A scrawny Longhorn in Big Bend Ranch State Park, West Texas. Lower-than-usual levels of vegetation have left both livestock and wildlife struggling to find food. [Read Full Story]
Lake Travis, near Austin, Tex., at 46.5 feet (14 meters) lower than usual.
Lost a cell phone? As Lake Travis dried, the receding waters revealed gadgets dropped by boaters.
As water levels dropped in OC Fischer Reservoir west of San Angelo, Tex., bacteria took over the stagnant, low-oxygen water. These bacteria turned the lake the color of blood. Dead fish, unable to survive without oxygen, float in the blood-red lake.
Little is left of the O.C. Fischer reservoir, which once has a maximum depth of 58 feet (17.6 m).
Dead fish dot the remains of blood-red O.C. Fischer Reservoir.
A dead fish floats in O.C. Fischer Reservoir. Without enough oxygen in the water, the fish could not survive.
Dried ground in Buescher State Park near Smithville, Tex.
Before and After
Lake Texana between Houston and Corpus Christi. Above, normal conditions. Below, drought conditions.
The carcass of a cow that became mired in the mud in a dry stock tank in Knox County, Texas during the summer drought.
The sky stained red over the Bastrop fire, which burned more than 34,000 acres in September 2011.
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Stephanie Pappas is a contributing writer for Live Science, covering topics ranging from geoscience to archaeology to the human brain and behavior. She was previously a senior writer for Live Science but is now a freelancer based in Denver, Colorado, and regularly contributes to Scientific American and The Monitor, the monthly magazine of the American Psychological Association. Stephanie received a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of South Carolina and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz.