We know by the calendar when spring officially begins, but how does nature tell us spring has come? In Heralds of Spring in Texas Roland H. Wauer walks us through Texas, from the Rio Grande to the Panhandle, as spring arrives.
In addition to offering us his own special memories of spring in Texas, Wauer brings together the thoughts of other Texas naturalists, professional and avocational, and details and background information about the particular herald being considered. Each chapter is also illustrated with a beautiful pen-and-ink drawing by Ralph Scott. Harbingers of spring explores birds, trees, flowers, mammals, and even the night sky.
For many along the Gulf Coast, the arrival of the first purple martin signifies the season. As Petra Hockey of Port O’Connor says, “I run outside to welcome them, and they seem just as happy to be back as I am to have them. Now spring has arrived.” In the Trans-Pecos, two welcome signs of spring are the blooming of the Big Bend bluebonnets and the arrival of Cassin’s kingbirds in the Davis Mountains. But for Mark Adams of the McDonald Observatory, “as the Earth swings closer to spring,… Pegasus, the Winged Horse, emerges from the solar glare into the predawn sky…My spring herald.”
For many in Central Texas, spring has come when the Mexican buckeyes and redbuds begin flowering and the golden-cheeked warbler arrives. But for Burr Williams, in the Panhandle and Western Plains, “spring is best expressed by the myriad of invertebrate tracks that he finds on the sand dunes at Monahans State Park.”
Anyone who loves outdoor Texas will relish this delightful celebration of spring.