I'm Baaaack!

I just rolled into Austin last night at the end of my 4000+ mile road trip out to Death Valley and back—which started with the Del Rio/Amistad/Devil’s River BioBlitz on April 5-8. My subsequent travels took me to the following locations, in all of which I “found some Nature” (as @sambiology says):

Balmorhea SP, TX

  • Davis Mts SP, TX
  • Franklins Mts SP, El Paso, TX
  • Gila Nat. For., NM
    Petrified Forest NP, AZ
    Las Vegas (“What happens in…”)
    Lake Mead Nat. Rec. Area (Wetlands Trail, NV)
    Death Valley, CA (4 days)

  • Lake Mead Nat. Rec. Area (Katherine Landing, AZ)
    Meteor Crater, AZ
    Winslow, AZ (stood on a corner…)
    Roosevelt L., AZ
    Tonto Nat. Mon., AZ

  • Gila Box Riparian Nat. Cons. Area, AZ
    White Sands Nat. Mon., NM
    Sacramento Mts, NM

  • Monahans Sandhills SP, TX

I put up a moth sheet with varying success at each location marked with an asterisk (*). Results were very good at Davis Mts SP and moderately good at other locations except in the Franklins Mts where it turned windy and cool that particular night. The vast majority of moths at every location were new to me! I also photographed a few birds here and there including such things as Zone-tailed Hawk, Phainopepla, Townsend’s Warbler, and Red-faced Warbler, along with the occasional urban bird. And plants, plants, plants: I tried to document the dominant plant species and any flowering plants at each of my major destinations. That was pretty easy in Death Valley where the rocks, sand, and salt have the upper hand. As well, much of AZ and NM that I crossed through is currently in extreme to exceptional drought, so flowering plants were few and far between except at a few notable locations.

The many experiences and adventures on this trip were as diverse as the landscape. I experienced temps from 34F to 96F; I car-camped in temps from 85F down to 38F. I had some calm days, but also survived a sand/gravel storm in Death Valley (including broken windows on [other peoples] cars) and a wind storm at Meteor Crater where they clocked a gust of 110 mph while I was in the visitor's center. Varying skies throughout the trip with lots of sun, but including a very few snow flakes on the Mogollon Plateau in AZ, yet NOT A DROP of rain the entire time.

I don’t know if this is typical of my previous road trips, but on this particular journey, given the amazing cross-section of North American habitats, floras, and faunas that I experienced, I came home with about 1 photo per mile for the trip, i.e. about 4300 images for a 4200 mile trip. I’ll have them up on iNat by noon today….(and if you believe that, I’ve got a bridge in Arizona that I’ll sell you).

In truth, it will take me weeks and weeks to edit and upload my haul of images. My priority will obviously be to start with the Del Rio BioBlitz ASAP, and then probably work my way chronologically through the trip. I’ll probably upload my moderate number of bird images first, then moths and insects, then plants. Oh, and the CNC starts this Friday!!! Geez….no rest for the weary.

My apologies to my fellow iNatters if I have been—and continue to be—a bit slow in responding to tags, requests for info, or just snide remarks. I’ll get to them all as time allows. PLEASE continue to tag me if you have comments or questions.

Exhausted in Austin…

gcwarbler

Posted by gcwarbler gcwarbler, April 24, 2018 16:49

Comments

:-)

Posted by connlindajo over 4 years ago (Flag)

Welcome back and glad you had a safe and productive trip. I look forward to seeing lots of moths and other life that I have never seen before.

Posted by mouserk over 4 years ago (Flag)

Welcome back! Just in time to help Austin rule the city challenge this year.

Posted by cmeckerman over 4 years ago (Flag)

What an adventure, Chuck! It will indeed take a while to upload all of those observations, but you've got a crowd of fans that will be looking forward to seeing what you saw! @tiwane , @alisonnorthup , @nanofishology , @greglasley , @elizrose , @cameralenswrangler , @briangooding , @nathantaylor7583 , @psyllidhipster , @silversea_starsong , @kimberlietx , @brentano , @hydaticus , @charley , @butterflies4fun , @amzapp , @bosqueaaron , @gpstewart , @jwn7882 , @tadamcochran , @mako252

And know that there are some good guides already in place that are filterable on iNat to help with some of the ID's -- I know you already know this, and not ALL species are documented, but here are some Val Verde County species:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=405&subview=grid&view=species

Posted by sambiology over 4 years ago (Flag)

Sounds awesome! Can't wait to see your images. I got to go to Phoenix, AZ last month and fell in love with that part of the country. I hope to spend more time there someday. Looking forward to this weekend's CNC, spent last Sunday at your old haunt (Doe Skin) with Ryan Collister and a group of folks looking for herps, not much luck but it was a beautiful day. Welcome home.

Posted by bethd over 4 years ago (Flag)

That sounds like a great trip! I'm kinda jealous, back in my road tripping days I hadn't "discovered" nature yet so I only have a few photos here and there from the many thousands of miles driving cross-country. Looking forward to seeing all your moths!

I heard you will be speaking at the next Austin Butterfly Forum meeting! Can't wait to here more about your trip to Panama next month.

Posted by nanofishology over 4 years ago (Flag)

Welcome back! Looking forward to seeing your photographic finds!

Posted by amzapp over 4 years ago (Flag)

Really can't wait to live vicariously through your posts. What a cool trip that sounds like. And I will try to keep any snide remarks to a minimum. Saving them for the CNC anyway.

Posted by brentano over 4 years ago (Flag)

It'll be some time before I get my photos uploaded. PS. road trip sounds fun, I'd love to try something like that one day. Or sit in someone else's car and join in!!

Posted by silversea_starsong over 4 years ago (Flag)

Very Cool.. Sounds like a lot of interesting but Dry places. I never knew the deserts could be so interesting until visiting the Del Rio area. I need to get to Big Bend... Maybe next year... Thanks for sharing your adventure.

Posted by butterflies4fun over 4 years ago (Flag)

Chuck - sounds like an epic adventure! Looking forward to hearing more about it and checking out your observations.

BTW, the inline PDF of the drought map doesn't render for me in Chrome or Firefox (but does in Safari). This png image URL may work better for most browsers: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/data/png/20180410/20180410_West_trd.png

Posted by billdodd over 4 years ago (Flag)

Good to know. I tried to imbed a link to that "historic" page for April 10 but the simple iNat journal formatting doesn't recognize the coding so I just attempted to imbed the image. I'll change the pdf to a png.

Posted by gcwarbler over 4 years ago (Flag)

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