16 January 2012
Being a Better Naturalist
One of my goals for this new year is to try and be a better naturalist - to better document and observe the nature around me. This blog has long been an effort at that, but I've actually never been good at keeping deeper records of the plants, birds, insects and other animals around me. A good naturalist would have documents of sitings with dates and other important information, like weather. I'm going to try and work may way to that little by little.
To that end, I just compiled some master lists of the plants, butterflies and moths, birds, and reptiles, amphibians and mammals found at the Grackle. I've certainly forgotten things, so keeping this updated will be a new challenge for me. The butterfly and moth list, in particular, is very small compared to all the species I know that we have.
On the plant front in particular, it was an interesting exercise to write them all down and especially to categorize what is native and what isn't. One of the little challenges with that is that while we consider some things "Texas natives," they aren't really native to this area (for example, desert willow is widely used in gardens in Austin, but is a native of in West Texas.)
One of my goals is to have more plants from the Blackland prairie in the garden, and making this list made me realize how few we have to date. In particular, I'd like to have more native Blackland prairie grasses. As a next step, I'm going to separate those plants out in my lists and then think about how to get more Blackland prairie plants here in the garden.