16 de noviembre de 2022

Insect Appreciation Workshop - Saturday, Dec 3, 9 am - 3 pm! All about bugs. :)

Super excited about a workshop that's coming up in a few weeks... This will be all about the joys of bugs!!! Some really good friends and active iNatters will be presenting on the joys of moths, bees, beetles, dragonflies, and flies! It's going to be in person at North Lake College in Dallas, but it's also going to be available to watch online. Would love to see you in person or online to learn along with me!

(all proceeds go to the North Texas Master Naturalists)

Big thanks to @brentano @kimberlietx @kimberlywalks and @entomike for presenting on insects this day.

Also, MASSIVE thanks to @laurahaynes for doing a super human job of logistical planning.

Bugs are cool. :)

Publicado el 16 de noviembre de 2022 a las 06:22 PM por sambiology sambiology | 6 comentarios | Deja un comentario

25 de septiembre de 2022

October gatherings in/around DFW!

Just wanted to toss up a tiny journal post about some of the upcoming gatherings/bioblitzes around DFW. I don't have all of the details on these (yet), but as I get them, I'll update this journal post!

October 8: black-lighting at LLELA in Lewisville
October 15: black-lighting at Harry Myers Park, Rockwall (details below)
October 29: bioblitz at Coyote Loop Trail in Burleson

Mark your calendars! :)

Publicado el 25 de septiembre de 2022 a las 02:22 AM por sambiology sambiology | 25 comentarios | Deja un comentario

04 de julio de 2022

Why do I make observations?

So, I'm approaching 100k observations (yay factors of 10!), and I had a wonderful conversation with a friend about why we make observations. Well, if you're curious, here are some reasons that I make iNat observations (in no order):

Filling up the map -- I love seeing a map getting covered with dots/evidence. It could be a geographic dot or a temporal dot -- a place or a time. I tend to observe pretty much everything! I try to get plants with their reproductive structures (flowers/fruits), but there are some that I've bent those rules. When I go to a park or a location that I've not been before, I really enjoy putting some observations on the map and on the calendar for that location. iNaturalist has made traveling a LOT more fun too!

Making iNaturalist better -- I like to think that my observations help in making iNaturalist better. I try to make relatively good photos (albeit, not great!), but each photo and observation may help with the visual algorithm. iNaturalist is learning as we all do -- it's not perfect yet, but it's getting better!

Observing associate species -- no organism lives alone in the ecosystem, so I think it's important to document as many associated species as possible. If someone were to ask, "what was this beetle feeding upon?" then I may be able to address that question with alllll of the other observations made that day or in that area.

Addressing future questions -- when I make an observation, it may help with some question that someone in the future has. I'm trying to answer questions that have yet to be asked! Perhaps it can be a taxonomic or distribution question, perhaps a morphological difference... Maybe it's a land management question -- measuring the differences in the biota after a certain type of management.

Learning the names of the species -- iNaturalist is the epitome of a learning tool. I've learned an inordinate amount from using iNaturalist, and not just from one taxonomic group but so many! In the past, I used to be narrowly focused on plants, but with iNaturalist, I've opened my eyes up to all of the other layers of the ecosystem. With the repetition of observations, those names become more and more familiar.

Every day I engage with nature -- I was inspired by @jmaughn to make daily observations. Well, I've kept up with it for over 7 years (starting in 10 May 2015). This may seem silly, but I think it's important to recognize that every day we engage with nature. There have been a few days that I initially don't want to go outside, but when I actually do go, I so enjoy it!

I like it -- it really makes me happy to make observations. There's just something about it that makes me happy to be alive when I'm out engaging with nature. I'm so lucky to share the planet with all of these various species that I get to see. Through iNaturalist, I don't just engage with nature, but I actively engage with the community of naturalists around the whole world. I see the observations that others make around the world, and I'm lucky to share the planet with all of those species (and the observers) as well!

Paraphrased quote: "It may not have survival value, but it gives value to survival." ~C.S. Lewis

Publicado el 04 de julio de 2022 a las 07:49 PM por sambiology sambiology | 9 comentarios | Deja un comentario

28 de junio de 2022

Mothing in July! Events in/around DFW.

I love July mothing. Sure, it's crazy hot and dry usually, but the bugs (of all kinds!) sure do show up at the lights! We've got a few events to celebrate national moth week too (https://nationalmothweek.org/).

Here are the black-lighting/mothing events that I know of in/around the Dallas/Fort Worth area in July. If you know of others, let me know!

All of these are from 8 to late -- I'll usually come an hour or so before to set up.

July 1 - Cedar Hill State Park ($7 park access fee)

July 23 - Spring Creek Preserve in Garland (if you're able to carpool, great -- expect a crowd here!) https://springcreekforest.org/

July 25 - River Legacy Park in Arlington https://www.arlingtontx.gov/news/my_arlington_t_x/news_stories/moth_night_2022

July 29 - John Bunker Sands in Seagoville ($10 fee, or free if you bring some mothing gear!!!) https://www.wetlandcenter.com/events_list.html

July 30 - Acton Nature Center, east of Granbury https://actonnaturecenter.org/programs-and-projects/

If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know! And, feel free to toss me a text: 214 215 5605

Publicado el 28 de junio de 2022 a las 03:24 PM por sambiology sambiology | 31 comentarios | Deja un comentario

07 de junio de 2022

BioSurvey in Carrollton - TC Rice Nature Area, June 11, 9 AM - noonish

Hey all!

Just giving updates on an upcoming bioblitz/biosurvey in Carrollton this Saturday (June 11) from 9 AM to noon. Here's some more information about the location...

TC Rice Is a 260+ acre floodplain area nestled below the 35E and 121 overpasses on the SE corner. The City of Carrollton is going to decide how to manage and what to do with this land soon. So, ideally, we want to show them that there's a lot of biodiversity here!

Here's the exact pin location via google maps:
Here's the GPS:
32.995659, -96.949330

More directions:
There is 1 small road from the Northbound access rd just north of Frankford and 35E.
Directions from Denton:
Go South on 35E
Exit Frankford
Loop around to head 35E northbound. Stay on access road, and look for BioBlitz marker signs.
Directions from Dallas: northbound 35E. Exit Whitlock, stay on access road and head north. Pass Frankford, and look for BioBlitz signs on your right.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, let me know! You can text me: 214 215 5605 or toss me a message here or an email: sam.kieschnick@tpwd.texas.gov

Publicado el 07 de junio de 2022 a las 08:53 PM por sambiology sambiology | 23 comentarios | Deja un comentario

12 de mayo de 2022

Events going on in/near Dallas/Fort Worth for the next few months!

Hey all,

Just tossing up some of the iNat events/bioblitzes/gatherings happening in DFW for the next few months. All are welcome! :)

Monday, May 16: 3-7 PM - biosurveys at the new nature park in Duncanville - Ladd Natural Area -- close to 447 Oak Leaf Dr, Duncanville, TX 75137
32.633979, -96.918541

Saturday, May 21: early to late -- not close to DFW, but a bioblitz in Austin! https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/sambiology/64051-bioblitz-in-austin-decker-tallgrass-prairie-preserve-may-21

Monday, May 23: 4-7 PM - biosurvey at Benny J. Simpson Ecopark in Dallas - Coit @ McCallum - N - FS, Dallas, TX 75252
32.988630, -96.766786

Saturday, June 11: 9 AM - noon - bioblitz at TC Rice Jr Natural area in Carrollton -
2105 N Josey Ln, Carrollton, TX 75006
32.997715, -96.947701

Mothing events in July-- more details coming later! July 23 - Spring Creek Preserve in Garland; July 25 - River Legacy in Arlington; July 29 - John Bunker Sands in Seagoville; July 30 - Acton Nature Center.

Publicado el 12 de mayo de 2022 a las 12:54 AM por sambiology sambiology | 15 comentarios | Deja un comentario

16 de abril de 2022

BioBlitz in Austin -- Decker Tallgrass Prairie Preserve!!! May 21!

What are you doing on Saturday, May 21?!? Well, I'll be down in Austin helping out with a bioblitz at Decker Tallgrass Prairie Preserve!!! Wanna join me?!?

@jdavisz is putting in a lot of work to document as much as possible on this peninsula of Lake Walter E. Long in east Austin (around 350 acres) -- there will be a public portion from 9 to noon, and then a 'hardcore iNatter document everything possible' after that. The preserve is normally not open to the public, but we'll have some special permission to access it. :) It's just north of the Walter Long Metropolitan Park and access will be through the Decker Creek Power Station.

Map here:

There will be some black-lighting here in the evening too -- super excited!

Register to come here: https://www.givepulse.com/event/292494-Decker-Preserve-Bio-Blitz%21

If you're interested, let me know -- hoping to run into lots of Austin folks (as well as anyone else that wants to come over for some iNatting)! More nitty gritty details coming up soon -- but mark the calendar if you want to come!

Publicado el 16 de abril de 2022 a las 01:18 AM por sambiology sambiology | 53 comentarios | Deja un comentario

19 de febrero de 2022

The Power of the Petri Dish!

I really love bugs. There is such tremendous diversity among insects and invertebrates, it's almost impossible to get bored studying and observing them!

One of the most valuable tools that I use to study bugs is the petri dish. I'm not good at taking photos, I don't have a great camera for macrophotography, but with a petri dish, I can contain a bug long enough to get shots of lots of different angles.

Another great thing about having petri dishes with you, especially if you're leading/on a public nature walk, is that you can share the experience of holding the bug without scaring those that may not want to touch the bug. I've been on a lot of walks (leading and just participating), where I'll find a bee or a wasp, grab it in a petri dish, and then even the most fearful person can hold it and examine it closely. And, after it's examined by everyone, you can return the organism without a tremendous amount of trauma/injury.

Great to have some petri dishes handy whenever you're outside! :)

I get my petri dishes here:
They're relatively inexpensive, but they're also plastic, so they don't always last too long... They scratch and crack, and when I have one in my back pocket, I'll almost always sit on it! Nonetheless, they're super useful.

Have you tried using petri dishes???

Publicado el 19 de febrero de 2022 a las 12:00 AM por sambiology sambiology | 11 comentarios | Deja un comentario

27 de enero de 2022

Open space in Duncanville -- check it out!

So, there's an open space in Duncanville that's pretty dang sweet. It's around 40 acres with some cool open limestone spots and Ten Mile Creek that runs right through it. The land is open to the public and it's owned by the City of Duncanville. Here is some more info about the land:

Anywho, there's been some talk about development, so we're wanting to actively use the observations made on the land to show that there's not just biodiversity but also a naturalist community that seeks out open green spaces like this. It is well worthy of preserving.

If you find yourself in southern Dallas County, be sure to stop by the Ladd Land and make some observations -- they're especially useful! :)

The address is 609 W Danieldale Rd, Duncanville, TX 75137
and the GPS is 32.634893, -96.921227


Publicado el 27 de enero de 2022 a las 01:07 AM por sambiology sambiology | 11 comentarios | Deja un comentario

28 de diciembre de 2021

Fundraiser for iNat


My 40th birthday is coming up, and this year, I'm hoping for some funds to be donated to iNaturalist. I'm about as bonkers as one can get about this resource. It's a database, it's a community, it's a lifestyle! :) Seriously, I have engaged more deeply using the tool of iNaturalist than anything else. It's broadened my interests in nature -- I explore the ecosystem thoroughly. Each time I go outside, I take iNaturalist with me. :)

No obligation, but if you're able to, iNat is well worthy of funds. I've set a goal of $1k, and here's the site:

So grateful for this tool -- I've met with some of my absolute favorite people, in real life or virtually (with hopes to meeting so many of you in the near future). :)

Looking forward to using iNaturalist for the rest of my life!

Publicado el 28 de diciembre de 2021 a las 10:34 PM por sambiology sambiology | 5 comentarios | Deja un comentario