I know what you may be thinking. Aren’t local parks dangerous?
One should always be on a heightened state of alert when parking at a large public space for free. If I were a single woman I wouldn’t do it. I’ve always said public parks are where the dead bodies end up. Case in point, I was recently diverted from Denton Creek, one of my favorite Texas parks, for another in Bob Jones Park. The issue? Four squad cars were blocking the entrance. Now cops may not have discovered a dead body because I did not see yellow tape in the vicinity, but it couldn’t have been good whatever it was.
For me, the photography opportunities outweigh the danger. I photographed plenty of birds like Eastern Phoebes, gorgeous Eastern Bluebirds nesting, and Downy Woodpeckers while at Bob Jones Park.
Conversely, an emerging White-tailed deer scared me half to death and the sudden grunt of a wild pig sent me running. Want an adrenaline rush? Local parks, man. I’m telling you…you experience a little bit of everything!
Lake Grapevine, behind the Gaylord Texan, is my other favorite little spot for summer. I decided to visit at the tail end of winter just to see what was out and was not disappointed. Parking my car I was greeted by the song of Red-winged Blackbirds, Carolina Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, and oh my gosh I’ve never seen so many Red-bellied Woodpeckers congregating in one locale.
I guess I just love Texas local parks. We have so much green space that as a photographer and a birder, paying for entry just doesn’t make much sense.