Heralds of Spring in Texas

By Roland H. Wauer

Illustrated by Ralph Scott

978-0-89096-879-6 Cloth
6.12 x 9.25 x 0 in
282 pp. 50 line drawings.
Pub Date: 02/01/1999


  • Cloth $24.95
"It is a basic part of human nature to anticipate a new cycle of growth in our natural world and to recall fond memories of earlier springs. But the signals of spring are varied and personal. They differ from one person to the next and often are very special to the beholder."—from the Introduction

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 here the thoughts of other Texas naturalists, professional and avocational, and augments both with background information about the particular herald being considered. Harbingers of spring explored include birds, trees, flowers, mammals, even the night sky.

For many along the Gulf Coast, the arrival of the first purple martins 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, emerge[s] from the solar glare into the pre-dawn 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 Western Plains, "spring is best expressed by the myriad of invertebrate tracks that he finds on the sand dunes at Monahans Sandhills State Park."

All those who love outdoor Texas will relish this delightful celebration of spring and enjoy the artwork of Ralph Scott, who has done an illustration of each spring herald.

Louise Lindsey Merrick Natural Environment Series

Published by Texas A&M University Press