Journal archives for August 2014

August 07, 2014

Cross-Country Trip

Peggy (my wife) and I are driving/sauntering/meandering across the country this month, from August 1st to about August 25th, when we'll arrive in Rochester NY. I will be iNat-ting the entire time - in fact, I've already started. Follow along as I learn lots of things!

Posted on August 07, 2014 06:22 by gyrrlfalcon gyrrlfalcon | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Opinions and Reactions to Different Taxa

As I approach my two-year anniversary on iNaturalist (Aug 13), the experience of learning about all different types of animals, plants, and life forms has developed some patterns. One pattern I've detected is which life forms interest me immediately and continuously, which ones only intermittently, and which ones remain impervious to me (whatever my range of knowledge about them). Here's my impression of how these break down:

Love 'em
Birds - my first love, after all
Butterflies - fun to learn, and give a different sense of locality and seasonality than birds do
Moths - Just plain fun!
Odes - Caught this from Leslie
Insects (other) - Enjoying them much more than I thought I would
Lizards and Amphibians - Love em, and always have

Moderate
Spiders - I have overcome many fears to launch my learning about them
Fungus and Lichens - Too difficult for me to want to learn yet, but fun to observe
Plants - I still find it difficult to retain knowledge about plants
Mammals - I am always interested when one shows up, but pursuing them is another matter

Impervious
Ants - I resent them, I am so disinterested in them
Grasses - Just seems impossible
Fish - Not enough opportunities. I prefer sushi menus

Not Yet Explored
Tidepool Critters

Posted on August 07, 2014 14:24 by gyrrlfalcon gyrrlfalcon | 4 comments | Leave a comment

August 28, 2014

Reflections on the Cross-Country Trip, August 2014

I learned so much...primarily about how much I don't know! Fifteen states, and hundreds of iNat entries later, and among the things I've learned are these:

1. There is great wisdom in what the non-birders say about other taxa: Learn the families, before trying to learn the species. That gets you looking for details that will eventually help you with species, too.
2. Given my inability to identify plants, I will retain my desire to photograph everything of interest to me, and to try to get a variety of pictures. The other trick I learned was to take a picture of any plant storyboards at the parks where we were walking, for reference later.
3. iNat the common things at every stop, for three reasons. First, they will be identifiable to naturalists from that area (if not to me as the observer). Second, they document the basic habitat better than rarities. Third, who knows when another iNat-ter will be passing through that particular location again, so there is some responsibility to document.
4. Take as many pictures as possible with the iPhone, because the uploading process is a tad easier, and it can be done in little interstices of time. The accuracy of the date and time is also helpful (and can even be helpful later when uploading pictures from the real camera).
5. Don't worry about what you don't know - just keep adding knowledge to the data base, and to your own internal store of wisdom!

Posted on August 28, 2014 14:27 by gyrrlfalcon gyrrlfalcon | 3 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment