Sketchy Science

During my tenure at Balcones Canyonlands NWR when I was just starting to (re)learn moths, I spent countless evenings studying critters at a porchlight at the cabin where I stayed for field work. I had no macro lens for my 35mm camera at the time and this was five years before I would start using digital photography. I would collect single examples of each moth, sketch them in my field journal and try to identify them with the available resources of the time such as Hollard’s “Moth Book” and Covell’s Peterson Field Guide. (This predates MPG, BG, iNat, etc.) Today I’m beginning a series of uploads of pages from my field journals of that time period. Some of the notes and sketches are accompanied by specimens (moth wings) taped into the journal. I have reviewed all of my sketches and identifications and updated/upgraded them to the extent that I can at this point, some 16+ years later.

Looking back at the set of sketches and notes--some of which went unidentified at the time--I have actually been able to add a few new species to the Refuge moth list, such as Charadra dispulsa (Noctuidae), Schinia alencis (Noctuidae), and Zale calycanthata (Erebidae). Better late than never!

Historical footnote: Not by coincidence, I started my renewed study of moths during some intense field work and self re-examination right after 9/11, i.e. in mid-September 2001. That was a traumatic time for all of us. Diving into something to keep my mind off of current events of the time was my method of coping.

Posted by gcwarbler gcwarbler, March 13, 2018 14:41

Comments

Looking forward to seeing this!

Posted by muir over 4 years ago (Flag)

Cool! Do you know that the iNat journal has a basic way to attach observations to a journal entry? You could attach all these sketch observations to this journal entry as one way of having them all in one accessible place.

Posted by mikaelb over 4 years ago (Flag)

What a great addition. Those sketches are really well done.

Posted by ptexis over 4 years ago (Flag)

@mikaelb I would like to attach examples of these field journal pages (observations) here but the selection method for observations to attach to a journal entry is exceedingly tedious. The selection panel on the right side of the editing page displays just five recent observations at a time with no easy way to filter or navigate easily to more "distant" observations. It's something I've been meaning to complain about to the iNat staff! Maybe now's a good time to do so!

Posted by gcwarbler over 4 years ago (Flag)

Yes, I share your frustration with attaching observations to journal entries. In general it seems like the journal is a pretty bare-bones feature on iNat. Let me know if you complain and I'll add my support!

Posted by mikaelb over 4 years ago (Flag)

Hey, everyone, I'm getting lots of positive feedback for my uploads of these journal sketches....but to date no one is venturing a confirmation of any of the identifications. I'm aware that a few of them are tough IDs, but many of the moths which are the subjects of those sketches (real observations!) are quite easy to ID. To the extent anyone feels comfortable, concurrences will be appreciated!

Posted by gcwarbler over 4 years ago (Flag)

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