Under the Texas Sky

Cecilia Nasti/Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Get ready for the great outdoors! Listen in to explore nature, wildlife and the best of life outside. Pick up pro tips for camping, cooking and more. Host Cecilia Nasti takes you along as both outdoor experts and everyday people reveal why life’s better outside, Under the Texas Sky.

Trailer 2 min 2 sec

All Episodes

Jan 2019

2 min 2 sec

Meet siblings Cassandra and Christopher as they prepare to reconnect with nature. They have some anxieties, so eco-therapist Amy Sugeno discusses strategies to overcome fears of being outdoors. We’ll also explore ways to find your next adventure, whether you’re a newbie or already love life outside.

Jan 2019

18 min 17 sec

Jan 2019

4 min 48 sec

Fishing is a fun way to get outside, relax and enjoy nature. And fish make a delicious, locally-sourced, low-fat meal. Join us as we explore how rainbow trout and catfish are grown at a fish hatchery, then released into lakes and ponds. We’ll also check in with our sibling duo as they tackle fishing in Austin.

Feb 2019

15 min 57 sec

In this podcast we talk with invertebrate biologists and the horticulture director of the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center. We discuss the relationship between native plants and their pollinator pals, and how honeybees are not necessarily the best pollinators out there. They just have better press. In fact, honeybees may play a part in native been decline. But it’s not all bad news.

Mar 2019

20 min 9 sec

Wildlife is found across Texas, including wild turkeys. Hear the story of how these birds almost disappeared but were saved by conservation practices. We’ll also discuss how to call them to you, the 3 different kinds, and turkey harems. For you locavores, we’ve got pro tips for hunting and cooking turkey.

Apr 2019

30 min 57 sec

Sometimes the canary in the coalmine is a fish in a river. At Caddo Lake in deep east Texas, that fish – the paddlefish – is older than dinosaurs. Learn about efforts to restore this ancient animal to east Texas waters, and why the paddlefish is the “poster child” for restoring the health of an entire ecosystem. We also check in with siblings Cassandra and Christopher Neve of Austin who are trying to reconnect with the outdoors in 2019. And we hear from Tore Anderson of San Angelo and her life changing camping trip to Big Bend, in our Shout Out to the Wild segment.

May 2019

19 min 58 sec

Summer in Texas means biking, camping – so many outdoor activities. Don’t let the heat put a sweaty damper on the fun! Listen as we share heat hacks for both you and your partner-in-fun: your dog. We’ll also check in with the Neves and hear a listener describe her star-studded experience.

Jun 2019

25 min 16 sec

The Guadalupe bass is a feisty little fish that makes its home in the cool, clear-running waters of Hill Country streams and rivers. It’s the State Fish of Texas, and we explore how what’s good for this fish is also good for our rivers. We also visit South Llano River State Park and meet the park supervisor who works and plays in this natural wonderland.

Jul 2019

26 min 15 sec

Spotted sea trout is wildly popular with people who fish the Texas coast. This episode we’ll find out how this tasty salt-water trout is raised, and how it’s protected through fishing regulations. Chef Cindy Haenel demonstrates cooking sea trout meunière – so good – and shares the simply delicious recipe.

Aug 2019

27 min 35 sec

Join us for the debut of our new occasional series, The Art of Nature, where we tell the stories of artists that create art to tell stories about nature. In this episode, we spotlight San Antonio painter Jesus Toro Martinez, reminding us we’re not just observers, but also characters in the saga of life.

Sep 2019

20 min 26 sec

If you’re into fresh, locally-sourced food and connecting with nature, join us as our group forages for wild foods. Then Austin chef and author Jesse Griffiths cooks them into an awesome meal. All this freshness takes place at ecological showpiece Llano Springs Ranch, part of the new Explore Ranches conservation enterprise.

Oct 2019

24 min 26 sec

Wildfires can be scary. But they’re nature’s way of clearing areas for plant growth and help preserve native plants that support wildlife. Humans suppressed these natural wildfires, making them worse when they do occur. Listen in as we visit Austin’s Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center and learn how “prescribed burning” – starting planned, controlled fires, preserves diverse habitat.

Nov 2019

13 min 38 sec

Wildlife artist Clemente Guzman is a master of pen, pencil and brush, and he illustrated Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine for 29 years. We talk to the artist about his wild work, and his journey telling the stories of nature through art. This is a segment in our occasional series, Art of Nature.

Dec 2019

13 min 9 sec

Join producer Randall Maxwell and TPW magazine editor, Louie Bond, for the first episode of our new feature, Wanderlist, as we explore amazing places with wildflowers. Randall also chats with Andrea DeLong-Amaya of Austin’s Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. They answer questions submitted earlier by listeners via our Instagram account @TexasParksWildlife.

Apr 2020

17 min 44 sec

Increase your chances of harvesting a longbeard this spring by "talking turkey." Hunter Education coordinator Steve Hall demonstrates the various ways to call turkeys to you in the field.

Apr 2020

9 min 42 sec

This week’s Wanderlist features Cecilia Nasti and Louie Bond exploring places you can go in Texas to see birds of prey like eagles, hawks and falcons: the raptors. Cecilia talks with state ornithologist Cliff Shackelford about one big apex predator in particular – the Caracara.

Apr 2020

17 min 12 sec

Join us as we explore how nature tourism grew from just birdwatching to include outdoor activities and events like paddling, wildlife-watching competitions, and other ways of connecting with nature – including apps that enhance your experience – with special guest Shelly Plante, Texas Parks and Wildlife Nature Tourism manager.

Apr 2020

15 min 30 sec

What you eat and drink plays an important role in your stamina and stregnth when engaging in outdoor activities. Self proclaimed non-diet dietician Tina Laboy of Austin is on the podcast to talk about feeding our bodies for optimal outdoor output.

Apr 2020

13 min 55 sec

Throughout the years, Texas cities and towns have been the inspiration for songs. In this edition of Under the Texas Sky's Wanderlist, producer Randall Maxwell and TPW magazine editor Louie Bond share the backstories behind the music and lyrics that keep Texans and the world tapping their toes from El Paso to Galveston and points in-between.

May 2020

22 min 6 sec

We'll unravel the mystery of how capturing rainwater sustains and conserves at the same time, with special guests farmer Tim Miller of Millberg Farm in Kyle, Texas, and Texas Parks and Wildlife Green Team members Annalise Reichert and Christy Seals.

May 2020

22 min 29 sec

No matter your ability, nature is waiting for you. On this edition of Under the Texas Sky’s Wanderlist, Cecilia Nasti and Louie Bond talk about accessibility in the great outdoors.

May 2020

17 min 33 sec

Texas Game Wardens ensure the protection of our natural resources and our people. Nearly nine percent of Texas Game Wardens are women; on the podcast we meet Officer Joann Garza-Mayberry and learn how her path to becoming a Game Warden was anything but straight and narrow.

May 2020

23 min 7 sec

On this edition of Wanderlist, TPW magazine Editor Louie Bond shares fishing and camping opportunities to enjoy with family--and especially with dad. She also talks with TPWD photographer Chase Fountain about how spending time outdoors with his daughters after a family tragedy brought them closer.

Jun 2020

12 min 53 sec

Wearing the right shoes ensures your comfort and safety when at Texas State Parks and natural areas, where terrain is variable. In this episode, "shoe guy" Sean Bibby of Whole Earth Provision tells us how to shop for the right shoes to help us safely navigate nature and walk comfortably.

Jun 2020

14 min 17 sec

Bats are mysterious and magnificent creatures, often seen decorating the evening sky as they fly out of caves, sinkholes, forests, and from underneath bridges. In this episode, we’ll talk about bat emergences and where to safely see them. We’ll also answer questions you submitted via our Instagram account last week.

Jun 2020

21 min 36 sec

Bats are enigmatic nocturnal flying mammals. There are over 14-hundred species that we know of worldwide, 33 of which are known to live in Texas. Many are threatened. And Dr. Merlin Tuttle--part Indiana Jones and part Bill Nye the Science Guy--has led the bat conservation charge worldwide.

Jun 2020

14 min 27 sec

U.S. Park Rangers are in the business of preserving natural, historic and cultural resources within our National Parks. On this episode, producer Randall Maxwell introduces us to U.S. Parks Ranger Rosi Ferioli, whose beat is the Padre Island National Seashore.

Jul 2020

18 min 21 sec

An ideal way to chill on a sultry summer day in Texas is in a swimming hole. On this Wanderlist, we take a deep dive into cool waters, letting you know the top places to immerse yourself in the best Texas has to offer when nature brings the heat.

Jul 2020

10 min 12 sec

Austin singer/songwriter Bill Oliver, better known in music and environmental circles as Mr. Habitat, writes and performs songs with messages of environmental stewardship for all who will listen. We highlight Bill's life and work in our occasional feature, The Art of Nature.

Jul 2020

16 min 33 sec

Texas has been the stage for many epic movies over the years. On this Wanderlist, we’ll discuss films that put Texas on the silver screen. From wide landscapes to small towns, it’s lights, camera, action in the Lone Star State.

Jul 2020

21 min 4 sec

At Texas State Parks you’ll find adventure and interesting folks—like park staff that keep the places humming. On the podcast, producer Abe Moore takes us to South Llano River State Park, where we meet a fascinating man who not only works at the park, but lives there, too.

Jul 2020

11 min 13 sec

On Wanderlist, Cecilia Nasti and Louie Bond discuss towns that celebrate their native sons and daughters of the written word. Then, Louie takes us to Kyle, Texas to visit the childhood home of the author Katherine Anne Porter, who wrote the highly acclaimed novel, Ship of Fools.

Aug 2020

21 min 24 sec

The Dutch Oven is the go-to tool for cooking over an open fire, especially at Texas State Parks. In this podcast Cecilia Nasti and Randall Maxwell introduce you to Cowboy Cook, Tim Spice, as he teaches members of Les Dames d'Escoffier--women in the culinary industry-- about going Dutch.

Aug 2020

24 min 5 sec

There are a lot of beautiful highways to travel in the Lone Star State. From the Texas Panhandle to the Pineywoods, and all places in between, you are sure to see a diversity of landscapes. On this Under The Texas Sky's Wanderlist, we will share some of the most scenic drives you can travel in Texas. Listen to our latest podcast. Link in bio.

Aug 2020

14 min 40 sec

The Horned Lizard is an iconic species in Texas. Referred to as a "horny toad", the state reptile has been in decline. But in this podcast, guest producer, Tom Harvey, says there's hope they'll make a comeback thanks to ongoing restoration efforts.

Aug 2020

10 min 51 sec

There’s a lot of steps to becoming a State Park. In this edition of Under the Texas Sky's Wanderlist, producer Randall Maxwell and TPW Magazine Editor, Louie Bond, discuss future State Parks currently in development. We’ll also visit with biologist and Natural Resources Coordinator for State Parks Andy Sipocz about an up and coming State Natural Area just outside of Houston.

Sep 2020

18 min 49 sec

​The Texas State Parks Ambassador Program connects conservation-minded young adults with recreation and volunteer opportunities to foster a new generation of state park stewards. All you need is leadership or volunteer experience and a love for our state parks. Learn more on the podcast.

Sep 2020

23 min 4 sec

Texas has a lot of incredible geology and many natural wonders. On this edition of the Wanderlist, we'll discuss what and where some of these iconic geological oddities exist, plus share some of your Instagram entries for the strangest formations in the state.

Sep 2020

20 min 38 sec

Texas is known as the cowboy capital of the world, and there is a rich history of songs about cowboys and cowboy culture, and poetry as well. And we get a taste of both on the podcast.

Sep 2020

26 min 35 sec

Kids love the outdoors and there’s no better adventure for them than a Texas State Park. On this episode of Under The Texas Sky’s Wanderlist, we’ll tell you about great state parks for kids and family memories that will last a lifetime.

Sep 2020

10 min 57 sec

On this podcast meet Erin Freiboth. She helps to promote Texas State Parks; once you hear the podcast you'll understand why she's a perfect fit for the job. We doubt you can get through the podcast without smiling or planning a park visit.

Oct 2020

25 min 42 sec

When things go bump, or boo, in the night, are you sure you're not in a haunted or strange place? On the Wanderlist, we'll take you on a tour of some of more mysterious and haunted places found in Texas.

Oct 2020

16 min 15 sec

Gliding on top of the water in a canoe, kayak or on a paddle board...a person can get close to nature in a way that's just not possible on dry land. On the podcast, meet a man whose passion for paddling changed the course of his life while also making time on the water more enjoyable for others.

Oct 2020

17 min 3 sec

There are some great places to hike in Texas, and they are even greater when you take your most loyal friend. On the podcast, we'll visit with Melissa Gaskill, author of “Best Hikes with Dogs: Texas Hill Country and Coast.” We'll also reveal some of our listener's favorite hiking spots, under the Texas sky.

Oct 2020

20 min 12 sec

Going camping is like being in a giant playground where kids and adults can explore, share experiences and learn about the natural world; it's especially fun in a Texas State Park. On the podcast we'll visit with two families who have made state park camping a tradition together, and are building memories and educating their children about the wonders of nature in the Texas Hill Country.

Nov 2020

14 min 15 sec

November is National Native American Heritage Month. On the podcast, we'll speak with Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Regional Interpretive Specialist Cassie Cox, and Archeology Lab Director Aina Dodge, to learn how Native American heritage is being recognized and preserved in Texas State Parks.

Nov 2020

11 min 32 sec

Protecting the natural resources of Texas is an important function of conservation. That's the daily charge of Texas Game Wardens and why we have laws on hunting, fishing, and boating in our state. On the podcast, we'll ride along with Texas Game Warden Kegan Gould as he patrols Llano County during the opening weekend of White-tailed Deer season for rifle hunters.

Nov 2020

23 min 33 sec

Every fall the days get shorter and the leaves turn a magnificent bouquet of rich colors on trees all across the state. Join us as we discuss the beauty of fall colors in our state parks.

Nov 2020

16 min 41 sec

The holidays are upon us and it's time to be festive in the outdoors. On the podcast, we'll speak with State Parks marketing and branding director Thomas Wilhelm. He’ll share what opportunities Texas State Parks have to offer you this holiday season.

Dec 2020

16 min 42 sec