joulukuu 11, 2023

2023 Year End Wrap


It’s been a minute since I looked back through a year on iNat and thought about the journey through the seasons and all the public lands accessed.
Highlights of the year:

-Joining the iNaturalist Board. I’m excited to help create sustainability for iNat as the organization moves into independence with an amazing group of people. Please join our community of monthly supporters; building diverse means of support is critical.

-Passing my 40,000th observation this spring. I decided to honor it with an excursion to the Griswold Hills in search of Desert Candle, Caulanthus inflatus with a crew of people I am honored to call friends. These are all friends I’ve become close to through the time we spend out in the field. @robberfly, @leslie_flint, @burtosa

-Seeing endemic Lepidoptera including the only two endemic butterflies in Hawai’i. This Omiodes moth is stunning; I found it by running a moth light at the hotel we stayed at in Kealakakua. The Kamehameha Butterfly, Vanessa tameamea is incredibly florescent in flight as it rockets through the canopy of the forest. I was lucky to be able to catch it for the few moments it was stopped on its host. The Hawaiian Blue, Udara blackburni isn’t blue but a beautiful shade of green outlined in yellows and rusts.

Julkaistu joulukuu 11, 2023 11:32 IP. käyttäjältä catchang catchang | 2 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

syyskuu 12, 2023

joulukuu 28, 2020

2020 Year End Wrap

I don’t need to say this- but 2020 was a year for the history books. I did my best to follow Shelter-in-Place guidelines for my county. At first I tried staying close to home- but being in Oakland open spaces with hundreds of other inner Bay Area people on a trail felt less safe than driving to the next county over. I posited my actions were reducing pressure on our local parks where much of Oakland’s populace has little privilege to get further out. Perhaps my internal justification is self serving— but access to natural open spaces can be very difficult for many city dwellers.

This year’s highlights were modest:

-Local Butterfly Counts:
My favorite was the Berkeley count. Meeting up with @robberfly, @tiwane, Danielle, @kueda reminded me why it’s a privilege to be out in a beautiful day counting urban butterflies. I forget how many species we had, but we saw a number of Euchloe ausonides, Large Marbles (and a Lycaena gorgon, Gorgon Copper!).
Euchloe ausonides Large Marble
I helped with the SF, Mt. Diablo, Benicia and Pt. Reyes counts this year as well.

-Quercus palmeri:
Been wanting to see this species and tracked one almost in my backyard. Well- it was in the inner Bay Area and in my county! Still want to see the acorn cap for this. It makes a little hat that flares out amazingly. I am amazed by the potential bio-diversity in our urban areas.

-Staying safe and surviving:
I have missed all the people who I usually hike with. But here's to getting through this together.

2020 year end comparison

(Click on photo if you want to be able to read the text.)

The iNat team graciously created a Year in Review tool. It got me thinking about the 5 years that I’ve been using iNat to understand what’s around me. I started in 2016 as a way to learn my fungi and along the way, that interest shifted to lichens and then to moths. Here is my comparison of use. You can see how my interest in moths has grown (and how 2020 really was an outlier since travel was suppressed.) @robberfly was a huge part of helping me learn this area of biology. Thanks, buddy- I’m sure in 2021 or 2022 we will be able to get out and about more easily.

Julkaistu joulukuu 28, 2020 08:24 IP. käyttäjältä catchang catchang | 9 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

elokuu 23, 2019

elokuu 14, 2019

Larval Case Architecture and Implications of Host-Plant Associations for North American Coleophora

Larval Case Architecture and Implications of Host-Plant Associations for North American Coleophora (Lepidoptera; Coleophoridae) by Sibyl Bucheli, Jean-Franc ̧ois Landry, and John Wenzel

Julkaistu elokuu 14, 2019 05:01 AP. käyttäjältä catchang catchang | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

maaliskuu 15, 2019

Marsh Plants of SF Bay

Selected Tidal Marsh Plant Species of the San Francisco Estuary
A Field Identification Guide

Julkaistu maaliskuu 15, 2019 08:41 IP. käyttäjältä catchang catchang | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

Mites, Mites, Mites

United States Department of Agriculture
Agricultural Research Service
Agriculture Handbook Number 573
An Illustrated Guide
to Plant Abnonnalities Caused by Eriophyid Mites in North America
By Hartford H. Keifer, Edward W. Baker, Tokuwo Kono, Mercedes Delfinado, and William E. Styer

Julkaistu maaliskuu 15, 2019 01:55 AP. käyttäjältä catchang catchang | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

maaliskuu 7, 2019

Fresh water mussels

Yes, they exist and they have a life cycle moment hitching rides in fish gills.

Julkaistu maaliskuu 7, 2019 08:08 IP. käyttäjältä catchang catchang | 2 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

helmikuu 18, 2019

Syrphid Fly and Fruit Fly ID

a great key to syrphid flies:

Ferdinandea is a very distinctive genus and easy to identify. There are only 3 species in North America. Here is a key to species:

Yes! A super key and guide to fruit flies of California. This has keys, species notes/locations, plant hosts and WING PATTERN guide (at the very back.) A moment here to reflect on the enormous amount of easily found research brought to the internet by the UC system.

Julkaistu helmikuu 18, 2019 11:05 AP. käyttäjältä catchang catchang | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

tammikuu 2, 2019

2018 Big Year Wrap

For quite some time I’ve been curious to learn our native fungi in California. Friends would bring foraged Chanterelles over to make beautiful dinners. Amazed by the idea one could stumble upon their orange fringes pushing up out of oak duff, I wanted to wander the East Bay hills to see this myself. Many people likely share my experience of our outdoor education ignoring this area of ecology, instead focusing on the fear of mushrooms. When a (minor) health requirement to get more exercise popped up, I figured coupling hiking with extended study was the ticket. If anyone has tried to hike with the granddaddies of California fungi field guides*, you’ll understand the allure of iNat + smartphone right away.

The speed of learning with iNat in my back pocket is outstanding. The rate is even faster now with the addition of the AI engine this year. It took a little longer for me to recognize the real strength of iNat is the facility to communicate with others interested in the same areas as yourself. In the few years since beginning with this platform, I’ve come to cherish the friendships that have happened out in the field looking at first fungi and then, well- everything.

For 2018, here are the year’s highlights:
-- Eastern Sierras Butterfly Counts (3 of them!) with @robberfly, @maractwin and @sea-kangaroo as amazing naturalists to be with in the field. The trip was so epic, it’s difficult to summarize it. (Who knew Sponch was a food?)


Thank you Liam for all the hard work, coordination, deep expertise and balletic netting you selflessly offered. The number of really beautiful Speyeria, Lycaenidae and Hesperiidae up there are incredible. Being able to participate helped me to better understand the range of Lepidoptera biodiversity within our state. At the same time, I got introduced to some crazy cool vascular plants that @jdmore identified (no, I wasn’t distracted while counting leps). Also incredible was to spend time looking at tiger beetles with @storm_petrel and moths, odonates with @euproserpinus

-- Showing my dad @caliche_kid how iNat works. He’s been able to contribute both IDs and obs for his corner of Texas.

Black Skimmer
-- A big day out with some of the most amazing birders the Bay Area has to offer. @gyrrlfalcon, @dpom and Doug showed me a lifer Black Skimmer. What a beak.

-- Getting a rapier-thin chemise twig up my nose while recording lichen density in burn areas. That hurt like the dickens. I don’t recommend it unless you like nose bleeds that don’t stop.

-- Bioblitzing Sequoia NP to help expand their species list. In particular we were able to assist with moths, lichens and mosses. @nicetim expertly set up the blitz and @damontighe, @kkellman were excellent trail partners.

Pilophorus acicularis
-- Range extensions for iNat for at least two species, Niebla homalea and Pilophorus acicularis

-- Sampling for researchers - Galerina, Gilia and Niebla were a few of the species of interest I could help be extra eyes for.

-- Helping spread the gospel of lichens.

-- Moth lighting with @damontighe ‘s easy to transport kit. My kit made it all over California and to central Texas. If you are interested- here is his setup:

Year In Review 2018
--A fun, friendly and educational leaderboard slog. I was curious to see how many California species I could see in a year. There are thousands of named species calling our state home and somehow I managed to see 2,886 of them. @robberfly, @damontighe and @sea-kangaroo were hugely supportive loyal companions in this big year. By helping each other look at what was around us, we all learned so much about the world.

-- And most importantly, spending outdoor time with incredibly knowledgable people, learning from them and enjoying what it means to be here, in our beautiful environment, trying to understand what biodiversity means in this critical time. I can’t thank enough everyone already mentioned and @leslie_flint @sbenson @kueda @tiwane @merav @rebeccafay @leptonia @mrchasse @euproserpinus (apologies if I’ve accidentally left someone off.)

What does 2019 offer?
-- Spending more time in Texas which means maybe I’ll learn something about insects since they have so many there.
-- I started looking at Arctostaphylos as a group and would love to spend more time with them.
-- Who’s up for Le Grand Tour of Calochortus?
-- And lastly, I’m really going to tackle Eriogonium. Oh, and yeah- bryophytes.

See you out there,

*The excellent texts- David Arora’s Mushrooms Demystified
Dennis Desjardin, et al
California Mushrooms: The Comprehensive Identification Guide

If you are looking to purchase a fungi field guide, I highly recommend Siegel and Schwarz,
Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast: A Comprehensive Guide to the Fungi of Coastal Northern California

Julkaistu tammikuu 2, 2019 02:46 AP. käyttäjältä catchang catchang | 2 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti