Field Findings | April 2022
Last week I was able to escape into the field for a few hours to a local field site and in between counting trees, logging dbh, and estimating height, I scoped out some of the things going on in the area. This isn’t a place anyone would regularly trek, especially given a lot of the rubus and smilax thickets we had to navigate, but its fun to go into the urban/suburban natural spaces from time to time to see what’s going on.
Fork-tailed Bush Katydid, Scudderia furcata, nymph
Hoplitimyia mutabilis, a soldier fly!
Emerald Flower Scarab, Trichiotinus lunulatus, getting reallllly cozy on a thistle flower!
A lot of the herbaceous layer in this area was Florida Hedgenettle, Stachys floridana.
I’ve always loved the texture of River Birch, Betula nigra
Green Cliff Brake, Cheilanthes viridis – this fern is becoming/has become very problematic in the Houston area. I only recently became aware of it last year and since then I have started seeing and noticing it in a lot of natural area. It’s actually a cool looking fern from South Africa but it is clearly going to become the next problematic fern for this region. I found one plant and ripped it up, thinking I was at least doing something and then walked 10 feet and realized I was very wrong. If I hadn’t been working I would have tried to get more of them ripped up. If you see it and you are using iNaturalist, please log it. If it is a small clump, please rip it up and take it out and put it in the trash.
Rubus fun! (ouch, ouch, ouch!)
Lesser Centaury, Centaurium pulchellum – a non-native from Europe. There are several look-alikes that are native.
Common Box Turtle, Terrapene carolina. It’s always fun to come across one of these!
The stachys really made the scenery much more enjoyable. I was out at one of these sites last year but didn’t remember this blooming at that point in time.
Hopefully I can escape to the field again sometime soon!
Your insect photos are really good. I think I could use a new lens.
What does “logging dbh” mean? The box turtle’s delightful. I see Red Sliders often enough, but I’ve yet to come across one of those.
I’ll also ask about the “logging dbh”–a mystery! As is typical of that kind of rich, biodivers area, you found so many interesting plants and critters. That river birch has gorgeous bark. I assume it flakes off over time?