Archivos de diario de octubre 2017

17 de octubre de 2017

The LLELA Excursion

A few days ago I was invited by @sambiology to go to out to the LLELA out in Lewisville to help look for a very interesting Damselfly that was not like anything we have ever seen before. I went out there on Saturday along with @briang @brentano @mchlfx and several others to look for this illusive Damsel. I arrived at 10:10 and when I arrived I didn't find my crew so my aunt and I decided to head down to one of the trails to see if we couldn't find my team. Along the way I couldn't help but noticed the huge swarms of grasshoppers that were around the area. Every time they would hop they would look like little Sulfur Butterflies due to the way their wings looked when they hit the sun light. I also encountered a Punctured Tiger Beetle which was digging in the sand looking for something to snack on. It was a very nice morning but it was soon going to be very hot but I didn't mind. We walked by the river and caught sight of a Bald Eagle flying around the river. It was pretty cool to see one up close. The closest I have been to a Bald Eagle was at the John Bunker Sands Wetland Center back in 2015; they have that nesting pair down there. Anyway still not catching sight of my team we decided to turn back and then we ran into Michael Fox and he asked if I was the man they were looking for and I said yes and he explained what was going on. As it turned out a few of the team were running late but I didn't mind. I got to see that Bald Eagle which is a bird I hardly ever get to see. Back in the 90s and early early early 2000s Bald Eagles were very hard to come by. Now they are almost everywhere around the rivers and lakes. Anyway Michael gave me a life to the welcome center and he introduced me to the rest of the staff and then we headed down the path. We didn't go on the trail head we cut into the pass a little bit but met the rest of the team later on. There was a lot of stuff out there Saturday. There were tons of dragonflies and a few Damselflies, several butterflies, and several other interesting insects. Along the way Michael and I talked about different things and watched for dragonflies and I must say I enjoyed talking with him. He is very knowledgeably. With these kinds of meet ups that involve iNatters; you tend to learn a lot from them. I remember Michael saying you cant' learn half of the stuff that you learn from iNaturalist users in school. I have to say that is very true. We headed down into an area near a clearing and we saw the biggest Shelf Fungus I had ever seen. It was really awesome. About the time we made it up there Sam and the others made it to our locations and met up with us. We showed Sam and the others the Shelf Fungus and it took them by surprise. It was like the scene in the first Jurassic Park where Ellie and Allen were looking at the Brachiosaurus in the first few minutes into the first move. Not the same but our reactions to that shelf fungus were very close to that which was funny. The look on Sam's face was priceless. It was a great day at the LLELA we found I don't know how many things that I had not seen on my life list before. This week in general I have made my species total 684. My total in observations from this trip and Sunday's mini excursion with my mother is now 1558. This has been the best iNaturalist year I have had yet. It sure has indeed been one of the busiest years I have had. The LLELA is such a beautiful place; it is so beautiful I could spend a lifetime there. It is my kind of place. I didn't know we had a marsh up there that far up. It is truly a hidden gem if I have ever seen one. Out of all the parks I have been to in my lifetime the LLELA is one of the very best. It has a little bit of everything much like the Fort Worth Nature Center. It really took my breath away for a time. After we looked around the forest it was time to take a trip down the Bittern Trail. That was an experience. It was nice and sunny and spending time near the river was just what the doctor ordered. It was so blue and sparkling and teaming with life. At one sunny patch we saw that there were a whole bunch of American Rubyspot Damselflies. That is a species I have not documented yet on my life list. Those guys were so beautiful. They were one of my absolute favorites on the trek. I also got to see my first baby American Bullfrog. Normally I just see the adults but let me tell you it was amazing. It was also a good day for a little bit of natural drama. We encountered at least three types of Robber Flies all with something to eat. It was a day when nearly everything seemed to be hungry. Then on the bitter trail I remember getting a photo that was unlike anything I had ever captured in my life. There was a butterfly on a plant at the marsh and me and this one guy were looking at it and we noticed that there was something up with it. It was not acting right but we soon found out that there was a Bold Jumping Spider that had killed and was in the process of eating it. It was indeed a day for natural drama. We also found a Beaver Skull and a nearly complete Armadillo skeleton that was all crushed but a lot of it was still intact. It was kind of a crazy day but it was fun. I even got to see my very first Green Tree Frogs out in the wild. When the word Tree Frog comes to mind I often am thinking about the Red-eyed Tree Frog that lives in the rain forest. I have heard stories of people finding them in Texas but I guess seeing it for yourself makes it a little more believable. They are so cute the way they tuck their legs under their bodies and just hang out on the grasses and other marsh vegetation. I really had a lot of fun seeing all the cool wildlife here. We found about 34 or so different species on Saturday. I cant' wait to go back to the LLELA center. I may have to plan a trip there when it gets to being peak Dragonfly season. I may also have to take a few birding trips there during the winter months or the spring months before it gets way to hot for them. I think I might be able to find a good cross section of life in the spring if I get there at the right time. I really enjoyed the hike we got to see some pretty neat and exciting creatures. So with that said I guess I take my leave for now but I have another BioBlitz to go on next weekend so there is much more to come to this journal. This is Zachary Chapman AKA galactic_bug_man signing out. Live Long and Prosper folks.

Ingresado el 17 de octubre de 2017 por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 33 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

12 de octubre de 2017

Fall, Looking Forward, and 2017 So Far

Ah Fall is here and it is a time for things to start changing in nature. It is the time to get all the insect photos I can before the cold gets here. It is a time for migration and a time for the colors of Fall to start to show. For the beginning of October it has been one heck of an experience. My mom had to have surgery after her Chemo and it has been kind of gloomy around here without her. She is fine and is recovering so I have been spending a lot of time out in nature to keep my mind occupied and to keep the stress levels low. I have found so much and most of what I have found was quite unexpected. I have been hanging out at the usual haunts; River Legacy, Oliver Nature Park, Lake Arlington, Pappy Elkins Park, and a few other places around the DFW area on the Arlington side. This month has been very good to my life list numbers. I have got to see a few new things mostly of the bird, insect, and plant categories. I have seen a few old timers to the life list but for the rest they have been new editions I am very proud of. Some of my favorites this month have been the (yellow shafted) Northern Flicker, Golden Tortoise Beetle, Eastern Giant Swallowtail, ect. I have noticed the American Widgeons starting to fly back down; so are the Lincoln Sparrows. The Winter Migration will be in full flight soon this is the season when things start to move around. I just love this time of year it still has an abundance but it is harder to search for insects; it gets cold in the morning and then warms up by mid afternoon. I find more insects later in the day than in the morning things haven't quite woke up in the morning. I just love this fall season it is a time for wildlife to put on winter pounds and for things to start hunting and gathering for the coming freeze. It is a time for friends and a time for family. It is a wonderful time of year for us. I just love looking for the migrating birds. You can sure bet that I will be hitting the lakes to see what shorebirds old man winter will bring in. I just love birding in the Fall and Winter. If it is cold I get my favorite vest or coat and grab my fourth Doctor Doctor Who Scarf and grab my hat and my camera and head out on the trail just listening to the sound of the wind rustling the last of the fall leaves. I listen to the calm waters of the near by streams or if I am by a lake on a gray morning I watch and take pictures while I look out at the scene and let the sound of the lake waves crash on to the bank. Fall and Winter and a great times to remember the past. I find that when I am quiet and listen to the sounds of nature I am transported to the past. I think of past observations old friends from my childhood and other things that come to mind. But most of all it is a time to get observations. I have to say that every day I am out it is a bioblitz for me. This year had been my biggest year yet for my page. I have found so many different things this year it has been one heck of a ride. I just love all the species I have uncovered with each upload and each click of the shutter. Sure some have escaped me but a lot of stuff doesn't get to far with me around. This was a great year for my observations. I have found almost 1,500 observations; I am currently at 1,482 possibly 1,483 I think I missed uploading a recent one I have to check later on. I am burning the midnight oil just to think about what is next on my agenda. @sambiology wants me to tag along on a hunt for damselflies at LLELA this weekend so I might do that depending. I do have that Odonata chip on my shoulder they are one of my all time favorite groups of insects. All this summer I have been looking for different species. So far I have 40 odes total. I am also looking forward to going back to the Master Naturalist meetings. Since my mom has been sick I have been unable to go. I miss @brentano @charley @lulubelle @eangler and the rest of the Cross Timbers crew. I think now that my mom is feeling a lot better she will be getting stronger and I will hopefully be doing more in the near future in terms of volunteering and all. I am also looking forward to that Oliver Nature Park BioBlitz that is happening on the 21st of October. I have been sharpening my skills and I have been noticing some interesting stuff at Oliver Nature Park that I am defiantly going to try to get if they are there once the BioBlitz rolls around. The big challenge will be coming up in April the City Nature Challenge is the challenge I am really anticipating. Last year's City Nature Challenge was a big to do and I had a lot of fun. April this year was my busiest month because I spent most of the first weeks training for the Nature Challenge. I will be doing the same thing but doing it more often way in advance in January, February, and March. I am keeping my skills sharpened so that way nothing slips past me. I have a lot to do and want to do. My little brother is going to Missouri for a school trip but my whole family might be going and for me I want to go and bird, look for insects, and even see Lake Superior if I am able to. My mom will be feeling much better by Spring Break when the trip will be around so I am hoping we can all go while my brother is up there and do some wildlife watching and go see the sites and just tear it up. I for one have not been up north in a while and I think it would be fun to get another state marked off the list of states I have been to. I just love the north I was up in Colorado back in 2007 way before I was an iNatter and way before I had a good camera and a smart phone. I wish it had all of that stuff and knew about iNaturalist because I really wanted to log a few species away we found up there. I am hoping if I do go back up north I can find a few of those species and then some. I am totally an addict to this site. It is the only site I have really stayed consistent with. I love nature and science and I just love learning the names of all the animals and plants and fungus I come across. I am wanting to go to so many places in the future and really love to photograph stuff at new and interesting places that I have never been too to get even more species and make even more wonderful memories. This year has been great and it is not over yet. I still have a chance to get 2,000 observations. We are going to just had to see what happens. Well it is getting late and the night is here. Goodnight all and have a great rest of your October. This is Zachary "bugman" Chapman AKA galactic_bug_man signing off. Live Long and Prosper y'all.

Ingresado el 12 de octubre de 2017 por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 69 observaciones | 4 comentarios | Deja un comentario

30 de octubre de 2017

My busiest iNatting month

This October has been the biggest iNatting month I have ever had since April. Sure I didn't have many days in April but I got 266 species in a five day period. This month I have been out nearly every day; not quite but almost. I have seen tons of new things. I am up 1,676 observations with a total of 710 species by far. I do expect that number to rise after a few of my observations get identified. This year has been one busy year and it has been hard. My mom having cancer and having to have surgery has been a hassle but I have been able to cope with it through time out on hikes and stuff. I have been able to do a lot and keep my head up high even in rough times. This month has been really good though. I got to go on not one but two bio blitzes and got to add a few more Volunteer Hours and one Advance Training hour to my Master Naturalist stuff. I found a lot of good stuff this month. I got to find a bunch of really cool insects. I was able to make a few firsts in the process of observing. I have been very pleased with all my catches this past month. October is almost coming to a close and November will soon be here. I must say that I am looking forward to more winter birds returning to Tarrant County. The insects will soon become not so numerous and I will be back looking for more birds. I can't wait for the return of the "Butter Butts" I see those at TCC South from time to time. I am so looking forward to the ducks to return and the other shore birds. Out of all the birds water birds tend to be my forte. Sure I will take whatever comes my way but I do love a good shorebird every now and then. I have seen a few Double Crested Cormorants this month. I also have seen quite a few American Wigeons around the few parks I got to that have ponds. So the migration has started. I am just hoping to get back out on those cold chilly days that are overcast. I have a lot of luck when I have those conditions. The only thing is the lighting doesn't always work out for me. October was fun; I got to go out to the LLELA and hang out with @sambiology @brentano @briang @mchlfx and several others. I got to see several cool odes this month. I got to see the American Rubyspot which is a new one to my life list. I had fun at the Oliver Nature Park BioBlitz and Scavenger hunt. Got to hang out with @cindylcobb5 and the rest of the Oliver Nature Park gang. I did a lot of stuff on the weekends this month. I have got out to a few places I have not been too in a long while. I got to see a lot of things eating things this month. I teased the guys when I was out at LLELA and said I possibly have enough photos to make a things eating things album or put more simply a Nature Lunch Album. Seriously I do have a decent amount of photos of things killing things. It is kind of creepy yet interesting. I have got to see a lot of new stuff including my first Green Tree Frogs. I would have probably not believed we got them if I have not seen them first hand. I hear about them all the time on my Facebook page but seriously it was just something I had to experience myself I guess. It was very nice to get out after a very stressful few months. Things seem to be looking up for all of us here in the Chapman household. I am hoping to be able to get out more in the near future to bring you guys more stuff. The next adventure is right near the corner and more stuff is on its way. So stick around and stay tuned to my page for more natural fun. This is your friend Zachary Chapman AKA galactic_bug_man signing off. Live Long and Prosper everyone and have a happy and safe Halloween this Tuesday.

Ingresado el 30 de octubre de 2017 por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 5 comentarios | Deja un comentario

20 de octubre de 2017

Elmer W. Oliver BioBlitz 2017 Pre-game plans

Well tomorrow I will be embarking on another BioBlitz this time it is a Mini Bioblitz and this time I am coming up with a new game plan. I am going to step up my game this year and I am going to get out the big guns out on the field. I will have my net with me but when I was on Facebook one of my friends said that I could use a small trowl and scoop up leaf litter and put it on a solid spot of soil and see what crawls out. I have not tried this method of attack before so I am going to give it a shot. I will combine methods of sweep netting, @sambiology 's petri dish method, air netting, and the new trowl method. I am hoping to get more than my first BioBlitz out there. I didn't get much the first time. I know a few good areas that has tons of leaf litter. I have been out there a few times this month so finding the areas will be an easy task. I just have to be extremely cautious because stinging and biting insects as well as snakes can be lurking in the leaf piles. This is going to be fun but it is going to be challenging. I have never used this many tactics in one day. I will have to alternate at each area I go to. I will start at the main pond and then work my way down. Then I work my way up to the prairie areas and the other pond. I can look for Dragonflies and stuff and also do some sweep netting. Then I will also go down to the forested area. I found some pretty neat stuff at the Honey Locust area in recent days so I have to hit up that area and see what I can find. I am hoping I can get thirty or more things observed. I am just hoping that I don't loose the majority of species I will find using the trowl method. That is the tricky part of the scenario most the insects in the leaf litter will try to run as fast as they can. I will have to be quick with the camera and I may not be able to get all the stuff in each flip of the leaf litter. I am just going to do that in a few spots that I know are good. I also hope the morning won't be too cold. Insects as many of you know are my specialty and they don't really come out to play at all if it is too cold. We have been getting some really chilly mornings in recent days. I am hoping it will warm up very quickly by the time ten rolls around. I can't wait for this BioBlitz I have been keeping my eyes out for another one. With these BioBlitzes I have been able to double my numbers on this site. They are good to get a number boost lets just put it that way. It will take longer for me to upload my photos because of the new program I use to slightly edit my photos. That includes cropping and slight picture enhancing. It is going to be quite the challenge but hey I am up for a challenge. I hope that tomorrow goes smoothly and I am hoping for a big turnout. I can't wait to meet new faces and to meet new insects. I guess that is it for this post. I will post another one about the BioBlitz as soon as I get all the photos uploaded. I can't wait to see how this goes. This is Zachary Chapman AKA Galactic_Bug_Man Signing off. See you soon!

Ingresado el 20 de octubre de 2017 por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

23 de octubre de 2017

Oliver Nature Park 2017 BioBlitz Post Operation Update

Well yesterday was a very fun day. I got up early and got some breakfast with my aunt and then headed out to the park. We arrived and I met up with a few people from the TMN class of this year. I also met up with one of my classmates from 2016's TMN class as well. @cindylcobb5 shortly arrived and got the stuff we needed out of the shed. I came up with my own personal net and my trowl. I always have this thing about thinking ahead and coming prepared. I hung around as Cindy talked to the rest about how to use the iNaturalist app. @suz came up and said a few things about it and I talked a little and soon our first BioBlitzers came up. I took the family of two on a iNaturalist tour. I did a tour of the park and we looked for different things and I talked about some of the rock formations and parts of the trails. I did my best to try and keep it interesting and it seemed to work. I caught a few butterflies, and things but it was kind of a slow day. It was cloudy and overcast with a little drizzly but not bad. There were a few squirrels running amuck and stuff eating and foraging for nuts; we saw a rabbit and a few other things. We went down to the amphitheater and I ran into the group from the 2017 class. I asked if they had seen anything and they said they did and then they told me they were checking for copperheads. I didn't see them at first but later on I would. My team and I kind of fanned out and started to look around the area and then I heard a scream. The little girl that was with me said there was a spider. She showed it to me and it was a Daddy Long Legs or Harvestmen of some kind. The thing was very cool it was red with a dark stripe on its back. We went around the rest of the trails and stuff and I would tell them about the area and a few things about me and my own experiences in nature. Soon we parted ways and I was left alone out on the trails. I found my second Copperhead and a few other things and soon I headed back to the front to talk to Cindy and take a load off of my feet. Cindy asked me if I wanted to stay for a scavenger hunt and I was able to. I stayed at the front and my aunt brought me a drink from Sonic. It was a very hot afternoon and I was taking a rest since I was on my feat all morning long. I stayed on the trail for a good while. I was taking a rest up a the front and then one of the Interns came up and said she saw a Box Turtle. That was some of the coolest news we ever got at this place. Soon we got a cart and we went to look for it. We came up with nothing after we searched for a while. It was soon time to go back up to the front and get ready for the scavenger hunt. I helped put up some of the stuff we had from the bioblitz and then we got the stuff for the scavenger hunt. We didn't have a huge turn out we only had one family but it was still valuable teaching time and it gave us more time to talk with them and ask them questions and stuff. It was really cool. During that hike we saw a bagworm cocoon which I thought was really cool. I have only seen a Bagworm cocoon in books and TV never in actual first hand observation. I made sure I got some good photos of that little sucker. It is like a hut made out of tree junk and twigs. It was a very cool little formation. It was actually pretty large and very neat to observe. We also found a few other things around the park. Somethings we saw I failed to get on the life list like the Soapberry tree. I go out there often enough but I miss a lot when I am not on a hike with others from time to time. It was a great day though. It started to warm up by the time we got back to the front. It was a nice day to spend out in nature. I can't wait for my next big adventure. So be sure to stayed turned and perched; there is still more to come. This is Zachary Chapman signing out.

Ingresado el 23 de octubre de 2017 por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 36 observaciones | 4 comentarios | Deja un comentario