20 de julio de 2021

Updates for the big trek

Well, I am still going to Georgia but due to a few minor issues we will not be able to get to Florida right now. However we might be saving that for the Winter Trek. We go to the Texas Coast a lot and we are kind of thinking about making a big change up. Anyway, so now we have a few less vacation days but that does not mean that it will not be any less fun. We have found a few more options and one of those is to get the City Pass which includes entry to the Georgia Aquarium which is a must for me and my brother, I am also interested in the Fernbank Museum, the Coco-a-cola museum will be fun just because I am interested in learning not just about wildlife but also just how things are made and how things work. I love to go to some of those off-the-rails adventures. Fernbank as I looked up looks pretty cool. I have not been to this area of Georgia before so far as I know. Atlanta will be some new territory for me. In our adventure we are planning on going to a few National Parks since my dad does have the senior pass for us to get in free. So being tight on some funds this will help a bit. Okefenokie is a no go sadly but I can save that for our big Christmas Trip.

Yesterday July-19 was my birthday and I got a brand new scope that I can't wait to use in the field. I have been playing with that sucker a lot since I got it. I am getting my gear sorted and a check list made to make sure I don't forget anything. I am going to be traveling pretty lightly. Grabbing only some of the citizen science gear/ all the cameras/ some of the tools I use. No big nets or anything like that just the bare essentials. I will not have that much time to do a lot of in-depth stuff but this will be indeed a phase project I will be doing. I am hoping that I get to find a lot of cool stuff. I have noticed that Georgia has very few observations compared to some. I mean overall it is an impressive amount of stuff but for each areas it is quite an odd site. I mean in Texas I have seen many places with over a thousand species; however, when I see Georgia's record I am like wait hold up. Some areas only have like six hundred or so observations. I love to add stuff to counts out of state and this will be a good project. I am going to be looking for a few things but one of which is the Pileated Woodpecker. That sucker has been just as pesky to find as the Dragonhunter. However we will be deep in swamp areas so this will be very cool. I am looking forward to all the places we will travel too. I am looking forward to seeing that big Aquarium and their new Tiger Shark exhibit. I mean it is just amazing what they have in that place. I am looking forward to the all the big things we will do. A few patches will be collected and a lot of photos and some videos will be taken too.

I am all giddy with anticipation. This will be the first time since I was six years old that I will be going back this far east. I have made it my mission since I joined iNaturalist to go back to some areas I had been to that I thought were really cool and go back and pick up some of the pieces to help rekindle old memories. Find past possible lifers and also just have a new experience all together. Just like in Colorado I got to go to some of the old hangouts and some new places. So each time I go out I am making new connections with the roots of the past running deep. I mean it is amazing to see just how somethings have changed but yet how they stay the same. I mean used to I was not very observant but now I am always using my sense of observation more than I used to. So this is great to see old areas of exploration but adding more to the old memory card (my brain). I mean it is just going to be very interesting to see what I can find. I have seen the species list and there are quite a few things I am wanting to see. Also one of my targets is the illusive Dragonhunter. I will be in a good position for a lot of things but I will have to make the most what time I have out there. I will be doing a lot of things out there and with my trips no time is wasted for learning. True in Missouri I didn't go to too many wild areas but I did find a few good species to start on for that area. I need to go back to that place but there are some future trips that maybe in the works. My aunt is wanting us to get passports so we can go to Alaska sometime. I know I would love to do that trek. That one I will need to take some time to do. That will be amazing but right now we have to work our way up.

My family has always loved to travel around and see the sights and see new things. For me I have that rover spirit that just can't be contained. If there is trails I have not been on or places I have not been to I want to explore them. I have always been that way. I love making connections not to my own past or my own stuff but I like to explore history and the deep roots of different cultures. I love to learn and explore. Sure at the end of the day I do like my nice warm bed and love to have my home base and my garden and just my home life but every summer, spring break, winter vacations and most weekends I am hitting the trail and looking high and low for all sorts of things. I am ready to take on documenting more of the east. This will be another big leap in uncharted iNatting territory for me. I mean the place is not uncharted but not ever being there to do iNaturalist is like a new frontier of discovery. I am hoping to find some big things and maybe make some unusual finds. I am looking forward to seeing what I will see. I always am. This will be most interesting.

Ingresado el 20 de julio de 2021 por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 2 comentarios | Deja un comentario

07 de julio de 2021

Gearing up for Georgia and Florida

Well my big trip of the year is taking form slowly yet surely. It will be around the last week of July like we have planned. I am getting my gear together that I am wanting to travel with. I have been charging up my cameras and trying new things with them to do some things I have not done yet. For one I have gotten out the GoPro and do some things with that. I got into some of my camera parts. I had this display base I got with my Light-ring I got for Christmas and I noticed that it had a screw-port that could attach to a tripod. I also had a sticky base for the GoPro that I had not used. I stuck the port on to the light ring display base and made my own rig attachment for the tripod. With that I put the tripod in my backpack with the GoPro attachment and will be using it to take general images of the surrounding areas I am exploring for future videos. This is a generic thing I have come up for all my future trips not just this exploration.

I have decided to take all my cameras for this one. My Canon Rebel T6 and my Canon Vixia will be with me. I will not be leaving before my birthday and I am eyeing this scope like I have said. If I do wind up getting the birding scope then I will be able to take my old single lens phone as a back up camera. The scope in my plans will be an extra camera. It is not really a full camera but with the phone it will act like a bigger camera for some of the birds will be hidden and my Canon Rebel does not have the power to pick up things from too far off with the current lenses. It is not a problem for me. I mean I deal with what I am given and I make it work. Being Mr. frugal is not as bad as it may seem. I mean I get good quality even if it is a bit pricey but I got for cheaper end and then I make it work. So this idea getting a scope will be like getting an more powerful lens but at low cost and I will have the phone to take photos with the feature of a phone port attachment. I am not sure if it will pan out but we shall see.

I have been looking at the many species they have on iNaturalist and have consulted many of the my field guides that are US wide. I don't have many but when I don't have certain resources in book form there is always the internet. I have downloaded and printed out some species lists for birds. I have even found some other lists of mammals other bigger creatures. I am still gathering some last minute things and getting some good stuff around the National Wildlife pages and even state park lists. I have also found some places to go besides what is already on our possible itinerary. However, when I get down there I am going to treat it like it was an City Nature Challenge. Any bit of wildlife I can find will get a photo made of it. I have been itching to get out this far. I am going to combine some different techniques I have done on some of the other vacations I have done with my family.

For one: Rest stops seem to be a good place to be good for moths, spiders, birds, and other things. I have to stretch my legs a lot. We will be on the road for a long while. We don't fly; the way I see it if you fly you will miss things along the way. So this will be a good way to explore and to boost the lists of places that don't get much press at all. I also take photos of things on powerlines too. This comes from my adventures going to Colorado and going through New Mexico.

Two: We will be going to the beach at one point. I have learned of some things that are pretty cool that I have not seen before. If I can get some of the areas I will be able to find some different bits of sea life. I will have a shovel and bucket and look under the surface for shells and even look in the seaweeds and take photos of what is in there. I have been planning this out since the trip was thought of. So this will be a form of beach aquatics which I don't get to do that much. Now I will be doing this during our winter trips to the coast but this will be a good time to test this out. I am not going to let any shells or anything get out from under my nose.

Three: Now we will be having some things like we did in Missouri when we went to Branson. Disney World will be on the list since all of us want to do that. The Georgia Aquarium too is on the list and there is a museum in Florida we will be doing so these will be what I call the sticky spots but unlike Missouri I will be sure to get more than 88 observations for the whole time I am there. Still these will be good to explore and add to the urban wildlife counts which is what I am wanting to do with the rest of what I am doing on this trek.

I will not be bringing any books with me. I will be trying to pack as light as possible. I have one back pack ready to go, I have my camera back and I will have my hiking stick and my bucket and trowel too. I will even have the basic stuff I use all the time. I will have my net but I don't know how much beat sheet stuff I will do for this trek. I may do a bit but I am not too sure. Still this will be good all around.

I am not sure how many species I will get but from what I have been seeing and what I have been told there is a lot. I am so glad I am getting this opportunity to go and explore. This is another big jump for me. I have been as far west as Arizona and as far north as Colorado and those are some pretty big stretches; this will be the farthest east I have been in all the time I have done iNaturalist so this is another big hurdle for me. I am even training a bit just like I would for the City Nature Challenge or the smaller BioBlitzes I have done. Like I said Missouri was a little bit of hit and miss but after the City Nature Challenge numbers I collected and with the summer coming to its peak I am going to be in full observation mode. Call me ambitious but that is just the kind of person I am. I am so close to 16,000 observations and if I can come back with a hefty number of species and a good experience that just adds to the data count and more stories to tell and more wildlife to speak up for. This is the life I live for now and it has helped me gain an understanding of where I stand the relationships we all have with nature. INatting has become a big part of my life and every chance I get to do something like this or even just get to use it I do not waste time getting in some observations. You can just call me obsessed with it.

