Frankly, the last weeks of August are discouraging for even the most enthusiastic local boosters. A typical August in Texas does not provide much of what most would consider tolerable, much less pleasant. Challenging, sure, but enjoyable? That's a tough row to hoe.
|Grocery store rose, replanted in a garden bed. Bless their hearts, they don't know any better.|
|The Hub's plethora of potted Plumeria. August is their time to shine.|
|Hibiscus syriacus, Rose of Sharon or Althea, in common use here but actually the national plant of Korea.|
It sounded a bit like a finch. It was similarly high pitched but less a song and more a call. I don't know how to explain this other than it sounded bigger. The calls were coming from close by, behind me, and continued until a raucous scold of jays arrived. The calls were first drowned out, and then ceased altogether.
Over the next span of days as I scouted for reappearing weeds I heard the calls again and again. When I finally caught a glimpse of the source it was obvious why they sounded bigger than a finch. My calling bird was a hawk!
Birding on Broadmeade. He reassured me that hawks can be particularly tricky to differentiate but what he thought I was seeing and hearing was a juvenile Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus).
I realized, as temperature patterns shift, our previously fixed ideas of who and what are considered "native" to Texas will require shifting as well. Turns out Lyle Lovett was prescient when he famously sang, "That's right, you're not from Texas - Texas wants you anyway!".
Who knew weeding could lead to so much delight and unexpected beauty? August may be the month Texans love to hate, but given the chance, this August revealed it had a few surprises yet in store.
Nerd Out: Behrens graciously pointed me towards two remarkable resources for those of us interested in understanding and identifying local (for now) wildlife. iNaturalist ,which hosts information and spectacular photographs of sightings of all sorts of fauna, and a site specifically for reporting bird sightings, eBird.