Thursday, February 23, 2017

Green Darner Alert for 2017

Today is February 23, and the projected temperature will be near 60F.  The month of February has been pretty mild, and the previous weekend it was over 60F.  One has to wonder when the first sightings of Anax junius will occur in Michigan. In 2012, we had an early warm spring, and the first sighting was March 18, about 3 weeks earlier than typical.  That was also the year that we had a hard freeze in May, which killed the fruit tree flowers, and resulted in a pretty bad year for the growers in Michigan.  So, I hope that this unusual stretch of warmer temperatures does not have the same result.

If you do see any Green Darners appearing in Michigan this spring, post your observations here or to the Michigan Odonata Facebook page.  Date, Place, time, and temperature would be useful information.

Anax junius, though a late-summer version.



Friday, January 13, 2017

Rising from the dead, and mapping data.

A year ago or so, I announced the transfer of our Michigan Odonata Survey to a new host, and the link to michodonata.org was given.  A lot of  work that was done between 1997 and 2004 was found to be problematical after the transfer, especially the Keys to the Larval Odonata of Michigan.  The old work was done in Claris Home Page, back when Windows 95 was a thing, and I have subsequently found out that the file extensions did not get transferred from the original work.  I have been working on fixing and updating the pages this month, and I expect the full functionality of the larval keys to be available before January is over.  If you go there now, you'll see that parts have yet to be updated, but I am working on it.

I am also in need of someone that can take our geo-referenced specimen data (over 30,000 records) and produce dot maps for each species overlaid with a Michigan map with the counties shown.  I do not have the time to immerse myself in Arc-view, R, or any other programs.  While I can easily port the information to Google maps, I need a consistent outline map that shows only Michigan, and is easily ported to a printed version.   We definitely need something other than a filled-in county to represent distribution. Contact me if you have those skills and might be interested. I have a small amount of money that I can provide for your service.

The old county-level maps

Maps on google maps with specimen-level data
The online version of the Google Maps are great -- you can zoom in and click on a dot and see all the specimen information, but it does not translate well to a printed version.  The old county-level maps are generally, okay, but I believe a map with the dots of every record is more accurate, and more revealing, especially for an Odonata Atlas of Michigan.