Video Game contest 3 and a walk in the woods

This summer my brother had been going to quite a few video game contest. Two were a go the other was a no show. This was again back down to Houston and I have been able to find places to go with the trip for my naturalist needs. The first day was pretty much all about the thrill of that game Super Smash Brothers for my brother. I am not getting tired of these silly game contests but I would appreciate it if he was more in tune with nature like I am. He is not as relaxed playing with his DS system day in and day out. Anyway it was a really awkward setting for round one. We were at a medical complex and it was kind of out in the middle of the concrete jungle. Sure the place had some landscaping but there was not much besides none native Brown Anoles and a few moths around the place. It was kind of a weird set up and not the kind of place I really liked to hang around. It was kind of a strange place but we survived it. It was getting so hot we had to go in and watch the other gamers while my brother played. He lost unfortunately but he has to remember that these contests are hard and are for more experienced players. He is a good player and has won his school's gaming contest but he get so upset when he loses. Anyway he said the day was a waist but he just need to get better at the game. For me it was the start of the real adventure; the kind of adventure that I truly live for. We got dinner and headed to the hotel and ate afterward we went to the basket ball court and shot some hoops and went to the workout room to tire ourselves out. We all got a good nights rest and the next morning we had a good breakfast and headed for the places I decided to go to. We went to Sheldon Lake State Park first and let me tell you it was amazing. It was really gorgeous we saw a bunch of different things; one of the most interesting things I found were these little muddy cylinder shaped pipes that looked like little muddy chimneys or as I called them on Facebook little Mario pipes. As it turns out they are crayfish chimneys. They were a very curious formation and are just one of the coolest pieces of animal architecture. They were quite fascinating; there were dozens of them. We found quite a few dragonflies and things and a lot of different organizes. It was just very tranquil and peaceful. I just loved the look of the wetland area; it was just a sea of American Lotus flowers. It mighty pretty the way the flowers looked. This trip I was able to get a photo of the seed pods of the American Lotus Flowers and I got a great shot of the American Lotus flower. It was quite impressive and a little bit bigger than my hand. I remember when we were on the Aquatics field trip during the 2016 Cross Timbers Master Naturalist training course we did some canoeing and I did see the Lotus flowers there but that trip was not very camera friendly. It was a very hard one to take photos on but heck it was worth it. This trip totally made up for that. This trip I was even able to get a better photo of the Red-winged Blackbird; that little sucker has been the toughest bird for me to photograph. I first saw that one when I was helping my aunt with the school garden project when she taught out in Everman. I would always see them but the photos would never take right. The photos I took on this trip took better but some still hard to get the blur out. However I am thinking about getting the photoshop program and I may touch up some of my photos and then post them. This trip was not that bad and I must say it wasn't as chaotic as the first trip we took down to Houston this year. This trip I was able to get a few damselflies and dragonflies but I also got a few other things. At one point my mother was trying to get my attention and when I finally saw the creature she was pointing out I had no idea what it was. It was a grasshopper we could totally see that but it had a very interesting eye pattern and a very weird shape. I thought it was a katydid until @brandonwoo identified it as a Cattail Toothpick Grasshopper; a species I had no clue existed until this trip. The dragonflies were cool I was able to photograph the Needham's Skimmer, the Eastern Amberwing, Eastern Pondhawk, a forktail and a few dancers at the Sheldon Lake State Park. Yeah @sambology @brentano @briang have really opened my eyes to the world of Dragonflies. When I was younger I didn't think that much of insects but after a while my love for insects grew to where I am taking on a Pokemon like sense of philosophy and have to Catch Em All! I have just really been so involved with dragonflies this summer. I now have 28 different odonata species on my life list. I so far have over 200 insects species all in all. I love looking for anything and everything; I do fancy myself as a generalist but I am not without my specialties insects and birds are two of my major passions. I love birding just as much as I love bug hunting. I was able to nab one interesting shot just before we left Sheldon Lake. Right when I came up to the Pollinator garden we were near something blue shot out from beside me and it was a Eastern Pondhawk; I noticed his basket was deployed as I followed him with my eyes and then I saw something yellow in his legs and then it occurred to me he had his lunch. I am kind of weird and I love to take photos of things eating things because I find it kind of interesting and really fascinating subject matter. You will find if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram some of those photos @kimberlietx @lulubelle maybe you guys have seen the photo with the Yellow-crowned Night Heron with the crayfish in his bill? I just find it very interesting; hey I am a boy and still a kid at heart I find it cool when something gets eaten. When I was in high school and in the Future Farmers of America program one of my teachers had a Corn Snake as a pet and she would feed it mice every now and then and we all would gather around and watch it feed. It was just a little bit of excitement and reminded of the Star Wars Return of the Jedi scene when Jabba the Hutt's Rancor ate the Gamorian Pig Guard. I do volunteer at the Fort Worth Nature Center and let me tell you I get a kick out of feeding the animals there. It is kind of fun to watch animals eat. It is just interesting to watch animals hunt for their food. This Dragonfly was one of the most interesting photo subjects. I don't know what the thing is that the Pondhawk caught but I think it was a moth of some kind but it is up for debate. It was a very interesting photo none the less. On one of my trips to the coast back in 2015 I found a Great Blue Heron eating a fish that was almost as big as he was so it was interesting. We shortly left Sheldon Lake and made a drink and bathroom run and then we headed to our next location which was Jesse H. Jones Park and Nature Center. That place was very interesting and my kind of place. I may like the beach and Island life but I do like the Mountains and the Forests. I am quite at home in the woods and the swamp land. I just love the marshes but it is hard to say there is all sorts of interesting life that is unique to those areas. It was a very beautiful place and I can't wait to go back there and look around a little bit more. We stopped there and after checking out the nature center we went to the trail with the boardwalk hoping that it would be shady for my mom who has cancer. We I got out of the car and the first thing I saw was a little Tiger Beetle just a scampering as fast as he could. I turned on the camera and was hoping he would stop. He did fortunately and I was able to take it's photo. My friend Kimberlie said that it was an Ocellated Tiger Beetle; before I posted it here I posted it on Facebook and @kimberlietx said that she probably couldn't sleep without knowing what it was. That was my third tiger beetle that I have seen in my life time. I had a bandanna with me at this place and it was so hot and humid in that forest I had to wrap it around my head like as sweat band. I looked like one of the Colonial Marines for the the second film of the Alien franchise which is Aliens. I put my bandanna on and let me tell you I need a hair cut; this maybe gross but heck my hair is long and gets all soaked in sweat. You can just flip me upside down and use me as a mop on some days. I tied the thing around my head and looked down just in time to see a Horned Passalus beetle cross my path. I stopped dead in my tracks and got the thing tied at last and picked up my camera and took its photo. These must be very common in the piney woods. This is the second one I have seen with in a month or so. It is one of the most interesting and big beetles I have ever seen in my life. They are incredible and I do like beetles especially the big ones. This trip was proving to be one for the Odes the place was full of Blue-fronted Dancers and other Dancers. We finally made it to the boardwalk and I stopped to admire the Cypress knees and the Spanish moss after taking a few photos my aunt yelled for me and she pointed out one of the biggest Dragonflies on my life list. I took a few photos and then it moved and started to buzz around me and he would stop right next to me and hover and watch me; I guess he was trying to figure out who or what I was but heck it was very interesting and cool. It then landed in another branch and I got better photos and was able to identify it as a Swamp Darner. This has taken up the title of my favorite Dragonfly for now. This was a very cool trip and I came back with so many wonderful photos from the trip. I do collect patches and pins and other stuff like that on trips but now I like to take photos of the creatures that I have seen on my travels. They are like little treasures that make the time on the trip more memorable. These animals may just be subject for citizen science for the most part but for me they are beautiful natural works of art that I love to look at and study further. They are so much more than research fodder they are the amazing creatures I have dedicated my life to studying. I love the time I spend looking for all the stuff I have seen. That has been many hours spent in the field. I just love the time I spend looking for these little natural wonders and just love the creatures of my extended backyard. I don't have to spend a lot of money and time at a zoo or spend a lot of hard earned money on a safari to a far off place; my backyard and my local areas are full of wonderful things that are just as important and I love each and everything I find. It is amazing how documentaries I watch don't always talk about the things that are in our local areas which is kind of odd they only focus on the stuff that is endangered or exotic. I photograph the under appreciated stuff and the things that normally doesn't get put on TV. This is what I live for; I just love photographing wildlife for citizen science; but also for personal enjoyment. I get to spend all my time with animals I have never even heard of or seen before. To think that this Master Naturalist journey started out as a conversation at a Chick-fil-a back in the Summer of 2015. I got my camera back in the spring, started getting serious of birding, then when to Chick-fil-a a few days before July- 18th and was told about the Southwest Nature Preserve and on July 18th I met up with @apcorboy and the rest of the Southwest Nature Preserve crew. Then was told about the Texas Master Naturalist program and then I went to my first Texas Master Naturalist meeting and met Hester @sambiology @brentano and the rest of the Master Naturalist crew. Went to the Teaming with Wildlife Eco summit then kept going to the meeting and then 2016 rolled along and I submitted my application to take the class and then I was in the class with @eangler @lulubelle and the rest of my classmates and got my hours in and became certified in February of 2017; I have got my start and now it seems I have been seeing what I like and what I can do in life. I have wonderful friends helping me out every step of the way and I am pretty happy where I am right now. My life has been forever changed and now I must say I am a naturalist of the next generation. I am so glad to be taking this journey and going on many wonderful adventures. I hope to have many more and to continue to care about the environment. I still have a lot more ground to cover so what am I waiting for on to my next wild adventure! See you guys on the trail!

Publicado por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man, 13 de julio de 2017

Observaciones

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Abaniquillo Pardo del Caribe Anolis sagrei

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Julio 8, 2017 12:56 PM CDT

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This was a very odd place to look for lizards but the flowerbeds were full of them. They were everywhere crawling all up and down the plants and planter edges. It was quite amusing. My brother went here for a Super Smash Brothers Contest. This one did go as planned and I was with him but I was outside most of the time looking for things. This was a cool looking lizard. It was the very first one I encountered. It almost looked like a mini Komodo Dragon or something out of a Godzilla film. A micro dragon more or less. This thing was on one of the trees when I found it. It was a green or gray color with little yellow dots going down its side. It also had a few lines on it. It was just very interesting. A pretty big lizard but not the biggest one I had seen. It had a crest and I think maybe a dewlap.

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Abaniquillo Pardo del Caribe Anolis sagrei

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Julio 8, 2017 02:35 PM CDT

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This one was one of the other lizards we found at the medical and testing complex where my brother was playing. This was a really hard lizard to see so I used the flash function when I went to close up mode. When it flashed the lizard became this deep mahogany red color. I am not sure what kind of Anole this is but it had quite the interesting skin pattern. It was almost like snake skin on the back. These are very different to the Green Anoles we get in the DFW area. Every time I got to Houston or anywhere for that matter I always find something new and exciting. There is always something around every bend. This lizard had that classic Anole shape but the color was just unusual to me. It had all sorts of spots and lines. It was fascinating.

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Mariposas Y Polillas Orden Lepidoptera

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Julio 8, 2017 02:12 PM CDT

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There was very little at this place but what is a ceiling without a few sleeping moths. This one was kind of a dark color and didn't have much of a pattern to him. @kimberlietx @sammbiology @brentano maybe you guys can help me figure this one out? It had a heavily segmented thorax and was pretty fat I'll give him that. He was quite an interesting moth. There were a few of these resting in the daylight hours.

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Julio 8, 2017 02:46 PM CDT

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Found this one at the same as the other one I posted previous. This one did have a few lines but still had the spread wings but was not as fat. It was also a little larger in size though. Very fascinating I must say. this guy had blood red eyes and looked quite interesting. @sambiology @kimberlietx @brentano what do you guys thing of this one?

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Rayadora del Este Erythemis simplicicollis

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Julio 9, 2017 11:04 AM CDT

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Females (green) Males (Blue) one of the most common dragons we saw at Lake Sheldon.

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Julio 9, 2017 11:14 AM CDT

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This one was a very interesting one. This was a dark blue dragon with a red head or so it looked. It reminded me of the blue corporal but those are not found this late in they year according to the Texas Dragonfly Guide by John C. Abbott. This was a very pretty one and I liked it a lot. It was one of the coolest ones I seen on the trip. This was a few inches long. It was a very nice one too; I don't think I have encountered this one before. It was one of the many different ones I found. Unlike the ones at Travis County there was not as many different species but a good variety. @sambiology @brentano @briang @kimberlietx @lulubelle what do you think of this one?

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Rayadora Azul Pachydiplax longipennis

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Julio 9, 2017 11:20 AM CDT

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Here is a little blue dasher obelisking in the heat of the day. I don't blame this little thing it was a hot one! I love watching them do this it is very interesting.

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Garza Azul Egretta caerulea

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Julio 9, 2017 11:22 AM CDT

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This guy was only one of the few birds that we found on our weekend trip. This guy was sitting on top of this tree when I found him. I have never seen this species in a tree before. I have seen other herons and things in trees but I have not seen this species sitting like this. Maybe we were very close to a rookery? @lulubelle @charlie @sambiology what do you guys think. It may have been close but there was only this individual. There was a lot of heron and egret activity but not much were we were. This was a very interesting observation.

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Julio 9, 2017 11:18 AM CDT

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I found this guy near one of the buildings when I was out walking around. This was a very weird insect. @kimberlietx @sambiology what the heck is this monster? It was about an inch or two long, was dark with a hairy rear. It had thick veins in its wings and was not very cooperative so I just got the one photo. This was one of the largest fly type insects I have seen. It was almost as big as that weird Black Horsefly I found at TCC South back last semester. This one was a very interesting creature.

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Caballitos Pigmeos Género Ischnura

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Julio 9, 2017 11:07 AM CDT

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@briang @sambiology @brentano @kimberlietx This one was one of the coolest ones I found on the trip. There were dozens of these guys flying around and I had no clue what they were. This one was a small yellow and black one. On segments one through five it had little yellow lines going down its abdomen segments and then it had a black tip on its last two segments. The eyes were a blue and red color. This one was most fascinating; I have never seen a damsel quite like this before. It was a beauty. I like this one.

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Julio 9, 2017 11:33 AM CDT

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This one was a very hard shot to get; @brandonwoo feel free to jump in on this one. This was a huge sucker and was underneath one of the lotus leafs. This guy was green and had a bit of black on him and pale colored stripe near his head. It was a very interesting thing. @sambiology @kimberlietx @lulubelle what do you guys think of this one? This guy was a very interesting one. It had the longest legs and almost reminded me of the Conehead I found at TCC south last semester. This was a really wild looking one and was big. There maybe a twinge of red color on this guy. I have never seen one of these that look like this before. This was very interesting.

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Tordo Sargento Agelaius phoeniceus

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Julio 9, 2017 11:42 AM CDT

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Finally nailed this sucker! I have seen this one before but every time I would even attempt to get a photo it would turn out all blurry or all weird. This was a very cool encounter; this guy was feeding on some lotus seeds. This is not something I see all the time. It was very interesting to watch this bird feed on the seeds. He was a very pretty bird. I got a few good photos of this guy. I love this photo it is one of my favorites.

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Rayadora de Needham Libellula needhami

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Julio 9, 2017 11:43 AM CDT

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This was by far one of the most pretty of the dragons that I have encountered in recent days. This one was a very bright red-orange color. It was a very beautiful dragon. This was one of the best dragonfly photos I have collected in my time as a naturalist. This guy had an incredible network of veins. The lattice work of the top part of the wings is one of my favorite features of this one. The Wandering Glider I would find later in the week almost had this lattice work. This was a very fascinating little dragonfly. This one had a very nice abdominal stripe on the dorsal side of its body. It was a very nice one. @sambiology @kimberlietx @brentano @briang what do you say about this one?

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Loto Americano Nelumbo lutea

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Julio 9, 2017 11:44 AM CDT

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This was a very interesting observation. These are some of the most interesting photos that I took that I found of the lotus flower. This first one is the seed pod that I took. I just love the way it looks but I am not sure if this is were the frogs in the pond take a shower...Lol! Just kidding but it does look like a shower head that we humans use. The seeds on these are pretty big and I was very impressed by this formation. It was a very thick pod and was flat. Normally when I think of pods I think of something like a sphere with many seeds like Yucca and other fruiting bodies. This was a very neat observation. I put this under plants because I am not so sure about what kind of Lotus this is.

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Loto Americano Nelumbo lutea

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Julio 9, 2017 11:45 AM CDT

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This was a very beautiful flower and was very large. The area was a wash with these large flowers on top of the Lilly pads. These were a very pretty flower. The lighting in this shot was just perfect. I was very impressed with most of the lighting on this trip. Mostly it is hard to get a few things but this trip did have its moments of being very forgiving and giving me good light to get some of my photos. This was a very nice pale yellow flower. These flowers are as almost as big as my hand. They are by far one of my favorite wetland plants. It was a very impressive flower and I was able to get this wonderful photo as a memento of my wonderful trip to the wetlands.

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Ambarina del Este Perithemis tenera

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Julio 9, 2017 11:46 AM CDT

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Rayadora de Needham Libellula needhami

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Julio 9, 2017 11:48 AM CDT

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This was a very pretty one; not sure if this is a Neon Skimmer or a Flame Skimmer maybe you guys can help me out on this one @sambiology @briang @kimberlietx @brentano @lulubelle

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Mariposas Y Polillas Orden Lepidoptera

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Julio 9, 2017 11:50 AM CDT

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This is an Eastern Pondhawk I know that much but I am wanting to know the insect captured in this thing's mandibles. It was a dramatic scene I just happen to get it all on photograph. This dude shot out in front of me and landed on this plant. I noticed he had something when he shot out in front of me. This was a very interesting bug. I can't really tell what it is because it was half eaten and that does tend to distort the accuracy of the ID. It was yellow is all I can gather.

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Julio 9, 2017 01:51 PM CDT

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Found this guy when I got out to go hiking on the trail. I saw something dark colored on the ground and it was very small only about half an inch or so. It was a familiar scurry and I just knew it was some kind of tiger beetle. This one was a grey color with a few more white dots than that of the Six-spotted Tiger Beetles. Still about the same size and literally just as fast. This was a very interesting one and it is my third one I have seen in all the years of hiking I have done. This one was a really nice find.

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Azulillas de Arroyo Género Argia

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Julio 9, 2017 01:59 PM CDT

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This one was a very interesting @briang @kimberlietx @sambiology @brentano feel free to jump in on this. This one was a very interesting one. I dont see to many green ones but this was a good one for a change. It was mostly black and green and had wings almost as long as its body.

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Escarabajo Cornudo de Cuero Odontotaenius disjunctus

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Julio 9, 2017 02:01 PM CDT

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Azulillas de Arroyo Género Argia

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Julio 9, 2017 02:08 PM CDT

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This was one we found on the boardwalk near the pond area that was pretty much a swamp just before encountering a large Swamp Darner. This one was yellow and pretty small. I have not seen one like this one before but it was pretty cool. It was just sitting on the side of the look out area. It was a very nice one. @sambiology @brentano @kimberlietx @briang @lulubelle any ideas?

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Zurcidora del Pantano Epiaeschna heros

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Julio 9, 2017 02:11 PM CDT

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This was the most interesting thing we encountered at the Jesse H Jones Nature Center. This is my second darner and one of the largest dragonflies that I have ever seen. When he was flying around me or perched he looked very dark but the camera did a great job on getting the patterns and the color. It was an absolute beauty. It was kind of fun for him to buzz around me; I guess he was just trying to figure out who or what I was. It was a really neat encounter. The Swamp Darner has to be one of my favorite new dragons on my life list.

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Ciprés de Los Pantanos Taxodium distichum

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Julio 9, 2017 11:44 AM CDT

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These trees were everywhere but I just can't get over the weird look of the knees. They have always seemed to have a fascinating effect to the scenery of the forest. This was a good area for them; the area we were in was a wetland and these trees are right at home in the wetlands. I used to work at Six Flags Over Texas before I had my surgery and I used to work at Caddo lake and they had Cypress trees there. I loved looking at those when I had the chance. I just love the look of some trees. I am no tree expert but I will tell you now that I am a true tree-huger. I love trees they are so big and so green and they do so much good to sustain life on this planet.

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Heno Tillandsia usneoides

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Julio 9, 2017 02:07 PM CDT

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This is one of the weirdest bits of moss I have ever seen in my life. When I was little I wondered what this stuff was; to me it look like alien plant hair or something from the sci-fi stuff I constantly watch from time to time. This stuff looks like hair and is all stingy. It is very interesting and just to walk in the woods and see this stuff hanging from the trees is just so mesmerizing. The last photo is of that effect. It is very nice the way the lighting is. I don't always take photos of the landscape but I have been known to from time to time. This stuff is just so cool and gives the trees the Star Wars Dagobah (yoda's swampy planet) look. It is quite interesting and I love looking at this stuff. It does remind me of that scene from The Empire Strikes Back. I know I make too many sci-fi references but all my life I have loved nature and science fiction so I can't help but compare things to my favorite sci-fi TV and Movies.

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Azulilla de Arroyo Apical Argia apicalis

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Julio 9, 2017 02:19 PM CDT

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This was a very pretty blue damselfly and one of the many forms of Odonata I was able to photograph. This was a very pretty one. It had the bluest body and had a very interesting abdomen design. At the last part of its abdomen it had a little blue tip. @sambiology @briang @brentano @kimberliertx @lulubelle anything to add?

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Hongos Reino Fungi

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Julio 9, 2017 02:15 PM CDT

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This was the weirdest type of shelf fungus I have ever seen. This looked like little bitty hairy coconut tops. It was hard to get the bottoms; they were just really weird. I don't really think that they are shelf fungus but some kind of weird mushroom of sorts. They were growing all around this crazy gnarled stump. This was very interesting to observe. It was just weird looking I have not seen anything like this before I don't think. Maybe when I was in Arkansas all of those years ago but still this is interesting.

Comentarios

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Congratulations on getting going with iNat and Master Naturalists. I love iNat because, after hiking and going on field trips since around 1968, now I'm pretty much too slow. But I can make observations at my own pace - usually plants, that I know more about and that hold still - and usually get ID help if needed.

Great support too from your parents and aunt for both you and your brother's interests!

Publicado por abigailmm hace más de 3 años (Marca)
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@abigailmm I love doing this inaturalist stuff. With it I am always getting into something when I use it. My family loves it when I find new stuff and tell them about it. My brother maybe a gamer but in the trips we did we made a few comprimises so that way we both could do what we love best. I love challenging myself to see what all I can get. I never go anywhere without my camera and my smartphone anymore. I am always making observations on iNaturalist. I just love discovering what lives in this area. I had no idea how rich our areas are in wildlife. I knew we had a lot of wildlife but I have never knew just how much. After I became a Master Naturalist all of that changed; now I am discovering species I have never even heard of in my youth. Insects are becoming even cooler to me than ever.

Publicado por galactic_bug_man hace más de 3 años (Marca)

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