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

20 de noviembre de 2020

Early morning birding and birding in November and some other notes

So next week we at TCC and many other educational institutes get a week off and I got my geology quizzes done for this week and my week just got a small extension. Early this morning I made myself my grandmother's famous special milk drink which is just milk mixed with some sugar with some added vanilla for flavor. I normally drink this blend around this time of year for it reminds me of her and it just makes me feel better after a stressful time. She passed away in 2018 so it has been hard on all of around this time of year. She loved Thanksgiving and Christmas time and loved taking out winter trips. Aside from all of that. It seemed like a good idea to destress even more. I went out to the garage and got my gear. My camera and my tripod. At first I set up my rig at the kitchen window but then I decided to head out to the back porch. I fixed up my tripod so I could sit in my favorite lawn chair that has a bit of a recline and just sat back and watched the fun unfold.

As I watched I got to see the Dark-eyed Juncos come back to my yard, I also saw my first Ruby-crowned Kinglet of the season. I got too see a few Cardinals, one Blue Jays, and some other birds. It was a pretty chilly morning so I was pretty bundled up wearing my black sock cap, my 4th Doctor Scarf from Doctor Who, my thicker regular jacket that was plaid and a pair of black sweats and my rubbers. Hey like I have been taught as a Master Naturalist we are no in this to win a beauty contest. I looked like someone who had just stepped of the pier. It was quite funny but I kind of like the sailor look at times. I do after all like the ocean, the wildlife around it, the history. I am not a stranger from listening to old sea shanties of the days of sail and what not.

Still the winter birds in the yard are officially coming back for the wintertime. I spent a little time in my backyard and then I went to the front yard for a little bit. I did see some Cedar Waxwings but was not able to get a photograph of them. I attempted too but a flock of Robins decided to ruin my shot but still I was able to get one of them in my tree in the front yard. It is very nice to get back into the swing of birding. In the spring and summer I do easily get thrown off track when I am out in nature for there is so much to see like birds, insects, arachnids, reptiles and what not. In the winter time it is a lot easier for me to focus on the one thing that truly lead me down the naturalist path and that was birding. I always try to rekindle my love for birding when I can. I have seen quite a few species so far. I have been hanging around Village Creek Drying Beds for a while now. I have seen a Northern Harrier out there along with the American Kestrel, House Finch, American Goldfinch, Eastern Bluebird, White-crowned Sparrow, and several other birds. I mean it has been cool this year for when the first cold front came in I was already on the scene and got in earlier than I have in previous years. It has been really neat to really see all the stuff coming in.

At my house in the early evening just as the sun sinks I will often stand in my front yard and listen to the sounds of nature. At some points I have heard and seen big flocks of American Wigeons flying over my house. There is a true magic of this time of year for it is the transition of not just species migrating or hibernating it is also a time for a transition in weather patterns and also the transition of color. For me the birds do kind of signal the return of fall but I think the cold fronts are the true herringers of fall. The weather does signal the change. I just love this time of year when you can really see the movement and change of nature. I mean all season bring change but not so much as Spring and Fall. They are the two seasons that signal the most change and movement in the year.

Birding this month has been very good. I have seen some Franklin's Gulls and Ring-billed Gulls, tons of Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teals, Ruddy Ducks, Gadwalls, Northern Pintails, White Ibis, White-faced Ibis, I did see a Common Gallinule early on at the Drying Beds which was pretty cool. I don't get to see those unless I am at the coast even then I don't get to see them too often. I also have seen a few Blue-winged Teals, some Wood Ducks, a Harris Sparrow, and some other things. This year has been a great year for birding. Last year and this year I have had a blast birding. I have gotten to go out to a few new locations in the last couple of years and have had a big boost in my birding numbers since I have gone to Colorado, down in the piney woods and hills of Texas, Arizona, and even Arkansas and Louisiana and Oklahoma. I have got to see a ton of different things in the last couple of years. I have seen a lot of birds so far. In more recent days I have not added any new lifers to my list but I have had some very uncommon things show up. So that is really nice to document some of those things. I am doing very well to get all the species as they transition to the best of my ability. My observations count has really sky rocketed. I am almost to 4000 observations for 2020 alone which is not shabby at all considering all of what has gone down.

I am just so glad the holidays are here and coming up around the bend. I sure hope I get to take a few day trips and what not. I am also compiling my Christmas list for this year. I have found some good and inexpensive things that I want to add on to my camera. I have been working with a bunch of folks and will be working with a bunch of folks on various projects. A lot of what they ask of me is to take photos and what not. I have found a cool Macro lens I am looking at, a light ring flash system, and a few things for my GoPro adventure camera. I am also working on some side projects and keeping my Facebook and Instagram updated and of course gotta keep my iNaturalist files updated as well. I am wanting to make an educational YouTube channel that caters to all and to show case some of the things I have found and also have some virtual hikes and things. I have been planning to do some stuff with that on top of other things. I am currently working on a big research project out at the Fort Worth Nature Center with a couple of folks and I am taking photos of all we find. It is on hiatus until the spring and summer but I am still trying to make some more plans and what not. I am also trying to get some other stuff lined up. So even though I am just doing a lot of volunteer work it is still kind of a "job" in a way. I am still in school and what not and have been asked to help with a few things so I am currently working on lots of projects and things. Hey gotta do something might as well do nature work.

Still I am hoping to get out and do some day trips and what not depending. I am just so glad that the year is almost over. I am so ready to turn the page. But so far birding and nature watching and all the stuff I do in nature is all good. I have been out to a few places and may get out tomorrow and do some stuff. I am not sure but I need to get back out in the field I have not been out in a couple of days except to look around my house for things. Still all in all it is a pretty good time just to enjoy the nice weather, take some joy in the season, spending time with family and loved ones, just to enjoy the nice weather and to enjoy nature. It is a great time to watch animals and things. I know a lot of folks who don't really think the winter is good for wildlife but I tell them they be dead wrong. Winter may look pretty bleak but to some you can find some pretty neat stuff if you look high and low and very carefully. I will be doing a lot of stuff over the winter break. I wish all of you a very safe Thanksgiving and may all your days be merry and bright. It has not really been the most ideal of situations but we will get past this conundrum one way or another. It is just a very hard row to hoe right now. I wish you all the best. Keep the faith get out and explore nature and like always folks take it easy.

Ingresado el 20 de noviembre de 2020 por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 94 observaciones | 2 comentarios | Deja un comentario

19 de noviembre de 2020

Insect hunting in rather chilly weather

Been staying up late trying to get some more observations and I have to say the last two nights have been rather interesting indeed. I have been keeping my kitchen light on at my house and have been able to get quite a few different kinds of insects and also quite a few spiders. Mostly everything I have found is quite small compared to the stuff I see in the summertime. Last night it was 58 degrees Fahrenheit and tonight it is a chilly 55. Still the number of insects and things I have been able to get is quite good. I have gotten a few flies, three species of Lacewing from what the reports tell me. I have also got a few spiders in the mix mostly crab spiders maybe a Garden Ghost Spider, and a few of the small house spiders and such. Tonight I found a few midges and also I have found some other things I am not sure what are. This will be quite interesting to see how many insects I will be able to find the remainder of the year. I am going to keep tabs and maybe even make a few charts of the best days I have had throughout and see if there is any particular time of winter when insects are the next to most comfortable. I know being ectothermic you need to be warm and what not. Right now it seems that I have been able to scope out a few good species. It is quite interesting. Normally it is pretty hard to get insects of many varieties up here. That is another thing I am going to look into and see what the most arthropod observations I get this year. I am quite curious to see what will be in store for me the rest of the year. Keep a chart on temp and insect count will be rather interesting. Just thought I would throw this out there. For all of you insect people keep an eye out. May not be too much but there are quite a few arthropods still out and about.

Ingresado el 19 de noviembre de 2020 por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 21 observaciones | 4 comentarios | Deja un comentario

15 de noviembre de 2020

A year in review for 2020

I know I have not written in a while but I thought it would be nice to recall all the stuff that has gone on in the life of 2020 in terms of nature and my travels and my adventure so far. A Charles Dickens once penned it was the best of times; it was the worst of times. 2020 certainly was a little bit of both for sure. I had a lot of fun in between all the chaos and confusion. However not being with my good friends this year who I normally BioBlitz with was hard for me. It was all going very smoothly at the start of the year. Then things started to spiral out of control. I was in Arizona when all the chaos seemed to unfold here in the U.S when the Covid-19 stuff happened. I was coming back from a grand adventure. I have to say I loved going back to Arizona for one thing. I went during my Spring Break. I had a lot of fun exploring the Cactus lands and seeing all the wildlife I did. I loved seeing the cool Toad Bug, the Diamondback Rattlesnake, the giant Saguaro Cacti, the Cactus Wren, the Gamble's Quail and what not. It was a great vacation. We finished off the trek at Palo Duro Canyon for some sight seeing and some more birding. This Arizona trip was very fun and I went to a few good places like Agua Fria National Monument, Dreamy Draw, Homolovi State Park, and Palo Duro Canyon. This trek was very fun. We also went to see the Texas Rangers Baseball team during Spring Training. That was the only game we got to see during the entire year in person. When we got back I went to volunteer at River Legacy and then it seemed that world had stopped. On the final day of the Spring Break Nature Camp we barely had any visitors. We had a few but it was like the world had stopped turning. Months past and the shut down was really getting to me and my brother. We finished off the school year and then summer came and we took some social distance trips. We went to Lyndon B. Johnson State Park, Balcones' Canyonlands State Park, we went to Red River National Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana, Logolly State Park in Arkansas, we also went to a Caddo Lake State Park, and Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge, we also went to Big Spring State Park toward the end of the year. I must say this sure was a wild year more ways than one but I was really happy with all the stuff I was able to do and see. This year and last year were both good years in terms of wildlife observing. In the spring I participated in the City Nature Challenge but was pretty bummed out that I couldn't spent it with my BioBlitz team and peeps like I am sure a lot of you can relate. I also did the National Moth week but I did something really special during these two events. I hopped on to Facebook and did a live stream set for my mothing. I did a lot of live streams during the hard times to keep people in the loop and to show them all kinds of cool wildlife. I also participated in the DFW Social Distance Challenge. It was very interesting for I got into more scrapes than one. I was almost bowled over by a group of deer at the Bob Jones Nature Center, I got covered by fire ants at the Village Creek Drying Beds and was stung over thirty times. I was also bit and attacked by a crazy Muscovy Duck at the Cliff Nelson Rec center. It was not cool but I did manage to get a lot of pretty neat observations despite the obstacles I faced in that time. On the up and up I did get to see @sambiology when I was filmed for an segment for Texas Parks and Wildlife. Things were good during that event. I was happy to have been included in that project. Things were full of ups and downs but having been filmed for that segment felt good and felt right. It was just a wonderful thing. A bunch of my friends from TCC South were there with me collecting data and stuff while we were being filmed in a BioBlitz setting. It was a great time we found some new stuff for the school list when we were out there and we had a great time getting together and just took the time to really do good for conservation and also outreach that day. This year has been full of ups and downs and it has been a rollercoaster of terror it seems for some. Many have died from the pandemic and the political situation was and is a rollercoaster so there was a lot going on this year. It may have not been the best but it was not all bad. I mean many of us were able to get out and document wildlife. And any time you go out and do iNaturalist stuff it is a great day for wildlife. I am sure hoping next year is better. It has been kind of crazy for this is the longest I have been without being with my Texas Master Naturalist friends (well the majority anyway). Safety is everything though and I am so glad that I can still get with them on Zoom. I have been on many Zooms and things throughout the year so it has been good that I get to see some of the familiar faces. It just has been year full of emotion. My schooling too has been a rollercoaster as well. I am doing great in my Geology class but I regret to say it but I will have to drop my Federal Government class for it has not been the best in that class. Too much going on and there was not a regular lecture and on top of other things. Next semester though I will be taking a Phil class and a photography class so a something a bit easier and less taxing maybe. I hope you all stay safe and healthy well into the new year and for always. I just wanted to let you know I am still here and not going anywhere. I have been just blown away by the whole situation. It has been a year I will never forget.

Ingresado el 15 de noviembre de 2020 por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 3 comentarios | Deja un comentario

22 de abril de 2020

City Nature Challenge 2020: The Strangest by far

I know it is has been a long while since I made a post to the old journal here but it is that time of year when the CNC is upon us once gain. However it will not be as big of a to do for a cloud has appeared in the form of the Coronavirus or covid-19. It will be a strange time not being around good friends and new neighbors during this time of exploration and adventure. For most of us it will be getting observations from home and maybe at a local park. It will be weird not getting to rub elbows with other naturalists and share in the wonder on a personal interactive level. For me I will miss doing the events this year. I will miss seeing my friends @sambiology @wildcarrot @kimberlietx @charley @annikaml @k8thegr8 @brentano @cindylcobb5 and all my other friends during the CNC. I am always thinking of you guys. It will be weird not sitting around a mothing station interacting with people face to face. It will be a weird time not to be able to interact with people on the trail. However even in this time we still need to do the challenge more than ever for there have been some interesting natural changes since the time for social distancing and the time for quarantine. Animals that are normally shy are being seen out in the open due to less foot traffic. So it is an interesting time to get out and explore nature now more than ever. I never thought of the fifth City Nature Challenge to be quite like this. I thought it would be a bigger to do and a large celebration. Still we can celebrate nature and connect with our friends even though we are apart. We are a science community that is always connected through social media and of course let us not forget our iNaturalist site. As we approach the City Nature Challenge this year lets us remember that documenting as much as we can is still a common goal we have.

Even though we they say we are not treating it as a contest it is a time to come together as one and help find and document all the animals to show that we are still making headway for wildlife even through these difficult times. Remember don't be reckless and go on half cocked. The dangers of Covid-19 are real and are out there. If you decide to go out to a local park like I am planning wear a mask to protect yourself and stay six feet apart from other hikers. It will not be the same this year as we have had it in the past. This will be one for the history books of the iNaturalist community. I am confident that we will all do our part and get as much as we can. Our A games may not be the same this year as they have in the past but that doesn't mean we need to not give our all. Still make those observations even if you have to pace your backyard. It is important that we continue to document wildlife for research and data collection. It has always been very important for our understanding of our natural world. we need to all do our part and continue the yearly tradition for naturalists everywhere.

I will be doing a lot of different things this year such as going out to parks and getting data that way but I will also be getting observations by doing mothing at my home with my new mothing rig. I will be birding and insect hunting. I will be going on like business as usual but of course doing the suggested safety stuff like wearing a mask and social distancing and what have you. I am will be doing some of the normal stuff like beat sheeting and sweep netting and all of that sort of jazz.

I have also ordered some new macro magnification lens adapters and a rain coat for my camera. I have a feeling that we might see some rain on the last couple of days during the CNC but that would be a good time to throw on a poncho and throw on the rain cover for the camera and wait out the storms and get some photos of wildlife after the rain. I have waited out some storms and have seen some pretty cool stuff come up after the rain. The rain draws out the bugs and the bugs bring the birds a classic look at the food chain but it shows how some feeding is triggered by a natural event.

Also I have a final project coming up for my Photography I class at TCC and I have decided to do my project based on the adventure of the City Nature Challenge as well as the magic of Earth Day and what is is like to be a naturalist. I am going to take photos of landscapes, and a couple of animals and then I will take a shot of me looking thoughtful in a kind of homage to the old Cowboy song "we'll rest at the end of the trail" By Tex Ritter. I am really interested in seeing how that composition will look once I complete that project. But yeah I have a few things with in the CNC that I am obligated to do for a grade. But the best part is I got to choose the project. So yeah I am going to be really busy with this year's CNC even though my A game may not be very good this year since I will not be able to get to some of the bigger places since I am playing the caution card right now. It is just very weird but I will be visiting a lot of my nearby parks and am going to try and get as much as I can.

As always a few friendly reminders you should take heed of. If you are catching anything of any kind please don't stress out the animals. This is more for the younger kids and people that maybe a little in experienced with wildlife handling. Remember animals are like humans and can get stressed out. Don't handle animals for long periods of time. Take you shots and then put the animals down so they can go about their happy lives. Also don't go off trail and make social trails that will disturb wildlife nesting grounds and hiding places. Also please be curious to everyone around you and practice safe distance. I know I am kind of over stressing that but it is vital. If you don't feel like you should risk it then stay home and do stuff in your yard or garden or even take a walk around the block if you want to get a work out and want to see what is around your area of living. Be mind full and don't do anything that can be of risk to you or any of the wildlife around you. It is vital to stay safe during this time. Don't try anything hazardous to physically or mentally.

Still have fun and enjoy nature Earth Day is today but why not use this time to celebrate Earth Weekend. The CNC is the best way to get out and discover something new. It is a wonderful time of year and one of the coolest times to make a connection with wildlife both big and small and the naturalists who study all things natural. You can still make friends and interact as long as you have this site. I trust that all of you will give it your all or as much of your all as possible. remember don't go to overcrowded areas and stay in places that don't have a lot of foot traffic. Get out with family members do not travel alone just in case something screwy goes on. I hope that all of you have a good run this year during the City Nature Challenge.

This is a very vital data collection time it is one of a few big data drop periods so we need all the help we can get. It will allow you and your folks (especially kiddos) for it will give them some instructional time and help enrich their minds and get them out of the house for a few hours even if it is in the front or backyards. It good for all of us to pitch in and help further our understanding of nature in these times of change and uncertainty. We need all the help we can get and it is one of the best ways to make a connection and find your place in nature. We are in this together more ways than one. We can still make a difference and make a change. So until my next entry I will see you on the trail.

Ingresado el 22 de abril de 2020 por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 10 comentarios | Deja un comentario

21 de febrero de 2020

The year so far and a new tool to use for insect data

Well my year has been going great so far. I am on a 49 day streak of iNaturalist data collection. It is kind of crazy that I have been on the streak for as long as I have so far. My goal is to get one or more observations for everyday this year. It is a tall order but I think it is manageable. It is pretty fun and helps raise awareness on the state of the ecology and wildlife. I have found some new lifers not birds but other things so far.

Today was a very special day too. @sambiology keep me posted on the moth nights for sure. @kimberlietx gave me an Ultra-violet Black light as a gift. I will be using that to document even more moths. I am planning several things now like camping out in my backyard and getting observations to double my yard list. I will be traveling with that thing too. So if there is any big mothing events I will defiantly bring my new setup. My aunt has a frame she built for her school's step team. I asked her if I could use it for mothing and she said I could. It is kind of large but it will hold a lot of moths and what not. I am going to go to the store soon and by a hook for the light, a sheet, and clamps for said sheet. I have been wanting to have my own mothing setup and think it cool that I now have the parts to make my own light trap. It is kind of neat and the possibilities are endless.

I will be able to participate more than just being an ID guy but I can contribute in other ways to help out and get more species and specimens on another extra sheet. I am going to be doing a lot of collection in the spring and summer so I will be able to see what all comes out during both spring and summer to get a better idea of what moths come out in which seasons and conditions. I do have a lot of insects in my yard and being out will also allow me to study more species of longhorn beetles. My yard is a hot bed for those guys. It does help to have a lot of plants in my yard and around the area. There are a lot of plants and stuff around so who know what else I might find. Moths have always been a favorite topic but there are only so many moth nights a year so I am going to change that and double my nighttime observation time. I am already a night owl as it is so it would be nice to put more observations in when I am doing nothing but making posts on social media.

But yeah my start to 2020 is a good start. I will be at 9,000 observations in no time. I have 8,718 about give or take. I am going all over the place most weekends. I have been in north and west Texas a few times already and then I have been to a lot of parks I didn't know existed so I am keeping my range expansion promise pretty well. I have no idea what I will be doing on Spring Break. It is kind of up in the air right now. I sure hope that I get a lot of stuff tomorrow. I am planning on going out and getting some observations and what not to try and get closer to 8,800. I am starting to see more and more insects and spiders starting to emerge. I am really keeping a close eye on things this year and trying to catch all the stuff I come across. I have been doing a lot of solo stuff now but I will be doing the City Nature Challenge and National Moth Week and what not. I have a few things penciled in with a few other naturalists and what not. So yeah it will be very interesting to see what else turns up in the next couple of months.

I am really excited for all the new gear I have got I just need to find time and use it. I will give the light a field test the weekend before the CNC to get an idea what to look for and to warm up on my nighttime photography. I am so excited right now. I am already trying to get a plan of action down so I can hit all the best parks with the best wildlife counts. I need to explore some of the new parks I have discovered recently as possible options. DFW is going to come in first this time. I have found some pretty cool parks that maybe under studied so it looks like I have my work cut out for me. I still have time to plan my CNC weekend and my plan of attack but yeah it is going to be fun to double my observations this year. I was up in the 600s for my observations but I am going to try my hardest to get even more for this year and try and double it with all the stuff I have planned. beat sheeting, sweep netting, and setting out my moth light will be strategies in my plans. I just have to make sure I evenly balance it all to my advantage.

Well I think that is all for this post. I will keep you all updated on what is new on my end. I will see you all on the trail.

Ingresado el 21 de febrero de 2020 por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

01 de enero de 2020

Missions for the New Year

Well it is getting close to the new year and the new decade and for me and many of us it is time to go on more adventures and explore more. For me I have a few places I want to go back to like Big Thicket, Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge, LLELA and other places in Texas. I am going to be looking for many different species this year including the Pileated Woodpecker, a live Luna Moth, and that illusive Dragonhunter. I have quite a few other thing on my list but I really want to see these three species alive and well. It is in the talks that my family will be thinking about going east and having a really nice summer vacation in Georgia. I am very interested in going to a few parks around there. I also would like to go to Louisiana and explore some of their areas a bit more. I need to start filling in more of my map. It is going to be a great year of exploring and going on even more adventures around Texas and other places around too. I am wanting to look for more places in Texas that I have not been too. I would like to get out and visit Palo Duro Canyon and a few parks west and north. I am really wanting to double my efforts and find twice as much wildlife in 2020. I am going to try and get over 10,000 next year. I am looking ahead and I know that the City Nature Challenge will be coming up and I am telling you right now that I am going to really bring my A game and double my efforts. I am actually going to try and get a brand new mothing light and do some more mothing in my own backyard. I will be looking forward to National Moth Week this year and all the other Bio Blitzes I will be participating in. I am going to be taking a new photography class in college and I am hoping to also improve my photography skills and do a lot more with it. 2020 is going to be a good year for wildlife for me I just know it. I am going to be doing more birding, more insect hunting, I am going to be doing a lot in the new decade so I am very interested in to know just what I will encounter in the new year and the new decade. So until we meet again in the new year I will see you on the trail.

Ingresado el 01 de enero de 2020 por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario