October 07, 2017

Gymnosperms ready for global taxonomic consensus?

Hi folks,

For some groups like Odes and Amphibians, global taxonomic references are mature enough that iNat has pretty well curated and globally complete taxonomies facilitated by conversations like these:
https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/loarie/11694-world-odonata-list
https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/loarie/11101-internal-reference-taxonomies-amphibian-pilot

Unfortunately, for Plants and most other Insect orders (which are the 2 most 'observose' groups on iNat) global taxonomy simply isn't there yet. As a result, taxonomy on iNat for these groups is a bit looser with curators often adding species opportunistically, but as a result more synonymy and confusion across regions.

the 12 (or 13 depending on your taxonomic preference) families Gymnosperms represent a subset of plants that are probably mature enough for iNat to take a more rigorous global approach.

But to explore this further, we need to better understand where iNat is now in comparison to the various global references out there. To that end, I started this spreadsheet https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/10e3QgCam8rikt_y17Wh3XvY2-auTFIyqwq_2tbME1oo/edit?usp=sharing
I added and filled out columns matching iNat to key (WCSP) and I added a blank column for conifersdotorg (conifersdotorg_name) that @nutcracker is going to help fill in. If folks want to consider other sources (e.g. the GBIF backbone) can you add columns and fill them in? This will allows us to fill in the surface specific discrepancies in the sources so we can contrast the sources with specific examples (extant species only please - e.g. no hybrids, extinct taxa, or ssp/var)

Just to give a sense for where we'd be going with this Gymnosperm exercise, I fully coded the family Araucariaceae for both WCSP and GD. So were we to adopt a global reference for that genus (rather than the regional stitching approach), whether we went with WCSP or GD we'd probably want to:
1. merge Agathis robusta (sensu stricto) & Agathis spathulata into Agathis robusta (sensu lato)
2. merge Agathis dammara (sensu stricto) & Agathis philippinensis into Agathis dammara (sensu lato)

However, the following 3 changes would bring iNat in line with WCSP but out of line with GD. So whether we were to make them or not would depend on which reference we would be using.
3. swapping Agathis labillardieri into Agathis labillardierei
4. merging Agathis borneensis (sensu stricto) & Agathis endertii into Agathis borneensis (sensu lato)
5. merging Agathis moorei (sensu stricto) & Agathis corbassonii into Agathis moorei (sensu lato)

Similarly, the following 1 change would bring iNat in line with GD but out of line with WCSP.
6. splitting Araucaria muelleri (sensu lato) into Araucaria goroensis & Araucaria muelleri (sensu stricto)

Thanks!

Posted on October 07, 2017 04:33 PM by loarie loarie | 1 comments | Leave a comment

October 05, 2017

Mammal Taxonomy Help Wanted

Hi folks interested in mammal taxonomy,

This discussion https://www.inaturalist.org/taxon_splits/3993#activity_comment_1105895
has revealed that we probably need to get our act together with mammal taxonomy.

Right now we're supposed to be following IUCN. But things are a bit out of sync. I'd like to either:
1) sync up to IUCN
or
2) be a bit more rigorous about how iNat's mammal taxonomy differs from IUCN (e.g. iNat differs from IUCN in these ways for these reasons)

Moving towards either will require sorting out a bit of a mess. If any of you are interested in helping, I could totally use your help. This spreadsheet includes columns for iNat and IUCN. Everything should match up but theres ~300 species that are only in iNat (e.g. unmatched in IUCN) and vice versa. If anyone has time to kill and wants to help match these taxa up that would be super helpful:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1-7qEhmDuqutwPi2K4MeLUhOTiHMs6eDRCxXEX_h61I4/edit?usp=sharing

For example, jakob if you could help connect up some of the mismatched bats that would be awesome.

Once all these unmatched taxa are accounted for we can do the next step of deciding whether to swap/split/merge everything over to IUCN or more explicitly keep a few discrepancies.

Does this sound good?

FYI @jakob, @sea-kangaroo, @aguilita

Posted on October 05, 2017 01:02 AM by loarie loarie | 14 comments | Leave a comment

September 29, 2017

iNat staff retreat 2017

We had our 4th annual iNaturalist staff retreat this week. This time, we spent two awesome nights on the Sonoma/Mendocino county border along the coast. We spent some time exploring the Gualala River and Salt Point.

Here @tiwane, @alexshepard, @joelle, @kueda, @pleary and I are at the mouth of the Gualala River where were were surprised to stumble on a vagrant Lapland Longspur (which we sadly all mistook for a Lark Sparrow, doh).

We later found a Walker's Darner along a more inland stretch of the river. Here's tiwane and kueda photographing it:

We also got a lot of more mundane work done discussing budgets and work for the next year. Here we all are hard at work - or at least some of us...:

Here's a link to see all of our observations from the retreat (I know, not super impressive, but September in California is hard...)

Posted on September 29, 2017 05:32 PM by loarie loarie | 0 comments | Leave a comment

September 21, 2017

World Odonata List

iNat Odonaters (ie @jcabbott @greglasley @briang @jimjohnson @nlblock @aguilita @vicfazio3 @sambiology @scottking @ericisley @cordulegaster58obliqua),

I've been thinking alot about the value of having global coverage in our taxonomies for resolving frustrating regional taxonomic conflicts like this.

And @muir reminded me that there is a World Odonata List.

Should we be using that rather than the Checklist of North American Odonata as our primary external taxonomy source for Odonata on iNat? Since Paulson is involved in both it seems like they would be pretty compatible?

If so, I can help bring iNat's taxonomy in line with the World Odonata List.

If anyone wants to help, has extra time, and enjoys mind-numbing repetative work, there's about 100 iNat names ('Mystery iNat Synonyms') that are not on World Odonata List that I haven't been able to automatically match. If anyone wants to help me manually track down the 'Valid World Odonata Name' corresponding to each and fill in the second column of the table accordingly I'd be hugely appreciative:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1mVIs0Jjl538k7OEaqwfh-oy2BENWREjdOEFVsV8Ld54/edit#gid=0

Also - let me know if you're not interested in Odonata taxonomy discussions (not for everyone I know) and I'll refrain from mentioning you in the future. Likewise, let me know if I didn't mention you but you'd like to be involved in future Odonata taxonomy discussions like this.

Thanks!

Scott

Posted on September 21, 2017 06:01 PM by loarie loarie | 20 comments | Leave a comment

August 09, 2017

Internal Reference Taxonomies: Amphibian Pilot

Generally, iNaturalist’s taxonomic policies are to follow one or more taxonomic sources (e.g. Amphibians of the World and SSAR). The role of iNaturalist curators is to keep the Live Taxonomy on iNaturalist.org up to date with this External Source Taxonomy.

A problem with this approach is that the iNaturalist community has been reluctant to completely buy into any single External Source Taxonomy, and articulating priority among multiple sources (especially if they are not global) can be difficult. As an alternative, I propose a system where the iNaturalist community agrees upon an Internal Reference Taxonomy which acts as a middleman between the External Source Taxonomy and the Live Taxonomy. We’ll use amphibians as a case study to pilot this alternative.

The Internal Reference Taxonomy relies on one External Source Taxonomy as a foundation. In this case, that external source is Amphibians of the World. However, the Internal Reference Taxonomy can differ from the external source. The process for deciding how the Internal Reference Taxonomy differs from the foundation external source and any other external sources will be to reach consensus among the iNaturalist curator community. Philosophically, we strive to minimize discrepancies between the foundation external source and the internal reference so any discrepancies must be made explicit and justified with reasoning. Philosophically, we also give priority to local external references for taxa that are locally endemic (e.g. if a species is endemic to the US, then deviating from the foundation external source Amphibians of the World to accommodate a US local source such as SSAR may be more justified). Beyond discussing and reaching consensus on the make-up of the Internal Reference Taxonomy, curators will also strive to keep iNaturalist’s Live Taxonomy in sync with this internal reference.

I (@loarie) will take on the work of ‘amphibian czar’ for this pilot to:
A. update the Internal Reference Taxonomy with any agreed upon changes agreed upon here
and
B. in the event that consensus can’t be reached, act as the tie-breaker

This pilot is an experiment. The costs are that it creates a lot of work for said ‘czar’ and may lead to more taxonomic arguments among curators and the community. The benefits are that it may make for a better maintained taxonomy on iNaturalist with more buy-in from the community. If the benefits outweigh the costs, it might be worth expanding this approach to other taxa or potentially making some functionality changes to better facilitate this approach. If it doesn’t, we’ll revert back to the previous approach.

To kick things off, I’ve made this read-only Internal Reference Taxonomy for Amphibians in a Google Doc. It only considers extant species and explicitly differs from a snapshot of Amphibian Species of the World made on August 8, 2017 as follows:

1. Lumps Aneides flavipunctatus, Aneides iecanus, and Aneides niger as Aneides flavipunctatus
Reasoning: Follows SSAR for these USA endemics

2. Lumps Desmognathus marmoratus, Desmognathus aureatus, and Desmognathus melanius as Desmognathus marmoratus
Reasoning: Follows SSAR for these USA endemics

3. Lumps Desmognathus auriculatus and Desmognathus valentinei as Desmognathus auriculatus
Reasoning: Follows SSAR for these USA endemics

4. Lumps Pseudotriton montanus and Pseudotriton diastictus as Pseudotriton montanus
Reasoning: Follows SSAR for these USA endemics

5. Lumps Trachycephalus typhonius, Trachycephalus macrotis, Trachycephalus quadrangulum, and Trachycephalus spilomma as Trachycephalus typhonius
Reasoning: iNaturalist has a lot of observations of Trachycephalus typhonius so the split will be disruptive. Splitting may be premature since Mexican frogs (Trachycephalus “spilomma”) weren’t formally treated in the paper that coined the split Amphibian Species of the World follows this paper.

6. Lumps Hyla and Dryophytes as Hyla
Reasoning: SSAR hasn’t yet adopted this split, and it will be disruptive on iNaturalist

7. Lumps Pseudacris and Hyliola as Pseudacris
Reasoning: SSAR hasn’t yet adopted this split, and it will be disruptive on iNaturalist

8. Lumps Eurycea quadridigitata, Eurycea hillisi, Eurycea paludicola, and Eurycea sphagnicola as Eurycea quadridigitata
Reasoning: Follows SSAR for these USA endemics

9. Lumps Eurycea spelaea, Eurycea nerea, and Eurycea braggi as Eurycea spelaea
Reasoning: Follows SSAR for these USA endemics

10. Splits Pelophylax bergeri and Pelophylax lessonae from Pelophylax lessonae
Reasoning: While Amphibian Species of the World treats Pelophylax bergeri as a subspecies of Pelophylax lessonae, there are observations of both on iNaturalist so @danieleseglie should probably be consulted before lumping these taxa.

11. Includes Pristimantis bounides, Pristimantis humboldti, and Pristimantis puipui
@coreyjlange added these three newly discovered Peruvian endemics described here that aren’t yet in Amphibian Species of the World but they are legitimate.

While Amphibian Species of the World is a global External Source Taxonomy, SSAR is a local external source for the United States and Canada only. I've also described how our Internal Reference Taxonomy differs from this local external source (using a snapshot of SSAR on August 8, 2017) as follows:

1. Splits Rhinella marina and Rhinella horribilis from Rhinella marina
Reasoning: Amphibian Species of the World has adopted this split and the Mexican community e.g. @coatzin began using it. Because this species which ranges far beyond the US and Canada, it seems reasonable that references other than SSAR should be considered.

2. Includes Anaxyrus williamsi
Reasoning: @aambos observed and @coreyjlange identified this newly described US endemic that Amphibian Species of the World has included. So it seems reasonable to depart from SSAR and include this species.

Next steps

As part of this pilot, curators should now strive to make sure that the amphibian Live Taxonomy on iNat matches the Internal Reference Taxonomy. That means that active taxa not on that list should be swapped accordingly. I've updated the Curator Guide Policies section on Amphibians to reference this post, and please direct any inquiries about iNaturalist’s taxonomic approach for amphibians here.

Similarly, if anyone would like to propose changes to the Internal Reference Taxonomy, please add a comment to this post with your proposal and reasoning. I envision that we’ll have a discussion that loops in the appropriate local expertise on the site and reaches a consensus. I’m hopeful that we can build a polite and open-minded culture towards reaching taxonomic consensus among the community of curators.

Once a change to the Internal Reference Taxonomy is made, curators can help by making the necessary taxonomic change to update the Live Taxonomy. There's been some confusion about how to properly make taxonomic changes on iNaturalist, so hopefully this will be an opportunity to describe the proper steps in more detail necessary to keep everything in sync.

Posted on August 09, 2017 01:40 AM by loarie loarie | 16 comments | Leave a comment

May 10, 2017

Identification Quality Experiment Update

Hey folks, just checking in re: the Identification Quality Experiment. I really appreciate everybody's help. We now have over 3,000 expert IDs to start doing some analyses. Based on the data so far, 92% of the sample of observations were correctly ID'd. This is relative to the expert's IDs and assumes the expert is always right, which as @rcurtis, @charlie and others have mentioned isn't always the case, but lets assume its generally true.

One of my main questions is whether we can quantify how the accuracy of iNat observation's (that is the probability that they are properly identified) varies based on the contributions of the 'crowd' of IDers. My hunch is that 'earned reputation' of individual identifiers can be a pretty good indicator of whether an observation is properly ID'd or not. For example, if I've properly ID'd ladybirds a lot in the past (at least relative to the opinion of the community) does that mean that future observations that I identify as ladybirds are more likely to be properly identified? My hunch is yes, but in order to prove / quantify / model the relationship, we need a set of expert-identified observations (which is where your contributions to this experiment come in).

Let me first provide some background to my thinking about 'earned reputation'. I've grouped identifications on the site into four categories. Lets say an observation has a community ID of 'Ladybird Family'. The community ID is the consensus identification that emerges from everyone's IDs and dictates where an observation hangs on the tree of life. If I add an identification of 'Seven-spotted-ladybird'. This would be a 'Leading' identification since it is of a descendant of the community ID, but one that hasn't yet been corroborated by the community.

Lets imagine that enough people corroborate my 'Leading' identification that the community ID moves from 'Ladybird Family' to 'Seven-spotted-ladybird'. This would then become an 'Improving' identification because it is one that moved the community ID ball forward (ie it was the first suggestion of a taxon that the community later agreed with). I'm referring to the corroborating IDs as 'Supporting' identifications. They helped move the community ID from 'Ladybird Family' up to 'Seven-spotted-ladybird' but they didn't provide any novel suggestions.

Lastly, lets say I proposed something that the community disagrees with. For example, lets say I added an ID of 'Honey Bee' but there was still enough community weight for 'Ladybird Family' that the community ID remained there. Because my ID of 'Honey Bee' is a lateral sibling to the community ID (rather than a descendant or ancestor) lets call it a 'Maverick' identification. This doesn't mean I'm necessarily wrong, but it does mean I'm out of step with the community.

Now lets imagine that there was an observation of 'Ladybird Family' on iNaturalist and all we know about it is that it was identified by me. Lets call the number of times in the past that I made 'Improving' identifications of ladybird 'wins' (that is the times that I was the first to propose ladybird and the community later backed me up). Similarly, lets call the number of times in the past that I made 'Maverick' identifications of ladybirds 'fails'. Lets say my track-record for Ladybirds was 30 wins and 1 fail. Is there a correlation between this earned reputation and the probability that the observation ID'd by me as a ladybird is properly IDed?

The graph below shows all ~3,000 observations in the 'expert ID' sample as points colored by whether they were properly ID'd (gray) or improperly ID'd (black) relative to the expert-opinion. The x-axis shows the total number of 'wins' summed across all the identifiers contributing to that observation before it was assessed by the expert in this experiment. For example, if an observation was ID'd be me and charlie, the community ID was 'Carrot Family' and charlie and I together had 300 'wins' from past observations of carrots we'd ID'd, then the observation would sit around 300 on the x-axis. Similarly, the y-axis shows the number of 'fails' summed across all identifiers. The colors increasing from blue to red is the modeled probability that an observation is properly ID'd based on the number of win's and fails.

The model shows that there is a strong correlation between the number of wins and fails from the community of IDers and the probability that an observation is properly ID'd. For example, while the model suggests that an observation ID'd by a community with 0 wins and 0 fails (e.g. we know nothing about their earned reputation for that taxon) is 96% correct (lower left of the graph), an observation ID'd by a community with 200 wins and 0 fails for that taxon is 99% correct. Similarly, an observation ID'd by a community with 10 wins and 10 fails is 62% correct.

2-caveats: first, we know that the expert-IDs aren't always right so there's reasons the community is probably performing better than this model would indicate. But similarly, ID's aren't all independent (there's some group-think) so the community might be performing slightly worse than this model would suggest (which assumes IDs are independent). Second, we know there's a lot of other factors at play here. Other observation characteristics like location and type of taxa probably influence probability that obs are properly ID'd.

But as a simple, first-order approach. This study seems to indicate that there is a strong correlation between taxon-specific past earned-reputation among the identifiers of an observation and the probability that the observation is properly identified. This makes intuitive sense, but its cool we can quantify it. It would be pretty neat to use something like this to be a bit more rigorous and quantitative about the 'Research Grade' threshold which currently is pretty naive. We could also use something like this to try to speed up getting observations to 'Research Grade' status by putting them in front of the right identifiers (who we can target based on this passed earned-reputation). But there are also ways that this kind of system could bother people. Maybe it unintentionally gamifies things in a way that undermines the process. Or maybe its too black box and turns people off ('why is this observation Research Grade and this one not?').

Curious to hear you're thoughts. Also 3k is still a relatively small sample so would love to repeat this analysis with more IDs. So if you have the skills to help and haven't already joined the Identification Quality Experiment please do. And if you have joined, please add as many ID's through the interface as possible. Also curious to hear other thoughts on whats working / whats not working with the experiment. I know there's some concern about things like (a) ambiguous subjects of photos, and (b) accidentally stomping finely ID'd obs with coarser IDs. I'd like to find ways round these issues, but in the short term, skipping problematic obs should suffice.

Thanks again!

Scott

@charlie @fabiocianferoni @vermfly @jennformatics @d_kluza @arachnojoe @cesarpollo5 @ryanandrews @aztekium @lexgarcia1 @harison @juancarlosgarciamorales1 @garyallport @echinoblog @jrwatkin68 @bryanpwallace @wolfgang_wuster @bobdrewes

Posted on May 10, 2017 12:54 AM by loarie loarie | 13 comments | Leave a comment

April 05, 2017

Identification Quality Experiment Update

Thanks to everyone who signed up for the iNaturalist Identification Quality Experiment.

We're still getting the kinks of the study out before kicking this study into full gear, but we do have a small sample of 1,156 expert IDs to start playing with. Comparing the taxon suggested by the expert with the taxon associated with the observation just before the expert's suggestion, three things can happen:
1) match (88%): the expert's suggested taxon matches or is more precise than the taxon previously associated with the observation (e.g. observation is ID'd as Taricha or Taricha torosa and expert suggests Taricha torosa).
2) maverick (8%): the expert's suggested taxon is sister (maverick) to the taxon previously associated with the observation (e.g. observation is ID'd as Taricha torosa and expert suggests Ensatina eschscholtzii).
3) too precise (4%): the expert's suggestion is less precise than the taxon previously associated with the observation (e.g. observation is ID'd as Taricha torosa and expert suggests Taricha).

Two issues have became clear in these early days:
1) Ambiguous subjects: Because expert IDs are made blind, context like the description that observers often use to describe the subject of their observation may be missing. That can lead to situations like this where the expert thought the subject was the Laurel Sumac rather than the California Brittlebush. We're considering functionality to make the subject of an observation more explicit, but for now, skip observations if the subject is ambiguous:

2) Ambiguous disagreement: We are assuming that an expert's ID is the most precise ID that ANYONE can make based on the evidence provided. Thus, if an expert ID's an observation to genus that was previously identified to species, we're interpreting this as though the previous identification was 'wrong' by being too precise. Here's an example:

But since the expert IDs are made blind, the experts can't see how precisely observations are already ID'd. In some case, the expert's intent with a coarser ID was not to explicitly disagree with the more precise ID. For example, here's an observation was ID'd to the subspecies level and the expert added an ID at the species level. This species level ID was not intended to explicitly disagree with the subspecific ID, but thats how the system is currently counting it (ie the community's ID was 'too precise').

We're working on functionality to make it possible to distinguish explicit disagreements (e.g. 'no one can ID this to species from the evidence provided') from the alternative (e.g. 'I can only ID this to genus, but someone else might be able to ID it to species'). But for now, if you think someone else might be able to provide a more precise identification than you could, skip the observation.

Thanks again for your help. If you skip observations as described above (those with ambiguous subjects or when others might be able to make a more precise ID than yourself), then please proceed with making IDs for the experiment. I'll check back in when we have improvements to deal with these situations.

I'll also check in with more updates on the analysis as we have more data. Please contact me if you have any questions, concerns.

Thanks!

Scott

@charlie @fabiocianferoni @vermfly @jennformatics @d_kluza @arachnojoe @cesarpollo5 @ryanandrews @aztekium @lexgarcia1 @harison @juancarlosgarciamorales1 @garyallport @echinoblog @jrwatkin68 @bryanpwallace @wolfgang_wuster @bobdrewes

Posted on April 05, 2017 11:19 PM by loarie loarie | 19 comments | Leave a comment

December 23, 2016

The dangers of publishing partial taxonomic revisions...

iNat relies on the IUCN RedList as the taxonomic authority for mammals. The downside of taxonomic authorities are that they lag a bit from the primary literature - so maybe we're not quite as up-to-the-minute-informed as we could be about where species boundaries are and what our set of species should be as we could be. But the upside is we have a clear sense of the taxonomic concepts we should be following when we identify species (e.g. lets all agree to call fuzzy brown things from this are this name and fuzzy gray things from over here this other name). All being on the same page when it comes to taxonomic concepts is critical to organize conservation efforts, or inventory efforts like iNaturalist. And I'd argue that its more important that we are all on the same page regarding taxonomy even if our concepts don't represent up-to-the-minute bleeding edge taxonomy in the primary literature.

With that, IUCN during the 2004 Global Mammal Assessment used the current taxonomy that considered the 'Desert Woodrat group' as having five species: Neotoma lepida on the mainland, Neotoma bryanti known only from Cedros Island off Baja CA, and 3 other now extinct Baja Island endemics:

Figure 1.

Enter Patton et al.'s excellent revision in 2014. This study determined that the mainland woodrats, Neotoma lepida (sensu lato), actually should be split into 3 groups: a coastal species, an Arizona species, and the remaining species in between. Re: the former Baja island species, Patton et al. determined that they are all part of the coastal species except rats on Isla Ángel de la Guarda which are their own species. Patton re-used the name N. bryanti (senus lato) for this coastal species, and named the Arizona species N. devia, N. insularis for the Isla Ángel de la Guarda and reused Neotoma lepida (sensu stricto) for the remaining rats:

Figure 2.

What bothers me is that, in my opinion, IUCN should have held updating the RedList until they were ready to revise this entire group. Specifically by updating the existing assessments of N. bryanti and N. lepida, removing N. bunkeri, N. anthonyi, & N. martinensis from the list and adding N insularis and N devia. But what IUCN published in 2016 only included the addition of N. devia without addressing these other species (e.g. N. devia now overlaps with the range of N. lepida):

Figure 3.

Now the RedList gives the impression that N. lepida and N. devia co-occur in Arizona. Perhaps to address this, they yanked the map of N. lepida (sensu lato) but this just adds a lot of confusion making it impossible to understand what they mean by the names N. lepida with regard to the other taxa in the group.

If anyone from the RedList is listening, in my opinion its critical not to only partially incorporate taxonomic revisions into the published RedList. The N. lepida group should have been tackled in its entirety or not at all. In the meantime this puts us here at iNat in an awkward situation. Should we:

1. leave out species coming from our taxonomic authority (specifically N. devia rolling things back to Fig 1.)
2. or should we imply that they meant to incorporate all the revisions from Patton et al. and move things forward to Fig. 2 ahead of the published RedList?
3. or should we follow the Published RedList exactly (Fig. 3) even though it leaves us in an ambiguous state that partially follows Patton et al. in an unclear way?

Posted on December 23, 2016 10:38 PM by loarie loarie | 9 comments | Leave a comment

July 15, 2016

Walking around sapsucker woods (Trip)

walked around sapsucker woods

Posted on July 15, 2016 01:27 PM by loarie loarie | 3 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 07, 2016

Sister species everywhere!

Today, during the break in the rain, I got my wife to drop me and my daughter off at the back-side of Muir woods with a pick up scheduled at the main entrance while she ran some errands. My main target was Brackenridgia heroldi, my boogie woodlouse. Good news is I found it, bad news is... well I don't want to talk about it.. Was beautiful and moist with wonderful waterfalls and lots of Trichodezia californiata were flying everywhere.
Untitled

A funny thing about the hike was I saw a lot of pairs of plant species (e.g. two different species in the same genus) which was kind of fun. For example, I found the rarer largeflower fairybells (Prosartes smithii) touching the more common drops-of-gold (Prosartes hookeri)

largeflower fairybells (Prosartes smithii)

drops-of-gold (Prosartes hookeri) with the exerted flower parts

I also saw a Buckbrush (Ceanothus cuneatus) touching blueblossom (Ceanothus thyrsiflorus).

Not touching one another, but I did see a patch of California barberry (Berberis pinnata) at the beginning of the hike up in the mountains and a
Cascade Oregon-grape (Berberis nervosa) near the end deep in the moist redwoods.

Likewise, I saw blooming False Solomon's Seal (Maianthemum racemosum) near the beginning of the hike and Star-flowered Lily-of-the-valley (Maianthemum stellatum) near the end..

And lastly, Pacific trillium (Trillium ovatum) with their stalked flowers were everywhere, but at the end of the hike where it felt alot more coastal I saw one Giant Wakerobin (Trillium chloropetalum) with its sessile flowers.

Pacific trillium (Trillium ovatum) flowers are on a stalk

Giant Wakerobin (Trillium chloropetalum) with sessile flowers

Posted on March 07, 2016 03:50 AM by loarie loarie | 72 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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