Gus Engeling WMA -- short notice... Saturday, July 8th! Wanna come?

@brentano , @briang and I are going to go to Gus Engeling Wildlife Management Area on Saturday, July 8th. Anyone else want to come? I think the major thing we'll be looking for is dragonflies, but there are LOTS of other stuff there too, apparently:
http://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=57414&subview=grid&view=species
The herp community has documented lots of stuff there, but I know there are some things that aren't on the species list for iNat yet! Let's change that.

I know it's incredibly short notice, and I realize that not everyone can come... But if you want to, let me know! Attaching some folks that may be interested that aren't too too far away:

@cosmiccat @kimberlietx @gcwarbler @greglasley @mikeintyler @centratex @eric_keith @lbullington24 @annikaml @aguilita @dfwuw @wildcarrot @tfandre @lauramorganclark @mikaelb @mchlfx @jblinde @nanofishology @charley @galactic_bug_man @mikef451 @cmeckerman @tadamcochran @butterflies4fun @danjohnson77077 @hydaticus @pfau_tarleton @oddfitz @jennformatics @gaberlunzi @daniel112 @griff @benhutchins @beschwar @gpstewart @anewman @august_farrow @connlindajo @cgritz @laurenjansensimpson @itmndeborah @ericisley @oz4caster @lulubelle @alaws @sherylsr @talkbirdytome @andrewbrinker @sarahg @alisonnorthup @billdodd @amberleung @gpstewart

I know I'm leaving out a bunch of folks -- attach/bring your friends if you want to come. Tag people that I left out, please!

The tentative schedule:
Arrive at Gus Engeling at around... 9ish? Explore a bit, get lunch, explore a bit more, then head home later. I don't think I'm going to stay the night, but I suppose you can if you'd like! Palestine is 19 miles away, and there are some places to stay there. It'll probably be mighty hot, so bring LOTS of water, and bring some water boots too. Ticks will be out and about, so it may be smart to spray your clothes too.

No permit or entrance fee required -- I'll be there with you.

Can you come? Comment if you can!

Posted by sambiology sambiology, June 28, 2017 20:17

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I surely would love to do this, Sam, but I'm already signed up that day for Master Naturalist volunteer work at Martin Dies, Jr. State Park. Keep asking -- one of these days I'll be free to join one of these!

Posted by lauramorganclark about 4 years ago (Flag)
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ooooooh I'll have to think about this. I'm still trying to catch up on my Post-City Nature Challenge Exhaustion Backlog before I do any more big days.

Posted by nanofishology about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Maaaaaybe. I'm trying to work out dates to stay with my dad a few days around July 4th at Cedar Creek Lake, which is not far off. (Gonna do some mothing there!!) Let me figure out dates and I'll let you know.

Posted by kimberlietx about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Can't venture that far from Houston on that day, but thanks for including me on this invite. Keep 'em coming!

Posted by nicholas_demaio about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Aw shucks! I will be keeping four grandchildren while my daughter-in-law is in the Dominican Republic on a mission trip for ten days.

One bright note: Victoria is hoping that while there, they will be able to join a tour of the area flora and fauna. Her camera is ready!
Hope to make the next gathering of the iNat folks... Have a great time, ljc

Posted by connlindajo about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Hey Sam,
I'm going to try to make it. I know Gus Engeling pretty well and have found a number of odonate species there that are not typically found in the DFW or Austin areas. Some examples below. As you say, it will likely be hot and humid. Things like Gray Petaltail are also there but the late date in Texas for that species just happens to be July 9, so it is unlikely we will see that one. Other possibilities might include:

Amanda’s Pennant:
http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/4582910
http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/214365

Atlantic Bluet:
http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/214925
http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/294347

Burgundy Bluet:
http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/215182
http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/294352

Yellow-sided Skimmer:
http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/217173
http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/294375

Attenuated Bluet:
http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/294348

Black-shouldered Spinyleg:
http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/294351

Little Blue Dragonlet:
http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/294368

Seepage Dancer:
http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/294371

Southern Sprite:
http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/294372

Spangled Skimmer:
http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/294373
http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/327482

Greg

Posted by greglasley about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Sam, I suspect you have already considered this, but on at least two occasions I have driven the 3+ hours to Gus Engeling and found it closed to the public because of some special wild hog hunt, or some other function. Also, sometimes these WMAs want you to have a special permit of some sort to enter (or so I have been told by two Richland Creek WMA people). Just things I have run into to try to avoid by checking ahead.

Posted by greglasley about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Tagging @ncowey !

Posted by nanofishology about 4 years ago (Flag)
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@caudisona , this is an opportunity to check out Gus Engeling before next Spring if you want!

Posted by hydaticus about 4 years ago (Flag)
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What time do we have to be there?

Posted by galactic_bug_man about 4 years ago (Flag)
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It is a possibility that Kev and I will go

Posted by tfandre about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Would love to but will be out of pocket.

Posted by alflinn329 about 4 years ago (Flag)
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You can count me in! :)

Posted by wildcarrot about 4 years ago (Flag)
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I will see if I can't make it. I would love to hunt Dragonflies with you guys. I will see what is going on and report back. I think that would be an awesome thing to do.

Posted by galactic_bug_man about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Per @greglasley comment above a Limited Use permit is required. It costs $12 and must be purchased ahead ot time. You can get it from any location that sell hunting and fishing licenses. They will NOT know what you are talking about. Tell them to look for the Limited Use/Public Hunt license and that is number 175 if they have it in the system that way. Took me 10 minutes at Academy and they were ready to give up, despite my insistence. Until I went around to their screen and happened to see that it was listed as Public Hunt/ Lmtd Use. Just an FYI. @sambiology maybe you can edit the message to make sure everyone sees this information.

Posted by brentano about 4 years ago (Flag)
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I have heard different stories from TPWD employees, so perhaps @sambiology can get the info clarified with Engleing folks. I have done some collecting with John Abbott at Engeling and the folks there said don't worry about the permit. I have been there when other employees wanted you to have a permit. It seems to be a loosely enforced requirement that depends on the attitude of the employee you are talking to from what I have seen. I know people who go to Engeling and say they have never gotten the permit while others tell me they get the permit every year. It is all very inconsistent and confusing from my experience, but we will need to get it sorted out to avoid a mess on July 8, I would think..

Posted by greglasley about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Just as an added comment, I have an annual permit for Texas State Parks entrance. This is NOT sufficient for WMA's if they enforce their rules. But like I said, I have been on WMAs when the staff say don't worry about it yet other times they do.

Posted by greglasley about 4 years ago (Flag)
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I think I will try to make this trip. Look forward to it.

Last year I was able to get my Limited Use Permit online at TPW website. Worked smoothly then. My experience at the E. TX WMAs is that the biologist usually don't care much about the permits but the wardens sometimes check. Probably best to go ahead and pick one up for the $12.

Mike

Posted by mikeintyler about 4 years ago (Flag)
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@mikeintyler I have been poking around the TPWD website and while I have found a few references to the special use permit, I have not found a way to purchase it. Maybe it is just my inability to find it, but if some one finds this on their website, please advise. Probably since we are just a week or so out it would be best to pick it up at Academy or elsewhere, however.

Posted by greglasley about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Greg, I am looking and don't see it available on the website now either. Sort of strange because I can see that my permit is still valid but no button to renew it.

I think they updated the entire texas.gov websites and things are still a little mixed up. I have had trouble with some of my professional license renewal too.

The key to getting the Academy and similar store clerks to be able to find it is to use the code 175.

Posted by mikeintyler about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Sam, I will make the trip thanks for the info all

Posted by gpstewart about 4 years ago (Flag)
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I will see if I have that day off. If I do & it is open, I would love to come!

Posted by lulubelle about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Funny, I was just stopping at Gus Engeling for a quick pass through, when you sent this out today. The WMA seemed awash with Ebony Jewelwings today.... And found one very calm and photogenic Cottonmouth, but always hoping for a Timber or Pygmy Rattlesnake. I'll check my schedule and will be there if I'm open.

Posted by oddfitz about 4 years ago (Flag)
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I am not sure I will be able to make it, but check out the bogs for Eriocaulon texense and E. koernickianum.

Posted by anewman about 4 years ago (Flag)
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I would love to be a part of this. There are a lot of people I would like to meet and several odonata species there that I want to see. I am going to try Academy today for the permit.

Thanks you Sam for the invite!

Posted by mikef451 about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Hey friends!

Sorry that I'm just now responding to comments -- no permit needed. I'll be there and this will be an "outreach event" for TPWD, so no permit needed! Although, just as a sales pitch -- it's only 12 bucks and it's good all year. ;)

I've got the gate codes for the northern part of the property too, so we'll have free range. I may ask if we can stay somewhat as a group, if that's alright with all. That way, there will be a TPWD representative (me) with us at all time. I'm fairly nice and won't bug you too much. ;)

I talked with Jeff, the management leader out there, and he's quite excited that we'll be visiting. He can almost guarantee that we won't run into anyone else out there during this nice warm time of year. No hunting season now, so no need to duck from bullets or wear hunter orange.

Again, 9 am or so at the "front entrance" here:
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Gus+Engeling+WMA/@31.9068769,-95.9029131,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0xb08167f7298a575b?sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjI8ffatePUAhUG44MKHf6QABQQ_BIIazAK

Address:
16419 US-287, Tennessee Colony, TX 75861

My cell is 817 771 8793 -- save it or toss me a text. Not sure if there is ANY cell reception out there, so again, let's plan on kinda staying as a group. :)

Excitement! Glad that folks may be able to come with this short of notice.

Posted by sambiology about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Great News @sambiology. FYI to all. I was getting a good LTE cell signal in most spots on the mains roads out there yesterday....

Posted by oddfitz about 4 years ago (Flag)
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I'm a "maybe-hopefully"! Sounds like a lot of fun.

Posted by tadamcochran about 4 years ago (Flag)
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I went ahead and bought the permit anyway. It is good for a year as Sam said, Sept. 1 to Aug. 31, so buying a permit now it expires 31 August. But I may be back there on my own later in July. As @brentano said...giving them the code of 175 helps to find it, since as he also said...they had no idea what I was talking about.

Posted by greglasley about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Lol @greglasley glad my negative experience was able to help. Perhaps you could let me know if/when you go back and maybe allow me to tag along. hint, hint

Posted by brentano about 4 years ago (Flag)
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I should be there. I look forward to meeting a lot of you folks.

Posted by cmeckerman about 4 years ago (Flag)
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I have a question about the permit should we decide to return. Do Kevin and I both have to get one each or can one of you have the permit and the spouse accompany you?

Posted by tfandre about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Really excited many of you can make it! I predict seeing hordes of dragonflies! Swarms! :)

@tfandre -- I am pretty sure that the permit is per individual. It's different than a state park pass which is good for everyone in the vehicle, I think.

Posted by sambiology about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Thanks Sam...that is what I figured but thought I'd ask

Posted by tfandre about 4 years ago (Flag)
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@sambiology Sam the northern part of Gus Engeling is where I have spent the majority of my time photographing dragonflies, specifically the area at and around the two ponds just to the west of the WMA road at the northern end of the property. Granted, there are many other areas to explore, but the small roads leading to those two ponds and the areas around the ponds are primo for odonates. I think it would make a lot of sense to concentrate some effort in that area.

Posted by greglasley about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Sounds like fun. See you all there.

Posted by cameralenswrangler about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Is anyone from the Austin area planning on going? @hydaticus, maybe?

Posted by alisonnorthup about 4 years ago (Flag)
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@alisonnorthup I haven't decided yet, but maybe.

Posted by hydaticus about 4 years ago (Flag)
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@alisonnorthup I am going, but have a full vehicle already. If I end up with space if someone cancels, I'll let you know.

Posted by greglasley about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Thanks, @greglasley !

Posted by alisonnorthup about 4 years ago (Flag)
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@alisonnorthup I'm planning to and my car just has me in it so far.

Posted by nanofishology about 4 years ago (Flag)
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@nanofishology thanks I'd love to join you!

Posted by alisonnorthup about 4 years ago (Flag)
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If anyone else in the Austin area needs a ride, I have space for a couple more.

Posted by nanofishology about 4 years ago (Flag)
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I had the day open up so I will be coming. Anyone from Houston want to carpool?

Posted by anewman about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Unfortunately, I am.scheduled to work and cannot trade a day. I look forward to seeing all the great observations! @sambiolog, if you do this at another WMA, let me know ASAP & will hopefully be able to go & help!

Posted by lulubelle about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Looks like I'll be there! I may not stay long because of the heat, but I'll come hang out a bit and shoo all the dragonflies away from @briang. :P

Posted by kimberlietx about 4 years ago (Flag)
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I think I'll be there, but will probably be late. @anewman See if you can find Cirsium muticum and Rhynchospora stenophylla before I get there, and I'll have a cold beer waiting for you at the end of the day!

Posted by eric_keith about 4 years ago (Flag)
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What are the roads like after the front gate? I don't have a truck anymore, just a little car with low clearance.

Posted by cameralenswrangler about 4 years ago (Flag)
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The "Main" Roads on the WMA are very good partial pavement in some areas gravel in others. The smaller roads interspersed thru the WMA tend to be sand and in a few of the out of the way places 4-wheel drive and clearance can be helpful.

Posted by oddfitz about 4 years ago (Flag)
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@sambiology and anyone else attending.... What is the physical address of the meet up place? GPS?

If a miracle happens, I hope to join the group but not getting my hopes up! As @kimberlietx said, The heat will be a deciding factor, if I am able. Fingers crossed.

Posted by connlindajo about 4 years ago (Flag)
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@eric_keith do you have a PDF of area Flora list? I can only find it through pay sites (JSTOR, BioOne, etc.). Maybe @sambiology can get it? It had a good break down of veg zones.

Looks like R. stenophylla is just finding right habitat for it.

Posted by anewman about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Hey all,

Just giving an update -- looks like there may be some showers on Saturday, but the event's still going to go on. It may prevent us from seeing as many dragonflies as we want, but I do foresee lots of other neat bugs and plants and stuff!

So, many of us will meet at the front entrance at around 9 AM -- the exact location here: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Gus+Engeling+WMA/@31.9068769,-95.9029131,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0xb08167f7298a575b?sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjI8ffatePUAhUG44MKHf6QABQQ_BIIazAK

We will drive just a little bit northeast to a little 'headquarters spot' -- if you look at the Google satellite view, you can see a building, a circular parking lot, and a little pond. We can explore this spot for a bit until everyone shows up. Later on, we'll focus some exploration towards the north part of the WMA -- Greg mentions some nice areas up there.

A few things to mention: water, water, water. It will be hot. Bring water! Bring extra water! Drink said water. If I have to yell out "water break!" I will -- I sure don't want any heat strokes or anything like that.

You may want to bring a towel or change of shirt or whatever too -- with the heat comes great sweat.

If you want to bring some water boots or something like that, cool. I think there were some rains in this area a few days ago, so it may be a little wet still.

I suggest bringing something to eat for lunch. I'll bring a loaf of bread and PB&J and chips and don't mind sharing with whomever. If you want to bring some extra food/snacks for others, I sure won't turn you down! Nothing fancy though, yeah?

If we all want to get together for a dinner or whatever, I'm cool with that. Palestine is the closest town, I think, so we can go to some place there.

For driving around in the WMA, I've just got my little car as well -- I don't predict we'll do too too much off-roading, so it should be fine with any vehicle. I won't be risking it with my car, even if it means I may have to walk a little extra.

Again, toss my phone number into your cell: 817 771 8793 -- send me a text if you're planning on coming or if you're lost or going to be late or whatever.

And if you aren't able to make this one, don't fret! There will indeed be more. Promise. :)

Posted by sambiology about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Hope you all have a great time! And remember how dangerous the heat is this year. I have already had 1 1/2 heat episodes this summer.

I am going to try to photo a few dragonflies around the place in Lee County tomorrow. :-/
See you next time and am looking forward to all your observations from the WMA.

@sambiology Please include me in the mailing of any reports, photos, etc. Thanks.

Posted by connlindajo about 4 years ago (Flag)
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I've been at Cedar Creek Reservoir all week (about 25 miles north of the WMA). The storms have cleared, but the humidity is extreme. It's been stuck around 90%. I'm mothing right now at 11pm and dripping wet. During the day it is the same, just 95'F instead of 80'F. The latest weather report says it will be sunny and feel like 109'F. The ground is soft but not mushy.

I'll be there in the morning, but I'm planning to leave around lunchtime.

Posted by kimberlietx about 4 years ago (Flag)
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worn out

It was loads of fun yesterday, but that heat was draining! Nonetheless, check out the incredible stuff we saw:
http://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=57414&subview=grid

Now, I've got a lot of uploading to do still... Just an FYI for those that were able to make it and make observations -- don't worry about adding anything to any project or anything like that. There is a polygon around the place (Gus Engeling WMA), so all observations are automatically being aggregated there and are being added to the species count:
http://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=57414&subview=grid&view=species

As you upload, you can filter the species guide for the place to see what plants have been observed: http://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=57414&subview=grid&taxon_id=47126&view=species or what bugs have been observed: http://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=57414&subview=grid&taxon_id=47158&view=species to give you some guidance to your ID's.

Not everything is ID'ed yet, and we need some help with this. If you are able to, check out the observations that need ID's from Gus Engeling (this will grow as more people upload). http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/identify?quality_grade=any&place_id=57414 Lots and lots and lots of observations need some ID help. Please toss on some ID's as you know/learn the organisms.

Overall, I do hope those that came enjoyed it. It was mighty hot, but we still had about 20 folks join. iNaturalist is more than just a database -- it's a community. Great to meet many of you in person. Stay tuned for an outing in Fall! :)

Posted by sambiology about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Sorry we didn't make it...combo of heat and no sleep due to an old dog. Missed seeing everyone but we will be very interested in the Fall one :)

Posted by tfandre about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Thanks again, Sam!

Posted by hydaticus about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Was a great, albeit slightly warm, day. Thanks for putting together Sam!

Posted by oddfitz about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Yeah...a couple of us were sweating a little here and there!

Posted by greglasley about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Good job, Sam! I enjoyed meeting new friends and continuing to learn from this diverse group. As a side note, I made a mistake on a plant. :( If anyone recorded the Coreopsis from the last stop, it is C. intermedia, not C. grandiflora. C. intermedia is rarer and almost exclusively in East Texas (creeps into Ark and LA).

Posted by eric_keith about 4 years ago (Flag)
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The Liatris is L. squarrosa rather than L. hirsuta as well.

Posted by eric_keith about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Well Sam you did a great job yesterday at Gus Engling WMA and yes worn out is a pretty good description. It was very nice to meet some of the guys & gals from INat. Speaking for the 4 "senior citizens" among the group, it is certainly nice to see the next generation so enthusiastic about the natural flora and fauna of our corner of the world.

Mike

Posted by mikeintyler about 4 years ago (Flag)
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It was great to meet everyone yesterday! Sam, thanks for organizing and inviting us.

Posted by alisonnorthup about 4 years ago (Flag)
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I had a wonderful time and it was great meeting everyone! Can't wait for the next one! :) Thanks again, Sam!!

Posted by wildcarrot about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Sam- Thanks for the organization of this event , it was good meeting all again!

Posted by gpstewart about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Saturday was definitely the highlight of my year so far! I just finished sorting/editing photos, time to upload... evil laugh

Posted by nanofishology about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Really had a great time Sam! Thank you, Lots of new and interesting stuff for me. Great meeting the faces and people that go along with the iNat names I see often. Looking forward to more. One day vs. several probably is better for me.

Posted by mikef451 about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Glad this event was successful and everyone had a good time. Question; is it possible to opt out of this thread?

Posted by nicholas_demaio about 4 years ago (Flag)
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@talkbirdytome When you see a comment from this post on your feed, click the gear icon at the top right corner--that allows you to unsubscribe from the post.

Posted by hydaticus about 4 years ago (Flag)
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When is the fall one? I would really like to come

Posted by bugman1388 about 4 years ago (Flag)
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Went out to Gus Engeling yesterday. Thought a lot about this trip 4 years ago with Greg. I vividly remember EVERYONE being drenched with sweat. It was crazy hot! Good memories.

Posted by sambiology 4 months ago (Flag)
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That was a good trip! Yeah, I remember a sweaty lunch with Greg and the crew. All the cool bog plants. I collected a few Penstemon murrayanus seeds from there, germinated them and they're growing happily in my front yard at this very moment 4 years later.

Posted by tadamcochran 4 months ago (Flag)
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I think about (and tell people about) this trip all the time! It was so fun.

Posted by nanofishology 4 months ago (Flag)
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That was the day @eric_keith got his last TX Rhynchospora species.

Posted by anewman 4 months ago (Flag)
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Indeed, until Jason S. added R. inundata to Texas which I waded into 3 feet of water and didn't see.

Posted by eric_keith 4 months ago (Flag)

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