Love the Earth!


A few cool surprises today, Earth Day:

From today’s hike. Copyright G. Joder 2014

Also from today’s hike. Copyright G. Joder 2014

A cactus in my yard, on Earth Day. Copyright G. Joder 2014


copyright g. joder 2014

The Boojum tree, or Cirio, is one of my favorite Baja California plants.  For me, the Boojum is the most iconic plant of the Baja California, Mexico peninsula.  Even more so than the Saguaro-like Cardón.




Genus Asclepias


Recently, when I was in Baja California Mexico, I came across this magnificent 7 foot tall milkweed plant with flowers and seed pods.  Can anyone ID the butterfly?  Is it a Monarch?  And, what species of Milkweed? There were also two Tarantula Hawks feeding on the blooms.

copyright g. joder 2014

copyright: g. joder 2014

copyright g. joder 2014

copyright g. joder 2014

copyright: g. joder 2014

During my recent trip to Baja California Mexico I took some aerial video in and near the town I spent most of my time.  The following video shows some of the better clips from the video I captured.  I am still working toward using unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV or drone) technology for wildlife and habitat surveys and this trip allowed me to practice flying in diverse conditions – mostly due to the wind or flying over water.  While in Bahia de los Angeles I met a grad student studying whale sharks.  After only a brief discussion it was clear to us that using UAV technology was the only way to capture the best information to gather distribution and abundance numbers. You can see only so much from a boat standing 6 feet above the water.  So now, my goal is to create a UAV in the likeness used by in order to assist in in-the-field wildlife surveys.  My short quadcopter video offers only a taste of what is possible:

For about two years I worked on the endangered Sonoran Pronghorn Recovery project in southern Arizona.  The Sonoran Pronghorn is a subspecies of the North American Pronghorn.  There is another pronghorn subspecies that lives in the state of Baja California Sur in Mexico.  This subspecies is known as the Peninsular Pronghorn, Antilocapra americana peninsularis, known in Spanish as Berrendos.  During a recent trip to Baja California Sur I was very lucky to be given a tour of the Peninsular Pronghorn Recovery Project by biologists and ‘Berrenderos’ Victor Sanchez and Fernando Escoto Rodriguez.

One of the recovery areas near Guerro Negro, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Copright G. Joder 2014.

Victor and the ‘Gangster’ greet each other. Copyright G. Joder 2014

Yes, you can pet a pronghorn… Copyright G. Joder 2014.

Peninsularis buck. Copyright G. Joder 2014.


Feed station with alfalfa and pellets. Copyright G. Joder 2014.

Fawns greeting a doe. Copyright G. Joder 2014.

Fawns nursing. Copyright G. Joder 2014.


Here’s a fun video captured by my trail camera in my yard.  Be sure to listen for the Harris’s antelope squirrel call…


drone on …


I prefer the acronym UAV, meaning Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.  A ‘Drone’ to me implies death and destruction.  On the positive side, a UAV can be used for many useful purposes, from search and rescue to firefighting.  Personally, I hope to use UAV technology for enhancing biological field work.  Recently I’ve begun to experiment using this technology for such purposes.  The following video short is an example of using aerial video in a long-term project examining changes in grasslands and watercourse.  In this video I’m using a quadcopter with a gimbal-mounted gopro camera and I’m flying FPV, or First Person View, meaning flying the quadcopter using a video image transmitted from the quadcopter to the video goggles.  This allows for better accuracy in flight path.  Yes, I know I need to work on smoother control inputs …


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