Archivos de diario de octubre 2017

08 de octubre de 2017

Great evening at Devine Lake Park Amphibian Watch

Yesterday we went over 1000 observations here. What used to be a casual thing - identifying flora and fauna for the blog - has become almost an obsession. And it is a wonderful way to document our trips and adventures.

Last night we were slowed a bit because our now constant companion, Zelda the parpoozer, came along. We still found egrets, frogs, plants, fungi, spiders, toads, one hawk and a "whole lota fun."

When I say "we" I usually mean my other companion MPF and me. He hates the paperwork, so I do all the reporting and he usually drives, carries the gear (buys the gear too - without complaint!), and wills the snakes away (he is not a fan of snakes - you won't see many posted here. We don't go looking for them, but they do find us anyway.). When he is party to an observation I tag it with his initials. The other initials sometimes tagged are for my sister - a wild woman who can walk me into the ground and has been my hiking partner for over 60 years (we shouldn't mention the time Mama caught us on the railroad tracks).

Yesterday gave witness to a regular Amphibian Watch at Devine Lake Park (thanks Beth D!), our milestone for observations, and MPF's first frog catch. It was more of an "assist" after a frog got away from our youngest herp-lover, but we are counting it.

Plants: American Water Willow, Mexican Primrose-willow, Marsh fleabane, Rough Cocklebur, Bald Cypress, Poverty Weed, Prairie Broomweed, Maximilian Sunflower, and Sumpweed. The sumpweed was new to us.

Arachnid: Striped Bark Scorpion - good sized and glowing under the ultraviolet light. We skipped the thousands of spiders who stared at us, eyes glowing green in our flashlights.

Amphibians: Gulf Coast Toads (2), American Bullfrog, and Blanchard's Cricket Frog (I got no photo, but saw it - See Bethd's photo.

Reptile: The "can be counted on to show up" Mediterranean House Gecko.

Birds: a Great Egret across the lake and an unphotographed Red-tailed Hawk in the construction on our drive.

Fungi: BEAUTIFUL BIG "toadstools" identified as Boletes by someone who knows more about them than me.

We have two more watches coming up this week. One is a trial run for the field trip with a class of young naturalists the following day. I learned from my mom that you go the day before and identify all you can so you are ready for questions the following day. Thanks, Mom!

PS My thanks to all my mentors here and in the TMN program.

Publicado el octubre 8, 2017 08:16 TARDE por alflinn329 alflinn329 | 15 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

15 de octubre de 2017

Junior Master Naturalist class field trip to Berry Springs Park

It was a great evening at Berry Springs Park. Nine JMN trainees, 12 parents, 1 grandparent, and 2 sibling allies, as well as, 5 members of Good Water Master Naturalists spent two hours observing wildlife at Berry Springs Park and Preserve.

Dividing into three "citizen scientist" teams, the group walked the creek and pond banks, examined a wet-weather pond, and found a number of creature familiar and unfamiliar.

Amphibians: Two Gulf Coast Toads were found in the grassy areas near the pond. A third (LARGE) GCT was discovered near the upper parking lot on a grassy hill. Call Index 0

One Rio Grande Leopard Frog was seen at the wet weather pond, but we were unable to photograph or catch it. We also had reports of cricket frogs calling briefly in the distance (perhaps at a location along Dry Berry's Creek or pond off the park property) and an American Bullfrog call once at the pond. We were unable to record these brief calls.

Birds: A Great Blue Heron flew over the group as we began our observations. It flew low and slowly so that we all got a good view of it. We also saw and heard a "bickering" Scissor-tailed flycatcher at the pond. Three Pied-billed Grebes were also observed on the pond.

Arachnids: Orb weavers had been busy with webs in the Redbud trees along the pond path. One "spider" was observed at the pavilion .

Wildflowers and plants: A number of wildflowers were observed including Turkey-tangle Frogfruit, Straggler Daisy, Upright Prairie Coneflowers, Silverleaf Nightshade, Goldenrod, Frost Weed and Buffalo Gourd.

Insects: A water scorpion and two other "water bugs" were caught in the pond area. A mud dauber and three palmetto bugs were discovered at the pavilion. Prior to the start of the formal watch, Honey bees, Queen butterflies, and Monarch butterflies were observed at the flowerbed near the entrance as were insects on the cactus we believe to be Hesperolabops gelastops. A bluet was seen in the wildflower field and a number of unidentified dragonflies were present at the pond throughout the evening.

No bats were observed although two had been seen during a pre-watch park-check the previous night.

A future field trip (during spring frog/toad mating seasons) is under consideration.

Publicado el octubre 15, 2017 04:30 MAÑANA por alflinn329 alflinn329 | 21 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario