March 08, 2017

The LLELA BioBlitz is looking for Volunteer Observers to assist in bio-surveys!

April 1st 2017 we will be surveying everything from bats and beetles to frogs, toads and fresh water mussels, to trees, shrubs, grasses, and wild flowers. There will be nearly 50 different activities to get involved in. So we have opportunities for lots of volunteers. Our hope is to have volunteer observers and recorders on every activity.

We will be making full use of the iNaturalist app and database.
Activity descriptions, schedules and volunteer signup information will be posted on www.llelafriends.org starting March 6th. We will likely be adding activities until late March so people should check back to see if anything new pops up.

http://www.llelafriends.org

Posted on March 08, 2017 15:22 by mchlfx mchlfx | 0 comments | Leave a comment

February 16, 2017

LLELA Bio-Blitz

Mark your calendars. LLELA will have it's very first Bio-Blitz this coming April 1st. The event is being presented by the Friends of LLELA group and looks to be an exciting time. Friends of LLELA has worked hard to arrange a large group of Biologists, both Phd and Grad Students, to assist. I've been told there will be experts in ants, worms, fish, all types of plants, small mammals (including bats!), Odonates, Lepidoptera and of course Avians.
I'll be posting more here as the details become available but wanted to get your attention early for that date. Hope to see you all.
Michael Fox

Posted on February 16, 2017 23:50 by mchlfx mchlfx | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 17, 2016

Rio Grand Valley

I'm headed out to Edinburg, TX first thing in the morning. Two full days, Fri and Sat, to explore. Any iNatters in the area I'd be ecstatic to meet.

Posted on March 17, 2016 03:20 by mchlfx mchlfx | 0 comments | Leave a comment

February 20, 2016

Beginning iNaturalist Workshop: Heard Natural Sciences Museum - 02/20/2016

Today, 2/20/2016, at 9:30 am I will be presenting another 'Beginning iNaturalist' workshop for the Black Land Prairies Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists. The event will be at the Heard Natural Sciences Museum in McKinney, Texas. If any of you are stuck in front of your computer between 9:30 to 11 am today I'd appreciate any communication or feedback on observations I enter during that time. I'd really like to impress the group with the community aspect of the site.

I just checked and there are no observation entries for the Heard. This is quite surprising as it has a large number of guests, TMN and naturalists visiting there. Hopefully after today we'll start to see a rich variety of plant and animal observations.

Thanks to all you wonderful iNatter's for the encouragement, knowledge and friendship. This site has truly changed my life.

Posted on February 20, 2016 11:54 by mchlfx mchlfx | 3 comments | Leave a comment

December 13, 2015

iNatters in Action

Those of you who follow LLELA on Facebook will know some of this story already, but I wanted to be sure to thank our tireless volunteers and showcase how useful iNaturalist is!

This year, an injured Caracara was found way out of range in Arkansas. It was rehabilitated for several months, radio tagged, and released. It quickly made its way West, flying through NE Texas to Aubrey, then Denton, then Lewisville. The researcher studying this Caracara sent word to TPWD, who alerted LLELA’s Director Ken Steigman, who told me. I got the word out via Facebook, Mike Fox got the word out via LLELA’s iNaturalist page, and the hunt was on! (The “hunt" for photographs and data, of course.)

Thanks to dedicated volunteers willing to search for hours across several days, we have not one but TWO entries on iNaturalist for the Caracara! This was a species never before documented at LLELA.

I think it’s of particular interest that the coordinates given to us by the GPS locator on the bird match exceptionally well with the in-person sightings of our on-the-ground iNaturalists. It’s also great that our naturalists were able to provide not only a cool flight shot, but evidence that the Caracara was finding food to eat. This is wonderful information for the researcher to have.

This was GREAT teamwork and tenacity, and gave a researcher very valuable information. Well done, iNatters!
• Here is a map of a few of the original GPS coordinates from the researcher: https://www.facebook.com/LLELALewisvilleLake/photos/a.479091992203471.1073741847.175655922547081/852496564863010/?type=3&theater
• Here is Mike Fox’s iNaturalist entry: http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/2452517
• Here is Larry Brennan’s iNaturalist entry: http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/2452850
• Here is the photo we shared via LLELA’s Facebook page (and the enthusiastic comments beneath): https://www.facebook.com/LLELALewisvilleLake/photos/a.175682092544464.36316.175655922547081/854003248045675/?type=3&theater
The latest GPS data show that the Caracara has moved away from LLELA toward western Lewisville, possibly because the water level of the river is so high now (due to human-made adjustments of Lewisville Lake). Keep your eyes peeled… you never know when you might see an outlier species at LLELA or in your neighborhood.

And you never know when you’ll hear fascinating nature news on iNaturalist (or LLELA’s Facebook) and be able to participate in Citizen Science!

Erin Taylor
Nature Programs Coordinator less ↑

Posted on December 13, 2015 16:01 by mchlfx mchlfx | 2 comments | Leave a comment

July 01, 2015

Odonates and the North Texas Floods of 2015

Since the recent epic flooding of North Texas a lot of LLELA has been underwater. Many places are now standing in water that have not seen that in 5 or more years. I was hoping we'd see Dragonfly and Damselfly not present during the drought.

I've been more than surprised by the finds. We've added numerous first time observations and some that have not been seen since 2007. Prince Baskettail, Swamp Darner and Carolina Saddlebags have been observed and entered here.

Along our Cottonwood Trail last weekend I observed hundreds of nymph casings from newly emerged dragons and even got to observe a damselfly emerge. Numerous Common Green darners were observed filling and drying their wings before first flight. It was truly and awe inspiring experience.

This coming weekend Phil Plank and myself will be attempting to use video and time-lapse photography to capture the act of emergence. It's such and exciting prospect to capture the change from aquatic predator to the beautiful flying dragons we love.

If you get a chance to visit LLELA in the early morning hours don't miss the extraordinary experience of viewing dragons and damsels emergence.

Posted on July 01, 2015 18:45 by mchlfx mchlfx | 3 comments | Leave a comment

June 27, 2015

Black-and-white Warbler

http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/1694119

He fellow iNaturalists and friends of LLELA. I was lucky enough to spot a male Black-and-white Warbler Thursday. Ken and Lisa are curious if there might be a female in the area which would indicate nesting. According to Ken, these shouldn't even be at LLELA this time of year.

So, if you're out at LLELA, take a stroll by location I pegged on iNaturalist and see if you can find the Black-and-White Warbler.

Posted on June 27, 2015 15:01 by mchlfx mchlfx | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 25, 2015

Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area iNaturalists

It has certainly been an exciting last 3 or 4 months with LLELA's embrace of iNaturalist.org. Through workshops, Community 'Get Together' and now Photo Safari our numbers and enthusiasm are growing.

Workshops: We've had over 50 attendees to our beginning iNaturalist workshops. More are planned and advanced workshops are in the works.

Get Togethers: Our first 'Get Together' was certainly a success. The LLELA offices were packed with a standing room only crowd. We had general introductions and an exchange of iNaturalist usernames to facilitate the community interaction on posted observations. SAMBIOLOGY here was our featured speaker who briefly talked about plant observations and the desire to see more posts.

Our second Get Together was a pleasant surprise. We only had a few responses to the invite so moved the location to Square One Cafe in Lewisville. Over a dozen folks showed up, all with laptops and tablets in tow. We had a great time sharing posts and exchanged information and questions about iNaturalist.

Photo Safari: Our very first 'Photo Safari' is planned for this coming Saturday, March 28th, from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM at the LLELA Pavilion. We plan on doing this once a month, exploring LLELA's public trails and possibly an occasional venturing into the non-public areas for a behind-the-scenes look at LLELA's wondrous diversity.

Our upcoming schedule of events:

iNaturalist WORKSHOPS
Location: Lewisville Library (1197 W. Main St, Lewisville)
The original iNaturalist events that started it all. For some, this is a review of the basics, and for others it’s a chance to get a handle on the finer points of iNaturalist. Computers and wifi are provided, but be sure to RSVP because of limited space. Feel free to bring your own laptop and/or mobile device, too. We’ll start adding info about iNaturalist apps to these presentations very soon.

Thursday, April 9, 7-8:45pm
Tuesday, May 5, 7-8:45pm

iNaturalist GET TOGETHERS
Location: TBD
We’re looking for locations with wifi, food, an atmosphere conducive to conversation, and close to LLELA. (We can always fall back on our old standby, the LLELA offices (1801 N. Mill St, Lewisville), where our first Get Together was held.) Please let me know if you have location suggestions! (And don’t be shy about starting your own group closer to home if it suits you. If you do so, let me know and I’ll get the word out.)

Tuesday, April 14, 7-9pm
Thursday, May 14, 7-9pm

PHOTO SAFARIS
Location: Meet at the LLELA Pavilion Parking Lot, explore different LLELA locations each time
These photo adventures are open to the general public (ages 10 and up) but are also a great chance to hone your nature observation skills for iNaturalist. Sometimes we’ll take public trails at LLELA, and sometimes we’ll venture into the non-public areas for a behind-the-scenes look. Be prepared for anything, especially safety in the outdoors! (

Saturday, March 28, 5:30-7:30PM
Saturday, April 18, 7-9AM
Saturday, May 16, 7-9AM

We hope you’ll join your local iNaturalist community for some or all of these events.

Questions or RSVP: Erin.Taylor@unt.edu

Posted on March 25, 2015 14:16 by mchlfx mchlfx | 0 comments | Leave a comment

January 28, 2015

iNaturalist 'Get Together' at LLELA

LEWISVILLE LAKE ENVIRONMENTAL LEARNING AREA

This informal and fun gathering is for people who’ve been bitten by the iNaturalist bug, or want to be. You’ll grow as a naturalist and bond with other nature lovers as we discuss our outdoor and online discoveries, challenges, and insider tips. This is a great place to ask those technical questions you have since joining iNaturalist. We’ll also learn from guest experts and experienced volunteers about how to get the most out of iNat.

Our first guest expert will be Sam Kieschnick, Nature Education Specialist of the Elmer W. Oliver Nature Park, a true plant lover and unabashed nature nerd. His enthusiasm is infectious and inspiring. Find him on iNaturalist as SamBiology, then meet the man himself.

Come join the growing community of iNaturalists, in person!

RSVP to Lisa Cole (972) 319.3930 Lisa.Cole@UNT.edu

Wednesday, February 4
7:00-9:00 pm
LLELA Office (1801 N. Mill Street, Suite A / Lewisville, TX 75057)

Posted on January 28, 2015 17:10 by mchlfx mchlfx | 1 comments | Leave a comment

January 10, 2015

iNaturalist Workshop

We've filled two classes for Beginning iNaturalist workshop and have a third planned for January 21st 2015. I've verbally committed to doing one as long as we keep packing the house. It's so exciting to meet fellow Naturalists and see this community come together.

Also, we're planning our first informal gathering, or 'Get Together', as a follow up to the classes. February 4th we'll be meeting at the LLELA offices to share ideas and questions surrounding LLELA and the iNaturalist project. iNaturalist 'Sambiology' will be making the trek up from Mansfield to give us a few pointers on photographing plants for more accurate ID's.

I look forward to the fellowship of this community and encourage anyone interested to join us.

Posted on January 10, 2015 13:20 by mchlfx mchlfx | 7 comments | Leave a comment