CNC 2020 During CV19

I’m charging ahead with an enthusiastic City Nature Challenge, but of course, this year is very different. While I could probably safely meander around our 6-county “Greater Austin Area”, I have chosen this year to honor the stay-at-home order still in place and focus all my efforts on Salton Drive. More specifically, I’m confining my CNC efforts to my own 0.4-acre urban lot and the adjacent segment of Laurel Oak Creek, about 100 yards up- and downstream. My wife and I are blessed to have a real suburban nature enclave here on Salton Drive:
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/salton-drive-biodiversity
Our lot backs up to a beautiful small Hill Country creek (Laurel Oak Branch of Bull Creek) and, although somewhat urbanized, it still constitutes a tremendous urban wildlife amenity. It is perennial, partially naturally spring-fed, and runs clear all year except after heavy rainstorms. See the banner image for the Salton Drive Biodiversity project, linked above. I have spent much of the past 17 years here eliminating invasive species such as Elephant Ears, Ligustrums, Hedge Parsley, and Chinese Tallow, and replanting with a high diversity of native species. Similar efforts have been focused in the front and back yards; we maintain only a minimal San Augustine grass front yard patch for our dog and devote all the rest to native plants and butterfly gardening.
The results of my iNat efforts on Salton Drive thus far are very gratifying, yet we are still finding new biota all the time. This CNC will probably push the cumulative effort to over 7000 observations which have documented upwards of 1300 species of plants and animals. (I know, I know! Nearly half of that total are moths, but, hey, it's all "biodiversity"!) The next four days will be an effort to create a snapshot in time (late April in a fairly wet year so far) of this Salton Drive Biodiversity. My uploads will include everything native and naturalized that I can encounter, uncover, capture, or otherwise document with my little point-and-hope camera, along with some sound recordings with the Voice Memo app on my phone, and perhaps a few trail camera pics as well. This will include, among other efforts, some time spent wading in the creek to document aquatic species, and at least a few moments in my dusty garage to chase down at least one of the silverfish that continue to eat my old papers and books stored therein.
We are all happy and healthy here on Salton Drive. Enjoy all of the CNC efforts and be safe!
Chuck Sexton

Anotado por gcwarbler gcwarbler, abril 24, viernes 21:39

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gcwarbler

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Abril 26, 2020 01:23 PM CDT

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These are plants right along a trail in Great Hills Park that I pass by on every hike.

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Square

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gcwarbler

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Abril 24, 2020 11:56 PM CDT

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gcwarbler

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Abril 25, 2020 09:30 PM CDT

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gcwarbler

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Abril 25, 2020 09:27 PM CDT

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I thought this was going to be a "-glaea" moth of some kind or a Common Oak Moth but it seems to be neither. I'm stumped at the moment.

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gcwarbler

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Abril 26, 2020 09:54 PM CDT

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gcwarbler

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Abril 24, 2020 11:55 PM CDT

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gcwarbler

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Abril 25, 2020 12:28 AM CDT

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This seems to be a fairly distinctive Pachybrachis in a genus with so many look-alikes.
https://bugguide.net/node/view/871376

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Qué

Caballito Crucifijo Mayor Archilestes grandis

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gcwarbler

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Abril 25, 2020 12:13 PM CDT

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gcwarbler

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Abril 24, 2020 10:32 PM CDT

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This was pretty cool: A new family of Neuropterans for me.

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Enjoy! Sounds like a wonderful and fulfilling approach to our "adjustment". I am looking forward to the observations and bits of wisdom. I am going to challenge myself to only post observations from my yarden.

Anotado por centratex hace 3 meses (Advertencia)
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Great note, be safe and stay healthy all! Thanks for sharing. P.S.hat's an impressive number of species by the way!

Anotado por aguilita hace 3 meses (Advertencia)
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UPDATE: Well, the outcome of my CNC efforts were perhaps better than I expected. As of May 3, 7:30 a.m., with just one day left to identify things, I had uploaded 400 observations which documented 269 species of plants and animals. Each of these totals stood at 5th place among 1150+ participants in the Austin CNC. I'm not sure if there's an easy way to figure out what, if any, exclusive species I contributed. A few that I can find in a brief review:

Pachybrachis peccans (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae): https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/44369003
Laemophloeus terminalis (Coleoptera, Laemophloeidae): https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/44368995
Diaperis maculata (Coleoptera, Tenebrionidae): https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/44368622
Chymomyza amoena (Diptera, Drosophilidae): https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/44370746
Climacia areolaria (Neuroptera, Sisyridae; a new family of insects for me): https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/44377046
Great Spreadwing, Archilestes grandis (Odonata; my first of the season): https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/44377023
Along with several moths:
Periploca sp. (Cosmopterigidae): https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/43828432
Thin-lined Owlet, Isogona tenuis (Erebidae): https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/43828481
Acacia Aristotelia, Aristotelia corallina (Gelechiidae): https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/43826523
Brown Bark Carpet Moth, Horisme intestinata (Geometridae): https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/43828465
Small Gypsonoma Moth, Gypsonoma salicicolana (Tortricidae): https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/43828450

If confirmed, this might be a new Travis County record:
Even-lined Sallow, Ipimorpha pleonectusa (Noctuidae): https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/43830181

By Sunday afternoon (4/26), I realized that no one had uploaded an observation of our endemic Heller's Marbleseed, so I made a brief hike into adjacent Great Hills Park to document a couple of plants, one of only 5 observations I made away from the home lot:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/43748119

Some of the key misses that I know are right under my nose:
Texas Live Oak (seedlings of which are here and there, but I have no mature trees)
Boxelder (one or two small saplings somewhere in the floodplain that I can't refind)
Creeping Oxalis (several plants coming up in the pavement at our front curb)
Knotted Hedge-Parsley (I have been too successful at eliminating this from the yard)
Silverfish (I was just too tired to rifle through boxes of old papers in the garage to chase one down!)

Anotado por gcwarbler hace 2 meses (Advertencia)

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