Päiväkirja-arkisto kohteelle heinäkuu 2022

heinäkuu 1, 2022


July 1, half-way through the year. Another beautiful sunny day here, but I'm hoping for lots of rain tomorrow, because it's really getting dry around here.

This post is a random assortment of things on my mind...

The Athol Bird and Nature Club is putting on MIIDGE again this year - the Massachusetts Invertebrate Interlude Days with Great Expectations. We're coordinating with National Moth Week and the infamous Moth Ball; MIIDGE will be Friday, July 22nd, through Sunday, July 24th. Once I get the iNat MIIDGE project set up, I'll post another reminder here. The Moth Ball will be the evening of July 23rd; contact Dave Small (davidhsmall on iNat) for details. Let's hope for good weather!

I had so much fun doing the City Nature Challenge in Massachusetts' Pioneer Valley this spring that I volunteered to help coordinate it for next year. If you live in or near Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden counties, put April 28 through May 1, 2023, on your calendar, and we will have FUN.

Species Distributions
When I go out iNatting, I try to make an observation of every species I think can be identified, because I think iNat data are often most useful as records of species distributions. Of course, iNat data are heavily biased by where observers are looking. For example, here's a map of Eastern White Pine observations (both RG and non-RG) in MA: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=2&subview=map&taxon_id=52391. What this map really shows, at least at this moment, is the distribution of iNaturalists - most of the records are in the greater Boston area, where most of the people are - even though Eastern White Pines are essentially everywhere across Massachusetts in reality.

The map for Eastern Newt, https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=2&subview=map&taxon_id=27805, gives a quite different impression. Here, most of the observations are west of the City of Worcester. There are three things going on here, I think. First, in southeastern MA, Eastern Newts usually don't transform into red efts and go walkabout in their early adulthood; they usually go directly from larvae with gills to aquatic adults. This is probably because much of southeastern MA is sandy, too dry to make an eft happy. Since most people who post observations of newts are photographing red efts, the adult newts in southeastern MA are under-counted, so to speak. Second, the urban and dense suburbia of greater Boston is no longer good habitat for newts, particularly when they are red efts - too many roads, too many cars! That's also true for many parts of southeastern MA, alas. Third, when people go hiking in western MA and DO see an eft, they're thrilled and take a photo for iNat. (I mean, they really are cute, let's face it!)

Now, there's a lot more going on with the apparent distributions of even just these two common species, but you get the idea. Sometimes, I daydream about a ten-year project that would be a fine-scale atlas of the plants of Massachusetts. There are already floral atlases at the county and (I think) town scales, but what if we could map the plant species in every square mile (or kilometer, or whatever)? What would that show us? How would the map look different in 50 years or a century? What would it take to motivate naturalists to participate in what promises to be a pretty intensive project?

Anyway, daydreams like this drive me to photograph every species (but I really should learn graminoids) and to go walk places I've never been, especially if there aren't many iNat observations in those new places.

Which is just what I'm going to do for the next half-ear and beyond. Enjoy summer!

Julkaistu heinäkuu 1, 2022 04:53 IP. käyttäjältä lynnharper lynnharper | 5 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

heinäkuu 10, 2022


I promised you a link to MIIDGE 2022, the Massachusetts Invertebrate Interlude Days with Great Expectations - here you go: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/miidge-2022-massachusetts-invertebrate-interlude-days-with-great-expectations

Come join us!

Julkaistu heinäkuu 10, 2022 06:25 IP. käyttäjältä lynnharper lynnharper | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti