June Bioblitz @ Timberlake Field Station

Here are observations from this weekend:
--observation mode: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?d1=2021-06-11&d2=2021-06-13&place_id=118103
--identify mode: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/identify?quality_grade=needs_id%2Cresearch&place_id=118103&d1=2021-06-11

Spring 2019 bioblitz for comparison:

Notable observations (rarely seen species)
Typhoctes peculiaris
Round sand beetle
Helops farctus
Dasymutilla serenitas
Laccophilus quadrilineatus
Taedia virgulata

Please join us for a June Bioblitz at Timberlake Field Station--June 11-13 (two nights). Attendees may begin arriving 2 pm Friday and we'll depart Sunday afternoon. The bunkhouse (with electricity and restrooms) is available and has 6 twin beds (respond to reserve a bed--first come first served). I think it would be wisest to have only folks that are vaccinated in the bunkhouse. There's lots of room to pitch a tent near the restroom and shower facility.

Tarleton State University’s Timberlake Biological Field Station is an educational and research facility located on the Colorado River in the heart of Texas--midway between Austin and Abilene. The 790 acre property has over 2 miles of Colorado river frontage and includes bottomland and upland habitats.

Here's the link to detailed info about Timberlake and the bioblitz (including directions): https://docs.google.com/document/d/19D_D0b94QvtB72GR8e5cSH8XHXFSe9DS69zffjRrbtw/edit?usp=sharing

All COVID restrictions have been lifted at Tarleton, so there are no restrictions for this event.

Probable attendees:
@mikef451 (Master Naturalist, Goodwater Chapter; insect generalist; mammal enthusiast)
@lovebirder (North Central Texas Master Birder)
@sambiology (TPWD Urban Wildlife Biologist)
@amzapp (Master Naturalist, South Plains Chapter)
@annikaml (birder/mother; compulsive photographer of everything)
@jcochran706 (Master Naturalist, Goodwater Chapter)
@bacchusrock (eager plant novice)
@connlindajo (Master Naturalist, El Camino Real Chapter)
@k_mccormack (Master Naturalist, Capital Area Chapter)
@clairesorenson (member of Native Plant Society of Texas and Texas Audubon, and docent at Ladybird Wildflower Center)
@kimberlietx (Master Naturalist, Cross Timbers Chapter; gall enthusiast, Triodanis researcher).
@jwn (primarily interested in odonates and birds)
@k8thegr8 (caterpillar expert)
@brentano (Master Naturalist)
@elytrid (Bachelor's in Entomology; loves bugs and nature in general)
@rymcdaniel (interested mostly in plants)
@butterflies4fun (Master Naturalist, Blackland Prairie Chapter; insects, primarily butterflies)
@birdsandbugs27 (Master Naturalist; medical entomology graduate student)

Posted by pfau_tarleton pfau_tarleton, May 23, 2021 14:37


I will be there camping. Thanks Russell!

Posted by mikef451 5 months ago (Flag)

I've got it penciled in!

Posted by lovebirder 5 months ago (Flag)

Woooo hooo!!! I'll be there! Planning on camping. I'll bring lots of moth gear.

Posted by sambiology 5 months ago (Flag)

I'd like to attend; may only be for one night...heading back from FL during that time. I have moth gear too.

Posted by amzapp 5 months ago (Flag)

Yes! I will be there both nights, camping.

Posted by annikaml 5 months ago (Flag)

I'll try to make it for Saturday during the day and moth on Saturday night, but will probably take off after that.

Posted by jcochran706 5 months ago (Flag)

Mark me down for attending and I'd like to reserve a bed in the bunkhouse.

Posted by bacchusrock 5 months ago (Flag)

Reserve me a place in the bunkhouse. Looking forward to seeing everyone.

Posted by connlindajo 5 months ago (Flag)

I really want to attend, but this date won't work for me. I look forward to meeting many of you in person at a future BioBlitz!

Posted by zdufran 5 months ago (Flag)

Dr. Pfau, I would like to attend. At this point, I don't know if it will be for all three days or not, but I will be tent camping. Thank you !

Posted by k_mccormack 5 months ago (Flag)

bummed I can't make this one but happy hunting!

Posted by pynklynx 5 months ago (Flag)

Unfortunately I'll be in the field most of June and can't make this one. :-(

Posted by beschwar 5 months ago (Flag)

My husband and I will attend with our small travel trailer. We volunteer at a food bank on Friday so we won't arrive until Friday evening. I will have a better idea of the timing as we get closer. Hopefully in time for dinner.

Posted by clairesorenson 5 months ago (Flag)

Tentative yes for the new dates. I don't yet know when my lab is wanting to start summer field season so I will confirm as soon as possible. Thanks for putting this opportunity back on the table, really excited about it!

Posted by gwaithir 5 months ago (Flag)

Y'all enjoy critter seeking. I won't be able to attend this one.

Posted by aprilsee 5 months ago (Flag)

I can't believe I finally get to type this.... I'll be there! (Well, unforseen life events permitting.) I'll need a spot in the bunkhouse. Am I able to collect plant specimens? Specifically looking for Triodanis sp.

Posted by kimberlietx 5 months ago (Flag)

Oh NO I'm going to be in Houston and have to miss it!

Posted by nanofishology 5 months ago (Flag)

I'm in, thanks!

Posted by jwn 5 months ago (Flag)

@kimberlietx....same here, let's really hope for no unforeseen life events. It's been, what, 4 or 5 years now and we've somehow managed to never be in the same place at the same time! You can certainly collect specimens--I'm afraid Triodanis may not be in bloom by then but maybe the weird weather will prolong their season.

Posted by pfau_tarleton 5 months ago (Flag)

Sorry I cannot make this. I'm triple-booked in most of June. Please keep me on the list for future opportunities!

Posted by alflinn329 5 months ago (Flag)

@austinrkelly kelly Hope you can make this. Saw my first (and LOTS of) Texas persimmon galls at Timberlake. A lotwas conveniently around the camping area.

Posted by connlindajo 5 months ago (Flag)

@connlindajo I hope so too, I think I should be able too but unsure just yet. I missed meeting you (and too many others) on the Elephant Mountain trip - I was out too often looking at all the cool new plants/animals/etc!

Posted by austinrkelly 5 months ago (Flag)

I want to go more than anything! I'll have to work out quite a bit with transportation and other details first though so I can't confirm or decline quite yet.

Posted by elytrid 5 months ago (Flag)

I'm in! I'll bring a tent.

Posted by k8thegr8 5 months ago (Flag)

I'm in! I'll bring a tent.

Posted by k8thegr8 5 months ago (Flag)

I’ll try to make it there with @dbaxter and Chloe! Also, @j_ashman is interested.

Posted by baxter-slye 5 months ago (Flag)

Thanks for the invite, but I am going to have to pass this time as I have too much other travel happening.

Posted by rkostecke 5 months ago (Flag)

I'm a maybe. Have to look at some other travel plans I have for the summer and see if I can make it work. Really hope to make it. If so would likely come down Sat morning and camp that night.

Posted by brentano 5 months ago (Flag)

I'm also a maybe, but will camp if I can make it!

Posted by wildcarrot 5 months ago (Flag)

I'll be in Colorado for those dates, but looking forward to next time!

Posted by bosqueaaron 5 months ago (Flag)

Hey friends,, I will be conducting a post-burn assessment of LLELA that weekend so I will have to sit this one out. Pleeeeezzze keep inviting me though! I really want to make it to some gatherings this year. Y'all have fun!

Posted by baxter-slye 4 months ago (Flag)

Looking at the long-term weather forecast for next weekend.....who knows! It changes daily! But fingers crossed for good weather. There are still several beds available in the bunkhouse. I'll be providing loaded baked potatoes for omnivores and herbivores one evening (either Friday or Saturday--depending on which evening most people will be in attendance. I'm trying to keep track of people's expertise, interests, and affiliations in the journal post--so please provide anything there that might be missing or incorrect. Feel free to send a last minute invite to anyone you know who might want to attend.

Posted by pfau_tarleton 4 months ago (Flag)
Posted by baxter-slye 4 months ago (Flag)

I haven't been feeling great this week, but getting better. Allergies. If I make it, it will be Saturday or Sunday. I sure hope I can!

Posted by lovebirder 4 months ago (Flag)

I'm still planning on it, but I doubt I'll be there until Saturday morning. Master Naturalist, Cross Timbers. Gall enthusiast, Triodanis researcher.

Posted by kimberlietx 4 months ago (Flag)
Posted by kimberlietx 4 months ago (Flag)

I will be coming Friday afternoon rain or shine. Insect generalist, mammal enthusiast. I remember a pretty good brief storm the last summer we were there. It was really good observing after that.

Posted by mikef451 4 months ago (Flag)

You can put me down as an eager plant novice. Plan to arrive Friday afternoon.

Posted by bacchusrock 4 months ago (Flag)

Planning to arrive mid/late Friday afternoon. Birder/mothling, compulsive photographer of "everything".

Posted by annikaml 4 months ago (Flag)

Okay I think I should be good to go! I'll take a bed in the bunkhouse since there are still some available. I'll aim for arriving Friday evening or so and of course I'll update if anything changes.
I have a Bachelor's in Entomology, but you can also just put me down as loving bugs and nature in general.

Posted by elytrid 4 months ago (Flag)

Is dinner potluck? You mentioned loaded potatoes. Can we contribute something? Looks like close to 20 people. We are bringing our trailer, so we will have, stove, grill, and fridge to use.

Posted by clairesorenson 4 months ago (Flag)

Primarily interested in odonates and birds of which I have a rudimentary but evolving knowledge base.

Posted by jwn 4 months ago (Flag)

@kimberlietx, thanks for the heads up about this! Unfortunately, I work that weekend. If only it were the weekend of the 18-20, because I took that weekend off. If any other opportunities come up, please let me know!

Posted by lulubelle 4 months ago (Flag)

I'm sure excited about this! Oh and @clairesorenson , if you bring any sort of extra food, we would totally love it. :) I remember trying to live off of PBJ sandwiches for three days the last time, and I ended up eating ALL of the salsa that @annikaml brought. :)

Curious about the roads -- do you think they'll be alright for a low clearance car? I remember last time that there were a few iffy places, so I'm curious if the recent rainfalls have made those... iffier. :)

Posted by sambiology 4 months ago (Flag)

I am a Master Naturalist with the Capital Area Chapter.

Posted by k_mccormack 4 months ago (Flag)

@clairesorenson, how about salad? I'll bring potatoes, black beans, chili, cheese, vegan sour cream, and green onions. Someone definitely needs to bring lots of salsa for Sam and I both. The sausages that someone brought last time were good, also.

I bet the roads will be about the same--I don't expect them to be worse.

Posted by pfau_tarleton 4 months ago (Flag)

Okay, I'm on salsa duty. I too liked the sausages that @k8thegr8 brought last time, so unless she is up for a repeat performance I can bring sausages.

Posted by annikaml 4 months ago (Flag)

Barring unforeseen events I should be there. Either tenting or in the car. My other travel plans never really materialized.

Posted by rymcdaniel 4 months ago (Flag)

I'll bring 3 chopped peppers (red, yellow, and orange); arriving Fri, leaving Sat; if potatoes are on Sat, the peppers will still be in the frig. :-)

Posted by k_mccormack 4 months ago (Flag)

OK, we will provide a salad.

Posted by clairesorenson 4 months ago (Flag)

Do you know if there is a place we can plug the trailer into electric and water? Just a standard outlet and outside faucet works, nothing special needed, and we won't be using a noisy generator. If not no problem, we just want to make sure we prep for the location. We can use our battery and fill our water tank before arriving. Or possibly stay at a nearby RV place. Thanks

Posted by clairesorenson 4 months ago (Flag)

@clairesorenson, I know there's a standard outlet and outside faucet at the bunkhouse.

Everyone: At the pavilion there will be a guest book--please sign in when you arrive. There will also be maps of the property that you can take with you. I have a couple of new favorite spots (scenic, variety of habitats) that I've discovered since the last bioblitz. For those that want to, I can show you where they are.

Posted by pfau_tarleton 4 months ago (Flag)

I'll bring some sausages again!

Posted by k8thegr8 4 months ago (Flag)

I can feel the anticipation of a grand time!

Posted by connlindajo 4 months ago (Flag)

@annikaml No moth-aritas? Slacker.

Posted by kimberlietx 4 months ago (Flag)
Posted by annikaml 4 months ago (Flag)

I have to do something non-perishable so I'll bring chips and pretzels :)

Posted by jwn 4 months ago (Flag)

Hey Guys.. Looks like I can make it this time. I've not been there so excited to see a new place. I'm Master Naturalist - Blackland Prairie Chapter. My interest are Insects with specialist in Butterflies so hoping for a sunny day. I'll bring some food as well. My plan is to sleep in my car with my new LUNO car mattress I bought. Very excited to try this low maintenance camping out. I plan to be there Friday .

Posted by butterflies4fun 4 months ago (Flag)
Posted by kimberlietx 4 months ago (Flag)

I will be there, will need a bunk if available (I'm vaccinated), will be arriving with @kimberlietx on Saturday.

Posted by birdsandbugs27 4 months ago (Flag)

If anyone needs to contact me before or during the event, my cell is 254-485-1485. The pavilion (just across the "road" from the education building and bathhouse and overlooking the river) will be our headquarters. Please sign the guestbook when you arrive. Make yourself at home--if I'm not at the pavilion, I'll be somewhere out on the 800 acres. Friday evening around 6:30 pm, let's gather at the pavilion for a meal.

Posted by pfau_tarleton 4 months ago (Flag)

I won't be able to make it this time as I'm going to be doing some prairie visits with NPAT, but hope you guys find lots of awesome stuff! Maybe even some of those weird ants I found last time :D

Posted by wildcarrot 4 months ago (Flag)

I'll get there as soon as I can, Friday night (late) or early Saturday morning. Camping. Vaccinated. Excited.

Posted by amzapp 4 months ago (Flag)

I'll try to arrive around 6:30 Friday, but I might be a little later depending on travel time. I can bring some chocolate muffins or other dessert stuff to contribute. (Store-bought, I'm not a good cook). I should also mention I'm fully vaccinated, and I'll bring a mask as well. Can't wait to see you all there! :)

Posted by elytrid 4 months ago (Flag)

@pfau_tarleton How is cell service there? I've still got things to juggle remotely, but I will be there Saturday morning! Also... Saturday dinner is BYO?

Posted by kimberlietx 4 months ago (Flag)

I've never had a problem with service (AT&T).

I've been trying to figure out who all will be there Fri and Sat...and I think more folks will be there Saturday than Friday. So, I'm planning on the potato dinner Saturday.

I have the following folks down for the bunkhouse...but the bunkhouse got double booked (there's another group doing research this weekend that I didn't know about): @kimberlietx, @elytrid, @connlindajo, @birdsandbugs27, @bacchusrock. There's still room for 5 people, but if anyone has an air mattress, you might want to bring it just in case I'm miscounting a mattress in the bunkhouse. @connlindajo, you might not get your "suite" this time :(

Posted by pfau_tarleton 4 months ago (Flag)

Glad to hear I'm not missing out on the potatoes!! Looking forward to seeing everyone again, and meeting the new folks!

Posted by kimberlietx 4 months ago (Flag)

I'll be there Friday afternoon.

Posted by rymcdaniel 4 months ago (Flag)

I will probably arrive nearer the evening on Friday. It's gonna be a warm weekend!

Posted by k8thegr8 4 months ago (Flag)

Warm indeed! I already miss the cold, rainy weather that I was complaining about the past two months. For folks that don't like to sleep in a tent or car on a warm, muggy night, and have a pad or air mattress, there's plenty of floor space in the air conditioned classroom building.

For help with navigation once you're on the Timberlake property, I'll have purple "Tarleton Event" signs marking the way to the headquarters.

Posted by pfau_tarleton 4 months ago (Flag)

I'm feeling better and plan to attend on Saturday. I will drive back to Hamilton Saturday evening. Looking forward to seeing everyone and checking out this beautiful land and all it has to offer.

Posted by lovebirder 4 months ago (Flag)

I'll be there at like 4 or 5 or so (depending on how many stops I made along the way!).

Also, I plan on bathing in OFF -- I predict that mosquitoes and ticks will be....present.

Posted by sambiology 4 months ago (Flag)

Happy, safe trails all!

Posted by aprilsee 4 months ago (Flag)

A little late but i am going to make it for sure. Be there mid morning on Saturday. Looking forward to it.

Posted by brentano 4 months ago (Flag)

Arghhhh, I had to leave early (I'm not liking this spate of medical issues!) but all is well for now.

Here's the observations from this weekend in
--observation mode: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?d1=2021-06-11&place_id=118103
--and identify mode: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/identify?quality_grade=needs_id%2Cresearch&place_id=118103&d1=2021-06-11

Posted by pfau_tarleton 4 months ago (Flag)

Thanks for everything! Take care:)

Posted by lovebirder 4 months ago (Flag)

Thanks for organizing us, Russell. It was great to meet the people behind the iNat handles.

Posted by bacchusrock 4 months ago (Flag)

Thanks for inviting us. The place is gorgeous and so nice to finally put some faces to names and meet in person.

Posted by clairesorenson 4 months ago (Flag)

Certainly hope all is well Russell. Glad I got to see you for a bit at least. Thank you so much for organizing it all. Cant wait to do it again. Still never got to the south end where I've been wanting to check out.

Posted by brentano 4 months ago (Flag)

Yes, thank you so much for gathering everyone and accommodating us! I had the time of my life being able to experience the nature and see so many cool things. And it was fantastic to be able to meet everyone!
Also a huge thank you to everyone who helped point me to some amazing beetles! I have quite a lot to upload, so I'll try to get as much as I can tomorrow and hopefully carve out some time to help ID what I can as well. :D

Posted by elytrid 4 months ago (Flag)

That was so much fun!!! Now I need to clean off sweat, bug repellent, watermelon juice, bugs who clearly didn't mind the repellent, and millions of Nassella leucotricha seeds that have lodged themselves in my clothes and body before I can start looking at my pictures. Let's do this soon again!

And thanks, Russell, for organizing this! Hope everything is well!

Posted by annikaml 4 months ago (Flag)

It was a great trip! Many thanks for organizing, Russell. The company was great and there was so much nature fun and education in one place.

Posted by jcochran706 4 months ago (Flag)

Thank you Russell, the event was a lot of fun and it was nice to meet you! Hope all is well.

Posted by birdsandbugs27 4 months ago (Flag)

Had a great time and got quite a few pollinators on the last day and some more butterflies. Only had a slight delay trying to leave as I tried to figure out how to get the cows to move lol. Excited to see what new species were found on the property.

Posted by butterflies4fun 4 months ago (Flag)

Thanks Russell very much for organizing this event. The magic at Timberlake is always special to me and I can't wait to share my observations with you all. Super great to meet everybody new and old as the gathering aspect was fantastic. The heat and the mosquitos tried to dampen spirits but failed to surpass the wonderful time I had this weekend. I hope all is well with your family Russell.
See you all next time!

Posted by mikef451 4 months ago (Flag)

Ditto what everyone else has said. It was awesome, Russell!

Now to filter through the 2900+ photos I took and hoping I have some decent ones to post. Saw some new to me species!
Looking forward to the next time we cam be together.

Posted by connlindajo 4 months ago (Flag)

Totally enjoyed this gathering -- so many great bugs and plants and birds and nature... Wonderful to engage with it all this weekend. Not to mention, it was great to see so many folks -- almost felt like normal! :) Lots of photos to process as well.

Also, still working on the fall gathering -- east TX around the Neches River National Wildlife Refuge, Gus Engeling and Richland Creek WMAs... Likely at the end of Sept early Oct. Stay tuned for details! :)

Posted by sambiology 4 months ago (Flag)

Russell: thank you so much for granting us access to Timberlake. What a beautiful place you all have at your disposal. Everyone: it was so nice to see you again. You're all so awesome and have inspired me to hit up the iNat merch site for new apparel. Moths and insects: thank you for making up for Elephant Mountain and visiting our bug stations.

Posted by amzapp 4 months ago (Flag)

Thanks again Russell, and to everyone for the great food and company. Absolutely my favorite group of people :)

Posted by jwn 4 months ago (Flag)

So sorry to have missed out - more than I could pull together logistically on the home front - but grateful for the invitation. Next time I hope. Thanks for updating with tidy links to follow along with what you found.

Posted by donovanmoxley 4 months ago (Flag)

Observations and identifications are still accumulating--put we've pushed past 4,000 observations and 950 species! I put links at the top of the journal post, along with some of the more notable observations. We found several rarely documented species (statewide) and several species not documented during the spring 2019 bioblitz. Next week I'll try to pull together a more comprehensive review.

All is good here at the home front. And I've been using the map to see whereabouts folks decided to explore Saturday and Sunday after I vacated the premises.

Posted by pfau_tarleton 4 months ago (Flag)

Last night I finally added my last observation from Timberlake to iNat. Now I am working on the drive from the entrance to the highway.

Glad things good on your home front.

I have some places I want to explore, assuming we have another opportunity to visit the place. Got the lay of the land figured out now.

BTW, remember your cap story and the mower. I was driving on a back road and saw a small shovel laying on the edge. Stopped and picked it up, but maybe should have left it there. Anyway, you were gone by the time I got back to camp and I actually forgot it. My son asked me last night what the shovel was doing on the back of my truck. I will return it later, or drive up there this week if necessary.

Posted by connlindajo 4 months ago (Flag)

@sambiology, I am hoping to attend the fall outing. Post the date as soon as you can & I will ask for the time off!

Posted by lulubelle 4 months ago (Flag)

Finally found the ID for one of my tiny beetles from the trip, looks like another rarely seen species: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/83308141

Posted by elytrid 3 months ago (Flag)

For folks who want more than just weekend Moth Week events, I'm planning a weekday event Monday or Wednesday (July 19 or 21). It's at a place just north of Stephenville:

Good job @elytrid on the weird beetle!

Posted by pfau_tarleton 3 months ago (Flag)

For those interested, propose some dates that might be good for a Fall Timberlake Bioblitz--giving wide berth to Gus Engeling, Richland Creek, and Neches River events (October 1 - 3). Our last fall Timberlake event was October 4-6. So I'm thinking, perhaps Oct 16 or 23?

Posted by pfau_tarleton 2 months ago (Flag)

Weekend of the 23rd is the Texas Master Naturalist Conference which may affect some of us. I am registered for the conference.

Posted by connlindajo 2 months ago (Flag)

Yes I am virtual MN annual state meeting attendee 22nd and 23rd. 10/16 works best for me.

Posted by mikef451 2 months ago (Flag)

starts chanting "16th! 16th! 16th!"
I too am at the TXMN conference. :)

Posted by sambiology 2 months ago (Flag)

October 16 is best for me, too. Had a great time at the last one here. So much stuff to see!

Posted by jcochran706 2 months ago (Flag)

October 16th works fine for me. Looking forward to more Timberlake time!

Posted by annikaml 2 months ago (Flag)

Ah, Timberlake - such a beautiful place. The 16th works. Let's keep the opossum away from the trash can this time.

Posted by amzapp 2 months ago (Flag)

My schedule is open on the 16th :D

Posted by kimberlietx 2 months ago (Flag)
Posted by jcochran706 about 2 months ago (Flag)

I have Timberlake booked for the weekend of October 16th (Friday - Sunday). But I feel like Tarleton is a sinking ship with rapidly rising COVID cases. Who knows what October will look like. :{}

Posted by pfau_tarleton about 2 months ago (Flag)

Hopefully things will work out.

Posted by mikef451 about 2 months ago (Flag)


Posted by lovebirder about 2 months ago (Flag)

On the calendar!

Posted by k8thegr8 about 2 months ago (Flag)

I will not be able to attend as I will be at a wedding but I look forward to another time.

Posted by butterflies4fun about 1 month ago (Flag)

Official Timberlake post for weekend of October 16th

Posted by pfau_tarleton 26 days ago (Flag)

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