lights, especially at campground bathrooms. I spotted this boring gray insect and snapped a few shots with a canon 5D mk III with 100mm macro and a 25 mm extension tube. I love using extension tubes and keep them perennially attached to my macro lenses.
The results of the shots were quite a surprise. The blister beetle is a wonder to behold, all covered in fine gray hair-like structures. Not one out of place. And its compound eyes are stunning.
For you wildlife lovers out there, be sure to look for things on the small side. Carry a magnifying glass or use the macro setting available on most cameras to take a look at another world!
Visit www.wtamu.edu/texaswild to shop and share to help keep Jessie and me on this crazy journey of discovery, and wildlife appreciation and education. All gifts are tax deductible and our merchandise is environmentally friendly and perfect for outdoor adventures.
Whether it venomous or non-venomous we can’t get enough of snakes. Today is world snake appreciation day if you didn’t already know. Today is the perfect opportunity for you to help support and raise awareness for the conservation of snakes. Share a photo or post a positive experience you’ve had with a snake.