Archivos de diario de noviembre 2018

30 de noviembre de 2018

New camera update

After getting my new Canon EOS Rebel T6 I have been trying to get used to all the functions and stuff. I have almost had it for a full week and I like how it handles. I have been mainly getting test subjects to practice on while looking for observations along the way. I am still not used to using the Zoom Lens but I am learning to use it. I have to often switch it out when I have a bug find after a bird. My bigger lens can pick up bugs pretty good but I can't get too close or it will not click. The little lens is ideal to getting the bug shots that are up close since that is my macro lens technically. I am working on trying to get optimal shots with it and I have to say it takes some really good in flight shots. My Nikon Coolpix L830 was good with the bugs and the perched birds but it was not good to take in-flight pictures. This camera also allows me to take some photos without putting my hand behind the subject if I don't have a solid background which was one of the main issues with my Nikon. The Canon is really good and if I so wish maybe down the road I will think about getting another zoom lens or zoom lenses to attach to the camera to get a whole range of shots. This is just for starters. My attitude is to gradually work my way up the ladder. Don't rush into things until you get really good at what you have. I love my new camera and can't wait to take it on my next trip to the Texas Coast this December. I have already called shotgun when we get down there so I can be close to a window when we start birding down there. I will also be looking for other things too. I am bringing my Nikon along just in case I need backup. I shouldn't need it though I am going to try to make this trip all about using my Canon Rebel T6. Most of the shots I have are not the best. I have made some good ones but still need to work on it. The eye piece helps a whole lot. It allows me to get the aim and focus exactly where I need it unlike the Nikon where it was hard to focus sometimes because it only had a screen. This new camera gives me both options to use the eye hole or the screen to get the shot. I find that with the Macro Lens it is easy for me to use the screen like I do with my Nikon and with the larger lens to use the eye hole just to kind of even out both parts for usage. It is a new ballgame and there is stuff I am still learning but I am getting there. This is a total jump from what I am used too but to be full honest it is not that difficult. It is just a step up from the Nikon. Some of the settings are still the same. The only different thing is the artistry and creative functions. That I still have a lot of trouble and I have not played with it much. Probably should it never hurts to experiment with your settings to see which ones are the best to use. I normally use spots mode and close up. Sports to get action shots. I can just hold the button down for continuous fire. Which helped on the Double-Crested Cormorant take off and the American Wigeon flight shots. It is going to take a while to get used to this one but I will get in the swing of things all in due time. I love the camera. I have always dreamed of having a camera like that. When I was younger I thought it was so cool how Zoologist and naturalist had big cameras like that. You don't have to have all that stuff but sometimes if you are able to you might just want to challenge what you can do and better your photography. It might run into a lot of money but hey if its your passion you gotta do what you feel.

Ingresado el 30 de noviembre de 2018 por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 2 observaciones | 2 comentarios | Deja un comentario

08 de noviembre de 2018

October Review and my Winter Outlook.

Well another month has come and gone. I found a bunch of cool stuff last month on my adventures. The 20th was a cool day I helped out with a BioBlitz out in Dallas County with @sambiology and @wildcarrot @k8thegr8 and a few others. I met up with Sam and his wife and we met up at Harry S Moss and we found a ton of pollinators and things. I was able to get the Great Purple Hairstreak on my life list at last. There was a bunch of cool things to be found that day and later that night we headed over to Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center (which is one of my normal hang outs) and did a moth night which was a very interesting one. It was jacket weather and not much was getting attracted to the Moth lights except for a bunch of Army Worm moths but when we would not be watching the traps we would go looking around the area and look at the trees and the ground for some observations. Good thing we did because we saw a bunch of Brown Recluse spiders, a few Flat-backed Millipedes, a Striped Bark Scorpion, and a whole mess of caterpillars. There was a ton of Caterpillars that night. We saw a Swallowtail Cat, a Unicorn Prominent, and several others. After that night I have just been running into caterpillars and things left and right. I did a lot of solo adventures during October. I went to River Legacy a couple of times before and after their Park After Dark festival I got to take my first photo of a Common Eastern Firefly and a couple of new moths. I was also able to get a Snowberry Clearwing. So I had a ton of new lifers to my list that month. I have been having such a good run this year even though It has been a difficult year otherwise since the death of my grandmother who you might remember died of Stage Three vaginal cancer back in August which has been so hard on all of us here in the Chapman household. I am pushing on to get as many as I can in her honor and so far I have made 5106 since the start of November. I am now working on to getting 6000 to end my year and hoping to get a little extra to get me on my way to 7000 by the start of 2019. I have a few things lined up for my last big hurrah. We might be planning to got to the coast for a little birding trip and that will lead us going back to the Port Aransas area which I want to go back to so that way I can try my hand and get some better photos coastal birds and to try and get a few shots of the highly endangered Whooping Cranes. I am looking forward to it but right now there are no guarantees that we will be able to do it but we have it in the works so maybe it will come off with out a hitch. I am just hoping that we will be able to do it so that way I can add a few more birds to my life list. I have to admit I have barely got any new ones on my life list. I have not done a lot of spring birding that much during the March, April, and May Months. I know it is not like me but I have been more focused on the insects and things I often forget to look up anymore. I am thinking about going to a few old birding spots this year to see if anything new turns up. There is a place out in Flower Mound that I have been too only once that has some cool stuff on occasion. I am also thinking about going to my old college campus which is TCC Southeast Campus to see if there are any new things to the old pond out there. I love to go out there and look around at the wildlife out there even though it is nowhere near as diverse as the TCC South Campus. I have to admit they do get quite a few different things but TCC South is far more diverse in more ways. I am also going to keep my eyes and ears open for those rare bird alerts which I am sure that some of my friends will be reminding me of like @lulubelle she is one I can always count on to give me the skinny on rare bird sightings. I hear it is going to be a very cold winter from what certain sources say and if that is so then we might be in for a few more Snowy Owls. We have had a couple come through the last two years and that is one I would love to go and see this year if one does decide to fly down here for a while. I have a few more chances to get my observations up even if I don't make it to 6000 I have really done a lot. I have knocked out 4000 observations this year a lone. I have seen a whole bunch of stuff this year and to add I found a new genus for Texas which was really cool. So there is a lot that I have done and there are still a few places that I would like to try and visit sometime this winter. I will just have to see where the road takes me. INaturalist has been a good tool to help me cope with my loss maybe that is why I am having such big numbers because I have been out more trying to relieve stress and pain from my grandmother's illness and her unfortunate passing. I really miss her on my adventures but I do believe that she is up there looking down at me and going everywhere I go seeing the things I am seeing. So she is never truly gone but it still is sad that she is not with us physically. I miss her so much some days it is hard because I remember things she said and did and even some of the songs I listen too bring back memories of her so nature has been a bigger part of my life this year due to our loss. Nature is the best at times like these. It takes your mind off of stuff and always gives you peace of mind and a chance to discover something new. Well I better wrap this up until next time this is Zachary Chapman signing off.

Ingresado el 08 de noviembre de 2018 por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

23 de noviembre de 2018

New Camera and Return to the Texas Coast Part One (mission brief)

Well I knew it was not going to be too long before I had to get a new camera. I have a Nikon Coolpix L830 that I received from my mom back in 2015. I spent a lot of time using that to get my observations. We went all over the place me and that camera. We went to the Texas Coast Twice, the Texas Hill Country, we have been all up and down the Texas portion of the Cross Timbers. We went out to the Blackland Prairie a couple of times and other places. We were in the cold, wind, rain, and sun. After a while some of the buttons and things started to stick. It was dropped a couple of times and the battery flap had to be held together with tape. I was looking at a few deals and this years Black Friday deal I came across was for a Canon Rebel T6. It is a bundle that comes with two zoom lenses and some other cool things. I am pleased to announce that I will be getting this new camera before my next Texas Coast trip. I will be retiring my old camera for the most part. I may use it a little if I forget my new one. I will use it as a backup if I need one. I am so excited; I will be picking it up next week. This week I have not been out and about getting observations. Instead I have been at home putting together new IKEA furniture and helping with some Volunteer opportunities at Oliver Nature Park. I have been doing a lot of stuff but in-between all of the Thanksgiving stuff and everything I am planning for the coast trip. I have several new places I want to try and visit this year. I am hoping to get a ton more birds than I have in years past. We will be heading down there in mid December like we did a couple of years back. I am looking forward to going back to Port Aransas to see more endangered Whooping Cranes. I am going to a few old hot spots but this year I also want to try out a few new areas to widen my range. My new camera will take some getting used to now that I am graduating to a new type that requires zoom lens technology. I have been wanting one like that all my life ever since I was a kid just starting down my naturalist path. I will have to use the time I have before the trip to learn how to use it; as well as to know how it handles. I know for fact that it will be very cool to see how many photos we will make. I know that this camera was able to take a over 5000 observations give or take from phone usage. I am ready to take the next step in my photography and will be bringing you even more cool images of the things that I love the most (Insects and Birds and other things). I am looking forward to going back to the coast to get some other things besides birds. Being warmer down there I hope to see a few insects on the trails maybe even an Alligator or two. I would love to see another large gator like the one I saw back in 2015. That sucker was massive and was about a twelve or fourteen footer it was hard to tell; but it was cool. I am looking forward to getting some new lifers before the year is up. Next year I have a lot of stuff to look forward to. The City Nature Challenge 2019, the Texas iNaturalist state gathering that @sambiology told me about at the last Texas Master Naturalist meeting, the Mini Bio Blitz at Oliver Nature Park, and other gatherings, and the many solo adventures I will have with me and my family. I am looking forward to going back to Caddo Lake sometime but that won't be until the Spring or Summer.
Anyway back to the coastal trek; I am super excited to go to a few of the other birding hot spots and not just the ones we went to during the 2015 trek. My brother is also wanting to visit a cool museum that has some extinct animal exhibits so it should prove to be a very educational trip. I know for fact that I better get some earbuds and get an iPod charger so I can listen to my tunes going down there while I am looking for things on the sides of the roads. I will also have to find some cool car games to play. I think that this will be a great trip. I am hoping to get a few new patches to finish off my nature vest. I would love to get a few elsewhere but I am quickly running out of room but I think there will be some room for little patches. I just know that this will be a good opportunity to forget about our woes and our troubles. As you may recall we had a recent loss in our family which we still have not had time to get over and we probably won't get over but it would be a great time to get away and not think about it for a while. It maybe really hard since we will not have her to joke around with. She would come up with some of the most interesting conversations. I will miss her and it won't be the same with out my mom (Grandmother) but we will carry on knowing she is up there watching us. Well it is getting late until my next post this is Zachary Chapman signing out.

Ingresado el 23 de noviembre de 2018 por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario