Saturday, May 30, 2009

ENV: Trips to Uvalde and Real Couties, 30 May 2009

This a.m. spent around Concan with San Antonio Audubon Society and Bob Rasa; then met Tripp Davenport, Zac Loman and Jill Wussow for an afternoon of chasing birds and dragons at Big Springs Ranch . . .

From TX: Uvalde Co., Concan, around Neal's Lodges and El Estarvo Ranch, 30 May 2009

Scarlet Musk-Flower, Nyctaginia capitata

Celia's Roadside-Skipper, Amblyscirtes celia

Giant Swallowtail, Papilio cresphontes

From TX: Real Co., Big Springs Ranch, 7 miles N of Leakey, 30 May 2009

The leech from hell . . . a medium-sized example from a stagnant canyon pond
loaded with them . . . after some research, determined this to be:
North American Medicinal Leech or Wi'-Gi-e (in the Osage language)
Macrobdella decora

The fairly rare Slough Amberwing, Perithemis domitia
new to Real Co. when first found at this location in 2007, new high of 14 individuals today

Checkered Setwing, Dythemis fugax

Blue Dasher, Pachydiplax longipennis
small individual thought originally to be Little Blue Dragonlet, this bug barely larger than an amberwing

Black-shouldered Spinyleg, Dromogomphus spinosus
new to ranch

30 May 2009
TX: Uvalde Co., Concan, vicinitiy of Neal’s Lodges and El Estarvo Ranch, with Bob Rasa and Georgina Schwartz and San Antonio Audubon Society, 7:30-11:45 a.m.

special plants discussed with various folks:
Scarlet Musk-Flower, Nyctaginia capitata (red-flowered plant at El Estarvo Ranch; photos)
Shrubby Blue Sage/Mejorana, Salvia ballotaeflora (blue sage on hillside above Neal's)
Leatherstem/Jatropha, Jatropha dioica (White-winged Dove food plant)
Tasajillo/Pencil Cactus, Opuntia leptocaulis (photos)
Guajillo, Acacia berlandieri (honey plant)
Passiflora tenuiloba (hard to locate Passionflower)

Olygyra/Helicina orbiculata (voucher)
Polygyra texasiana (voucher)
Rabdotus dealbatus (voucher)
Rumina decollata (voucher)

1 Gray Bird Grasshopper

30 Pipevine Swallowtail
2 Giant Swallowtail (photos)
6 Lyside Sulphur
25 Dainty Sulphur
3 Sleepy Orange
16 Reakirt’s Blue
1 Gray Hairstreak
1 Olive/Juniper Hairstreak
10 Gulf Fritillary
2 Variegated Fritillary
2 Bordered Patch
1 Vesta/Graphic Crescent
1 Texas Crescent (photos)
1 Monarch
2 Queen
1 Fiery Skipper
1 Common/White Checkered-Skipper
4 Funereal Duskywing
1 Celia’s Roadside-Skipper (photos)
1 Nysa Roadside-Skipper

1 Black Saddlebags

Birds (my total for this part of trip in front, including some numbers and things not seen with trip, Bob Rasa’s trip total behind, including afternoon portion of trip that i did not participate in)

[6 Domestic Mallard]
0 Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 4
8 Black Vulture 5
12 Turkey Vulture 15
0 Red-shouldered Hawk 2
0 Red-tailed Hawk 1
0 American Coot 2
1 Spotted Sandpiper 1
1 Eurasian Collared-Dove 4
100 White-winged Dove 100
5 Mourning Dove 10
12 Inca Dove 6
2 Common Ground-Dove 6
1 Yellow-billed Cuckoo 5
0 Lesser Nighthawk 5
4 Chimney Swift 1
8 Black-chinned Hummingbird 25
6 Golden-fronted Woodpecker 7
8 Ladder-backed Woodpecker 10
0 Eastern Wood-Pewee 1
0 Least Flycatcher 1
1 Black Phoebe 1
4 Eastern Phoebe 1
10 Vermilion Flycatcher 10
15 Ash-throated Flycatcher 2
1 Brown-crested Flycatcher 8
0 Couch's Kingbird 1
1 Western Kingbird 1
4 Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 6
6 White-eyed Vireo 2
2 Bell's Vireo 2
0 Black-capped Vireo 2
3 Yellow-throated Vireo 4
1 Hutton's Vireo 1
0 Warbling Vireo 1
1 Red-eyed Vireo 1
1 Chihuahuan Raven 1
4 Common Raven 19
12 Purple Martin 16
6 Northern Rough-winged Swallow 6
0 Cliff Swallow 2
0 Cave Swallow 2
32 Barn Swallow 6
2 Carolina Chickadee 5
24 Black-crested Titmouse 8
2 Verdin 2
1 Cactus Wren 2
2 Canyon Wren 2
3 Carolina Wren 4
12 Bewick's Wren 6
5 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 5
0 Eastern Bluebird 2
3 Northern Mockingbird 6
1 Long-billed Thrasher 1
0 Curve-billed Thrasher 3
0 European Starling 1
12 Golden-cheeked Warbler 15
2 Yellow-throated Warbler 8
1 Black-and-white Warbler 2
12 Yellow-breasted Chat 6
16 Summer Tanager 6
6 Olive Sparrow 8
2 Rufous-crowned Sparrow 4
2 Lark Sparrow 8
20 Northern Cardinal 10
1 Pyrrhuloxia 1
4 Blue Grosbeak 6
0 Indigo Bunting 4
9 Painted Bunting 4
6 Red-winged Blackbird 10
2 Great-tailed Grackle 6
1 Bronzed Cowbird 4
20 Brown-headed Cowbird 4
1 Bullock's Oriole 1
24 House Finch 10
18 Lesser Goldfinch 10
6 House Sparrow 10

the road in and out:
TX: Kerr Co., TX41 Highway
1 Crested Caracara

4 Scimitar-horned Oryx

TX: Real Co., US 83 Highway
1 Crested Caracara
14 Common Raven

2 Scimitar-horned Oryx
6 Sika Deer
40 Axis Deer
20 White-tailed Deer
40 Barbados Sheep

afternoon at Big Springs Ranch, wiht Jill Wussow, Zac Loman and Tripp Davenport (with some things added by Tripp from his morning there, including IDs from photos of his)

TX: Real County, Big Springs Ranch, from below school on Frio River, to pouroff pond, and up Tripp’s Canyon, with Tripp Davenport, Zac Loman and Jill Wussow, 1:30-7:00 p.m.

10 Tripp’s Giant Orange Leech (North American Medicinal Leech/Wi’-Gi-e) (photos; voucher)

Elimia comalensis (new to Ranch; voucher)
Corbicula fluminea
Olygyra orbiculata

1 Ghost Cranefly

+ Water Boatman sp.
+ Veliid Water Striders
+ Gerrid Water Striders

4 White-spotted Black Cactus Buprestid

unknown skipper I (from TD photos; working on ID)
unknown skipper II (from TD photos; working on ID)
1 Dun Skipper
1 Funereal Duskywing
6 Pipevine Swallowtail
1 cf. Spicebush Swallowtail
1 Question Mark
1 Bordered Patch
4 Gulf Fritillary
2 Variegated Fritillary
16 Reakirt’s Blue
1 Satyr sp.?
6 Sleepy Orange
1 Large Orange Sulpuhr
10 Dainty Sulphur
2 Checkered White

2 Great Spreadwing (photos)
30 American Rubyspot (photos)
4 Orange-striped Threadtail
20 Desert Firetail (photos)
2 Citrine Forktail (photos)
25 Double-striped Bluet
2 Stream Bluet (photo TD)
2 Arroyo Bluet
1 Orange Bluet
1 Powdered Dancer
75 Dusky Dancer
40 Blue-ringed Dancer (photos)
12 Aztec Dancer (photos)
2 Springwater Dancer (photos)
[1 cf. Comanche Dancer]
1 Coppery Dancer
30 Kiowa Dancer
18 Violet Dancer (photos)

3 Dragonhunter (photos)
1 Pronghorn Clubtail
2 Clubtail sp.
3 Black-shouldered Spinyleg (new to Ranch; photos)
3 Prince Baskettail
1 Dot-winged Baskettail
8 Eastern Pondhawk
6 Blue Dasher (photos; ovipositing)
50 Swift Setwing
8 Checkered Setwing (photos)
2 Black Setwing
3 Flame Skimmer
3 Widow Skimmer
12 Comanche Skimmer
4 Common Whitetail
1 Roseate Skimmer
14 Slough Amberwing (voucher; photos; ovipositing)
3 Eastern Amberwing
2 Jade-striped Sylph

1 Channel Catfish
+ Blacktail Shiner
+ shiner sp.
+ minnow sp.
30 Redbreast Sunfish
18 Largemouth Bass

+ Blanchard’s Cricket Frog
+ Rio Grande Leopard Frog

2 Eastern Tree Lizard
1 Southern Prairie Lizard

1 Great Blue Heron
3 Black Vulture
12 Turkey Vulture
1 Mourning Dove
2 Inca Dove
1 Yellow-billed Cuckoo
8 Black-chinned Hummingbird
1 Ringed Kingfisher
5 Green Kingfisher
1 Golden-fronted Woodpecker
2 Eastern Wood-Pewee
1 Black Phoebe
4 Eastern Phoebe
2 Great Crested Flycatcher
4 Ash-throated Flycatcher
2 White-eyed Vireo
2 Black-capped Vireo
2 Yellow-throated Vireo
1 Hutton's Vireo
1 Red-eyed Vireo
3 Common Raven
12 Purple Martin
2 Northern Rough-winged Swallow
30 Cliff Swallow
15 Cave Swallow
6 Barn Swallow
2 Carolina Chickadee
16 Black-crested Titmouse
2 Canyon Wren
2 Carolina Wren
4 Bewick's Wren
2 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
3 Parula sp.
9 Golden-cheeked Warbler
2 Yellow-throated Warbler
1 Black-and-white Warbler
1 Yellow-breasted Chat
5 Summer Tanager
2 Lark Sparrow
4 Chipping Sparrow
2 Field Sparrow
2 Grasshopper Sparrow
4 Northern Cardinal
1 Blue Grosbeak
2 Painted Bunting
2 Red-winged Blackbird
4 Brown-headed Cowbird
4 House Finch
2 Lesser Goldfinch

1 Rock Squirrel

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

COM: Lyle on Leno

from an article about the last of Jay Leno's Tonight Shows . . .

Unlike the solitary road life of a typical standup comedian, telling jokes to an audience of maybe 100 or so, Leno said, he had the chance to make millions of viewers laugh — and then go home each night to his wife.

In a conference room at NBC’s studio, a bulletin board typically filled with lists of guests and comedy bits for upcoming shows is nearly bare, down to the final two shows. “Prince,” read one red card for Thursday, when the pop star was set to guest.

Prince’s baby-blue Bentley was parked in the studio lot, near the backstage entrance and next to one of Leno’s prized vehicles, an eye-catching red pickup truck.

In the lunch room, the staff raids boxes of snack cakes, topped by a sign indicating they were compliments of Lyle Lovett, a guest earlier this week.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

ATH: Barcelona!!!!

This is no bandwagon!! It's my two favorite teams in the world playing each other for the title of Best in Europe!! Great Matchup, Great Game, Wow!!!

Barcelona throttles United for Champions title
Eto’o, Messi score to give Spanish club its 2nd championship in 4 years
The Associated Press, updated 3:56 p.m. CT, Wed., May 27, 2009

ROME - Barcelona beat Manchester United 2-0 on Wednesday night to win the European Champions League for the second time in four seasons, dominating behind goals from Samuel Eto’o and Lionel Messi.

Eto’o put the Spanish champions ahead in the 10th minute at the Stadio Olimpico. The three-time African player of the year from Cameroon took a pass from Andres Iniesta, cut around defender Nemanja Vidic and beat Edwin van der Sar. The goalkeeper got a touch on the right-footed shot but couldn’t keep it from going in at the near post.

Messi, a 21-year-old star of Argentina’s national team, easily won the glamour duel with reigning FIFA Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo. Messi scored on a header in the 70th off a cross from Xavi Hernandez, his ninth goal of the tournament and his first in 11 games against English opponents.

Messi, who had 38 of Barcelona’s 153 goals this season, set off colorful celebrations at one end of the stadium, filled with 62,467 fans, and left the other end in silence.

In its first season under coach Pep Guardiola, who started as a ball boy at Camp Nou, Barcelona won Europe’s top club competition for the third time following victories in 1992 and 2006. It also swept Spain’s La Liga and Copa del Rey.

Manchester United, which won the Premier League, English League Cup and Club World Cup, was trying to become the first team to win consecutive European titles since AC Milan in 1989-90. The Red Devils also won the tournament in 1968 and 1999.

United was thoroughly outplayed. South Korean winger Park Ji-sung became the first Asian to play in a Champions League final and almost scored in the opening minute but his shot was deflected wide after Ronaldo’s free kick was blocked by goalkeeper Victor Valdes.

In an effort to tie the score, United manager Alex Ferguson brought on Carlos Tevez for midfielder Anderson at the start of the second half, then added Berbatov for Park in the 66th. Ferguson’s final move was to insert Paul Scholes for Ryan Giggs in the 75th.

United defender Rio Ferdinand, and Barcelona forward Thierry Henry and Iniesta all started after overcoming injuries. It was the first Champions League title for Henry, who played for the Arsenal team that lost to Barcelona in 2006.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

ENV: Kerr & Real Cos., 24 May 2009

Was able to get out for a little while today at both Rio Vista Crossing in Kerr County (seeking Comanche Dancers, which were not found, and may not be flying yet), and Big Springs Ranch in Real County, where i found a new ranch species and had several other good things.

Decent finds at Rio Vista included one Neotropical Bluet (Enallagma novaehispaniae) and a handful of Stream Bluets (Enallagma exsulans). At Big Springs i was accompanied by Zac Loman and Jill Wussow from Humboldt State University, part of the Texas A&M Golden-cheeked Warbler Survey team, and we had some good birds as well as the odes, including a couple of male Golden-cheeked Warblers in song late in the afternoon, and three or four Black-capped Vireos in an area where they've found several pairs nesting. Of the bugs we had our best stuff at a deep dammed pond above a side canyon pouroff. This is the location where i had the first Real County, and first Hill Country, record of Slough Amberwing (Perithemis domitia) last year, and today we had at least three there, plus two Eastern Amberwings (Perithemis tenera), and on the river below the pouroff under a bluff overhang we had a teneral fly up just out of reach and good view, but that i suspect was another Slough. Also working the overhanging shrubbery were a half-dozen Orange-striped Threadtails (Protoneura cara) which are new for the ranch, although i've been expecting them there. We also saw what was probably two (and caught one) Dragonhunter (Hagenius brevistylus). We had a large array of dancers as has been usual here, although we did not look for Coppery Dancer, and encountered no sylphs today, although we were only casually in Jade-striped territory and not at all in Ivory-striped territory.

TX: Real County, Big Springs Ranch, off US83, 7 miles N of Leakey, 24 May 2009

1 Iron-gray Millipede

1 Spicebush Swallowtail
12 Pipevine Swallowtail
15 Sleepy Orange
1 Lyside Sulphur
1 Reakirt's Blue
2 Red Admiral
1 Dun Skipper

20 Desert Firetail
6 Orange-striped Threadtail (new to Ranch)
100 Double-striped Bluet
20 American Rubyspot (photos)
8 Dusky Dancer
1 Springwater Dancer
1 odd dancer sp. (voucher)
40 Aztec Dancer
30 Blue-ringed Dancer
1 Powdered Dancer
30 Kiowa Dancer
4 Violet Dancer

2 Dragonhunter (photos)
1 Pale-faced Clubskimmer
6 Flame Skimmer (photos)
4 Widow Skimmer
5 Common Whitetail
8 Comanche Skimmer
4 Eastern Pondhawk
2 Swift Setewing
3 Slough Amberwing
2 Eastern Amberwing
1 Amberwing sp. (likely Slough)

+ Blanchard's Cricket Frog
1 Rio Grande Leopard Frog

1 Texas Earless Lizard

1 Great Blue Heron
10 Turkey Vulture
2 Black Vulture
1 Red-tailed Hawk
1 Wild Turkey
2 Mourning Dove
2 Golden-fronted Woodpecker
2 Ladder-backed Woodpecker
2 Green Kingfisher (1 carrying food)
4 Black Phoebe
3 Eastern Phoebe
2 Eastern Wood-Pewee
4 Ash-throated Flycatcher
3 Black-capped Vireo (plus an abandoned nest; 1 carrying food)
1 White-eyed Vireo
1 Red-eyed Vireo
3 Yellow-throated Vireo
2 Common Raven
2 Barn Swallow
12 Cave Swallow
30 Cliff Swallow
2 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
4 Black-crested Titmouse
2 Canyon Wren
1 Northern Mockingbird
2 Golden-cheeked Warbler
1 Black-and-White Warbler
4 Yellow-throated Warbler
4 Summer Tanager
2 Rufous-crowned Sparrow
6 Field Sparrow
2 Painted Bunting
2 Blue Grosbeak
4 Northern Cardinal
2 Lesser Goldfinch
6 House Finch
2 Brown-headed Cowbird

Lace Cactus (in bloom)
Chatterbox Orchid (a few in bloom, most in seed pods, photos)
Mexican Poppy (one plant in bloom, photos)
Nuttall's Sedum (in bloom)
Canyon Mock Orange (in seedpods)
Limestone Gaura (in bloom)
Mountain Pink (in bloom)
Black Sedge (in bloom)

TX: Kerr Co., Rio Vista Crossing on the Guadalupe River, of TX39, 1 mile W of Ingram 24 May 2009

200 American Rubyspot
4 Smoky Rubyspot (photos)
1 Neotropical Bluet (photos)
3 Stream Bluet (photos)
6 Kiowa Dancer
10 Blue-ringed Dancer
60 Powdered Dancer
2 Dusky Dancer

1 Prince Baskettail

American Rubyspot, Hetaerina americana
TX: Real Co., Big Springs Ranch

Flame Skimmer, Libellula saturata
TX: Real Co., Big Springs Ranch

Dragonhunter, Hagenius brevistylus
TX: Real Co., Big Springs Ranch

Mexican Poppy, Argemone mexicana
TX: Real Co., Big Springs Ranch

Chatterbox or Giant Helleborine Orchids in seedpod stage, Epipactis gigantea
TX: Real Co., Big Springs Ranch

Cave below the main pouroff falls
TX: Real Co., Big Springs Ranch

Neotropical Bluet, Enallagma novaehispaniae
TX: Kerr Co., Rio Vista Crossing

Smoky Rubyspot, Hetaerina titia
TX: Kerr Co., Rio Vista Crossing

Stream Bluet, Enallagma exsulans
TX: Kerr Co., Rio Vista Crossing

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Friday, May 22, 2009

ENV: New US species of damselfly

This note just came across TexOdes from Greg Lasley:

Hello All,

This morning at about 11 A.M., John Abbott, Kendra Bauer, and I were at the front pond at Santa Ana N.W.R. where Bob Behrstock, Martin Reid and others had recently found numbers of Cream-tipped Swamp Damsels (Leptobasis melinogaster)

. We found several of this species and photographed both males and females. John called Kendra's and my attention to an interesting orange colored damselfly that he was trying to identify and we started getting photos of it. John thought this could be a new U.S. species but we were not certain what it was. Bob Behrstock, Martin Reid and others arrived with a field trip from the Dragonfly Days festival and between John, Bob and Martin decided that Leptobasis vacillans was the most likely identification. We lost sight of the original damsel, but Martin found a 2nd one, and later we found a 3rd one. All were more or less teneral and recently emerged. There is no accepted (by the DSA names committee) common name as yet for this tropical species. Later examination of images shows that we photographed both male and female. Dennis Paulson has looked at the images and agreed with the ID as Leptobasis vacillans. I do not have a way to post images to my website while on the road, but Jan Dauphin will post a few of my shots as well as some of her shots and make a note to TexOdes in a while with a link to the location where the images can be seen.

Greg Lasley
Austn, Texas
currently at the Dragonfly Days festival in south Texas

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NAT: Arapaho

School Immerses Kids in Arapaho Language
By Martin Reed of the Riverton Ranger via AP, May 14, 2009

RIVERTON, Wyo. (AP) — Swinging around on a piece of playground equipment at Riverton City Park, 6-year-old Cheyleigh Moss answered an important question from Teresa Hughes.

"Koo heesnee?" asked Hughes, a teacher at the Northern Arapaho Language Immersion School.

"Heesneenoo," the school pupil responded in the tribe's traditional language.

For the uninitiated, the exchange was unrecognizable. But between student and teacher, it was a simple conversation in Arapaho: "Are you hungry?" followed by "I'm hungry."

Training Goes on Outdoors, Too

The 20 or so pupils of the school that allows only Arapaho language spoken within its walls took a recent trip to the park to play and learn.

"It's part of the immersion. We're bringing them to the outside to expose them to the trees and the grass," Hughes said.

"We teach them seasonally how things occur," she said. "What we're teaching them right now is about the meadowlark," an important bird for the tribe.

The warmer weather emerging is a sign of rejuvenation in nature that translates to language, said Wayne C'Hair, lead teacher at the school.

"It's a new beginning," C'Hair said. "It's a new year for the Arapaho people and we try to teach that in the classroom."

A Descriptive Language

A good example is the Arapaho word for the month: "Benii'owuusiis." Translated: "We have conquered winter."

The teachers took their preschool through first-grade pupils to Jaycee Park in Riverton for more exposure to nature and the tribe's language outside of the classroom environment.

Hughes recalled the children's interaction with Arapaho language on the playground, "telling each other 'I want a drink of water' or 'I need to go to the bathroom,' things they know."

For the adults, hearing the language from children's mouths is like the seeing nature blossom back to life after a harsh winter.

"I haven't heard Arapaho spoken by kids in 35 years," C'Hair said. "It's coming back."

School May Counteract Other Trends

The Northern Arapaho Tribe is facing a crisis because of a lack of its members learning how to speak the native language. But with the language school opening last October near Arapahoe, the tribe hopes to turn the tide.

Laura Shakespeare, a tribal elder who helps at the school, said 243 of the tribe's roughly 8,000 members can speak the language.

"I never talk English to them," Shakespeare, 73, said about the children.

Then in the language she and others are desperately trying to preserve, Shakespeare said, "I always tell them don't speak English, talk Arapaho."

Preference for Arapaho is a Turnabout

It is almost the exact opposite of what happened to Shakespeare when she was the same age as the children on the playground.

"I didn't know how to speak English until I went to St. Stephen's School" at age 5, she said. "I started there as a beginner, learning English at St. Stephen's School. I didn't know how to speak English. I only knew Arapaho."

From her wheelchair parked under the shade of trees, Shakespeare can watch the children at play and hear their Arapaho phrases.

Hohootno trees.

Wooxuu'no grass.

Nii'eihiiho' birds.

"My ancestors and me, we know how powerful these little ones are," Shakespeare said. "They'll be ones to carry the language forward so the language will never die out."

Prayes, Songs and Signs -- All in Arapaho

Hughes smiled when she talked about the children reciting prayers, singing songs and using sign language — all in Arapaho.

A few months ago during nap time at the school, Hughes heard talking in a soft voice from one of the children. The young girl was singing an Arapaho Christmas song in her sleep.

"We want them to think and dream in Arapaho and it's already happening," Hughes said.

Preschool teacher Mary Headley also witnesses each day the children increasingly absorb the language.

"I see them speaking to each other now," Headley said. "It might be short but it's a start. It's a hope. It's come a long ways to get to this point."

Photo: Northern Arapaho tribal elder Laura Shakespeare rests under the shade of trees at Riverton,Wyo., City park on April 22, 2009, while Arapaho Language Immersion School students Ilana Anderson and Dimikko Yellowbear, both 3, play nearby.AP Photo/Riverton Ranger by Martin Reed

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

ENV: Kerr County 21 May 2009

Spent some time at two of our ponds this afternoon, and still found numbers way low from what i would expect, but diversity not bad . . . list and some pics below

Also, Troy Hibbits wrote today and provided a link to Odonata Central pics he took of Red-tailed Pennants in Real County last year . . . those (not my sighting from Sunday) thus represent the first county record for Real Co., AND of course they are documented . . . thanks Troy!

TX: Kerr Co., Hill Country Youth Ranch, 1 miles N of Ingram, Winston and Chapel Ponds, 21 May 2009

6 Desert Firetail (photo)
20 Double-striped Bluet (photo)
1 Violet Dancer (photo)
1 Kiowa Dancer
4 Citrine Forktail

1 Prince Baskettail
1 Sulphur-tipped Clubtail (photo)
1 Red-tailed Pennant
12 Banded Pennant (photo)
8 Eastern Pondhawk
2m Widow Skimmer
1m Common Whitetail
2 Swift Setwing
2 Blue Dasher (photo)
12 Red Saddlebags
1 Black Saddlebags

2 Dun Skipper
1 Lyside Sulphur
1 Southern Dogface
1 Arizona Sister

1 Green Heron
1 Golden-cheeked Warbler
2 Blue Grospbeak
3 Painted Bunting
1 Scott's Oriole

Desert Firetail, Telebasis salva

Blue Dasher, Pachydiplax longipennis

Banded Pennant, Celithemis fasciata

Violet Dancer, Argia fumpennis violacea

Sulphur-tipped Clubtail, Gomphus militaris

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COM: Hogan Campbell makes a choice

i had the honor of filming Hogan Campbell's specch for his graduation on Friday (not Saturday as the article says) . . . great speaker, great runner, great kid

Grad to be running

John Turner, The Daily Times, Published May 19, 2009

INGRAM — Heart racing, lungs burning, legs straining — this is Hogan Campbell’s idea of fun, and he wouldn’t give it up for the world.

Or his high school graduation.

“It’s just part of who I am — it’s what I wake up for,” Campbell, an Ingram Tom Moore senior, said of his dedication to distance running. “Everything I do is to perform well in this sport.”

So when the rescheduled Region I-3A track meet conflicted with Tom Moore’s commencement, well, the cap and gown never stood a chance.

“Just racing is worth missing graduation,” said Campbell, who will have his salutatorian speech taped today to be played at Saturday’s ceremony. “[Graduation’s] important, school’s important, but there’s nothing I need to complete. Running — this is what I need to complete.”

When Campbell says he wakes up thinking about running, he doesn’t mean to be cliché, just honest. The track is exactly where Campbell feels he needs to be. The challenge, the dedication, the pain — that’s how he can express himself.

“To me, it [running] means commitment, it means everything,” Campbell said. “I’d much rather go running than do anything else. That’s what my day revolves around.”

Ingram distance coach Debbie Lozano has seen the hard work pay off for Campbell, who will compete this weekend in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs at the Region I-3A meet at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. The devotion to running is a testament to his competitive drive, which Lozano says is his strongest attribute.

“He likes the fact that it’s tough and that it’s not something easy,” Lozano said. “I’ve never seen Hogan choose anything that’s the shoe-in. He works hard every practice and is the type of kid that wants to be challenged — not only physically, but mentally.”

The mental aspect has been a point of emphasis for Campbell, who has made his most valuable on-track strides in his mindset.

“You really have to work with your mind,” Campbell said. “This year it’s mainly a mental game. When you hit that feeling where you think you can’t go anymore and you go numb — it feels so great. That’s when you really start to hit your own.”

More specifically, Campbell has learned the value of patience and what it can do for a talented runner.

“Mainly, a race is waiting — waiting the entire race for a point when you see a moment and you’ve got to take it,” he said.

This lesson was best exemplified in the 3,200-meter race at last month’s District 8-3A meet. While Lozano was busy worrying about Campbell’s start, the savvy cross country runner was simply waiting until the time was right to attack.

“He had his coach a little worried, because he was not where I thought he should be,” Lozano said. “One of the other coaches further down the track said later, ‘Oh, he was just playing with [another runner], he had a smile on his face when he went by.’

“I finally said I’m about to have a heart attack, let’s go, and he kicked it into high gear.”

Campbell finished the race with a time of 10:09, a personal record and the third best time in the region. Coupled with a time of 4:38 in the 1,600-meter run, Lozano feels ITM’s track star could be destined for a time worthy of the state meet in Austin.

“I firmly believe that if he can have another race like he had in district, he’ll break 10 [minutes],” Lozano said. “That’s our hope, and that’s his goal.”

But Campbell won’t be thinking about numbers, state meets or graduation ceremonies this weekend on the Red Raiders’ track. He’ll focus on what he always does — “Just having fun,” as Campbell said. “That’s all I try to do when I run.”

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

ENV: Real Co., Laity Lodge, Frio River, 19 May 2009

Prince Baskettail, Epitheca princeps

Pale-faced Clubskimmer, Brechmorhoga mendax

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ATH: Old School National Team

Taking Attendance
By Andrew Dixon - MIAMI, FL (May 18, 2009) USSoccerPlayers

"13 years deep in this marathon I'm runnin’"
De La Soul, Trying People

When Major League Soccer began play in '96, there was a lot of negative energy thrown its way. Just the thought of maintaining a soccer league in the United States seemed like a long shot. It was suggested that the League lost momentum by not starting play in '95. Then, of course, there were the Soccer Haters who just simply wanted the league to go away.

Here we are.

Few players remain from those first few seasons. Veterans of questionable defending, some questionable jersey choices, and the shootout. The Old School, by any standard. The ones that remember. Today, I'm paying tribute.

Brian McBride
Columbus Crew 1996-2003, Chicago Fire 2008-Present

MLS' first #1 Draft Pick, and a seven-time MLS All-Star, the Chicago native helped make soccer relevant in a region dominated by Buckeye Football. For a club that prided itself as being America's Hardest Working, McBride was often its heart and soul.

McBride's athleticism was evident early. He has a hold up style that has influenced other forwards. His 62 goals is a club record that he shares with Jeff Cunningham. In all, he's scored 82 times including regular season and playoffs.

As many big games as McBride has played in for the United States, it's hard to believe that he hasn't played in MLS Cup. A victim of those early dominant DC United sides, he remains one of the most respected players in American soccer history.

My most lasting MLS moment of him isn't on the field. It was the day he announced he was leaving Columbus for Fulham and he and his wife left passing by a huge poster of him on a Columbus street. That to me demonstrated the impact he had in Columbus and in MLS.

Steve Ralston
Tampa Bay Mutiny 1996-2001, New England Revolution 2002-Present

From Baby Face to Grizzled Veteran, Steve Ralston has become one of the most consistent players in the League's history. He doesn't have crazy stats or jaw dropping skill on the ball. He's simply gone about his business and turned himself into one of those players who are indispensable to their teams. Want proof? Ralston came into the season as the all-time leader in appearances, minutes played and career appearances. He also never left.

On a Tampa Bay team that featured the likes of Carlos Valderrama, Roy Lassiter, Martin Vasquez and Giuseppi Galderisi, Ralston still managed to stand out and be named 1996 Rookie of the Year (which I always thought was kind of strange seeing as how the league didn't exist before then...but I digress). He owned the right midfield for the Mutiny. After El Pibe and Lassiter were gone, it was Ralston who became the team leader earning the first of his team two MVP awards and his first Best XI selection.

After the Mutiny folded he moved to New England and basically picked up where he left off, forming the nucleus of what became one of the toughest midfields in the league (Pat Noonan, Clint Dempsey and Shalrie Joseph). That helped turn New England into a mediocre club to an MLS elite. He plays wherever he's needed, whether it be at right midfield, left midfield or right back.

As hardworking and dependable as he is, it's amazing that he's still getting it done. Yes he has multiple All-Star and Best XI appearances and but he's still one of MLS' most underrated players.

Jaime Moreno
DC United 1996-2002, NY/NJ Metrostars 2003, DC United 2004-Present

What is there to say about Jaime Moreno that hasn't already been said?

I could simply begin and end with the fact that he's the All-Time leading goal scorer in the history of the League. Remarkable when you consider he’s shared goal scoring duties with the likes of Raul Diaz Arce, Roy Lassiter and Luciano Emillio in both forward and attacking midfield roles.

I could mention that he's the only player in this League with at least 100 goals and 100 assists. I could mention his instrumental role on four MLS Cup winning sides. I could mention the fact that as the quality of the league has improved, Moreno hasn’t lost his effectiveness.

What’s impressed me the most is his calm demeanor. No matter the situation, on the field or off, he never seems fazed, never seems to lose control, and is always in control of the situation. No matter who’s on the field with him, no matter how many defenders are surrounding him, no matter what controversy or distraction is swirling off the field, Moreno has always seemed above it all.

A legend in this League, he has to be in the conversation regarding the best ever to play in MLS.

Frankie Hejduk
Tampa Bay Mutiny 1996-98, Columbus Crew 2003-Present

I’ve often said that few people have maximized their potential the way Cobi Jones did and continue to stand by that statement. Frankie Hejduk is another candidate.

The surfer dude from Cardiff, CA spent most of the 1996 season on the Olympic team but joined up with the Mutiny making several late season appearances. By ’97 he was a regular in the lineup, making 23 appearances and etching his name in stone at right back. The following year he was making bold predictions about making the 1998 World Cup side, backing it up with the speed and tireless running that has defined his career.

He spent 5 years trying to make his mark in Europe and returned to MLS in 2003 with Columbus where he’s become a fixture at right back. His work rate and hard tackles finally got rewarded with a championship ring. His goal in MLS Cup ’08, was pure Frankie: a tireless late match 70 yard sprint to head home a pass.

His crosses may still need a warning label, but you can’t have it all. Frankie’s taken what he’s got and made it work.

Zach Thornton
NY/NJ Metrostars 1996-97, Chicago Fire 1998-2006, Colorado Rapids 2007, RBNY 2008, Chivas USA, 2008-Present

I would imagine that the only people who knew Zach Thornton was in the League in 1996 were his family and the Metrostars who paid him. But by the end of 1998, everyone in American soccer knew the big man from Maryland.

Brought to Chi-town as a back up Jorge Campos, he took over the job when Campos went to France for the 1998 World Cup, posted an insane 1.17 goals against average, made a few point blank saves at MLS Cup ’98 ,and didn’t give it up his spot in the nets for eight years.

Along the way, Zach claimed five All-Star selections, a Goalkeeper of the Year award, two team defender of the year awards, a team MVP award, and three US Open Cup championships. The argument could be made that he was the best American keeper not named Keller or Friedel.

Never a demonstrative keeper who screams at his defenders or flies off his line, h uses his positioning to deny chances. The basic job of a keeper.

After being dealt to Colorado after the 2006 season, he bounced around the League. What looked like a journeyman's end to a quality career has instead turned into a rebirth with Chivas USA.

The Beast is back and still getting it done.

Tony Sanneh
DC United 1996-99; Columbus Crew 2004, Chicago Fire 2005-06, Colorado Rapids 2007, LA Galaxy 2009-Present

The Big Cat came to DC United in 1996 and became an integral part of DC’s early dynasty, slotting in the right midfield. He scored in two MLS Cups before leaving for Germany. When he returned in '04, he helped Columbus to their first Supporter’s Shield.

Injuries limited his playing time over the next few seasons. He's making a comeback with LA, trying to help a team he twice beat in MLS Cup regain respectability.

Other Old School Playas

CJ Brown: He’s been in Chicago for so long I’ve forgotten he was there. Since starting with the Fire in ’98 he’s become the club’s all time leader in MLS regular season appearances, games played, games started, and minutes played,

Andy Williams: The poor man’s JJ Okocha, he began his MLS career in 98 and has played with Columbus, Miami, NY/NJ, New England, Chicago, AND Real Salt Lake. An influential play maker everywhere he’s gone. Set a consecutive assist mark as a rookie in 1998 with Columbus.

Andrew Dixon is a soccer writer based in Miami and a weekly columnist for USSoccerPlayers. Contact him at:

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Monday, May 18, 2009

ENV: Parasites on a Dragon

Caught this Swift Setwing, Dythemis velox, at South Fork Marsh on Texas 39 in west Kerr County on 17 May 2009. I was intrigued that it had a double whammy of hitchhikers -- the usual Water Mites, Arrenurus planus, but also some guys that resemble parasitic flies often found on colonial nesting birds. If they are parasitic i'd say they must be sucking fluids from wing veins, but i've caught hundreds (thousands?) of dragonflies and don't remember ever seeing these things before . . . there were six or seven of them on the wings when i caught the dragon, by the time i got the camera i was down to three. Close examination shows that there may be two different things involved too . . . perhaps one is so engorged that it obscures the wings . . .

Clicking on the picture will allow you to see the original size. Apologies for the not so great pic . . .

[Update: Pictures by May Lattanzio and linked on the SE Odes ListServ show similar or the same bugs on a dragon in Florida . . . Dennis Paulson identified them as likely being from the family Ceratopogonidae, and suggested the genus Forcipomyia as known to be parasitic on dragonflies]

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

ENV: Real Co., Big Springs Ranch 17 May 2009

After yesterday's storms, birds were good in Kerr County, and i was able to find a nesting pair of Tropical-like Parulas (first for Kerr County; confirmed today, and also found to be feeding nestlings for another first). These were at the Heart of the Hills Fisheries Research Station near Mountain Home.

After that i decided to make a run to Big Springs Ranch in Real County to see if there were any good birds dropped in, or if the bug populations were up after drought-induced scarcity.

Among the better birds found, were the usual Ringed Kingfisher at the usual spot, and i suspect strongly thatit is nesting . . . i'll need a day of just following it to find out . . . plus two Green Kingfishers, two Black Phoebes, one Cooper's Hawk, one Golden-cheeked Warbler, 2 Yellow-throated Warblers, one Northern Parula, 1 Louisiana Waterthrush, a batch of unidentified Parulas, and the usual suspects . . . am listing below the butterflies (still scarce) and the odonates (improving) found today, and then a series of pics of some of the cooler bugs and some scenic stuff . . .

6 Desert Firetail [PHOTO]

20 Double-striped Bluet [PHOTO]

6 Springwater Dancer [PHOTO]

20 Dusky Dancer [PHOTO]

12 Aztec Dancer [PHOTO]

16 Blue-ringed Dancer [PHOTO]

1 Coppery Dancer

3 Prince Baskettail [PHOTO 1 heavily marked, 1 lightly marked]

1 Pale-faced Clubskimmer

1m Common Whitetail [PHOTO unpruinosed m]

1m Widow Skimmer

1m Red Rock Skimmer

1 Flame Skimmer

4 Comanche Skimmer [PHOTO m&f]

3 Swift Setwing [PHOTO]

1 Eastern Pondhawk [PHOTO]

1 Jade-striped Sylph (teneral) [PHOTO]

4 Pipevine Swallowtail

1 Giant Swallowtail

1 Southern Dogface

1 Large Orange Sulphur

30 Sleepy Orange

1 Reakirt’s Blue

1 Cassius Blue (new to Ranch, New County Record)

1 Little Wood Satyr

3 Gulf Fritillary

1 Arizona Sister

1 Dun Skipper

teneral Jade-striped Sylph, Macrothemis inequiunquis
one of the U.S.'s rarest insects

Comanche Skimmer, Libellula comanche
male above, female below

Aztec Dancer, Argia nahuana

Dusky Dancer, Argia translata

Kiowa Dancer, Argia immunda

Swift Setwing, Dythemis velox

Common Whitetail, Plathemis lydia
unpruinosed male

Blue-ringed Dancer, Argia sedula

Double-striped Bluet, Enallagma basidens

Desert Firetail, Telebasis salva

Eastern Pondhawk, Erythemis simplicicollis simplicicollis

Springwater Dancer, Argia plana

Big Springs Creek on Big Springs Ranch, just before it enters the Frio River . . . home of a number of rare bugs including Jade-striped and Ivory-striped Sylph, Slough Amberwing and Coppery Dancer. There is also a substantial population of the endangered Golden-cheeked Warbler along the creek, along with five other breeding warbler species, plus Zone-tailed Hawk, Green and Ringed Kingfisher, and an undescribed species of subterranean salamander . . .

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