The Visitor Center offers exhibits and educational programs, and there are miles of trails to explore.
All this in a city-owned and operated nature center that has been a National Natural Landmark since 1980.
Bison have their own range to roam here, and prairie dogs have a town. Other critters that call the Nature Center home include armadillos, raccoons, bobcats, deer, opossum, beaver, lizards, snakes – and alligators!
I didn’t see an alligator, and I don’t know whether I am sad or glad about that. All I saw of the bison were the calling cards they left behind. No bobcats, or lizards.
And not one dang armadillo!
This is the West Fork of the Trinity River, which flows into Lake Worth. A kayaker paddled slowly past. Surely he had the best views of the day. There was a small mob of cardinals moving through the trees at the river’s edge. It was the most cardinals I’ve ever seen in one place before.
What a REAL cowboy in Texas does is drive to a place of natural beauty on a blue-sky day. Then proceed to dry-wash and wax his car in the parking lot. In his Stetson.
The red dirt was pockmarked with the footprints of strange creatures. At first I thought these might be the tracks of a feral pig, which are abundant in Texas. Upon reading a little about it, I learn that the dewclaws of the pig, which are the small impressions in the lower right of the track, are usually spaced wider than the main hoof.
This track likely belonged to the more familiar animal below.
A lone deer grazes contentedly as the sun sank low in the sky. She seems unaware of the highways and overpasses, gas stations and strip malls of the city so close. For her, and other inhabitants of the Fort Worth Nature Center, life is good here on the wild edge.