Palo Pinto details

Hey all,

Let’s talk about the Palo Pinto gathering on Friday, July 27 and Saturday, July 28.

First of all, the state park is CLOSED to the public, so you MUST let me know if you are going to attend – you can do this either through a comment in that last journal post, or on a comment below. Or, you can toss me a little message too. All groups going into the park have to be less than 25 people for whatever reason…? Anyways, if you want to come, please let me know. :)

Secondly, the fires in Palo Pinto are still a bit north of the park, so hopefully they are contained sooner before later:
https://dallasnews.imgix.net/1530806675-2018_07_04-17.21.02.967-CDT.jpg?auto=format&q=50&or=0&w=700
On the google map, the fires are here (about 4500 acres):
https://www.google.com/maps/place/32%C2%B045'44.5%22N+98%C2%B021'37.9%22W/@32.7613403,-98.4277843,12.5z/data=!4m6!3m5!1s0x0:0x0!7e2!8m2!3d32.7623692!4d-98.3605143

OK, now for some details on the gathering!

I’m planning on being here at like 4:00 PM on Friday afternoon:
https://www.google.com/maps/place/32%C2%B032'03.7%22N+98%C2%B033'41.3%22W/@32.5343705,-98.563673,888m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m15!1m8!3m7!1s0x0:0x0!2zMzLCsDMyJzM4LjAiTiA5OMKwMzInMjEuNiJX!3b1!7e2!8m2!3d32.5438836!4d-98.5393394!3m5!1s0x0:0x0!7e2!8m2!3d32.5343659!4d-98.5614794
GPS coordinates: 32.534366, -98.561479
This area has a little circle and some places to park. This place is pretty dang secluded, so everything should be safe here – vehicles can be left here as well as tents being pitched here. This is going to be “headquarters.” For the physical directions… From Hwy 16 in Strawn, go west on Hwy 2372. It’s at the end of Hwy 2372.

We can explore a bit around here for a while, and then I’m planning on going to Mary’s Café in Strawn at 5:30 PM. https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g56719-d1141351-Reviews-Mary_s_Cafe-Strawn_Texas.html Chicken Fried Steak is good here. No obligations on coming to Mary’s Café – if you want to just explore around the lake some, cool.

At like 6:30 or so, I’m planning on coming back to ‘headquarters,’ explore a bit and scope out where to set up black lights! Now, NO electricity, no water, no nothing out here… So all has to be powered by generators or batteries. Just FYI. If you have a generator or access to one, please bring it! I’ll try my best to get ahold of something, but I’m a bit doubtful.

We’ll moth until we drop.

Elizabeth and I are staying at this hotel: Super 8 by Wyndham Eastland for $50 a night. https://www.wyndhamhotels.com/super-8/eastland-texas/super-8-eastland/overview
It’s a bit of a trek away from the park, but that’s about the closest one, and I want to stay somewhat close to get there earlier the next day!

On Saturday (July 28), we can meet at “headquarters” at like 7:30 AM and explore the park some more. All of the exploring should be on foot – there aren’t really roads in the park, and I don’t feel comfortable creating roads throughout the park with our vehicles while we’re there!

I have to leave at around noon to get back to Fort Worth (to take a nap before mothing at the Heard Museum in McKinney that night!).

If you have questions or concerns, let me know! Also, if you have access to a generator or are bring some mothing gear, comment. Looking forward to this event! Should be a blast! Now, let’s keep our fingers crossed for ‘reasonable’ weather.

Also, save my phone # 817 771 8793 – I’m not sure what the cell reception is like out there – doubtful… but save it on your phone so you have it.

Posted by sambiology sambiology, July 06, 2018 20:14

Comments

Tagging these folks that have told me that they want to come:
@brentano @wildcarrot @annikaml @catenatus @oddfitz @pfau_tarleton @jwn @briangooding @tadamcochran @gcwarbler @bob777

If you know of others, let me know!

Posted by sambiology about 3 years ago (Flag)

I'm still in! Looking forward to it. Got my room booked.

Posted by tadamcochran about 3 years ago (Flag)

Sounds like a plan...… And am still planning on attending.

Posted by oddfitz about 3 years ago (Flag)

Hope you all have a great/ productive time. Really wish I could attend, since it would be new territory for me.

Hopefully will be able to join the next event. I am suffering from nature deficit disorder.

Posted by connlindajo about 3 years ago (Flag)

I'd still like to come. Hopefully there's more life there than there has been at my house. So hot and dry--plants are all crispy. Lots of grasshoppers though!

Posted by pfau_tarleton about 3 years ago (Flag)

I will be there friday night but Sat is my son’s birthday. I have 2 mercury vapor lights 250 watt & 2 blacklights a 45 watt and a diouble bulb 90 watt with marine battery & inverter connection. I will see if I can borrow a generator from work.

Posted by catenatus about 3 years ago (Flag)

I'll be there if I can get off work Saturday.

Posted by jbroadhead about 3 years ago (Flag)

I'll be there. For some or all. Will bring my little light setup if we need another one.

Posted by brentano about 3 years ago (Flag)

I will be there and will bring 2 or 3 small UV lights with their own power.

Posted by cameralenswrangler about 3 years ago (Flag)

MK and I will be there. We've made reservations at Eastland Super 8 as well. I have a small portable battery pack/charger. It's only good for 500 watt-hours, so I can run my one 30 watt UV for several hours, or a couple of them for fewer hours (you do the math). If I try to run the MV (250 watt?), it's only good for an hour or two, so I don't use MV when I'm without electricity.

Posted by gcwarbler about 3 years ago (Flag)

Sam, Will we NOT be able to get into the park before 4 p.m. and the arrival of your heiness?? (IF there is a gate code, DON'T publish it here!)

Posted by gcwarbler about 3 years ago (Flag)

I'm still in!!

Posted by wildcarrot about 3 years ago (Flag)

So I will have to check for when park access could be for the early comers. I’ve got some work responsibilities that morning, so the earliest I can get there is about 4...

I’ll toss the park superintendent a message to see if early access can be given — but Chuck, you have to be on your best behavior! No poo-ing in the middle of a trail like a coyote! I mean, come on! ;)

Stay tuned.

Posted by sambiology about 3 years ago (Flag)

I would like to join ya'll on Sat morning if there is still a spot :)

Posted by amynature about 3 years ago (Flag)

I'm still in too. Also staying overnight in Mineral Wells.

I'm bringing a couple of lights, one will need electricity.

Posted by annikaml about 3 years ago (Flag)

Anyone (male) interested in splitting a hotel room for the night. Always hate to rent a room for the night when I'm only going there for like 6 hours to sleep.

Posted by brentano about 3 years ago (Flag)

I found something that folks might be interested in. It's a house in Strawn called the Thomas House. Just down the road from the park.
https://www.facebook.com/pg/Strawnovernight/about/

It's $98 for the first two people, $25 per person after that. There are 6 bed rooms, most with full beds, a few with twin. Three bathrooms. Full kitchen. It's available for the 27th. Sounds to good to be true, but I talked with the owner over the phone. Any takers?

Posted by pfau_tarleton about 3 years ago (Flag)

@pfau_tarleton I'm interested.

Posted by cameralenswrangler about 3 years ago (Flag)

Any space left? For two?

Posted by kimberlywalks about 3 years ago (Flag)

So far, only @brentano and @cameralenswrangler (and @kimberlywalks) have expressed interest in the Thomas house (two miles from the park). Anyone else interested? There are two more rooms available. @wildcarrot @annikaml @catenatus @oddfitz @jwn @briangooding @tadamcochran @bob777 @sambiology
I was at the park this afternoon and the vegetation is lush and green. Tucker lake is full and surrounded by aquatic vegetation and swarming with dragonflies. Sounds of insects fill the air. If you want to explore the lakeside, bring shoes you can get wet (or rubber boots) as it's kinda marshy. Pics here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=19hBnlN__YNrgBIUZ6s1Ir_H60s_mB6uI

The area around Tucker lake is open to the public (no gate, no fee), and one could spend the entire weekend just exploring that area. So come early and stay late!

Posted by pfau_tarleton about 3 years ago (Flag)

If yall don't mind having a vehicle idling, we can run lights off mine (it provides 400 watts). It has an outlet we can just plug an extension cord into, and would be quieter than a generator.

Posted by pfau_tarleton about 3 years ago (Flag)

I would have loved to stay in the Thomas house, but unfortunately, my booking at a hotel in Mineral Wells is non-refundable. :(

Posted by annikaml about 3 years ago (Flag)

@pfau_tarleton I am interested in a room at the Thomas House... Let me know if one is still available.
and @sambiology Still room for me to get into the park?

Posted by connlindajo about 3 years ago (Flag)

"Lush and green"?!? Whaaaat?!? :) Let's see it in a couple weeks!

And yes! There is totally still room available.

Like Annika, I already booked a hotel room that's non-refundable. Ah well...

James Adams, the park manager, will be joining us for dinner in the evening and for a bit of mothing.

Really looking forward to this event. :)

Posted by sambiology about 3 years ago (Flag)

The Thomas House is reserved for Friday afternoon through Saturday morning (but it can be extended for anyone that might want to stay another night). So far I have @brentano (1 person), @cameralenswrangler (1 person), @kimberlywalks (2 people), @connlindajo (1 person), and myself (1 person). That's 5 of the 6 rooms occupied. According to my calculations, that's $33 per person, unless someone else joins us. We can each leave a check (or cash) when we depart.

Posted by pfau_tarleton about 3 years ago (Flag)

@pfau_tarleton Russell, go ahead and add me onto the other spare room.

Posted by oddfitz about 3 years ago (Flag)

Will do, @oddfitz.

Posted by pfau_tarleton about 3 years ago (Flag)

We'd like to be there for Friday supper and evening if there is still room, don't want to take a moth hunter's place. I'm interested in the dragonflies around the lake.

Posted by itmndeborah about 3 years ago (Flag)

Absolutely still room, @itmndeborah ! Aaaaand, we'll convince you to look at the moths in the evening too. Every now and then a dragonfly shows up too! ;)

Posted by sambiology about 3 years ago (Flag)

@itmndeborah are you guys bringing Scout?!

Posted by briangooding about 3 years ago (Flag)

@briangooding - your buddy Scout will probably be staying home, where it's cooler :)

Posted by itmndeborah about 3 years ago (Flag)

I count about 17 attendees, is that correct? I am about 80% sure I cam make it Friday, but have to be at work 7am Saturday morning, so I wont be needing accommodations. I am hoping @dallasnative will join us.

Posted by bogslogger about 3 years ago (Flag)

I won't be able to make it. I can't get off work.

Posted by jbroadhead about 3 years ago (Flag)

@pfau_tarleton Clarification, when I asked about space for two, the question was about the mothing event, not about the lodging. Turns out that we are not able to make even the moth night event.

Posted by kimberlywalks about 3 years ago (Flag)

I won’t be attending after all. Tweeted my knee pretty good. I need to stay off of it for a few days.

Posted by bogslogger about 3 years ago (Flag)

I will be there along with @nobodys-guide and @carsonmcillwain :)

Posted by exploretx about 3 years ago (Flag)

JSYK I'm not bringing a rain jacket, so it will probably rain.

Posted by cameralenswrangler about 3 years ago (Flag)

Glad to have finally met many of yall!

Here's the project for Palo Pinto:
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/palo-pinto-mountains-state-park

Posted by pfau_tarleton about 3 years ago (Flag)

Was a great time with good people. But next time, someone remind me to find a good easy trail up and down any hills.... ha!

Posted by oddfitz about 3 years ago (Flag)

I had such a wonderful time with folks. The nocturnal surveys were quite successful, even if moths may not have been the most abundant critter...

Several folks have been uploading stuff -- be sure to check out what others have observed from the park:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=118876

Specifically, you can use some of the ID's as guidance (although, don't forget to double check!).

If you weren't able to make this one, don't fret -- there will be lots and lots more in the future. iNat cultivates a pretty amazing community -- it makes me mighty happy to gather with ya'll. :)

Posted by sambiology about 3 years ago (Flag)

Here are the observations of moths from the evening:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=1210&subview=grid&taxon_id=47157&without_taxon_id=47224,47654

Lots of ID'ing and uploading still going on, so be sure to double check all ID's and compare with the various other species too. :)

Posted by sambiology about 3 years ago (Flag)

Just a follow up — we documented over 470 ‘species’ this weekend! Great job, all! :)
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?d1=2018-07-27&d2=2018-07-28&place_id=118876&subview=grid&view=species

Of these, 125 (at least) were moths/butterflies:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?d1=2018-07-27&d2=2018-07-28&place_id=118876&subview=grid&view=species

Incredible diversity! :)

Posted by sambiology about 3 years ago (Flag)

*correction — from Palo Pinto county (larger geographic area), we all documented at least 490 species:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?d1=2018-07-27&d2=2018-07-28&place_id=1210&subview=grid&view=species

Posted by sambiology about 3 years ago (Flag)

Wow, that's a lot of species! And it was really great to reconnect with iNatters I met before, and to get to know new people. I had a great time!

Posted by annikaml about 3 years ago (Flag)

Yeah, that was a blast Sam. Thanks for posting the numbers!

Posted by tadamcochran about 3 years ago (Flag)

If my count is right, 237, or almost half, of those species had only one observation, suggesting the importance of everyone's participation in addition to all the fun. I am looking forward to the next one.

Posted by cameralenswrangler about 3 years ago (Flag)

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