BioBlitz at Indian Creek Ranch - April 12-14, 2024

This journal post is for logistics related to the April 12-14, 2024 ICR BioBlitz. In 2022, we made about 1,400 observations and it was a hot, dry winter. So far, this year, we have been getting considerably more rain. Indian Creek Ranch is a privately owned, 10,000 acre hunting ranch, located about 1/2 an hour SW of Rocksprings, TX. Lat/long is: 29.84797, -100.33126. The terrain is varied from steep ravines to large patches of grassland. Here is the link to the ICR iNat page.

I think I have received all the permissions that I will from landowners. We have about 1900 acres to explore, a lot of which may be reached on foot from our base camp on Tract 7 in Phase 2. The map may be seen here.

Those who come would need to sign a liability waiver.

For the hub of operations, we will be in the Phase 1 & 2 part of the ranch, which is a short drive up a steep hill, so bringing a camper is not recommended unless you have 4 wheel drive. There will be plenty of room to park a car, pitch a tent, and set up mothing stations. Electricity will be available as well as access to an indoor bathroom with a shower. A fridge and limited cooking facilities will also be available. Additionally, there are some motels, a B&B and places with power to park a travel trailer in Rocksprings.

For birds seen at the ranch, my list of species has been created as a journal post and includes rare gems such as montezuma quail, golden-cheeked warbler, and black-capped vireo.

Directions to where we will be camping during the BioBlitz:
Overview map and directions
Detailed directions with pictures
Detailed directions with no pictures (same as the previous but more printer friendly)

Tagging folks that were tagged in @pfau_tarleton 's 2024 bioblitz planning post. Please pass this along to individuals I missed.

@swissagnes, @pbynum, @textileranger, @amzapp, @annikaml, @bacchusrock, @baxter-slye, @bosqueaaron, @brentano, @butterflies4fun, @cameralenswrangler, @centratex, @chasingchickens, @currenfrasch, @connlindajo, @dillon_kyle, @eaneubauer, @elytrid, @franpfer, @gcwarbler, @gwaithir, @ldennis, @immortalwhat, @inhat83, @isaaceastland, @jcochran706, @jeff_back, @jeffmci9, @jellyfishmambo, @jgw_atx, @joshua_tx, @k8thegr8, @knightericm, @kimberlietx, @lorimalloy, @lovebirder, @lulubelle, @mammelton50, @megachile, @mpintar, @mikef451, @nanofishology, @oddfitz, @observerjosh, @pynklynx, @prairie_rambler, @pufferchung, @rkostecke, @reidhardin, @rymcdaniel, @sagaciousoctopus, @sambiology, @tadamcochran, @wildcarrot

Publicado el enero 4, 2024 01:35 TARDE por bacchusrock bacchusrock

Comentarios

I'm planning on being there! :)

Publicado por sambiology hace 7 meses

I'm also planning to be there. Looking forward to it.

Publicado por annikaml hace 7 meses

Looking forward to getting back out there!

Publicado por currenfrasch hace 7 meses

Putting the dates in my calendar. Hopeful.

Publicado por centratex hace 7 meses

If MK and I are not traveling elsewhere, we plan on attending.

Publicado por gcwarbler hace 7 meses

Sounds good!

Publicado por eaneubauer hace 7 meses

I have another commitment that Saturday so may not be able to make it but i'll put it on the calendar in case things change.

Publicado por knightericm hace 7 meses

Count me in!

Publicado por pfau_tarleton hace 7 meses

Planning on it.

Publicado por connlindajo hace 7 meses

I'll be there!

Publicado por jeff_back hace 7 meses

Looking forward to this event!

Publicado por swissagnes hace 7 meses

Following.

Publicado por rymcdaniel hace 7 meses

On my calendar., and looking forward to it.

Publicado por inhat83 hace 6 meses

So very sad to say I won't be able to make this one. Dang it. If you could move it to May just for me I would really appreciate it. LOl.

Publicado por brentano hace 6 meses

Can I come? I've got a scout campout the weekend before but man, I'd love to herp that

Publicado por williampaulwhite17 hace 5 meses

On my calendar and fully equipped for a serious wolf spider survey.

Publicado por eaneubauer hace 5 meses

@williampaulwhite17 We could use some information about the herps around here. I only see 4 species regularly (Lithobates berlandieri, Sceloporus olivaceus, Aspidoscelis gularis, and Urosaurus ornatus).

Publicado por bacchusrock hace 5 meses

@eaneubauer A hands on demonstration for catching and photographing them would be great.

Publicado por bacchusrock hace 5 meses

Sure, my procedure is constantly evolving with being able to locate wolf spiders and get good photos with reliability a focus. I also have a couple of presentations which revolve around using non-traditional methods to identify wolf spider species regardless of developmental stage or sex from photos and in the field. I'll have the associated slide shows with me in PDF format on a thumb drive if anyone is interested.

Publicado por eaneubauer hace 5 meses

Yes, I would be interested @eaneubauer

Publicado por bacchusrock hace 5 meses

I will try to be there.

Publicado por kucycads hace 5 meses

Reservations made in Rocksprings. I'm assuming there'll be directions on how to get there from town coming up. Looking forward to it.

potable water on site?

Publicado por williampaulwhite17 hace 5 meses

Yes, I will have detailed instructions posted as we get closer and last time we put signs out as well. There will be potable water in site. Our wells produce very nice water.

Publicado por bacchusrock hace 5 meses

thanks!

I'll have my older kid with me so we may be going back and forth to town for lunch/dinner.

There's a ton of species in your area I'd love to see; I don't get out that way much.

Publicado por williampaulwhite17 hace 5 meses

I just added a link to a map of ICR which shows which properties we will have access to. For those who attended in 2022, we have a few less properties but we have one new one: Tract 3 in Phase 6.

Publicado por bacchusrock hace 5 meses
Publicado por annikaml hace 5 meses

Following

Publicado por mammelton50 hace 5 meses

I have posted directions to the ranch and where we'll be camped out. Please let me know if there are any issues with the documents.

Publicado por bacchusrock hace 4 meses

Thanks for all of the logistics in this, @bacchusrock ! I'm super excited!!! :)

Publicado por sambiology hace 4 meses

I'm interested!

Publicado por amzapp hace 4 meses

Although we haven't gotten much rain this year, it's more than in 2022 so biodiversity should be much more abundant. I'm seeing a lot more flowers than I have in the past 2 years.

Publicado por bacchusrock hace 4 meses

I'm hopeful that I'll make it out. Will be nice to meet some of you guys

Publicado por chandlerdavis hace 4 meses

I'm going to bring a bunch of Sherman traps (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherman_trap) to do some live-trapping of rodents too! :)

So, there is a tiny chance of rain in the night (https://weather.com/weather/tenday/l/ee1655d85ded7dbca672cbc312dd8e6c9a8f758fe7640595c88afb39c2dfe861), for those of us with tents -- is there a covering/garage area? I remember last year, there was the hangar that was covered, but we may not have access that to this year.

Anywho, I'm super dooper excited!

Publicado por sambiology hace 4 meses

OK @sambiology It doesn't take me all day to catch on, but I'd never considered putting out a trap at night to catch something desirable that I just want to take a picture of and then release in the morning. I usually just put them out to catch stuff that needs to be removed from the premises! I might just set something up to catch the mystery woodrat that visits my water trough at night.

Rain often just does not materialize or we just get a sprinkling, however, there is a covered area where we can move the tents if it threatens to pour. The hangar is a good 20 minutes drive away from where we're camping but we can use that as a last resort.

Publicado por bacchusrock hace 4 meses

Last time it was 100 and ten thousand degrees with 500% humidity. I'm liking that forecast from a pure survival point of view!

I'd like to give everyone an assignment: please scan the roadsides for Penstemon on the way there and back (particularly west of San Antonio, Fredricksburg, and Brady). There's something funky going on with them in that part of Texas. Here's a guide for what characters we need to document (including whether leaves are smooth or sandpapery): https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1QhU48ez5eZkzk-5FfgNw6Weg6ztee6ovFhkZZTQ4U88/edit?usp=sharing

The type specimen of Penstemon guadalupensis is Kerrville, but it hasn't been seen there since 1894.

Publicado por pfau_tarleton hace 4 meses

@sambiology great idea, you've got me thinking of doing the same now. I may bring one along with my game camera.

Also @bacchusrock I'm curious about what the cell signal is like out there. I'd like to be able to tell some family that I made it in when I arrive.

Publicado por chandlerdavis hace 4 meses

are the boundaries marked so I won't accidently get into a prohibited area? And what time should we arrive? I'll get into town on the 11th and may bum around some on the 11th/12th.

Publicado por williampaulwhite17 hace 4 meses

We will have decent cell service where we are staying at the top of the hill and it is sporadic around the ranch, but usually available if you are at a high point.

Publicado por bacchusrock hace 4 meses

Boundaries are not marked. The only indication of where you are is that somewhere along the property border with the road there will be a water valve marker indicating the Phase and Tract. I wrote up some guidance here. I recommend everyone download OnxHunt which works even if there is no cell phone signal as long as you log into the app when you're somewhere that there is coverage. They used to offer a 30 day free trial so hopefully they still do. My border on the north with P1, P12 is very well marked with orange markers, posts, and evidence of burns where I've been clearing the brush along the border. I believe the border between P2, T7 (where we are staying) and P2, T3B is also well marked. There are also other geographical indicators and once you're on site and tell me which tract you want to explore, I can give you specific guidance.

Publicado por bacchusrock hace 4 meses

I was going to ask when people expect to start arriving. Anytime starting on the 12th is fine. 377 between Rocksprings and Junction has yielded a lot of interesting flora if you're exploring early. Maybe you can find some Penstemon there. I will be at the campsite starting Friday afternoon, but I expect @swissagnes will be there even in the morning. I will be sending out the gate code next Tuesday or Wednesday when it's supposed to be changed.

Publicado por bacchusrock hace 4 meses

Depending on timing I may run down to Amistad Recreation area the morning of the 12th; my kid's asked about going to it and it's only an hour. If so I'll be up late afternoon/evening.

I'm mostly a herp guy so anyplace with artificial cover is a good start (i.e. old piles of tin or plywood). My kid's interested in fish and lizards and cool bugs so any place with surface water for that. I have a minnow trap and dipnet if allowed. I may also set up my game camera if I can find where the heck I put it.

I fully intend to at least go over to 277 just to say I've been.

How big are the individual tracts? The few around the base camp may be enough to keep up occupied while we're there. I've got an 11 year old with me and I'm sort of banged up from a work accident so I'm not going to be haring off on foot as much as I'd initially hoped.

Publicado por williampaulwhite17 hace 4 meses

There is a tract deeper into the ranch that I know has a lot of old piles of wood. I have a lot of sheet metal under my workshop so you might get lucky there and that's a 5 minute walk away. Let's discuss when you're here. P1, T10 may also have some piles of detritus. We don't have live water, so no fish but I do have a water for the birds where I regularly see predacious diving beetles and water striders. Could be stuff in there I'm not aware of. We have no shortage of cool bugs.

Most tracts are around 100 acres, so plenty to explore on the 4 contiguous tracts where we are based.

Publicado por bacchusrock hace 4 meses

o yeah, 400 acres on foot in a new area should more than keep my occupied, particularly around dusk/dawn. I really do not want to get lost.

Publicado por williampaulwhite17 hace 4 meses

Here's a KML file with the accessible properties outlined. You can download it and place on your phone, then access it via Google Earth app. Then you can see where you are relative to the boundaries.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1W0JBspGENCbHH5qJximgUbN5Y3smUtF1/view?usp=sharing

After placing file in a folder on the phone, here's what I did on my phone: in Google Earth app I swipe up to reveal 'Your projects', hit +, select Local KML file, Import, then locate the file and select it. And you're done.

Publicado por pfau_tarleton hace 4 meses

@pfau_tarleton on my app one property is yellow. Is there a reason for this?

Publicado por currenfrasch hace 4 meses

@currenfrasch, yes, it's a "no collect" zone. The other properties you can collect specimens. That's taken from Jo's PDF version linked to up there in the journal post.

Publicado por pfau_tarleton hace 4 meses

Thanks for that @pfau_tarleton

Publicado por bosqueaaron hace 4 meses

How is catch and release viewed in the no collect zone? I use my truck as a base for photography which means removing spiders from their habitat and then returning them an hour or two later? I've always wondered how various authorities would view that.

Publicado por eaneubauer hace 4 meses

Let's talk about that when you're on site @eaneubauer

Publicado por bacchusrock hace 4 meses

One of the documents mentions a contractor gate code. Will this be needed?
Have lots of side trips planned coming in and back including down to Concan and Barksdale. Will probably stay in Junction and then Rocksprings while at Indian Creek. Too much stuff makes taking an air mattress and sleeping bag awkward.

Publicado por eaneubauer hace 3 meses

Yes, a contractor gate code will be needed. I am waiting for confirmation tomorrow on whether they will be changing the Contractor code and then will share what the code will be.

Publicado por bacchusrock hace 3 meses

I'll be leaving home early Wednesday, so hopefully you'll know by then. I have a number of others stops planned on the way in, not quite so many on the way home.

Publicado por eaneubauer hace 3 meses

Hey Jo, again super excited about this weekend! Looks like the weather is going to cooperate with us!
The nights/evenings do have some predicted wind -- for our blacklighting, are there some good spots where we can get wind blocks? Maybe in a valley-ish area, forested spots, structures, etc... Of course, weather predictions are just predictions, so it may be nice and still!

Publicado por sambiology hace 3 meses

I've been watching the weather forecast and it is looking a lot better than last time. Wind is definitely something we need to consider since we'll be at a high point. There are a number of buildings at the campsite so we can try setting up the mothing stations where the buildings will block the wind. I am just a short ride down the hill in a ravine where there is a lot less wind so we can set something up at my place as well.

Publicado por bacchusrock hace 3 meses

For those coming early and wanting to explore around Rocksprings, it seems that there may be some interesting things south of Rocksprings on 55. Worth checking out recent observations around that area for what's been seen. I've never explored that area but it is now on my list.

Publicado por bacchusrock hace 3 meses

I plan to check out the Nueces riverbed just east of Barksdale for Pardosa on Thursday afternoon, also have an invitation from a fellow TMN member to look at the Pardosa on her property near CR 325 Friday AM. Somewhere in the area may be where ranges of 3 or more different species come together and I'd like to clarify that. I looked along 83 to the east 2 years ago and will be doing that again now that I can get better photos.

Publicado por eaneubauer hace 3 meses

I have received confirmation of the new contractor code, which is 1358. This is the lock with red tape on it.

Publicado por bacchusrock hace 3 meses

I'll be arriving around 7 pm or so Friday.

Publicado por pfau_tarleton hace 3 meses

I recommend everyone bring a warm jacket. It is currently 39F here (even though the weather channel says it is 50F in Rocksprings). Nice change from last time.

Publicado por bacchusrock hace 3 meses

We are on site and ready for morning arrivals.

Publicado por swissagnes hace 3 meses

I will arrive mid to late afternoon tomorrow, Friday.

Publicado por annikaml hace 3 meses

I plan to get there Friday afternoon

Publicado por jellyfishmambo hace 3 meses

Thanks all for an indication of arrival times. I checked that the gate combination is correct. If you have issues getting through the gate, send me an email through iNat. You will probably need to go back up the hill to get phone coverage. I will, however, drop by the gate mid-afternoon to see if anyone is stuck.

Publicado por bacchusrock hace 3 meses

I will either arrive Friday night or Saturday morning

Publicado por chandlerdavis hace 3 meses

Looking forward to seeing everyone Friday afternoon!

Publicado por connlindajo hace 3 meses

Just wanted to let everyone there is a microwave and fridge available on site.

Publicado por bacchusrock hace 3 meses

I will arrive Friday around 4:30

Publicado por kucycads hace 3 meses

A huge thanks to @swissagnes for hosting all of us. It was an amazing event. Thank you Agnes & John!

Publicado por bacchusrock hace 3 meses

The moths at my place were insane. I believe @tadamcochran used this light (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08635F9CX/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&th=1) to attract them.

Publicado por bacchusrock hace 3 meses

With the City Nature Challenging happening next week, could everyone please aim to upload their observations by mid May? Then I'll send out a summary of species increase and observations. They will automatically be included in the Indian Creek Ranch Biodiversity as long as the location is open. Some, like Epithelantha micromeris, don't show up because their location is obscured based on their conservation status.

Publicado por bacchusrock hace 3 meses

I and others are also interested in what was used for the beetle night station.

Publicado por bacchusrock hace 3 meses

Thanks @swissagnes and @bacchusrock for a great weekend!

Publicado por pfau_tarleton hace 3 meses

Ground cloth was the fabric below, rough cut to a narrow strip, with a hole cut in each corner and a small curtain ring installed on each hole.

Fabric: https://www.joann.com/eclipse-white-insulated-blackout-fabric/18449827.html?gad_source=1&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIxoDt7uzChQMVITrUAR3ycABlEAQYAiABEgJVHvD_BwE

Four “garden tacks” to secure to the ground.

Telescoping clothes rack, only the top extended, from Amazon:

https://a.co/d/6wJJsie

Rechargeable UV light and rechargeable regular light with a ~4000K selection, both also from Amazon:

https://a.co/d/dj9ZrSs
https://a.co/d/dyaR7h3

Publicado por inhat83 hace 3 meses

Thanks to our hosts for hosting and for all the work you’ve done on the ranch to keep it so pristine and biologically active!!

Publicado por inhat83 hace 3 meses

Thanks so much for hosting us this weekend Agnes and John! What an experience! I was exposed to many different flora species.
Thanks, Jo for setting thing up.

Publicado por connlindajo hace 3 meses

For all of the Texas-based iNat outings in which I have not been able to participate, this recent one is toward the top of the list. I will enjoy "participating from a distance" as I make my way through the observations. Hope everyone enjoyed and made it home safely.

Publicado por centratex hace 3 meses

It was a blast! Would love to go back at some point (hopefully after a little rain).

Publicado por williampaulwhite17 hace 3 meses

I had the BEST time!! Thanks for everything -- the hospitality was top notch. :) Will try my best to upload all my observations in the next few days.

Publicado por sambiology hace 3 meses

Sorry to have missed this one. Was under the weather most of the week and just couldn't manage it. I do appreciate the opportunity. Hope to see everyone in the future.

Publicado por rymcdaniel hace 3 meses

Thanks a bunch to @bacchusrock for organizing this great bioblitz, and to @swissagnes and John for hosting us. Very appreciated! Had a lot of fun, and saw many interesting things, both plants and bugs.

Publicado por annikaml hace 3 meses

Thanks a lot to @swissagnes and @bacchusrock for organizing the blitz and hosting us. It was a blast! Had lots of fun exploring the area!

Publicado por chandlerdavis hace 3 meses

@swissagnes and @bacchusrock: I echo the sentiments of the others - great hospitality, organization and company! Thank you for everything.

Publicado por amzapp hace 3 meses

Big thanks to everyone involved! I had a great time!

Publicado por bosqueaaron hace 3 meses

Thanks @bacchusrock for taking the time to get this set up, and @swissagnes for hosing everyone. I had a great time.

Publicado por birdingtexan hace 3 meses

Ageed. Great opportunity. In retrospect, I think I would have found more of the spiders I was particularly expecting if I had been several weeks earlier. I'm used to Pardosa having a broad mating season in areas where surface water is permanent. Live and learn! I made up for it by traveling 41 east (mostly brown at the west end and green at the east end) and then did a series of impromptu stops along the Guadalupe River all the way to Boerne Lake and think I found some exciting stuff several places. Also found some penstemon for Russell. Jo, thanks for taking me around when I first arrived, I have a much better understanding of the geology and habitats around the Edwards Plateau.

Publicado por eaneubauer hace 3 meses

Can I get on a list or something to find out about the BioBlitzes so i can try to go to them?

Publicado por gayle22864 hace 3 meses

@eaneubauer mentioned that he has a couple of presentations which revolve around using non-traditional methods to identify wolf spider species regardless of developmental stage or sex from photos and in the field. Since we were scattered chasing various species during the BioBlitz, I am suggesting that we could organize a 30 minute - 1 hour conference call and have Eric present his material. Before I start a new journal post to try and organize that, I'd like to gauge interest from everyone. Just a yes or no, would work.

Publicado por bacchusrock hace 3 meses

Yes!

Publicado por annikaml hace 3 meses

Yes.

Publicado por inhat83 hace 3 meses

Yes

Publicado por chandlerdavis hace 3 meses

Great. I have enough yesses to start a journal post and organize something. I will scour this journal post for all iNat names and tag you on it as well as add a link here.

Publicado por bacchusrock hace 3 meses

Yes, I'm interested!

Publicado por currenfrasch hace 3 meses

@pfau_tarleton Thank you!

Publicado por gayle22864 hace 3 meses

Mistake on the blacklight that Adam was using. It is 395nm 50W version, not 365nm 50W version.

Publicado por bacchusrock hace 3 meses

Thanks for that correction, Jo! Just in time; I'm ordering one for myself today.

Publicado por gcwarbler hace 3 meses

And I ordered a new one and am returning the one I got wrong. :-)

Publicado por bacchusrock hace 3 meses

There are still some observations being posted within the last 24 hours, but I have submitted the bird list to eBird. If anyone wants me to share it with them, please tell me your eBird username. So far, it looks like 3,520 observations have submitted and the species count for ICR has jumped by 207. Nicely done.

Publicado por bacchusrock hace 3 meses

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