Thursday, November 20, 2008
The Katy Prairie
To the west and the northwest of Houston is a far stretch of land (Texas sized)called the Katy Prairie. Miles and miles of flat, dry, mostly cultivated grasslands. Yesterday, Luisa and I left the city driving that direction in hopes of finding that the migrating ducks and geese had arrived in the area. Last week we had a 'cold snap' and to the north of Texas there was a full week of snow and freezing weather, this usually heralds in the duck season in south Texas. Flocks of ducks and geese stopping over to rest and feed in the area's many lakes, and natural whet lands of the greater Houston area. They come through on their way even further south - sometimes making it all the way into South America.
Luisa and I went at least 20 miles west and another 20 miles north of the Houston city line and still found mostly new homes, paved streets and fast food joints - in other words more city. About 5 miles out of Katy, after a few missed turns and u-turns in farmhouse driveways and a sighting of two large birds hunting the fields from the telephone posts, we found a man-made lake with naturally growing high grass (an effort to create whet lands) and observation blinds for bird watchers. We didn't find many ducks but we did hear some overhead and with some searching of the high skies were able to make out a flock flying quite high above us headed, YEP, south.