plateauville

Joined: Apr 23, 2019 Last Active: Jun 19, 2024 iNaturalist Monthly Supporter since April 2022

Howdy!

My name is Roger. I am a retired Geology Professor/Geologist, who moved to the Texas Hill Country /Edwards Plateau full time in August 2018. I taught Geology at a community college along the Texas coast for almost 30 years.

Prior to that, I worked as a professional geologist for about a dozen years, first in mineral exploration, then later in petroleum exploration and production. I worked all over the U.S., including the deep Alaskan bush, the remote Upper Peninsula of Michigan, the swamps of the Piedmont of Georgia and South Carolina, in the Arkansas and Missouri Ozarks, and in an underground gold mine of the frigid, wintry mountain landscape of Nevada. One of my later professionaljobs was with big bad Exxon, which is how I eventually ended up in Texas.

I have had a lifelong interest in natural history, and was collecting bugs and identifying flowers as a little kid, even before I started collecting rocks. In college at UT, I spent a lot of time hiking and backpacking in the Smoky Mountains, learning the plants and identifying many of the bird species by their songs. I mean, of course, what I like to call “the original UT,” the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, TN. I earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees in Geology from that UT.

I originally started posting to iNat just to identify what I was seeing where I now live. I have recently realized that I could possibly make a modest contribution to science with my observations, and have started including lots of photos with my posts to help identify the more obscure, confusing, rare, or endemic species I have been seeing. I have a lot of time to hike and photograph in nearby state parks.

I’m finding that there’s even a lot of good stuff just along Texas roadsides if you don’t mind the noise (I wear earplugs) and hassle. And the occasional Good Samaritan who stops after seeing me sprawled out flat along the roadside, assuming I must be passed out or worse. (I am cognizant of dirt, snakes, ticks, chiggers, spines, spiders, thorns, poison ivy, etc., but don’t let them stop me.) I get down and dirty for closeup photos.

And I’m sure I post too many photos for most of my observations. But I have a lot to learn, and got tired of finding out too late that despite a dozen photos, the one I really needed for an ID was the leaf underside, or just the basal leaves, or the relative length of sepals vs. petals, or shape/orientation of hairs on the stem, or the color pattern on the underside of the abdomen, etc., etc. Since I started monthly contributions to iNat, maybe I can help defray costs of the servers and overhead I use… Cheers!

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