Journal archives for March 2022

March 01, 2022

Way Back Recap: June 2021 Panhandle Excursion

When I go on a targeted iNaturalist trip, whether with a group or on my own, my focus on Nature is pretty intense. But I’ve wondered occasionally how this compares to other people’s experience and outcomes. Just this morning (March 1, 2022) I’ve completed the uploads from a rather grueling six day journey last June to the Texas Panhandle. (Other trips and obligations delayed these uploads.) So I’ve compiled some overall stats from the trip, as follows.

Over the six days and five nights of the trip, I made stops at eight target destinations:

— Timberlake Biol. Station (Mills Co.) with other iNaturalists
— Lake Meredith NRA (Moore/Floyd Co.)
— Rita Blanca Lake (Dalhart, Hartley Co.)
— Rita Blanca Nat. Grassland (Dallam Co.)
— Palo Duro Res. (Hansford Co.)
— McClellan Creek Nat. Grassland (Gray Co.)
— Caprock Canyon SP (Briscoe Co.)
— E.V. Spence Res. (Coke Co.)

There were other miscellaneous roadside stops and observations most days. Most of my focus was botanical, trying to learn new plants in the South Plains and Panhandle, but of course I tried to document any critters I encountered that would sit for a photograph. I made concerted mothing efforts at three of the locations (Timberlake, Rita Blanca NG, and E.V. Spence Res.).

I got home with a little over 2,200 photos, out of which I eventually created 707 observations of 431 taxa of plants and animals (according to iNat’s accounting). Excluding two days which were primarily long travel days, my uploads amounted to 652 observations from 4 primary field days, thus averaging 163 observations/day on those intense days (range 116 - 181).

Here is a link to the full set of observations over the six days of the trip. It includes a small number of moths that I'd documented at home early on the first morning before I hit the road.
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?d1=2021-06-12&d2=2021-06-17&order=asc&order_by=observed_on&place_id=any&subview=table&user_id=gcwarbler&verifiable=any
And here are links to my observations for the counties of some of the above destinations:
Mills Co.: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?d1=2021-06-12&d2=2021-06-17&order=asc&order_by=observed_on&place_id=1714&user_id=gcwarbler&verifiable=any
Moore Co.: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?d1=2021-06-12&d2=2021-06-17&order=asc&order_by=observed_on&place_id=888&user_id=gcwarbler&verifiable=any
Hartley County: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?d1=2021-06-12&d2=2021-06-17&order=asc&order_by=observed_on&place_id=1551&subview=table&user_id=gcwarbler&verifiable=any
Dallam Co.: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?d1=2021-06-12&d2=2021-06-17&order=asc&order_by=observed_on&place_id=807&user_id=gcwarbler&verifiable=any
Hansford Co.: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?d1=2021-06-12&d2=2021-06-17&order=asc&order_by=observed_on&place_id=2777&user_id=gcwarbler&verifiable=any
Gray Co.: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?d1=2021-06-12&d2=2021-06-17&order=asc&order_by=observed_on&place_id=814&user_id=gcwarbler&verifiable=any
Briscoe Co.: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?d1=2021-06-12&d2=2021-06-17&order=asc&order_by=observed_on&place_id=801&user_id=gcwarbler&verifiable=any
Coke Co.: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?d1=2021-06-12&d2=2021-06-17&order=asc&order_by=observed_on&place_id=1770&user_id=gcwarbler&verifiable=any

So how does that compare to field days for you? I seem to recall that during one of the first City Nature Challenges I participated in for the Austin area—a five-day event at the time—I was uploading something on the order of 150 to 200 observations per day (you could check me on that). So this Panhandle trip was a roughly equivalent effort. That early CNC effort was exhausting. This Panhandle trip was steady and there was a lot of travel involved so the changes in location were as much responsible for the high number of observations as the diversity of plants and animals, per se.

I love taking these iNat trips. For me, documenting so many plants and animals cements in my memory the broader, diverse landscapes that I encounter during each journey. Among those thousands of photos, I do include any number of general “habitat” shots, but the encounters with this plant or that critter offer hundreds of “defining moments” that I can think back on. The trips and the subsequent research to identify all the plants and animals deepen the learning experiences. They are overt evidence of my old adage, “Travel is taxonomically broadening.”

Posted on March 01, 2022 17:29 by gcwarbler gcwarbler | 8 comments | Leave a comment

March 03, 2022

Struggling With Straggler

February 2022 finally broke my string of months with at least one upload of blooming Straggler Daisy (Calyptocarpus vialis), a string that dated back to March 2020. With a couple of hard freezes at the beginning and end of this February, the species never had enough growing “season” in CenTex to put out flowers. There were five observations of Straggler Daisy uploaded in the Greater Austin Metro Area during the month, but none of them show evidence of blooming:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?d1=2022-02-01&d2=2022-02-28&place_id=60211&taxon_id=84405
Across the state, there were a few observations of blooming Straggler Daisy in the first few days of February, particulary in Laredo, the LRGV, and on the coast, but including one in the DFW area on February 1 as a hard freeze set in:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?d1=2022-02-01&d2=2022-02-28&order=asc&order_by=observed_on&place_id=18&taxon_id=84405
I should have gotten out in my neighborhood on February 1 as well and might have kept my string alive. No one documented flowers on the species again in Texas until February 22 on the coast at Corpus Christi:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/107270482
I failed to find flowers on any Straggler Daisy on a 4-mile walk in the neighborhood today (March 3).

Posted on March 03, 2022 22:06 by gcwarbler gcwarbler | 1 comment | Leave a comment

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