Journal archives for June 2019

June 08, 2019

ID's in Dallas/Fort Worth... Been slacking on these!

I focused a lot of time during the city nature challenge to add in ID's -- tossed on about 6k from Dallas/Fort Worth, and I've not picked up since then! Anyways, just a short note to mention that sooner before later, I'll get back onto adding ID's. :)

Also, just FYI -- here's how I tend to do ID's. I'm just a regional person -- unfortunately, I'm not too knowledgeable about the flora and fauna outside of north central TX (at least, not too knowledgeable yet!).

I search for all observations made per day and switch the filters to those needing ID's and the ones that already have ID's (to check the verifications).

For instance, here are all of the observations uploaded on 1 June 2019 (observations that are uploaded on this date aren't necessarily observed on this date):
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/identify?quality_grade=needs_id%2Cresearch&place_id=57484&created_on=2019-06-01&captive=false&createdDateType=exact
33 pages of observations! I start with the last page, and then move my way backwards so that I try to look at each observation. Some will slip through the cracks, but at least I'll try to see most of what people spotted.

The DFW area is pretty loaded with biodiversity - and there's a massive citizen science community here! It's awesome to see what everyone else sees here! :) I'll be back to adding ID's sometime soonish. :)

Posted on June 08, 2019 23:09 by sambiology sambiology | 7 comments | Leave a comment

June 12, 2019

Moth week in DFW!

Here are some of the public mothing events going on in DFW for National Moth Week!
http://nationalmothweek.org/

All events are around 8:30 until... well, until we leave. :)

Saturday, 20 July: Acton Nature Center, Acton
Sunday, 21 July: Samuell Farm Park, Mesquite
Tuesday, 23 July: Twelve Hills Nature Center, Dallas
Friday, 26 July: Parr Park, Grapevine
Saturday, 27 July: Heard Museum, McKinney

If you know of others happening in/around DFW, let us know!

Posted on June 12, 2019 17:41 by sambiology sambiology | 17 comments | Leave a comment

June 30, 2019

Costa Rica. Wow.

I'm so incredibly lucky and fortunate.

From 23 to 28 June, I went with a group of educators to experience the global section of BRIT bootcamp (https://www.brit.org/educators/e-stem-educator-boot-camp). I facilitate a class for BRIT bootcamp 1 for the past few years, so they invited me to come with them to Costa Rica! Holy moly, was it great. Here's a little synopsis of the trip!

23 June 2019: Super early morning -- had to get to the airport at 4 AM for a 5 AM flight to Miami, and then to San Jose, Costa Rica. Arrived in Costa Rica at about noonish. We went with Best Costa Rica Travel (https://www.facebook.com/BestCostaRicaTravel). Jimmy Alvarado was a phenomenal guide from moment one -- full of information about all aspects of Costa Rica. Our first stop was at the Trogon Lodge (https://www.trogonlodge.com/). Such a cool place up in the mountains. Photoed a few neat birds and a few crazy cool plants at this spot. Set up the black light tonight, but it was mighty chilly, so not too too many moths/bugs showed up. Nonetheless, everything that was there was NEW!

24 June 2019: Birding early in the morning to look for quetzals. Spotted quite a few -- like 9! Headed back to the Trogon Lodge for a lovely nature walk. We then went to a really nice lunch spot with a wonderful overlook and lots of colorful birds flying around. Then we went south to San Vito and Las Cruces Biological station (https://tropicalstudies.org/portfolio/las-cruces-research-station/). Not much daylight left, but we ate supper with some researchers and students - it was really inspiring to hear about the various research projects going on here. Afterwords, I went walking around the campus and gardens -- saw loads of moths around the lights and many spiders.

25 June 2019: We met with Ro at the Wilson Botanical Garden (https://www.twoweeksincostarica.com/wilson-botanical-garden/) and did a few data collection studies of the tree ferns. In the afternoon, we continued the studies and data collection. In the evening, we did some discussion of educational articles with the group. This night, I also tossed on the black lights and spotted some AMAZING moths. Also, on this evening, we experienced a BIG earthquake -- apparently a 6.2 on the Richter scale. We ran out of the room as did many others because it was shaking fairly violently. Crazy interesting experience -- my first earthquake! There were a few aftershocks in the next few days, but I didn't really feel them.

26 June 2019: Went on a longer walk around the Las Cruces forests in various stages of succession (https://archive.tropicalstudies.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=221&Itemid=422). At a few stops, we also took some data of soil moisture, photosynthesis rate, and soil temps. It lasted most of the day, and I was definitely feeling the long hike! As though I didn't have enough, we went on a really great night hike lead by @jeisson -- it was one of the best night hikes I've ever been on. Loads of frogs, katydids, moths, spiders, and other cool stuff.

27 June 2019: Today, we were supposed to go to a high school, but the students were on a protest, so we didn't get this opportunity... Instead, we stayed at a sustainable farm most of the morning and afternoon. At this farm, we planted some trees -- I learned about how out of shape I am when I was digging holes for trees! In the afternoon, we worked with some compost and soil microbes. This 50ish acre farm is a really neat place with some commendable practices. We ate a pretty fancy dinner in San Vito. On the return to the biological station, I had to stay out to look for stuff. I went out solo to explore the forest at night -- spotted even more neat organisms.

28 June 2019: Left mighty early to take a charter plane to San Jose, flew out to Miami, and then back to Dallas/Fort Worth and home at around midnight. It was a long day in the airports, so I was looking through the various photos I took this whole week. Lots of cool organisms that I was fortunate to document. :)

I'll be uploading these hundreds and hundreds of observations in the next few weeks, hopefully... I'll be working on the ID's for...months and months, likely! I'll filter what has already been observed from Costa Rica to act a bit like a guide:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=6924&subview=grid&view=species
There have been 9000+ species observed by others, so this process may take a while! Please feel no obligations to add in any ID's or verifications, as I'll be working on these for a good while. I do want to upload them as quickly as I can and then work on the ID's though. :)

Costa Rica is a special place. It was my first time to visit the country, and I am already wanting to go back! The biodiversity is a bit overwhelming, and each minute it seemed like I was seeing something new. Many of my photos are blurry of no fault to the camera, but my excitement made it hard for me to steady my hands! :) Again, I can't wait to go back!

Posted on June 30, 2019 03:45 by sambiology sambiology | 11 comments | Leave a comment