14 de febrero de 2022

Happy Valentine's Day to all you Nature Lovers❣

Publicado el febrero 14, 2022 07:37 TARDE por whateverwatcher whateverwatcher | 4 comentarios | Deja un comentario

02 de mayo de 2021

iNaturalist was my pandemic TARDIS - and I'm grateful

The worldwide crisis isn't really over yet, but at least the winter seems to be. (Mostly. Sort of. It's an Ohio thing; you might not understand. We can be a bit frugal here: I joke that we buy our weather in odd lots, so you never quite know what to expect.)

But at least the great outdoors is open now and starting to grow, bloom, chirp and buzz.

I must take a moment to say how grateful I've been for iNaturalist. While I've been trying to do my part with shelter-in-place, masks & social distancing, iNat has allowed me to travel in time and space. This has saved me from going any nuttier than my typical version of 'normal' :)

OK, my virtual travels were limited to my lifetime and places I've been. But I've revisited Alaska, the American southwest, our east & west coasts, Florida, the Caribbean, and France. Connected with great people in all of those places, as they helped identify my observations and even added them to projects. I've been back as far as 2013, and solved old mysteries which had previously defeated me.

iNaturalist is all of us - so to everyone I say: Thank you for helping me through a tough time!

Hawk Moth Bananaquit
Coati Hummingbird
Anole Kingbird
Quail Bee
Seal Crab

Publicado el mayo 2, 2021 05:00 MAÑANA por whateverwatcher whateverwatcher | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

01 de febrero de 2021

Old photos - and Detective work

Would it be sheer folly to place old travel photos?

Looking at photos from 2016, I found a fly that I'd never been able to ID. I really wanted to post it and find out what it was, but first I needed to know where it was. I remembered being in Charleston, SC for a Construction Users RoundTable conference. With only a few free hours that first day, I wanted to get to a beach.
Right, a beach in Charleston. Not very specific. I didn't even remember which hotel we used, so I didn't know what was close.

A beacon to guide me - Literally!

Among my photos, there was a lighthouse. A quick search matched it to Morris Island. OK, progress, but a lighthouse can be seen from a lot of places. That's kind of the point, for a lighthouse. And I needed to be sure before I posted anything.


Reviews for the lighthouse on tourism sites matched my memories and filled in the blanks:

  • 'Abundant' on-street parking (Hah! Not that day. The place was jammed. Fortunately, most people were in the bars vs. on the beach.)
  • Pubic pay parking rather far away (True, but worth it; safe harbor for my rental car.)
  • A paved path to the beach (Check!)
  • Drive to the end of Ashley Rd. (Oh yes - and something I can find on a map)
  • Concrete proof: other peoples' photos of the same lighthouse from the same angle!

Sheer folly? No, but...

It was Folly Beach.

And the fly I wanted so badly to ID?

Absolutely worth it! I searched so many things at the time, but never dreamed that it might be a robber fly. Makes sense now, but it just didn't look like other robbers I'd seen.


Publicado el febrero 1, 2021 03:04 MAÑANA por whateverwatcher whateverwatcher | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

18 de enero de 2021

Being wrong is fun!

It's always exciting when I am (or might be) wrong

That's when I learn! And, occasionally, when my species count goes up :)

People are typically very nice about it

They don't criticize and often acknowledge that they, too, are learning. I think people who like nature are mostly just like that. Of course, nature is good for us and inaturalist encourages courtesy. With the discussions we get into, some folks are starting to feel like friends I've never met (@wetlandfan, @elytrid, @greenscenery...).

They may or may not explain their reasoning

But, I stop and realize that some of these folks are doing massive numbers of IDs and being asked to render final opinions when other experts are puzzling. That's a lot of work and time.

But when they do, it's Awesome

When folks take time to educate me, I really appreciate it! With apologies to those I left out, here are a few (in no particular order):

Publicado el enero 18, 2021 07:33 TARDE por whateverwatcher whateverwatcher | 7 comentarios | Deja un comentario

02 de diciembre de 2020

Thank You!

308 people have posted identifications on my observations. 308!

The number is humbling. That's a lot of people who gave of their time to help me leave a record of the creatures which share the world with us in this tiny moment of earth's history. And it probably doesn't count everyone who spent time looking at my observations. I know that I look at quite a few where I decide I'm not confident on ID :)

I'm trying to do my part, but I know I'm receiving more than I give because I'm still learning.

So, Thank You!!

Publicado el diciembre 2, 2020 02:07 MAÑANA por whateverwatcher whateverwatcher | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

17 de noviembre de 2020

Into the Unknown!

We all need our observations identified or confirmed

All of us. So I try to spend some time on IDs. Hey - I'm asking y'all to spend time on mine.

When you explore - do you filter by Category?

I sure click on the bird, insect, etc. There are things I know more about. Or perhaps, things I know less about :)
Most people probably do.

Ever click that one with the question mark - the 'Unknown Species'?

So what happens to these entries, if we're all clicking on the bird/etc.? Not much most of the time, I suspect.

Making an Impact

I got thinking (dangerous!): How much am I contributing if I only identify the things that everyone knows about? Well, it needs to be done.
But - what if I can at least move some of the question marks into a category that people will actually look at? Or maybe - maybe - identify a thing or 2?


Those Unidentified?

  • Some are from budding young naturalists! Helping them with IDs might encourage their interest. I can hope.
  • Some seem to be from folks visiting nature centers, where they were probably invited to use inaturalist. A lot of them will never touch it again. But some could get hooked, especially if they get to learn more about what they saw.
  • There are a lot of plants and fungi in this category! Things that can fly or walk are clearly the more familiar life forms.

I labelled a lot of fungi 'Fungi". (They are a mystery to me.) But, yes, I pushed some IDs forward a little. Hey, I could even be a little wrong. But now they may catch someone's attention :)

Bee Skipper Bee

Publicado el noviembre 17, 2020 12:24 MAÑANA por whateverwatcher whateverwatcher | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

11 de noviembre de 2020

Silence, and Trash

The silence is deafening. The drone of insects, the wind blowing through the leaves... the sound track of summer, now so deeply diminished. The trees are quickly becoming bare, the flowers are gone and with them many of the insects, and many birds have headed south. Even the small birds picking at the remaining insects and berries are quieter than before.

The loss of greenery reveals the mess we humans leave behind. This is just not my favorite time of year. It's not winter yet, not for quite a while. But the change is startling, and I miss the abundance of summer.

There is life here still. The woodpeckers continue to call, and their antics are pure pleasure. Below the leaves and soil and under the bark, new little creatures are preparing for their premiere next year. Not so little ones are hunkering down against the chilly nights and the bitter cold to come. And then there are the less animated life forms - ground cover, mosses, and fungi. Even when winter comes, it's amazing how quickly small plants will spring up during any warm periods.

So I need to work on my attitude and try to learn about the things that I can see now. I'm glad that I have a big backlog of pictures, though, and I really appreciate inaturalist. I can visit summertime in my files and continue to post and learn.

Publicado el noviembre 11, 2020 05:34 MAÑANA por whateverwatcher whateverwatcher | 2 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

09 de noviembre de 2020

So much to learn!

Went for a walk with friends yesterday at a park which was new to me. Funny how the 1st time I go anywhere, I just don't see much wildlife. (Hear, yes - see, no!) I think it takes time for me to get acclimated to the place and really start to see.
One of my friends was fascinated with the fungi, so I ended up taking a lot of pictures. I also saw some neat mosses. With the tree leaves down, the sunlight is able to reach the ground. Life is exploding with urgency, no doubt well aware of the coming winter.
On posting the pictures, I found out how complicated fungi are, and how little I know about them!
There is so much to learn, and it's challenging because I am interested in everything. I can only hope that the community will be kind, and that I will be granted time on this side of the grass to learn.

Publicado el noviembre 9, 2020 06:13 TARDE por whateverwatcher whateverwatcher | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

06 de noviembre de 2020

... and sometimes just I can't explain it

I get to see things sometimes in a way that makes me really wonder.

That 'little orange moth' I noticed from a distance

  • It turned out to be a wheel bug nymph molting, and I got to watch the molt!

A flash of yellow out of the corner of my eye

Why was I there? It seems like something beyond mere luck. Everyone has their own belief system through which they process such events.
For me, I feel that I was granted a special grace to see and to bear witness to these wonders. And I am grateful.

Publicado el noviembre 6, 2020 06:07 TARDE por whateverwatcher whateverwatcher | 2 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

20 de octubre de 2020

Sometimes I get lucky...

Or maybe most of my photos represent good luck. Certainly not skill :)
A chance movement by a bird into a cooperative sunbeam allowed me to be certain of my Red-eyed Vireo.
While photographing a Fourteen-spotted Lady Beetle, I happened to notice a jumping spider lurking in the background. The spider posed cooperatively (so often they jump away!)
Whatever. I am grateful for the opportunity to witness these amazing creatures and to share them with others.

Publicado el octubre 20, 2020 09:23 TARDE por whateverwatcher whateverwatcher | 3 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario