La Mariposa Ranch Summary — 2005
As usual, the hardcores were on site by Friday afternoon getting to know of the layout of the ranch and trying to locate the tanks (ponds). In general, the habitat was quite dry which was a disappointment for many of us. Nonetheless, the deep-rooted south Texas scrub vegetation was still quite happy. The grasses and forbes were hurting. That first evening was an excellent night for UV lighting despite being as dry as it was. It was quite warm and with several sheets/generators placed at various strategic locations, the collecting for little beetles and heterops was excellent.
Late that first night we were greeted by a wicked north wind. It was brisk at times, nearly flattening some of our tents. With it came very unseasonably cool temperatures. The next day (Saturday) it threatened rain most of the morning, but it never did dump on us. With partial clearing in the afternoon, we essentially had a productive and pleasant day in the field all day. The “weenies” went home that morning (you know who you are!). The second night was a cold one with no insects at the lights. Most of us “bugged out” after breakfast Sunday AM.
At least one unexpected discovery was made: bovines will eat blacklight equipment.