June 19, 2019

Northeast Edge of Lubbock Lake Landmark

June 12 I was exploring this area with ellen5 and didn't recognize it from our 2018 bioblitz. James' Prairie Clover was not where where I found it a year before and other plants were gone and the cliffside looked different. The REASON, I now think, is erosion. The city has paved a large parking lot adjoining LLL land and with the flat hard surface of the soccer fields, in heavy rain the adjoining edges of Yellowhouse draw surely look like Niagara Falls.

I think this area along the NE cliffside is critical to explore before more is washed away, and regret not figuring this out sooner.

@ellen5 , @kdhopper

Posted on June 19, 2019 16:27 by thebark thebark | 5 comments | Leave a comment

Tahoka Lake Area defined

Just defined a place on iNat called "Tahoka Lake Area," including not only Tahoka Lake Pasture but the entire lake and the rugged land surrounding it on all sides. Many observations from that area! https://www.inaturalist.org/places/tahoka-lake-area Next step, to create a collection project.

Posted on June 19, 2019 15:27 by thebark thebark | 0 comments | Leave a comment

June 10, 2019

Got Game? It's Bioblitz Time

Time to get competitive! The Lubbock Lake Landmark 8-day bioblitz is already here. https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/4th-annual-lubbock-lake-landmark-bioblitz I figure the week is good for 300 observations. Who's game? I'll buy the winner a beer if it ain't me.

Posted on June 10, 2019 00:42 by thebark thebark | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 18, 2019

Excellent Wildflower Preserve

"Preserve" might be too strong a word. Think it is city land. Tax office land maybe. Ought to check and see if LCAD has it for sale. "It" is a 2 square block parcel of overgrown land starting immediately south of the road at south Cesar Chavez Dr and MLJ Jr Blvd. It climbs the canyon wall and continues past the canyon rim. Vegetation hip-high in places. Butterflies galore. I took a walk there today to clear my head and ended up taking 115 photos in under an hour. When I go back I'll wear my knee high chippawa snake boots, not that I saw any snakes today. Too much of the walk I could not see what I was stepping on. Might have caught the merest glimpse of a lizard that was much too fast for me.

Posted on May 18, 2019 03:38 by thebark thebark | 1 comments | Leave a comment

April 08, 2019

Batch Load Anger

I am angry and frustrated. Batch-loaded 42 observations/78 photos, completed identifications, project selections etc. and fell asleep during the hour-plus long photo upload -- then so did my computer. Woke, awakened my computer to find the message "saving ... 3 of 42 observations" and the screen frozen. All lost, have to start all over again.

Only way I can figure to prevent this is to alter the computer's sleep settings. That and reducing the quality of photographs to speed upload.

Posted on April 08, 2019 05:54 by thebark thebark | 5 comments | Leave a comment

April 03, 2019

Escobaria missouriensis a/k/a Missouri Foxtail Cactus, Continuing saga.

I have now located a total of about 70 Escobaria missouriensis cacti in City of Lubbock parks. They tend to occur in groups maybe 10 meters in extent. I have found five such groups, one at Mackenzie Park, and four around Dunbar Lake. The groups are all centered around caliche knolls, ridges, or banks.

I have learned to look on high relatively inaccessible and undisturbed caliche outcrops.

Undisturbed for how long? I do not know how long E. missouriensis lives. Some of the larger Escobaria are surely 50 years old or more. It is possible that the places I am finding Escobaria may never have been broken by plow or graded.

How fire resistant is Escobaria? It is possible too that the places it is found have not been burned or do not support enough grass to fuel a hot prairie fire.

Posted on April 03, 2019 19:58 by thebark thebark | 7 comments | Leave a comment

March 26, 2019

Dunbar Lake Ramble.

Ramble around Dunbar Lake this morning. Took trekking poles on a nature walk for the first time, and so emboldened by being 4-legged scrambled up a number of cliffs and bluffs for just under 3 miles. FRINGED PUCCOON is beautiful on the north side ridges, and I saw at least 10 Escobaria I had not cataloged before, on the NW canyon rim and on the central knoll on the south side.

(Are the Escobaria more visible now, swollen after the rain? I do know that on a knoll where I found 7-8 today I had twice been unable to refind the one I knew about, until today. There are 2-3 Horse Crippler cacti on the NE side of Dunbar Lake I have been unable to refind since they bloomed last year; need to look again.)

First EGRET of the year, a Cattle Egret. Handful of Cormorants, few Northern Shovelers, Coots, Pied-bill Grebe, one gull and one Cackling Goose. Saw no Black Crowned Night Herons or Great Blue Heron (quite unusual) and noticed no hawks.

My camera insists on labeling recent photos a month prior, and this has messed up my photo archive.

Trekking poles besides camera, binoculars and 12 lb backpack and boots at 2 lb each might seem to be too much to tote around, but were little trouble and added safe mobility. With the poles I spent more time looking around and less time worrying about footing and balance, and the pole tips are featured for size comparison in a number of photos.

Fringed Puccoon is one of the first wild flowers I learned to identify after starting the TMN class, thanks to @dare2bloom who showed us some a year ago at Tahoka Lake Pasture. They are blooming in clumps and in their prime right now in the heights overlooking Dunbar Lake on the NW side not far from MLK Blvd. Ellen5 found some at Dickens Spring 10 days ago; those off the Cap might have bloomed earlier.

Photos & observations coming soon. Have a backlog of 200+ photos going back 10 days.

Posted on March 26, 2019 23:58 by thebark thebark | 0 comments | Leave a comment

January 16, 2019

Wood Duck

Back 25 to 30 years ago I saw a picture of a Wood Duck in Texas Highways magazine and hankered to see one in the flesh. Today I did, at Lubbock's Leroy Elmore Park, thanks to the Llano Estacado Audubon Society and Kayakqueen's online report.

I went late in the day and saw only one male, on the far side of the island, and got distant photos while hiding behind a tree. Will post them, insh'allah, if I can get my computer to work.

We are seeing here on iNat that species range maps are often out of date and on the South Plains / Llano Estacado / Caprock are species not supposed to be here. So it is with my two observations of what turned out to be Red-Shouldered Hawks (seen also by Amzapp recently and perhaps by others), with several plant and insect species, and to a lesser degree with Wood Ducks.

Posted on January 16, 2019 02:55 by thebark thebark | 2 observations | 2 comments | Leave a comment

January 08, 2019

Dunbar Lake, Cactus Observations, Etc.

What I've neglected in my rambles around Dunbar Lake is the wooded parts south of the south road. Only time I've been there it was during the CBC and there are definitely birds there though the only one I identified was a Flicker. Need to work that side, without getting shot by residents who may get upset by a peeping tom with binoculars and camera outside their houses. Had hoped becoming a TMN would give me a badge for protection in that kind of situation; a little dragonfly pin won't stop bullets or fists.

I had neen lumping together some cactus observations, including up to a half dozen individuals in one observation. Didn't do that yesterday for two reasons.

(1) My camera automatically inputs a GPS location for each photo, and lumping observations bypasses that nice labor-saving feature.

(2) iNat observations do not normally imply number, and on city land that may be subject to clearing or repurposing it might be handy to have the weight of numerous cactus observations close to hand.

From what I've seen, Echinocereus and Escobaria are not found just anywhere, and where there is a lot of prickly pear the area is devoid of other kinds of cactus. Too early to say for sure, but it looks like using the land for disk golf for example leads to more prickly pear and less Escobaria and Echinocereus whether the reason is theft or use itself.

Posted on January 08, 2019 12:45 by thebark thebark | 2 comments | Leave a comment

January 02, 2019

Riders on the El

Posted on January 02, 2019 01:28 by thebark thebark | 0 comments | Leave a comment