December 03, 2019

New Mission for my GoPro camera

Okay so I have no idea where my mind has been all this time. It just dawned on me that my GoPro camera is waterproof and that gave me a great idea. I am currently going to be saving up some money to try and get a new remote shutter for the GoPro systems, a floaty to put around it, and a waterproof case just to be safe. I think I may be able to get some more underwater creatures. I am going to make my own safety system so I don't lose the small camera but I am going to try my hand and get some really cool underwater shots no matter if it is in a river, lake, or even near the ocean. I am going to be experimenting once I go to the coast this year but I am going to be trying other things once I am able to get all the other stuff. I need some more fish for my life list and what better way than to use my little GoPro that i have had all this time. I got it around the time I got my Canon Rebel T6. I was just going to use it for birds than I started to have a brain storm now I am going to pull out all the stops and go for something totally different than what I am used to. My underwater photography dream may be a lot closer than I think. I will have to start to practice with my new tricks. This will double my experience points for sure. I have just been in the dark it seems not even giving it another thought that I could be doing so much more with my photography than using my Canon T6 all the time to get shots from the surface. I tend to be a bit slow at times with the uptake. Oh it is on like Donkey Kong. I will give the old college try when I go to Galveston and see how it works. This is just a random thought I had and thought I would share it. It is going to be interesting this next few trips and things. I am very curious on how this will all work out. It will be very interesting indeed. I maybe able to finally photograph a shark or two if I am lucky. This will be very interesting. Man it hurts when you are so swamped with work and you can't think clearly. Anyway better late than never.

Posted on December 03, 2019 22:48 by galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 0 comments | Leave a comment

November 02, 2019

Galveston Trip 2019 and a little review

Well this year has been rather interesting. I thought I was going to reach 10,000 Observations this year but with my brother at school long hours like me that didn't happen. I have been rather busy with life by volunteering a lot that observations now are kind of few and far between. I have been on several more Bio Blitzes this year which is a plus. I have made it to 8,000+ this year. It was great back in the summer when I we got to go to Colorado. That was a fun trip. We also got to go the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center, Hornsby Bend Wetland Center and a few other places. This year has been a good one and the amounts of creatures have been much greater but the days of observation are fewer. It has been a very interesting year in contrast from last year. I had way more days of observations last year and really big numbers on some of those days. It has either been too hot or I have been busy with other things. I have a new Nature Club at school that I have been tending too so that has cut some of the observation time. Still it has been a very good year. I have had a slight boost in Mammals and some Reptiles which was really cool.

This year my aunt has set us up to go to Galveston Texas which I have not been too since I was a little boy. I was in the 3rd grade the first time I went. I am looking forward to doing some iNatting there. I have seen a lot of neat things to do and see. I want to go visit the Sea Wall again which is a must for any history nut like me. I been there once before. Sea Wolf Park and Galveston Island State Park are a few more places I want to visit too. I have found a bunch of neat things to do. It will be like Colorado where we revisit some of the old places. Moody Gardens would be a cool place to go too as well. However I am looking forward to doing some hiking and walking around looking for birds and other things. I am also hoping to load up on a few keepsakes and a few patches to add to my vest. I am really wanting to get a shark patch to put on my vest if I can find one. That would be the perfect patch for my first vest. It is almost filled up with patches from a lot of the places I have visited in the last six years. I am looking forward to going and seeing the sights of Galveston. I barely remember it but it will be a nice switch up from going to Corpus like we do most of the time. I am hoping to go to Kleb Woods as well when we are on the return trip up through Houston. I want to try and get over a hundred observations. I am hoping to find some new stuff that I have not seen before. There are plenty of thing to find but a life list like mine it is hard to find things that you haven't seen yet. It does not hurt to photograph the oldies but goodies thought especially if it was one that you don't get to see too often. I love doing iNaturalist stuff. If there is one thing I have learned in my nearly four years of using it is that citizen science is very important. It is a great tool that I love contributing too. Even now as we are facing climate change and what not it more important to track numbers of all of what we see on a daily basis. I know what I am going to be doing over the course of December and that is more birding. November I might go and bird a little bit. I have a plan to go with my mother and step-father and we will go and explore LLELA. I have a lot of stuff planned for next year. I am really excited to go to Galveston and look at the wild areas there. It will be fun to see just how many species I can get out there. I have not been there in a long time so it will be nice to visit and see all the cool things there. I want to go to a few of the museums and things but mostly what I want to do is explore the natural side of things. Do some beach combing and what not. It is going to be so much fun! I can hardly wait.

Posted on November 02, 2019 01:18 by galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 1 comments | Leave a comment

June 24, 2019

Colorado Trip update

Well it is confirmed we will be leaving on Friday of this week for Colorado. We are so excited to be going on this trip. I am hearing a lot of good stuff right now about the northern states being all bloomed out so I am hoping for the best results on this trek. I am looking forward to all the sights and sounds once again. Rocky Mountain National Park seems to be one of the big spots that we want to visit along with other places around Denver. We will go to springs for a little bit but we only have so much dough for this trip which I totally get. We are going to have a great time I am sure. I am hoping to score some very neat types of wildlife.

As far as gear I will not be able to bring my beat sheet. However this might interest some of you that I will be taking my stick and will use my net as the sheet. It may have a smaller opening but heck I am very resourceful. I have my aunt's binoculars and mine but we still have yet to track down a pair we have been looking for a while. My mom never got to use them but we still need to find them for the trek. I have only a few books in a bucket to wedge under the seat. I will have to trade places with my brother in the back seat so I can get to my stuff easier. I have my net and my backpack ready to go with extra Petri Dishes. I have my choices of clothes that I will wear for the trek. I also have my vest and my new hat that I will be wearing for the few days we are up there. No trip is complete without my iPod I have to listen to Rocky Mountain High at least once when I get to Colorado while we drive through it. I will also have my headlamp for some night reading. I have that Star Trek novel I need to finish. I have most of my stuff already to grab and go. We will get road snacks before the trek.

It has been a long time since we have been though Colorado but it is going to be a lot of fun to travel around up there once again. Love Colorado for many reasons and I hope to rekindle some of those old memories once again but along the way make new ones too. I have iNaturalist in my corner now and part of the memories will be the ton of animals, plants, and fungi I will be able to track down and photograph. I have all of our cameras ready to pack up and ready to go. I may do some iNatting before the trek just to stay in practice and get a few more things but during this trip I don't think we would want to leave anything un photographed. I went there in 2007 or was it 08? I can't really remember but I didn't have this wonderful app to track my numbers but this time I will be ready for anything. We are going to make a few pit stops along the way. My brother wants to go to the Volcano in New Mexico. That will be a great place to go and get a patch and some photographs. I will be on the look out for some really cool patches and things while I am not this trip. I will even be looking for some very cool fossils to buy. I can't seem to go to Colorado without buying fossils from Rock Shops and things. I am doing a favor for a neighbor and he paid me fifty bucks to watch his chickens while he was on his trip. So I will use that as my vacation money. I think I have a little bit more in my shark bank that I can use too so I will be able to by a few things along the way. I am looking forward to this trek. I will be on facebook throughout the few days I am up there to go tell where we are at and what we are doing. It will be a lot different since the last time we were there but still it will be another adventure of a life time. So I have a lot to do until Friday but I assure you that it will be well worth the wait. So next we meet I will be going into a few of the highlights from th trip. I will also be posting pictures on Facebook, Instagram, and make a big play by play blog post on my Tumblr. So until next time here's looking at you. This is Zachary Chapman AKA galactic_bug_man signing off.

Posted on June 24, 2019 01:42 by galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 2 comments | Leave a comment

June 20, 2019

An unexpected trip down south

Well looks like I will get another chance to try and locate a Dragonhunter once more. My aunt went down to San Marcos for a class but didn't comeback with a lot of the stuff she went down with. Ssssooo! We have to go back down and retrieve it. I started to look up sightings of Dragonhunters and have seen a couple of recent observations from 2018 but one has really caught my eye from earlier this year. So I am going to try and go to a few of the areas around and see if I can't track down this species in San Marcos. I don't really have much for that area so it would be kind of cool to see what else I can find down there. I don't think we will do the same trek like we did last time but it would be nice to visit some of the local parks and the areas the majority of the Dragonhunters have been found. Maybe I should wear my Dragonhunter T-shirt just for the heck of the hunt. I don't wear it much only on special occasions when all I do is strict Dragonfly hunting. I am getting closer to finding one. I have seen a few Clubtails around down there. I am hoping it will be a successful hunt of course we have our main objective but still if we get there early enough we will be able to go to a few of the places where I am finding little pockets of them. So until next time to the hunt or as the Jem H'adar say one Star Trek Deep Space Nine Victory is Life!

Posted on June 20, 2019 00:46 by galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 0 comments | Leave a comment

June 13, 2019

Colorado outlook part 3 and other outlooks

I am still in the search for some more places to go to in Colorado. I was on iNaturalist a few days ago and was scanning through projects that might be tagged with that state. I was able to find quite a few linked to a few places in Aurora. I am hoping to make it to a few of those places for it is right near some of our vacation spots that we want to go to. I can't find too many other museums but my brother now tells me that he wants to explore the mountains. Glad he wants to do something other video game related stuff for a change. I am thinking about going to Rocky Mountain National Park. That would be a great place to take him. We have a few more weeks but I think we will just go to the visitors bureau and look for things to do that way. You can just bet where I like to look when I go to one of those. I am always looking for the natural areas. Sure I like to check out other things to but I am more interested in parks, museums, zoos, and aquariums. I am looking forward to this trip. If all goes the way it should we will be heading out the last day of June and into the first week of July. When I get back I am doing a lot of volunteer work but I also want to go exploring Caddo Lake again and a few more wild places in Texas before I head back to school in August. I am really looking forward to getting over 9000 by the end of my summer. I aam doing great so far and predict that I will make my first 10,000 this year. So far I am at 7255 which is a lot more than I thought I was going to get at the start of the year. Still looking forward to getting that Dragonhunter and a few other cool things before the summer is over. I will hopefully take more day trips and things just to keep my mind going. I am wanting to do a lot this summer but I am also volunteering a lot of my time to give back to my community and teach kiddos about nature and wildlife. This summer is going to be my most adventurous one iNaturalist to date. Last year I didn't get out much in June or July so this year that is going to change. I am really looking forward to all the stuff we have planned. It is going to be fun and exciting.

Posted on June 13, 2019 20:37 by galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 28, 2019

Colorado Outlook continued

Been doing a lot more digging online for places to go to in Colorado. My brother maybe interested in the two museums that I have found. One is the Denver Nature and Science Museum and the other is the Morrison Nature Museum. My brother had a profound interest in video games but he is looking for topics on extinct Ice Age animals for his game ideas revolve around those. I for one want to go to learn about such things to expand my knowledge on such animals. Of course I am really into dinosaurs so that is what I am going for along with the wildlife. I wish my brother was in to dinosaurs but he calls them over glorify. I dont't know why but that is what he thinks. Me I have always been a fossil fan head of all prehistoric eras. I am really looking forward to see all the cool animals that are out there. I have been looking up the native wildlife up there and I must say that place is loaded with really cool things. I am mainly going out there for the birds, mammals and the insects as my main targets of interest but I am sure that plants, reptiles, and fungus will be most interesting to get too. I am not letting anything slip out of my fingers. I am hoping to get more than one hundred observations in that week we will be gone. I will make it my mission to go to all the state parks I can get to and a few of the National Parks. I think that it will be a cool trip because we will explore new areas that we have not been to yet. I for one am looking forward to this little venture. How I have longed to go back. It has been far too long since we have been there. It will be a very interesting trip. We will revisit some of the old stomping ground but we will be also looking for some new territory to explore. I have some of the gear already to go. Mostly my books like my wildlife encyclopedia that has mammals and herps. I also have my tree guide to North America, my North American Insect Guide, and both bird guides. I also have some fun reads to read when I am going up there. I have my Star Trek Q Squared Novel a friend in college gave me and I also have my I Survived: The Shark Attack of 1916 which I also find very enjoyable. So yeah I have a thriller and a science fiction book with me as well as some nature resources. My gear will be very easy to pack up. I will be bringing the net, beat sheet, some Petri Dishes, my UV Light, and my Binoculars and my camera. I will bring my charger so that way I can charge my battery after a good day. I am also bringing my back up camera which is my Nikon Coolpix L830. My aunt will be bringing along her new camera she got recently. She is learning how to use iNaturalist and I am teaching her the basics. She will be an iNatting machine by the time I am done with her. She will be great for this being a school teacher and all. I am teaching her all I know. Yeah it is going to a fun trip. I already have some idea of what clothes I am going to bring. I will not be wearing shorts at all. I may wear a t-shirt on some of the days but I will not be wearing any flip flops, shorts, or no sleeves this time. That was crazy the last time. Pardon the expression but I was freezing my giblets off out there at the Seven Falls the last time I went. No I am wearing pants this time. I will bring both pairs of fishing pants and my few other pairs of blue jeans. I have some long sleeve shirts I will wear but I also have my iNaturalist shirt I will be wearing too that @sambiology gave me. I will also have my bug shirt with me. But what is an outdoor adventure without my vest and my hat. I will also have my Shark Tooth Necklace and my gator tooth. I never go anywhere without those. I am so excited but there is still a few weeks so we continue to plan for this trip. I will be sharing all my photos and highlights on Facebook and my Instagram accounts as well as make a blog post on my Tumblr account but there will be a post of the trip here on iNaturalist so stay tuned for more Colorado fun! I am Zachary Chapman AKA galacitc_bug_man signing off.

Posted on May 28, 2019 06:24 by galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 2 comments | Leave a comment

May 26, 2019

My Colorado Trip Outlook

My brother and I have been dying to go back and explore the wilds and museums of Colorado. It has been far too long since we have seen the glorious lands that make up Colorado. I remember I spent a week up there when I turned 13. Ahhhh the sun shining over the moutains; the lightning in the sky lighting up mountains, the wildlife that is plentiful in every place. It is no wonder why I have fallen in love with Colorado. The beautiful snow capped mountains, the beautiful waterfalls, the tall grasses in the valley. I have experienced all of these things first hand. It is one truly amazing place. I don't really have a huge game plan set up but i would like to go back to the Colorado Springs area and I do want to try and go to Denver some time and see what is up there. I am very excited and we are planning to go really soon. I have some stuff in terms of volunteering at Elmer W. Oliver for a few kids camps and my aunt has a few classes but it looks like we may actually go for a whole week. So that will be very cool to get observations each day. Of course my brother is looking for museums up there to get idea for a project he is working for his game programming career. He is so hard to do things with because he has only a few interests but with me anything goes and for me it does't matter I can always find something to get into so it will be a lot of fun. I have a parks guide on the way to the house, I have an animal check list too, and I also have a wildlife viewing guide. It is going to be so amazing. We will have the time of our lives for sure!

Posted on May 26, 2019 08:00 by galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 1 comments | Leave a comment

April 24, 2019

City Nature Challenge 2019 Game Plan

It's that time again; time for the iNaturalist City Nature Challenge 2019. This year will be a little different for me because I will be volunteering some of my time to a couple of places. Chisholm Trail and Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge are needing my help this year and I didn't want to disappoint them. That means Friday and Monday will be the only two days I will have to do some major park hopping. I have a wide range of parks to choose from. Friday I will be starting my quest at the River Legacy area. I will be going down to the pond, forest areas, and of course the AISD trail for a little bit early that morning. I will go down to the Village Creek Historical Site for a little while and see what I can turn up around there. I also be making my way to Crystal Canyon since that is all right there. I may not go to the Village Creek Drying Beds but it is a possibility that I might. That will basically be the morning and around the twelve o'clock hour. Then I will high tail it to lunch and then get back on the trail making my rounds to Stovall Park for a little bit to find some pollinators and beetles. I have bought a new net and petri dishes to catch insects with. I will be looking for anything and everything but mostly insects. I will also bring along my snake stick and my beat sheet too just to pull out all the stops. Then I will head over to Elmer W. Oliver before my aunt comes to get me so I can go up to Parr Park for their bat night. I have my headlamp ready to go and get night photos too. I just bought a lot of equipment for this four day bioblitz. I will make sure I beat out my old number of observations I got last year. I will be doing a lot at Nature Con at the FWNC&R and a lot at Chisholm Trail community park. On Monday I might swing by TCC Southeast Campus and look for stuff around the pond, I also need to go to Elmer W. Oliver, Lake Arlington, Thora Hart Park. Monday I might go to all the smaller places but Friday I am going to enter the areas where I get the most stuff. I think that will be the smart way to go. There is always a change in the plans and sometimes it is a change for the better but I am not doing too many events this year at the smaller parks so that will be a change to my plans. I am certain that I will be able to bring my A game this year and I hope I bring a big catch to the table. My Canon Rebel T6 is at my ready and all systems are go. I got a huge supply of petri dishes, I also have some knew knee pads. I also bought a new pair of rubbers and hikers so I can get into the ponds and rough it more. I hope it goes well. I am eager to get this show on the road we only have a couple of more days before the four day challenge. I just want to say DFW lets win back our title! We have to do it this year! Let's show them what we are made of and how many species we really have. I will be seeing a couple of you on the trail I am sure. So I hope to see you there. Until then this is Zachary Chapman signing off.

Posted on April 24, 2019 00:47 by galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 23, 2019

My years plans so far

With a rocky start to my spring with my dad being in the hospital after a rough time at Tandy Hills he is finally back home and recovering after a few weeks in the hospital. This year is kind of off to a very awkward start in general because I don't really have many major plans for the spring except for doing the annual City Nature Challenge that I do every year. However I will not be doing my normal park hopping like I normally do around CNC time. I will do a little bit of that but most of the time I will be volunteering my time to the Fort Worth Nature Center and Chisholm Trail community park for a Nature Con and Bio Blitzes. I will be getting more observations but not as much in bulk as I am known for because I will be leading hikes and running a booth more than likely; But heck that will not stop me from taking as many photos as I can because there will be some much to do and see at both parks that I might get some really neat things. I may not get a lot of different things but I will do my darnedest to get as many observations as I can. I am going to be doing more volunteer days this year but I do have a few things in mind that I am looking forward too this summer.

This summer my family is planning a trip to Colorado which my brother and I have been wanting to do for a long time now. I have only been there a couple of time. I turned 13 in Colorado Springs and I remember it like it was just yesterday. Ah I can't wait to go back to the mountains. I have spent the last couple of years around the sea for in Texas vacations during the Winter Bird Migration and to see the Baby Sea Turtles that one summer. I would love to go into the mountains and look for the animals I didn't photograph on the last trip out there which was around 2007 or so. I wish that I had been an amateur Photographer back then so I could have got some of the animals I saw on that trip on my life list. Guess I will have to do like I have been doing all this time and pick up the pieces. That will allow me to get some of the animals I know I have seen but also some that I have never seen before. I am hoping to get some Pinyon Jays, Magpies, Chipmunks, Big Horn Sheep, among other things. I really miss Colorado. The beautiful storms at night, the beautiful morning sunrises, the lovely smells of the rocks and trees. Ah... it is my kind of place to be. I have a few places in mind to go to when I do make my return trek out there. I want to go to a few of the places I have already been too like Garden of the Gods, Seven Falls, the Cliff Dwellings, Cave of Winds, Pikes Peak; but I also want to go to Dinosaur National Monument. I also want to go back to the Colorado Dinosaur Resource Center that I went to when I went their last. That place was fantastic and if they still have them I would love to get one of the Raptor Claws they had for sale for my fossil collection. I have always wanted a raptor's killing claw like Alan Grant did in Jurassic Park. I love collecting fossils and things and have a really nice collection that has grown in the last couple of years.

Also on the summertime agenda I am still on the hunt for a Dragonhunter Dragonfly. I was not able to do too much dragonfly hunting last year since my mom was getting very sick before she passed away. So this year I am going to try and find one. I have a few places lined up where I might find one but I just have keep my eyes on the radar and see when they are being spotted the most. I have some other events to go to like the event out at the Research station that @sambiology has planned for an iNaturalist get together. I am also looking forward to doing that Moth night out at the Heard Museum this summer. So I have quite a few things for the summer but not much planned except for the event stated and the big family excursion in Colorado. So there is much to explore this spring and summer. The best thing to do is just make it up as you go along through the year. I have already made it out to the Fort Worth Nature Center once this year just to explore. My goal this year is to find a few new parks around my local area. There is one I have seen while looking at the map on iNaturalist which was kind of interesting called Arbor Hills Nature Preserve. I think that will be a great place to do some iNaturalist stuff. It is really close to LLELA. I would also like to go back out to LLELA and do some more hiking up there to find some more insects and things.

I have a lot to do in the coming months so I must get a move on filled up the old nature pack and get a move on. I will see you on the trail!

Posted on March 23, 2019 21:03 by galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 2 comments | Leave a comment

January 06, 2019

Plans for 2019

It is the new year and for 2019 I have a lot of stuff to look forward too. I have a few big things that I am wanting to do this year. One of which is the City Nature Challenge 2019 in April. I am so looking forward to it. Last year I found a few new places to go and travel to so I can get some big numbers. One place I have on my radar is the Village Creek Drying Beds. As a dragonfly fan and just general insect nerd I would like to find as many insects as I can at Village Creek Drying Beds. I went there twice in a row in 2018 and thought that would be a great place to do some bug hunting. I have a few more parks on my CNC list but I still have to refine it. The Monday of that challenge is going to be hectic because we have school. Guess I will have to do what I normally do at school after class and study.

In May I am looking forward to the State iNaturalist gathering. I have not been to a state gathering yet but this year I am going to give it my all to go to this one. I may not be able to stay the whole duration but heck a weekend is more than enough to get some big numbers. I was able to make over 90 observations on my trip to the coast which was the weekend right before Christmas. I have to remember that I made 211 observations in one night at @kimberlietx's birthday bioblitz. I hardly get to go out to hill country unless it is to go to Enchanted Rock or the surrounding areas. I have only been down that way a handful of times. To add I have been there twice in the last seven years of my life. I love to go out there when I have the time and the chance to go. There is a ton of cool things out there. I would love to meet some of the birders and do some mothing while I am down there as well as do my own exploring. I normally stay with the pack but I do find some pretty cool stuff when I go solo. So I will be doing a little bit of different things. For both events I will have to take the Beat Sheet and the stick AKA "old net hilt" may do some sweep netting too just got to prioritize and make sure I don't carry too much with me. May switch out tools for different days. Definitely doing Saturday and Sunday. I am going to get down there Friday. It is going to be so much fun. I can hardly wait to do this. I know I have to wait a while for it but I can only imagine what is down there around that time of year. Hoping for a lot of moths and other insects. Saturday will be the day I do the mothing since I will be pretty much zonked on Friday getting down there.

Then there is one thing that I need to wait unit summer for and that is to down to the Austin Bridge where the bats are; and go down to Hornsby Bend sometime. I need to do that this year since I was not able to get down there last year due to family matters and things. 2018 was a very hard year for all of us. I hope this year is much better. Still on the search for that Dragonhunter Dragonfly. I want to see one so bad. I know Hornsby Bend has seen a few and so has Caddo Lake. @sambiology @brentano is it Gus Englin where they have the majority of them in Texas? correct me if I am wrong. I am going to try and go for all three places just to check them out and see what is out there. I want to go and find even more bugs this year. There is just so much I want to do and so many places I want go to. Most of these areas are day trips but it would be nice to spend a night or two down in Austin to also go to Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center. That would be amazing!

Other than that I got a lot of things up in the air just waiting for something to come down. I will have to play most of the other stuff by ear but yeah National Moth Week and the Oliver Nature Park BioBlitz are further away. I predict a very full year of iNaturalist and who knows I might even get a full month put in to iNaturalist. I have been pretty dang close on filling up one whole month of observations but I have not done that yet. This year that is one of my main goals. The sky is the limit and for me more hiking, nature exploration, trips, travels, and a lot of fun. Hoping 2019 will be better year for me and my family. We had a lot of ups and downs last year. It was a good year in parts but with my mom dying so suddenly it took a lot out of us. We are back on track though and days seem to get easier the more we spend with each other and the more time we spend outdoors. Until next time I will see you on the trail.

Posted on January 06, 2019 00:44 by galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man | 0 comments | Leave a comment