Ingresado el 07 de julio de 2021 por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

17 de junio de 2021

Odolympics prep and thoughts

I am so excited for this year's Odoympics Citizen Science project run. I have been at the BioBlitz thing for a long time. I have done at some of the local parks and have been a huge participant in the City Nature Challenge in the DFW area since we began it back in 2017. What can I say I love the BioBlitz life. It is vital and very important to understand the ecology of small areas and even the big picture. However I have not just done a BioBlitz on one type of thing. Sure I have done the annual Pollinator BioBlitz however that has quite a range. With this one it is looking for Dragonflies and a lot of them. I have seen quite a few this year so far. However I have to say I think there has been a kind of decline in numbers. That may just be me and maybe only in some areas. I went to a few ponds to get some what of a warmup going however some areas don't have that many species but it is not peak season for many yet. I am going to give it as much gas as I can on this one. I will be doing some camps when this is going on but I will be able to keep it up as the week goes on and even on the weekend. I have been trying to find a bunch of different ones this year so far. This will be very interesting. I have been a major Ode fan for a while now. It was when I was with @brentano and @sambiology that day at Oliver Nature Park that I started to really get into them. After a while I have been on a few guided dragonfly hikes with them but mostly when I am on my solo adventures or with my family on vacation I try to find as many as I can. I love Dragonflies and Damselflies. When it comes to insects my biggest loves are Odes, Lepidoptera (both butterflies and moths), I also like Beetles, Planthoppers, tree, and leafhoppers are really growing on me. I love a lot of insects though. This Odolympics thing will be very interesting to participate in. I mean when there is a BioBlitz that I can make I will do it. I mean Citizen Science should be regarded as a civic duty that should be taken more seriously by some folks. I mean don't over do it but yes citizen science is the best way to help our in lab/ field scientists when they are in a jam and can't get out and about. It is also good as a bit of extra education and even public service. I don't know that is just me. Call me an idealist in some cases. I mean I have been totally involved with citizen science and I love it. I mean it may not be the most important thing on many people's scopes but with me it is a way to learn about the local ecology and to see how science is done in the field and how it plays out in real time. I also like how you connect with those around you. It is all about community and how we share our connections with nature.

With the snow storm that hit Texas in mind that has been the question on my mind; what has been hit badly and what has not??? I have seen some odd trends. I have seen a lot less dragonflies in some areas and I am not saying that declines are state wide but there are areas that have seen their own declines in population. I have seen a rise in some species and in some groups. Leafhoppers and things have been quite the common thing even the weevils have been out and about. Some things since their season is not yet peaked it is not certain if some species have been having it rough or not. In Texas I have seen very few dragonflies. However I did take a day trip to the Broken Bow area and got some really interesting dragons and damsels around. I also went out to Gus Engling early on and got some that I normally see way later. So with this said one of my biggest things I will be looking at are the trends not only of the groups as a whole but which species are more plentiful and which ones are not. I am planning to go to Georgia and Florida and this could be a good thing to look back in the data record and see what had been seen the most of. I always make it a point before on any of my trips or outings to check local, state, or national park data and see what things are the most common and so on. Going out to the swamplands of North America is something I have always wanted to do with my iNatting. I went when I was a kid but I was not doing this so it was kind of a bummer not to have photographic records of things. So most of the trips I take if I have been around are just to pick up the pieces and rekindle that memory and see how it has changed as well as trying to find things I have seen before.

This will be good for in some areas there is very little data in some states so this will give people a chance to pitch in and put some more observations in- in mass. That is another cool thing that I like about BioBlitzes when we do them we get things in big batches and this helps a lot. When one person is out doing a solo mission it can be hard to get a ton of data but the more eyes you have and the more images others take the more the big picture becomes clear. I know I am preaching to choir on this but I like to put all my ideas down to kind of get my thought process together and to understand what the mission is and to remind myself why we do these and what doing it means for our planet and our mission in natural understanding and conservation. I will be doing my part and I will be on the look out. I will be doing some camps with kids at River Legacy however I will be outside and lot and when we are looking for wildlife you can bet I will be looking for odes. Even after my shifts I will be going out and looking around. I am just a BioBlitz loving freak and that is the way I prefer it. Being a freak of nature just makes us awesome. Being a bit weird and mad and obsessive about things are just a few side effects of being awesomely nerdy. This will be most interesting. This is going to be neat. Now don't get me wrong I will take pictures of all I get but more focus on the Odonata species. This shall be most interesting.

Ingresado el 17 de junio de 2021 por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

15 de junio de 2021

More summer updates

Getting around and about a bit more. Went to two state parks in Texas earlier this month. I also been to some new areas in Oklahoma this past weekend. It is quite funny that this year my spring was looking a bit more shoddy in terms of observations and numbers. It was not a very solid spring since school was being a bit more tense than usual since the Covid-19 pandemic. However summer so far has been singing a different tune. This year I have been out a lot but the days I observe have had bigger numbers in some cases. I have have a few less observations days but it is starting to ramp up once more. I do fluctuate as each year goes on but this year and last year have shown to be the ones that show the most interesting trends.

So far I have been trying to plan for our Georgia and Florida trip and I think that we maybe hitting more of the wildlife areas than we had originally planned. I am going to be so happy when we go. I don't know by we maybe going after my birthday which will be fine by me. I have a few things on my list and one of those things is a birding scope. I may have posted that before but so much has gone on I can't remember. I am glad I didn't recycle my old phone. I still have it even though the internet does not work and it doesn't have much to it. However that is perfect just in case I do wind up getting the scope. The one I am looking at has a phone holder and will essentially act as a third camera. Alas my lament grows more and more; my Nikon Coolpix L830 will unfortunately not be able to repaired by Nikon. It was going to be around 170$ or so to repair it but they didn't have the parts. So I am down a camera but I will see what my birthday week holds for me.

I am looking into some of the museums one of which is the Florida Museum of Natural History. That was a place recommended to me by a friend. I love what I am seeing with their nature trails, special exhibits and even their butterfly house and insects exhibits. Georgia Aquarium is also on the list and the Okefenokie Swamp. I have a few other places like some State parks. Don't know how many we will get to but we will also be looking around to go going to one of the beaches around Pensacola. I am so pumped. I mean I am still trying to think of all the gear I want to bring along with me. I will not pack that much but I am planning on looking at some more shells and look at some of the seaweed. I watched at Texas Parks and Wildlife episode on coastal birding and I found out that our seaweed has nudibranchs on it which are native which the birds eat. So I will be looking for some of them. This trip will be most interesting.

I am also doing three weeks of Summer kids camps. So I am very, very, very busy with getting things together. I am looking forward to all the fun stuff this summer. It has taken me a while to get some more volunteer stuff ramped up but that is the way it is for me right now. I am also going to be doing my part in the Odolympics I have read about on Odonata central. Beat you to it @sambiology I read about that before I saw your presentation. By the way great stuff. Learned a few new things. That part on wing structure was one of the coolest bits on the video.

Ingresado el 15 de junio de 2021 por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

20 de mayo de 2021

Summer plans for 2021

Well with school work finally out of the way I will now be focusing on time with my family and even take time to do what I normally do. Every summer I take the summer off of school to spend time with my family and more important my community. When I am off of school I use this time to do volunteering and even spending time with those closest to me. This summer I am lined up to do some fun kids camps at River Legacy. I am going to be helping with two big ones one on insects and the other one on camping and outdoor safety along with other things. I am also going to take time like I always do and go one some roving adventures. Over the summers of the past me and the family take a few short day trips or a weekend trips some place before we take an extended four- five day travel. This year Georgia and Florida are both on the agenda. My main goals are to find insects but also track down other birds and things. We are eyeing the trip after my birthday so that will be pretty good. I have a few things I am wanting to acquire for my birthday that will help me with many more of my adventures. I have not been to Florida or Georgia in twenty years. I turned six when I was in Florida. That was way before I was into the wildlife stuff full force and I was at Walt Disney World when I turned six. Still that maybe on the agenda for a time but I am wanting to get out to a few of the nature areas even the coast. My brother and my aunt are wanting to go and I do kind of want to go to the new Star Wars Galaxy's Edge for obvious reasons being a Sci-fi geek and all. I am also going to try to squeeze in one day or so to try and go to the Universal Studios to got to the Jurassic World area. I have been wanting to do that for a while. However aside from that since my brother and my aunt love theme parks some of the things I am planning involve park hopping and what not. We do a lot in Florida when we go and we always seem to work a lot of nature stuff in when we go even when we are at the theme parks. Even then you can get lucky and find some very cool stuff at the parks.

I used to work at a theme park and would see a lot of neat wildlife before I became a Texas Master Naturalist. I am wanting to go to the swamp lands of Georgia and do some other things. Like most of these big trips out of state. I like to do them in phases. For there are a lot of things that we want to do that are not always nature based but still we do what we can and then make return trips. Colorado, Arizona and other states I have some next phase plans. So when I am traveling I always get travel guides and things to plot and plan for future trips. This is going to be a lot of fun. I am so looking forward to this. I am also wanting very much to continue my search for the Dragonhunter Dragonfly. I still have not seen one but I am hoping that this year will be the year. I am also told we might go to Austin and there is a very cool Metro Park I got to during the summer that has a lot of dragonflies. I have been to that area twice and I always find cool things around there.

Most of my summer does have a lot of trips that revolve around iNaturalist. I may not be like some people but I do use it a lot and I am very dedicated fan. I have not stopped using it for I am just that dedicated. I love traveling with it even if there are days when I am not able to really got to a park more than a few minutes. Every bit helps and I love running about and getting data any way I can. So this year has been a bit odd with some things but over all it is good. I am really enjoying the time I have off from school. I am planning for trips and making notes. I am also making notes for other day trips and looking at species lists right now and planning best possible routes. My aunt goes to Florida ever so often to do school training and get there pretty quickly. And she does good at telling me about places she goes and tries to get some images. I have used some of her data to plan for this trip. So this will be interesting. One thing about me is I am a list maker and love mapping out stuff. I love to plot and scheme for different trips and things. If there is a trip there is always a time to do photography.

I am going for a professional wildlife and nature photographer degree and each place I go is always a unique opportunity to get that next big as we say "Kodak Moment" Even though I hardly use Kodak I have Nikon and a Canon. I sent my Nikon away to get fixed so I am hoping it will not be too much. I broke it when I was on the City Nature Challenge trail that Sunday so I was not very happy about that. So I hope it gets back before the trip. That will be the camera I use for the theme parks just to be safe. I mean it is just a point and shoot and I so want to have a picture taken of me at Universal at the Raptor paddock. I know I am a complete sci-fi dork but I like being a nerd and a geek. It has helped me become a better naturalist in some cases. That is why I call myself Galactic_Bug_man. Well I will give updates as they come.

Live long and prosper and I will see you on the trail.

Ingresado el 20 de mayo de 2021 por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

18 de mayo de 2021

City Nature Challenge 2021: Post mission

Wow-wee wow wow! Man this year's City Nature Challenge was a very wet and wild one. I had a lot of fun tracking down those critters and plants and fungi. I wound up with a lot 1,300 + observations. I had to take it a bit easy since my feet got so wet and began to hurt and started to do some weird stuff after being waterlogged. I have to say it was worth it. I had not had waterlogged shoes for a long period of time since I worked at Six Flags when we had that bad flooding at Johnson's Creek. Still the observations were very good. I was able to find some very cool things this year. I did visit a lot of places but one thing I did that helped me boost my time was I took small steps and gave myself more time to look around. It was a very good one I am so glad I got to see @lulubelle @sambiology @brentano @wildcarrot and many of the others. Mothing the first night was not so great but it gave me an interesting idea that even in the rain you can still have some good stuff but you have to plan ahead and make sure the area you are in is in your favor.

I did some more mothing in my yard and checked the native plant garden and got all sorts of wild things. I have racked up a lot of hours for this year's City Nature Challenge for my volunteerism. We were able to get in our hours for the initial outings and even for our logging time when actively putting them on the iNaturalist. I have the log printed and ready to convert since I was starting to get more headaches and migraines in recent years. I have had to limit how many screens I look at so that is why it so hard for me to write these notes after an adventure.

So yeah I totally blew my old record out of the water like when you hit that B-4 and sink the battleship. Yep that is how it happened. I kind of sold myself short on some of my first notes as I went on. I had no idea I had as many species as I did. I was able to get so many cool things. I got that very cool Eyed-Click Beetle and was able to get two more warblers (Nashville and Black-throated Green) I was also able to get a Turkey and a Dickcissel. The Turkey is nothing new but I did see it at a place I was not expecting them to be. I was able to get so many new lifers and so many cool things. I was able to get out to Richardson which is a place I have been going out in the last two years. I am discovering some new parks and some have become normal haunts for me. If I have an nice weekend or an afternoon with my family we will take a trek to some of these areas. I am totally blown away at some of the totals some of us got.

Snowstorm Uri was a big whopper of a storm and doing this stuff during a big weather event for spring made it even more interesting. Normally I don't get out in the rain but there are times when I forget just how many rewards you can reap when you are out in the rain. I was able to get two slugs this time which I always have a hard time tracking down. Still rain didn't slow many of us down. I have heard that many of us were not as stoked for this one as in years past. That was kind of the same way for me at times. I was pumped but I had to get the gears grinding to fully answer the challenge. I guess it was the thought of still having to limit public events and not having everyone to full capacity was kind of the kicker. Too the weather could also bring some dents to the contest. Over all I would say this was one of the most important ones we have ever done. I mean we just had a big snow storm hit Texas over the course of February and we had lost a lot of wildlife and what not. Going out and doing this really helped me see this CNC in a total different light.

Still lots of good stuff to be found and lot of cool things to see and new places explored. I didn't have a big training time like I normally would take for the School finals were not exactly in my favor. I passed them with flying colors but they didn't work well with my training time since I had to schedule a couple of sessions in the Studio before and after but in the end it did pan out. I was very happy that I was able to do it again and you can bet I will be grinding the gears next year too. I will be doing these as long as they keep dishing them out (unless I am really sick) I hope that is never the case. I love this contest way too much. This is one of the times where I boost my lists and boost my knowledge and get to spend a lot of time soaking up the rays and just having a grand adventure. INaturalist has taught me a lot about myself and a lot about nature. I am very happy to have had an encouraging push to try this site. It has been a while since I had that push and began using it but I am very glad that I have stuck it out and kept going with it. The CNC has just become part of my yearly routine.

I was able to get far more than I had expected making my species list jump quite a bit too. I am almost to 15,000 observations. I am trying to get more observations but will all this continuing rain and not just light rain but massive downpour I have had to look for breaks to go out and photograph which is kind of hard at times to predict. Still I am glad to have done this one. Next year I am going to push myself even harder to get more observations. Each year I try and do more and more and I have always climbed up the ladder. So we shall see what next year's brings and what else the year has in store for me.

Until next time I will see you on the trail.

Ingresado el 18 de mayo de 2021 por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 4 comentarios | Deja un comentario

06 de mayo de 2021

City Nature Challenge 2021 overview Part 1.

So I am still putting in observations and I have to say this one could very well be the most important one we have ever done. Since snow storm Uri we have had a lot of bird deaths and other things freeze and now we are having some big time rain. This has been a very interesting one but it has not been a bad one at all. I mean where I am finding lacking things there are a ton of other things to be found. This year has been quite interesting indeed. I for one have added a bunch of neat species and have had some interesting experiences.
I did get mad at one point for I dropped my Nikon Coolpix L830 and it broke. However it was not a total loss since I still have my DSLR. I have a lot of different things under my belt and went to some new areas. I am not yet done uploading but I just wanted to add some thoughts so far on the uploading trail. I am done with day one and day two and now I am working on day three.

Ingresado el 06 de mayo de 2021 por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

28 de abril de 2021

A bit of bittersweet news

Well I knew that one day it was bound to happen. Next year will be my last year at TCC. I am about to sign up for classes. However, besides about to say good by to my current school friends in my last two semesters the thing I am going to miss the most is going out after class and taking images of the wildlife on campus. I mean it will be hard to leave TCC. I have been there way longer than I should have. I mean 2012 was the year I graduated high school and I got into TCC that fall. However I did hit a few snags and things along the way. However in 2015 I began putting in observations at school and have found so many cool species. I mean next year will be the final year I will be able to get bulk observations out there which makes me a bit sad to think about.

I will be transferring to UT Arlington and I will be able to establish more observations there and I am hoping to get some good stuff around there. It is always hard to leave schools. All of the campuses I have been to have all kinds of wildlife and it will be a bit harder for me to get back out there and look around but I am hoping that some one will take the time to look around and explore the nature all around. I have put a lot of hard effort to document all of the wildlife that is out there. Lots of new lifers were made at all of those campuses but UTA will be part of an even grander adventure. I don't graduate until the spring. I am sure hoping that in the closing of this chapter in my life I will be able to find a little bit more. Having almost a year without observations at TCC South or any in our district has been very distressing. Sure I have had some days being out there in the last few months. October I was filmed for that Texas Parks and Wildlife episode so that was very good. I am just hoping that there will be some one who will keep the project going and pick up the slack.

I have found several hundred observations out there and I am not sure how many species but TCC South was the most special. Sure TCC Southeast has its charms but South will always be the one I look at with most fondness. It was the place where I created my Nature Club and also was the sight of most of my observations at any TCC sight. No where else is as diverse in that area as South campus. Sure around Northwest you have that prairie and what not but South Campus was interesting for it was just buildings with really nice green spaces and it was so simple but it got so much. TCC South will not be my home away from home much longer but I am hoping for a bunch of adventures at UTA and I am hoping that I find even more interesting observations. It will be hard to leave TCC but the adventure is just picking up speed. My goal to becoming a professional wildlife photographer is on the horizon and I can feel that it will be worth my while.

Ingresado el 28 de abril de 2021 por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

City Nature Challenge 2021: THE PLAN

Well I am getting all geared up for the City Nature Challenge. I have not been out a lot this week thus far but I have been scoping out some areas and territory. I am going to spend a bit less time doing major park hopping and going to try to spend more time at one place and see what all I can get. The Village Creek Drying Beds will be on my list this year for there are a lot of dragonflies and I will be able to do a lot of sweep netting for there is a lot of tall grasses. I am also going to meet a few more folks at different areas during this event. I will be meeting @cindylcobb5 @lulubelle and several others during this thing. I am so happy that we will be able to get together in small groups. During this crazy nutso pandemic I think we have all become socially starved. Still this thing is going to be great. I will be looking for more species I have not collected data on. I have been trying to find more night insects in my yard and have found a bunch of cool things. When we are not doing the mothing nights in the public areas I will be set up mine at the house and fire it up and see what I can get. I am going for more observations this year and am going for more species. This year has been going great so far. I am hoping that this City Nature Challenge will prove to be most interesting. I have not missed one yet and I don't plan to. I am going to have a little bit of a different approach to how I do things this year but I need to do better. I have my gear all ready and rearing to go. I have used some of it lately in my practice runs. I always do a good practice run to loosen up and to work my ideas out. Hope DFW comes out on top this year. We have been close the last few years but with the more countries we add the more contest we have which is great. The more wildlife we add the more wildlife we speak up for.

Just a friendly word of warning: When out in nature make sure you don't make any unnecessary encounters with wildlife. Be mindful of your surroundings. I have seen reports of many folks being injured at state and national parks and what not. These contests do get a bit exciting but always go by ethical means of finding your observations. I know that most of us know the guidelines but with the new waves of social media and what not things can get out of hand. I am directing this message to the kids and our new members who may be unfamiliar with this sort of group. Also be mindful and wear weather appropriate clothes and be sure to wear hiking shoes out there. It is supposed to warm up in some areas and that means there could be snakes about. Still practice safety both wildlife safety and Covid-19 safety. We are not out the woods yet. Just looking out for my people and the wildlife we share. If you have a knack for catching things in petri dishes don't hold specimens more than you need to. Not trying to be overly critical but just giving a few helpful pointers. Hope you all have a great weekend and let's see who can come out on top. @sambiology @brentano @annikaml I will see you on the trail this week. This will be so good to see the groups again.

I will also get to meet Bee City Arlington for the first time on Saturday. We have not met in person so that will be nice to see them as well. I will be going out to Stovall Park for that event so there will be a lot of insects out there. I will be sweeping and what not out there. This will be a good run I can feel it in my bones. I am hoping to give my light ring and little more workout. I have not got to use it for any kind of mothing for I got it for Christmas last year. I am also hoping to get my insect pop tent a bit more use since it is spring and the rewards of sweep netting are highly increased. I will be doing a lot of sweep netting. I am going to try and get to Mockingbird Park early enough to do some sweep netting I am also bringing the small handheld black light to see if there are any scorpions out. I will have my flashlights and things too to look for hidden insects out there. It has been a while since I been out there and I have not walked around there much looking at the plants at night. I have mainly stuck to the mothing lights but I am going to switch up things a bit.

Some of the other parks I am thinking on going to

Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center
River Legacy
Village Creek Historical Area
(Maybe) Fort Worth Nature Center

I will have to look at my older lists for more but if I do a day of just park hopping it will be on Monday for sure and it will only be local parks. Saturday and Sunday will be the days I will be getting up very early and getting a big start. Sunday I will be mostly doing whatever so we will see how that goes. I will be looking forward to the reports as they come. I keep my eyes on the graphs and charts. These things get heated. I hope for nothing but the best outcomes from all of us. So that is pretty much my agenda. I will be mixing it up a bit doing sweep netting and beat sheeting but I may do some aquatics some where if I am able to. Lots of new toys I have gotten in recent months so I will have to try and use all the stuff I got during this event. Good luck, May the Force be With Us, So Say We All, Let's be a voice for nature. This is the way! Live Long and Prosper.

Ingresado el 28 de abril de 2021 por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 3 comentarios | Deja un comentario

13 de abril de 2021

A good start to 2021

Been a while since I have posted to anything this year. Still I am off to a very good start. I have been roaming around a bit more to find things I have not added to my lists before. So far I have photographed my first owl which was a Great-horned Owl that I was told about out at the Village Creek Drying Beds. My friend @charley met me there and I took a few photos of it. First time I took it with my Canon Rebel T6 but when again and took a few more when I went back and took some with my Nikon Coolpix L830. I was interviewed for a new book that is coming out that a friend is working on and she I and Charley went around the place and talked and walked while we photographed the ducks and things that we found. It has been a good year. I have had a pretty slow start with the dragonflies but since it is now getting warmer I have been able to get more and more as the days go by.

Over Spring break I went out to Branson Missouri. I spent most of the trip at some of the museums but I did manage to get some wildlife and explore some caves. I got my first Salamander at one of the caves called Bluff Dwellers Caverns in Noel MO. That was a cool venture. I got to see quite a few thing that were new to me in terms of geological formations that I have never talked about in college. I also went to a place called Fantastic Caverns which was partly flooded but we did get to experience a little bit of the front of the cave which was pretty cool. We got a free fifteen minute tour but just being in that fifteen minutes makes me want to go back and explore the caves on the full thing. I am hoping to get back out there and explore more of the caves. Spanish Treasure Caverns and the Talking Rocks and Civil War Caverns are all on my next trip list. I also went to the Branson Dinosaur Museum to get an idea of what used to roam around there and get some prehistoric knowledge. I also went to the Wonders pf Wildlife Museum and Aquarium in Springfield so that was pretty fun too. I had a lot of fun doing all of that. I also did go to the Butterfly Palace which is a butterfly house that is very nice. I didn't explore a lot of nature outdoors but it was good to explore the natural history areas. I also went to the Top of the Rock Ancient Heritage Museum. At the Top of the Rock resort. Didn't stay there but it was very nice to learn about the history of the area and the surrounding areas and all. May not had a long outing but it was just enough to learn and understand the land before going back to explore some more.

I just went to Davey Dogwood Park and headed back to Gus Engeling again. I find myself going out there a lot now. Some of these places I have not been to many times I find I am going to more and more which is great. Seeing things at different times of year is always very good to do. In the long run all of this is to get ready for the next run of the City Nature Challenge. I am still working out all my exploration details but I am hoping to see some of the crew. @brentano @sambiology @kimberlietx @lulubelle @briangooding @annikaml and some of the rest. I have been pretty lonely since last year was a complete train wreck on ice skates in the middle of meteor shower mixed with a dumpster fire. That was hard on all of us. I didn't get to see too many people I knew that year except on the remote channels. Still it is what it is. Still I am hoping that this year's CNC is good. I mean I had my family to travel with like I always do during this time we turn it into a family thing when I am going around. I have tested my gear. My nets, my mothing light that will make its mothing debut to the outside world and not just my backyard. I am actually going to make it have my own personal flair and I am going to put half a Stargate around it from the Stargate movies, Stargate SG-1, Stargate Universe, and Stargate Atlantis series and franchise. I will not have that until the summer. I am going to add it as a counter weight sot that way the thing doesn't try and topple. I hear people call them UFOs and things and since I am a bit of a sci-fi nerd well wild horses being chased by Rancors and Wampa Ice creatures and wild Tyrannosaurus won't stop me. Hey got to live up to this Galactic_Bug_man name or it means nothing. Still that is going to be a bit of a side project this year. I will be getting that ready for National Moth Week. Anyhow, I just got a new supply of petri dishes early on. I always have to get a couple before these CNC ventures for I always break a good portion of them. I have cleared up a lot of data on my data cards and what not so I can take a truck load of images. I do need to supply myself with a few more batteries since I have that new Light ring for my camera which I will use during these next few events. Thing drains after so often so it is good to always have spares. I have all my gear working and will take the Nikon Coolpix L830 for a spin again. I have been using it more to get different shots and to kind of mix it up since it still works. I like working with all my stuff.

So yeah that seems to be the skinny as of now. I have been getting some great things. I just got an American Goldfinch in it's breeding colors right in my backyard which was a shock and surprise to me. I would have never seen that is I was not up early yesterday. I have been busy with Photography class and my Philosophy classes but all is going well. Has not been to rough. It has been very good these last few weeks. I cant' wait until summer. I am going to be doing a lot of volunteer work and some more travel like I have been doing. I have summer plans to make for Georgia since my brother and I want to go. I have gotten my Covid-19 vaccination like the rest of my family but still not taking any unnecessary risks when I am traveling. Still going strong and gaining new knowledge every day and always on the move. This year has been proving harder to get Volunteer Hours but to get observations has been a breeze at times but then there are times when home life gets a bit harder to work around. Still I get out when I can and that is good enough for me. I have been getting a ton of insects and stuff and have been working to get more species and so far exceeding in numbers. I don't really have a set goal for this year. I am just going to be a leaf on the wind and see where things take me this year. It will be quite interesting to see what I turn up for the rest of the year.

Ingresado el 13 de abril de 2021 por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 7 comentarios | Deja un comentario