Upcoming Activities…

Tuesday, August 16, 7pm, Spiders of SCNP, via ZOOM

Meghan Cassidy will give a foundation of basic info about spiders and other arachnids including harvestmen, scorpions, ticks, and a few others – most of whom are misunderstood, and almost all often feared. The presentation will include basic taxonomy, ecology, natural history, and common families. Meghan will discuss spiders found in Texas prairies and the plants these spiders may be associated with, especially those at SCNP. She will also offer some strategies for identifying spiders. Meghan has many detailed spider photos to show, and she will provide some tips for using iNaturalist as a learning resource for spiders!

See below for her bio, since she will be leading a walk at the preserve a couple of weeks later.

Saturday, August 27, 7pm, Bats of the Area and How to Find Them, at SCNP

Local bat enthusiasts Ellen Ravkind and Anne Alderfer along with bat expert Kate Rugroden from the Bat World Sanctuary will provide our program, to be held at the amphitheater, overlooking the south pond.  Kate can talk about the bats in this area and the role the sanctuary plays in education and rehabilitation. Ellen and Anne will demonstrate the use of the echo location devices from Wildlife Acoustics (Echo Meter Touch 2).

We will meet in the amphitheater that overlooks the south pond. You might want to bring bug spray and water, and a good flashlight or headlamp with fresh batteries for getting back to the parking lot at the end of the evening.

Kate Rugroden is Director of Special Projects for the Bat World Sanctuary and is a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, specializing in bats, raccoons, and opossums. To learn more www.batworld.org and www.bwmidcities-batworld.org.
Dr. Ellen Ravkind is the Naturalist Manager/Environmental Educator at River Legacy Foundation/River Legacy Living Science Center. Anne Alderfer is a part time Naturalist at River Legacy Park and a Master Naturalist. 

TENTATIVE Date: Saturday, September 3, 7:30 pm, An Evening at SCNP, Looking for Arachnids

Meghan Cassidy will lead us on a spider walk focusing on the types of spiders commonly found at SCNP. Meghan will cover high level information about the natural history of some of these spiders, why spiders are ecologically important (and not scary!), cover the 2 types of medically significant spiders that can be found in Texas along with precautions, as well as handing out an informational pamphlet she has created, including photos of spiders from SCNP! As we walk around, we’ll encounter other invertebrates (such as insects), so Meghan will give some impromptu information on any insects we come across as well!

Meghan is a photographer, and an arachnology enthusiast living in the DFW area. Originally from the east coast, she relocated to Texas 10 years ago and began studying Texas’ invertebrates in her free time, with a special focus on arachnids and arachnid diversity!

We will meet in the amphitheater that overlooks the south pond. Wear sturdy shoes or boots, maybe bring bug spray and water, and especially a good flashlight or headlamp with fresh batteries. The walk back will be in the dark, so a good light will be essential.

Recap of May 27 Program

Evening Walk, Looking for Yucca Moths
John and Grace Darling, Leaders
Photos and Comments by Dana Austin & A. Corboy

John and Grace Darling led us on a walk through SCNP with emphasis on finding some active Yucca Moths in the Glen Rose Yucca Meadow.

Before we started walking, John and Grace provided some background on Yucca Moths. For example, male and female moths emerge from their cocoons in the spring, timed with the blossoming of the yucca plant. There is an extraordinary partnership between the yucca moth and the yucca plant. They are so interdependent that one cannot live without the other, referred to as mutualism.

Recap of April Program

SEEING and REMEMBERING your visit to SCNP – with the camera app on your smartphone, presented by Jim Domke

In the April program Jim Domke shared his tips for taking better nature photos with a smartphone, including how to use depth of field to highlight your subject, how to take advantage of the lighting provided by a cloudy day, and how shooting from a different angle can enhance your photos. Jim’s presentation used his photos from the nature preserve to illustrate his points.

All were wonderful  – some dramatic, some peaceful, all lovely images of the nature preserve. The presentation is an excellent way to see the results of paying attention to details! 

View the program on Facebook Live https://fb.watch/cWzvcmIRyv/

Recap of March Program, presented by Michael Smith

Don’t Fear the Creeper – That was the title Michael gave to his program about how to help with fear of animals and nature. We humans come fully equipped to respond to nature with wonder, gratitude, amazement – and sometimes with fear and revulsion. Our brain and body can warn us of danger, but if that alarm system overreacts, we may come to fear things that are not really dangerous. That is especially true for spiders and snakes, but we can become afraid of lots of things in nature.
Michael talked about how those fears can get started and how we can decrease fears of things in nature. What can we do to become less afraid? Michael drew on his career as a Psychological Associate to give some answers. The rationale for what’s called “exposure therapy” is that gently, gradually confronting what we fear in a safe context lessens the fear. Michael suggested multiple ways to deal with these fears, many captured in a list of helpful strategies for dealing with fear and anxiety. 

View the program on Facebook Live https://fb.watch/bR_kguo8EL/

Report from the 15th Annual Backyard Bird Count

By Jim Frisinger

Our 10 bird counters tallied 35 species and 185 birds during the two-hour Great Backyard Bird Count Feb. 19 at the Sheri Capehart Nature Preserve. A Western meadowlark was ID’d for the first time in the 15 years we have been counting.
Record numbers of turkey vultures, white-winged doves and red-winged blackbirds were also counted. Sadly, no yellow-rumped warblers were spotted this year for the first time.
Below is our species list we submitted as part of the worldwide citizen count.

Northern Shoveler5
Ring-necked Duck3
Canada Goose8
Pied-billed Grebe3
White-winged Dove12
Mourning Dove4
Ring-billed Gull2
Double-crested Cormorant3
Great Blue Heron2
Turkey Vulture7
Red-shouldered Hawk1
Red-bellied Woodpecker2
Downy Woodpecker1
Eastern Phoebe1
Blue Jay5
American Crow2
Carolina Chickadee5
Tufted Titmouse2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet2
Golden-crowned Kinglet3
Carolina Wren1
Bewick’s Wren2
Northern Mockingbird1
Eastern Bluebird1
American Robin1
American Goldfinch1
Dark-eyed Junco5
White-throated Sparrow1
Song Sparrow1
Western Meadowlark1
Red-winged Blackbird70
Northern Cardinal10

Photos Top Row: Carolina wren (Annabelle Corboy), turkey vulture (Jim Frisinger), Ruby-crowned kinglet (Annabelle Corboy)Photos Bottom Row: Cyndi Golden points to a bird on Boulder Hill. (photo by Michael Golden), After a job well done: Annabelle Corboy, Amy, Hannah and Greg Snyder and Lynn Healy (Photo by Laura Capik), Tallying up the the bird count at the end of the morning, from left, Kathy Draves, Jim Frisinger and Laura Capik (photo by Michael Golden)