Journal archives for August 2017

August 21, 2017

The Butternut Woollyworm... and the value of iNaturalist

I'm excited to hear that bugguide thinks my photo of the Butternut woollyworm is actually the first one to be posted on their bugguide from Texas so far. While it is not the first sighting in Texas, I'm just excited I am able to contribute something useful to bugguide after my many 'Frasses'. That is bugguide's terminology for you photo not being useful on their site. I know it is not the first sighting as there are 5 other postings on inaturalist in the Oliver Nature Park area of the same creature in 2014 and 2015. This really shows the power of how a crowd sourcing tool can uncover creatures that are around that may not have been seen by others.

http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/6190213

Besides finding new creature for bugguide, I've also been able to find some new records for Collin County, at least for Rich Nelson, the PhD that keeps track of all the plants that grow here. Here are two plants that I found that he has now added to his list.. Of course these are new invasives. So again, I was happy to share what I see with someone that finds it valuable for their research.

Alligator Weed: http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/5944743
Branched Broomrape: http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/5515830

In addition to these, I've had several people ask to use my photos for which I'm thrilled. For example,
The Indian Chapter of Master Naturalist used my robber fly to show the halters in one of their newsletters: http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/3690985 and also I had a mason bee company ask to use this one on their website: http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/2773125 .. Here is their website with my picture which is so cool: http://foothillbee.com/osmia-ribifloris.html .

So I hope others are able to find value in what I post going forward and if you do, please let me know. I'm always happy to share my photos...Melanie

Posted on August 21, 2017 02:14 by butterflies4fun butterflies4fun | 5 observations | 1 comment | Leave a comment

The Solar Eclipse - My Observations

While Dallas wasn't in totality, we did get about a 75% coverage.. Our Eclipse started at around 11:40am with a peak at 1:09pm and then it started to reverse and was done by 3pm. The weather was pleasant during the eclipse and then I noted the strong heat about 20 minute after the midpoint as I began to sweat.

I monitored my backyard during the time and here is what I noticed.

I had two hummingbirds that came out when it started around 11am and chased each other till about 1:20 fighting over the turk's cap. I never see hummingbirds out during the day so I thought this was unusual.

Also, I noticed that during the eclipse that I did not see anything flying around other then the hummingbirds. As soon as we past the midpoint, I began to see butterflies, dragonflies, wasps and bees flying around. It was really odd that they seemed to have stopped before that.

Didn't noticed any different with the dog.

Of course this is not scientific, but wondering if it might have meshed with what anyone else might have seen.

I probably should have written observations the previous day to compare, but oh well... At least I have some practice for 2024 when it comes through Dallas.

...Melanie

Posted on August 21, 2017 22:15 by butterflies4fun butterflies4fun | 1 comment | Leave a comment