Archivos de diario de noviembre 2020

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

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

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