01 de diciembre de 2020

Journal 4: Final Journal

Over the last two months, I participated in the Citizen Science Program. This involved me taking photos of plants and trying to complete a couple of Ecoquest challenges. The Ecoquest challenges were posted by New York Botanical Garden and had a species of plant we were supposed to find. On the iNaturalist app I was able to see different plants that people posted about in my neighborhood.

This was a very enjoyable experience. I have lived in Manhattan for a majority of my life, and never really paid attention to all of the beautiful greenery and animals that exist in Manhattan. I also really enjoyed the scavenger hunt aspect because it made it very exciting. Instead of just taking pictures of different trees, flowers, and animals near my house I ventured to different parks, and green spaces. I allowed myself to wander to new areas of Central Park and Riverside Park, and I also visited a new park right off of York Avenue! Even though I have walked through Riverside and Central Park countless times, I was shocked to see how many different species existed within a small radius of my house.

One thing I would have changed about the Ecoquest, is for it to give a description of places they can normally be found. While it was fun to explore, it was a little overwhelming to not have any guidance as to where the plant could be found. I also think it could have been really fun if the app was more like a social media app, and had a main feed so we could browse through people’s observations.

I think that the Ecoquest challenges taught me how to pay attention to detail. Specifically, when I was searching for the Common Mugwort, I stumbled upon many plants that looked like it, but I was able to identify it by the shape of the leaves. Additionally, I photographed a plant in the middle of October and then again in November thinking they were different plants, however they were the same. I would have known if I looked at the actual plant and leaf structure.

An interesting anecdote from my experience, is that I misidentified one of the plants I found, the begonias as Busy Lizzy, and someone from the iNaturalist community was able to correctly identify the plant. This encouraged me to, again, pay close attention to characteristics of the plant.

Overall, I think that the Ecoquest challenges were very rewarding, and also the ability to have access to various different types of wildlife around me in the iNaturalist app is amazing. I would definitely participate in the challenge again. I loved exploring Manhattan and gained a true appreciation for all of the nature around me. I also think that this app made me more curious about other living things in my area. For example, I saw an owl in Riverside park!! This was a very cool experience and there were many people standing around with binoculars and taking photos. I have realized since downloading the app that many people, myself included, do not acknowledge all of the natural beauty that a large city can have, and this app can help change that.

Ingresado el 01 de diciembre de 2020 por mt3263 mt3263 | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Journal 3: November ecoquest

I was not able to complete the November Eco-quest. I went to both Riverside and Central Parks, as well as a park on York avenue on the Upper East Side, and was unfortunately unsuccessful. I thought that this challenge would be easier to complete because the Groundsel Tree has very distinguishable white fluffy flowers. Instead of completing the challenge, I took a lot of additional photos. I tried to find beautiful flowers, as well as showcase the change in season through plants. Not all of my observations appear on the website, but I think you can see them in the app. I took a photo of oak-leaf hydrangea. The leaves changed to a beautiful red/purple color and really encapsulate autumn. Another photo that represents fall was the photo of the Japanese angelica tree. The leaves were more yellow with some pink/purple leaves. I also observed shasta daisies, and a Jerusalem artichoke. These flowers looked very similar beside their color. I found it very interesting that they are not part of the same family. Something else I focused on was flowers and plants that buildings bring into make the landscape surrounding the building more beautiful. I saw a beautiful rose, coneflowers and quail grass.

Ingresado el 01 de diciembre de 2020 por mt3263 mt3263 | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Journal 2: October Ecoquest

Completing the October eco-quest challenge was difficult but rewarding. I was able to complete the challenge and find the common mugwort. I looked in two different parks (Riverside, and Central Park) and many different areas within the park. While in the parks I spent close to 3 hours looking for it, and finally spotted it as I was exiting the park. Many of the observations that I made were species that I thought were the common mugwort. I was about to recognize the plant by looking at the shape of the leaves. I felt very accomplished completing the challenge. This challenge made me more aware of different species of plants that exist, and highlighted the differences between species that I confused with each other because of so many similarities.

Ingresado el 01 de diciembre de 2020 por mt3263 mt3263 | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

23 de octubre de 2020

Journal 1

I decided to do this assignment because I am really interested in learning about the different species located near me. I find that during the school year, and especially during the pandemic, it is difficult to go outside. This project will encourage me to explore nature in an enjoyable way. I am particularly interested in this project because of the EcoQuests. It will be really fun to try and look for specific species and learn about native species in the area.
I decided to to go to Riverside Park, and take pictures of different plants. I took a picture of the American Asters because I saw a bee on it, and I watched the bee fly from flower to flower, and after visiting all the flowers, fly away. The purple flower, Spider Flowers, was interesting to me because it was growing in a constrained environment. I found it interesting to think about the fact that nature has to evolve and in many ways grow around the different things that humans introduce into their environment.

Ingresado el 23 de octubre de 2020 por mt3263 mt3263 | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario