Leif Behrmann

Joined: Oct 21, 2017 Last Active: Aug 01, 2020

I'm an amateur trying to learn all about the natural history of the area I live in and areas I frequent for hikes, and I try to learn what I saw when I travel out of town for hikes. (These days not so much ;) I am OK with a few plant Genus keys for my area of geography (California). Long ago I took basic Botany, and Field Botany. It was in the Santa Monica Mountains. I didn't start using plant keys again until a few years ago, and those skills are relative to the amount of practice and study you put into it.

My connection with iNaturalist is I went on a couple BioBlitzes who used this software. I am an avid hiker and an environmentalist since childhood, which means I am primarily concerned with conservation of land, threatened, and endangered species, and any cause that saves what we have left of wild spaces. Stewardship of the public lands can't be left to the government, so I am interested in supporting organizations like The Ventana Wilderness Alliance. Sometimes I go on a volunteer trail crew outing with them, and it is very fun and rewarding. I also support the California Native Plant Society, because I believe every single native plant species and population should continue, and not become extinct nor extirpated. Plants are the support or have a complimentary relationship with all number of fungi, insects, birds, herps, mammals, etc.

I really want to know about the whole ecology of each area, and how everything is related. How the fungus breaks down the plant matter, and the arthropods eat the fungus, for example. I don't just want to come on here to post pretty photos, I really want to learn more about the relationships of the organisms. For example, the host plants for caterpillars, and the plants that butterflies, moths, bees, flies, etc. visit for nectar, and in turn which are pollinators for specific plants.

Hopefully this site will help scientists obtain range data, and perhaps seasonal data. However, the more contributions, the better the results. It is nice to document every living thing one sees in wild, and civilized places, except obvious captive, cultivated, domestic, etc. creatures.

I was already interested in learning the names of everything in the areas I frequently hike, by reading various books, but since I started using this site, my self education has accelerated. I am ok with identifying some organisms, and I try to make sure I am correct, but sometimes I wrong. It is fun to discuss the diagnostics of, say, plant identification, for example.

In summary on this site, learning, conservation, and science are my goals.

This is very time consuming, though, I have a huge back log! So many days last year yet to be added, stay tuned...

While out there in our last wild places, and in all places let us all be good stewards of the land, and leave no trace of our visit!

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