Journal archives for March 2020

March 01, 2020

Anemone edwardsiana: gaps in distribution?

There are some gaps in the observational distribution of Anemone edwarsiana. This species appears to prefer moist canyons of the Balcones Escapement. Here are the current observations:

Observational gaps occur between Leaky and Boerne and in the vicinity of San Marcos. I wonder if these are real gaps (they just don't occur there), or if folks just haven't noticed them yet?

Here's a guide to distinguishing species for those interested in watching for them. March is peak bloom time.

I'm tagging some top plant observers in these areas who might be interested--feel free to tag others.

@companyink, @beeblossomseeds, @beschwar, @entomike, @stephenramirez
@mattgeo1990, @donkeylady, @ygg_huur, @ygg_huur

Posted on March 01, 2020 03:19 PM by pfau_tarleton pfau_tarleton | 2 comments | Leave a comment

March 03, 2020

Super cool moss project!

Check it out here:

Be sure and click "Read more" and download their training packet.

Tips on identifying and collecting:

Here's my contribution so far:

Posted on March 03, 2020 11:39 PM by pfau_tarleton pfau_tarleton | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 15, 2020

The Tiny Beetle Club

To be a member of the Tiny Beetle Club, you have to be 3 mm or less in length. Here are the members of my Tiny Beetle Club.

The world's smallest beetle is evidently 0.325 mm long. The smallest I've seen so far is about 1 mm.

Posted on March 15, 2020 12:00 AM by pfau_tarleton pfau_tarleton | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 29, 2020

Dissecting scope and focus stacking

As a kid, I always had my trusty microscope at my desk (a tiny department store model). And I used it regularly. But I haven't had one of my own since my pre-teen years.

Since my camera does a poor job of capturing the tiny things--and because I really want to see the tiny things--I bought a dissecting scope. It was on sale 50% off. For the light, the LED ring works well.

The scope has a port for mounting a DSLR camera body, but those cost more money. So I'm using my smartphone with this Snapzoom adapter.

Then I needed a camera app with the right controls (an infinite focus depth setting is critical), so I'm using Open Camera. Be sure to turn off the flash and auto exposure setting so the brightness stays consistent across focus levels.

When taking pics for focus stacking, I start taking pics focused at the upper plane and then focus downward in small increments taking a photo at each depth. The specimen CANNOT move or twitch at all during this process otherwise the images won't align.

And then, for the focus stacking, I'm currently using PICOLAY software. Before each focus stacking session, be sure to set the option to "Add original name to py file", otherwise it gives the resulting file a generic name. And, this is CRITICAL, set stacking parameters to "Align images 1x". From there, it's automagical.

Lastly, I use the Windows Photos app for cropping and enhancement. The "Clarity" adjustment, in particular, really makes them pop.

Posted on March 29, 2020 01:35 PM by pfau_tarleton pfau_tarleton | 15 comments | Leave a comment