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  • Explore Texas: A Nature Travel Guide by Mary O. Parker
  • Michelle M. Haggerty
Explore Texas: A Nature Travel Guide. By Mary O. Parker. Photographs by Jeff Parker. Foreword by Carter P. Smith. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2016. xi + 302 pp. Illustrations, maps, index. $28.00 paper.

Explore Texas: A Nature Travel Guide is a wonderful companion for the naturalist and nature enthusiast taking a trip across Texas. Author Mary O. Parker focuses on nearly 100 nature-related venues and events statewide organized by the seven official regions of Texas: Big Bend Country, Gulf Coast, Hill Country, Panhandle Plains, Piney Woods, Prairies and Lakes, and South Texas Plains.

This guide serves as a sort of life list for what to see, when to see it, and why we should take the time to explore the natural landscapes, destinations, and events of each Texas region. Beautiful photographs by Jeff Parker [End Page 93] enhance each section. Each entry contains a map, travel directions, and tips for how to make the most of your adventure. Helpful activity icons like "wildlife watching," "geology gems," and more accompany each venue to help you see which nature activity is available.

But what sets this book apart from other nature travel guides is the excellent education sections for each venue. It offers fascinating facts and intriguing details about specific aspects of each particular location. For example, the entry for the Brazos Bend State Park and George Observatory details the site's American alligators, Anhinga birds, and northern raccoons. This serves to enhance the explorer's experience and, one hopes, spark in that person an appreciation of the need for continued conservation and protection for these areas.

Michelle M. Haggerty
Texas Master Naturalist State Program Coordinator Texas Parks and Wildlife Department


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 93-94
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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