Guest blog by Rehanon Pampell
For the past two years, we (the Central Texas Master Naturalists) have had a rough time finding moths during National Moth Week. The last week of July apparently isn’t the best time to look for moths in Central Texas. The best time seems to be around May; however, we look forward to being among the thousands of individuals and scores of organizations around the world participating in National Moth Week year after year. This year we have partnered with Texas Parks and Wildlife – Mother Neff State Park to set up in a more remote location.
This year our event will be taking place at the new 3,800-square-foot headquarters at Mother Neff State Park. The park entry fee will be waived for the evening; gates open at 7:45pm. Participants will have a chance to visit historical displays about the Civilian Conservation Corps contributions to the state parks system, plus review history about Mother Neff and see what else there is to explore at the park during the day. The park store will be open late and even if it rains there will be plenty of moth related activities inside. Outside, you will find a black light setup with the Central Texas Master Naturalists helping you identify what critters you are finding under the night sky. You will learn what critters go bump in the night, learn why they are important, and how to use a field guide to identify them. If you are feeling adventurous, you might even go on a moth scavenger hunt or spider sniffing.
In the past, we have uploaded data to DiscoverLife.org, but this year we are submitting data to the National Moth Week project via the smartphone app iNaturalist. iNaturalist has proven to be simple to use. We hope to encourage participants to continue to get outside and look closer at the natural world and report what they see. We strive to show participants how easy it is to become a Citizen Scientist to help the ‘real’ scientists around the world be at all the places they can’t. For more information, please visit: http://txmn.org/centraltexas/central-texas-moth-night-2016/.
The Central Texas Master Naturalists (CTMN) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that serves Bell County and the surrounding areas. CTMN is part of the Texas Master Naturalists Program, a state-wide program designed to develop a corps of well-informed volunteers who provide education, outreach and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities for the State of Texas.
Registration is open for National Moth Week 2016 (July 23-31, everywhere). To register click here.
To see registered events and find public events in your area – click here.