Archivos de diario de junio 2017

20 de junio de 2017

My trip to Conroe Texas

I know this is kind of long over due but I was just finishing up with my observations. Anyway on June 10-11 me and my family went down to Conroe and The Woodlands area for the weekend. My little brother thought up the trip because he wanted to enter in a video game tournament. It was not my idea of fun but at least I got to look around for insects and things at the Bear Branch Rec Center. I had a field day when we went there. I was just walking around at first when my brother went to get registered. I took a moment to look at the trees and the plants and take a moment to appreciate the fresh air and the nice breeze. Soon I was on my way to observe. I observed quite a few things on this trip; somethings I had just never seen before. My main thing is insects and there was no shortage of them. Their was a lot of skinks and things too. There was one Five Lined skink that was really funny he was spotted by my mom who spotted him slumped over a exposed tree root just sitting in the sun's light. We saw many different leaf and planthoppers and a few things like that which are always a pleasure to see. In the images on Google Earth it seemed such a small place with very little to offer but I was wrong and misjudged the land and saw there was plenty to offer in such a tiny place. It was kind of funny to walk around there some people were asking me if I lost something but I told them I was just looking for wildlife and that I am a naturalist. Some people didn't seem that interested but that was fine. I knew what I had to do and that was to observe things for iNaturalist. I went around the whole place leaving no stone unturned. The skinks were absolutely thick running around the leaf littler looking for stuff to eat. The Skinks in question really love damp wood piles and places with a lot of fallen plant matter and dead and downed woody material. I have never seen so many skinks in my life. I have seen a lot of Common Spotted Whiptails though. This was a good trip for all of us we all needed to get out and do stuff together. Me and my dad walked around for a little bit than me and my mother. We did a lot of nature watching while my brother played in his Super Smash Brothers Contest. We went all around the rec center looking at plant after plant and insect after insect. There were a lot of Orchard Orbweavers and things. My camera was not picking them up so I just moved on. I have had a lot of trouble photographing spiders on webs but I have been practicing and reading about new tactics but still without a clear surface behind it it is hard. This first part of the trip was very rewarding. My little brother only made it to the third round before loosing but I came back with a whole truck load of observations. I had quite the field day that day I saw quite a lot. One of my most memorable finds were the Red Banded Leaf Hopper which I have not seen since my childhood, then I saw the Gray Squirrel which I think is cuter than our Fox Squirrels. Then there was the Little Blue Dragonlet which as a budding Odonata hunter that was pretty sweet. Then there was the Five Lined Skinks. Then there was that fungus that looked like a sponge that was pretty cool. I just want to add that little wooded trail was awesome. I liked that a lot so much fungus and stuff. I also had fun looking at the Largus species. They were just set as thick as the skinks. It was a very good day but the next day would prove better for the riches. The next day we headed to the WG Jones State Forest there I heard theRed Cockedaded Woodpecker but didn't see it. It was mostly shadowed that day and I was pleagued with bad lighting but I was able to get some very good shots of other things but the birds were really hard to get. I saw my second Spinybackd Orbweaver which was very neat. Those are my new favorite spider. I like those they have quite the impressive body shape and are not like other spiders. This part of the trip brought me a Red Head woodpecker, several plants, and tons of bugs, I also saw my third nuthatch species. I got to see a Brown-Headed Nuthatch which is the third on my life list of America I only have one more to see which is the Pygmy Nuthatch. We wrapped it up and we headed back toward home but we did stop at the Sam Houston Visitor Center and found a few other things that were interesting. The big attraction there was the Horned Passalus beetle. That sucker was huge and quite impressive. I was so excited to see that dude. It was quite interesting and very neat. I don't always get see big beetles like that when I am in the DFW area. I had fun on that trip. I didn't see any moths except when I got home but the data I collected and the observations I made are there with me forever. They are new memories that I will treasure forever. I wonder what I will encounter next on my journey? I guess I will have to wait and see. This is Zachary Chapman signing off.

Ingresado el 20 de junio de 2017 por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 3 comentarios | Deja un comentario

26 de junio de 2017

First expedition to Crystal Canyon

I was not expecting to go to Crystal Canyon last weekend; I was however expecting to go up there sometime with @kimberlietx sometime soon after my brother got out of SAT training and me out of hock with the doctors. I was able to get the opportunity to check it out and see first hand what this Crystal Canyon was all about. We started out at the doughnut shop where we usually stop before a trek or a trip by our house. It was early and we didn't want a large breakfast but as soon as we got breakfast we were off to the Canyon. Once we got there I got my camera and my new bag for my guides and other gear. I walked around while the rest of my crew were getting ready for the hike. We were soon off and I must say when I started out on that trail I was blown away. I really didn't know what to expect from the maps it looked like such a small place. I mean it is in actual terms because by other parks standards it is pretty easy to maneuver. I was however blown away by the geological formations and stuff that were all around us. I am a rock hound just like my folks they are the ones that got me into rock and fossil hunting when I was just a young kid. True the dinosaur fever was pretty high when I was a kid and fossil digging is still a favorite past time when I can find a good place to dig that is acceptable. This place is full of interesting rocks and things but it is also a good place to look for birds, insects and, is good for flowers too. I had no idea it was really close to the Cowboys Football Stadium and River Legacy. It is an easy park for me to get to and just a hop, skip, and jump from where I live. It is a lengthy hop and skip but easy for me to get to. I really loved the place it is not like any park I have been to before that is not a State or National park I am saying it is not like any city park I have been too. No two parks are quite the same and each has its own unique features. This is perhaps my favorite park that is designated a Natural area. I mean I like O.S. Gray but this has a feel of both Southwest Nature Preserve and Elmer W. Oliver with a hint of Mineral Wells Fossil Park. It is not exactly like the three places combined but if you blend them just right you might get what I see. Anyway enough about the landscape for now let me talk about the creatures and plants I found.

From what I found I was not disappointed at all with my catch. (I have not uploaded all my observations yet but I will get that finished very soon. Later today or tonight.) I really had a blast trying to sniff out some insects; true I didn't find much like a usually do but it was kind of hot but breezy but it was nice to find a few insect friends and a few pretty flowers. I was able to find one of the Damesflies that I recently observed in my backyard @lulubelle @sambiology @brentano @briang you might recall that bad photo of the Great Spreadwing that was taken on my mom's Mexican Petunias. However I was able to find another Great Spreadwing and better yet I got a better photo of the sucker. I do think I found my favorite Damselfly; the Great Spreadwing is quite the large one and is very pretty. I think it is the two emerald green metallic stripes that are on its back that really catch my eye. It is kind of dull in parts but it is a unique one and from what I read in the John C. Abbot Texas Damselfly guide is the Great Spreadwing is the largest one we get in the state of Texas. I find spreadwings very unusual in their design and that makes them even more unique. They have a very interesting color combination and are very pretty to watch. Sure the one I was watching was kind of skittish and retreated to a perch closer to the creek but still it was a pretty neat encounter. It was not as fast as the one at home was because I was helping out with yard work. I just took a couple of cruddy photos on my aunt's phone and watched them for a little bit. during this observation I was able to get better photos that captured the color and the size of the creature very well; with maybe just a touch of forced perspective.

Another interesting find was that Robberfly I found. I am particularly fond of these because they are so unusual and very interesting in their hunting behavior. Mine is still unidentified but was very impressive. It was a pretty good size about an inch or an inch in a half or so. It was a brown one and looked quite menacing. They are quite the hunter and quite the interesting fly species. I don't always encounter these; I did see one when I was down in Conroe but it got away before I could take a picture which was very disappointing. Robberflies are an unspoken interest in my book but I don't know that much from what I learned from the FFA Entomology contest. I know from what I have learned is that they will kill nearly anything they can get a hold on. I saw one in my youth when I was outside take down a full grown cicada. It was quite interesting and a bit disturbing. That is when Robberflies became so interesting. Seeing Robberflies is not a normal occurrence in my book but when I do find them I always want to stop and take a photo. I have seen a few but still have a few more to find on my list.

In other things I saw a few plants and a few different types of fungus; I also found a few bee flies of different styles. One of which was a bolder one than the other. The thinner one is in the Genus Poecilognathus which I don't think I have any of that Genus on my page which makes me very interested in finding more of these little micro bee flies. The other one was a darker and much larger bee fly and looked like what a bee flies look like to me. I find all interesting flies interesting no matter what they are. I used to only know the house fly, flesh fly, and other pest flies that I find annoying but in recent years I have been exposed to more unusual flies and find them all very curious. I have quite a few different flies on my iNat page and they are quite interesting to learn about. It is quite fascinating what I have found and what I have learned in recently learned. I had no idea there were so many unusual insects and things to look for. I love looking for the unusual insects that are not on everyone's radar. I have an interest in the underdogs of the bug world and the ones that could go unnoticed by unobservant people. I find appreciation for insects that are interesting and unusual. I just take them as they come and every time I do my normal practice I find the most weirdest things which in my opinion are indeed the most wonderful.

Crystal canyon may not have been the biggest place but it is home to a lot of interesting creatures and amazing geological formations. I can't wait to go back and spend more time looking for insects and birds. I am looking forward to it.

Ingresado el 26 de junio de 2017 por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 7 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario