Journal archives for August 2021

03 August, 2021

Upcoming events in DFW! :) I'll update with more as I hear about them!

Mark those calendars! Here are a few events going on in DFW:

August 13 -- black-lighting event at Ten Mile Creek Preserve in Lancaster

September 4 -- black-lighting event at Bob Jones Nature Center in Southlake
September 5 - 11 -- DFW-wide socially distant bioblitz! Competition just like last years.

October 1 - 3 -- east TX gathering at Gus Engeling, Richland Creek, and Neches River
October 21 -- black-lighting at LLELA

If you know of others that need to be added to the list, let me know! :)

Posted on 03 August, 2021 18:15 by sambiology sambiology | 19 comments | Leave a comment

08 August, 2021

East TX gathering! Gus Engeling, Richland Creek, and Neches River NWR! Oct 1 - 3

Hey all,

Been a bit delayed in getting this scheduled (been busy!), but we've got another little gathering planned for East TX! There are three spots that we'll check out on Oct 1 - 3:
Richland Creek WMA
Gus Engeling WMA
Neches River NWR

We've got permission to blacklight in both of the WMA's, but not the NWR. So, here's my general plan:
Explore and blacklight at Richland Creek on Friday, Oct 1
Explore and blacklight at Gus Engeling on Saturday, Oct 2
Explore Neches River NWR on Sunday, Oct 3

Richland Creek WMA -- we can set up blacklights at the north unit, right off of hwy 287. Here:
31°58'14.0"N 96°05'02.6"W
31.970556, -96.084056

Camping is at that location as well.

Gus Engeling WMA -- we can blacklight at this really nice prairie unit here:
31°57'05.4"N 95°53'24.3"W
31.951500, -95.890083

Camping is a little off the beaten path, here:
31°56'29.8"N 95°52'50.5"W
31.941611, -95.880694

Neches River NWR has some closed units for hunting, but we do have access to the "Dead Water Unit." This is south of Hwy 79, here:
31°53'35.4"N 95°25'42.7"W
31.893167, -95.428528

No real itinerary or schedule with any of these -- just exploring some of the areas and then meeting for some blacklighting at night!

Palestine is probably the closest spot for hotels and stuff.

No electricity at any of the blacklighting spots, so bring those portable units!

Let me know if you're planning on coming! Here's my cell as well -- toss it in your contacts: 214 215 5605

Posted on 08 August, 2021 13:44 by sambiology sambiology | 67 comments | Leave a comment

17 August, 2021

September 5 - 11! Cancel all of your plans and obligations. It's time to bioblitz!

Hey all!

Last year, we had a trial run of a "socially distant bioblitz" on the first full week of September.
The main question was "what area of the DFW metroplex has the most species and most participation with most observation?" Well, we saw that each area has loads of interest, great observations, and some really unique finds! If you'd like to read up on the results, here's the long post..

Since we've done it last year, now we have a year to compare. What all will we see this year?

This project is broken up into the 6 areas of DFW, and each of these areas is served by a Texas Master Naturalist chapter. If you observe in any of these areas, those observations are automatically added in that specific project. Here are the projects:

Collin and Hunt Counties, the Blackland Prairie Master Naturalist chapter
Parker and Tarrant Counties, the Cross Timbers Master Naturalist chapter
Cooke, Denton, and Wise Counties, the Elm Fork Master Naturalist chapter
Ellis and Navarro Counties, the Indian Trail Master Naturalist chapter
Dallas, Kaufman, and Rockwall Counties, the North Texas Master Naturalist chapter
Hood, Johnson, and Somervell Counties, the Rio Brazos Master Naturalist chapter

You DON'T have to join any project, nor this one, the umbrella project, for your observations to count.

Just make observations from September 5 - 11 in one (or several!) of these areas, and the projects automatically grab them. No other steps needed!

Also, each day there will be a challenge with a sub-challenge. These can be pretty challenging, so try your best to get as many as you can! What's your reward? Sam's respect. And that's worth its weight in gold! I'll put the challenges on a journal post in this project on September 1.

Most of all, we'll be using these results, especially the observations made in public areas like parks, to guide land management. It's a powerful thing when we talk to a park manager or a city council and show them not just the biodiversity that exists in the area, but also the constituency of naturalists that actively seek out this biodiversity! So yes, we need you!

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to me!
Sam Kieschnick @sambiology
Urban Wildlife Biologist, DFW, Texas Parks and Wildlife
214-215-5605 (c)

Posted on 17 August, 2021 20:39 by sambiology sambiology | 17 comments | Leave a comment

Frequently asked questions about the bioblitz

Updating as I get more...

Do I have to join any of these projects for my observations to count?
Nope! If you're in one of the areas, and you make an observation during September 5 - 11, the projects automatically grab the observation.

Do I have to be a Texas Master Naturalist to participate?
Nope! Any and all are welcome to participate! I hope that many Texas Master Naturalists do participate as well, and hopefully if you make observations, these volunteer naturalists will help with the ID's.

When do observations have to be uploaded?
So, I'd really like observations to be uploaded as soon as possible... I'll try to get results to folks by the next week Wednesday (Sep 15), so please try your best to get them uploaded as soon as possible.

Does this count for Master Naturalist Volunteer Hours? If so, what counts?
This is something to check back with your volunteer hours approver, but if it were up to me, and how it is in several chapters, all the time spent out in the field making observations, all the time in front of the computer editing observations, and all the time spent identifying observations or commenting on observations should count for Volunteer Hours. Double check with your Master Naturalist chapter board though!

What if I am a master naturalist in one chapter, but I make observations in counties served by another chapter? Do I count them for my home chapter or what?
You're a good neighbor! When you make observations in another county that's served by another chapter of the master naturalists, you're adding to their project. That's ok!

Do native plants that are planted in my own landscaping count?
Plants that you specifically planted in your yard/area that you still maintain to some degree do not count. This project is all about observing the wild organisms around DFW. If you do observe a cultivated plant (even if it's a regionally native one), make sure to mark it as cultivated or 'not wild.' Now, the pollinators or bugs that come to your cultivated plants, those are still wild and ideal for this project!

What do we win?
So much respect. Like a ton of respect. Bragging rights? Pride in knowing you're doing good? I can write "IOU's" too.

Posted on 17 August, 2021 21:05 by sambiology sambiology | 2 comments | Leave a comment