Uploading Images from Balcones Canyonlands NWR

I have previously uploaded a small sampling of plant images from Balcones Canyonlands NWR and a few moth pictures there. Most of those were recent images acquired since my retirement at the end of 2010. But as you might imagine, during the course of my 16 years at that Refuge (and dating back many years to my earliest visits to the “Post Oak Ridge” region), I made the effort to document the flora and fauna of the area with thousands of images. Most of the material before about 1998 is in 35 mm slides and I have scanned virtually none of those yet. From about 1998 to 2005, I periodically used a camera with the so-called “Advanced Photo System” (APS film) which was sort of pseudo-digital. I have transfered many/most of those APS rolls to digital format but there have been some date issues with those rolls, leaving me with a huge headache to compare images to my original field notes to adjust dates, etc. That task is still in progress and in some cases, I don’t have corresponding field notes to verify dates, rendering the images nearly worthless for iNat purposes.

In 2003, I borrowed a nice little point-and-shoot digital camera from a colleague and the modern era of bio-documentation was off and running. in late 2009, I “upgraded” to my present Canon PowerShot SX120 which has been my constant companion through that last year of work and now through five years of very active (retirement) photography.

When I got roped into uploading images to iNaturalist in late 2014, I knew—as does everyone else—that I had a huge backlog of available imagery which might eventually finds its way onto iNat. I had begun that process by going back through my digital images in reverse chron order…reasoning that the most recent stuff was often the better stuff. While that is often the case, it created more headaches because I can’t easily determine if a given image is/was the first of the season, first ever at a location, or a Lifer critter or whatever. Clearly the more efficient way to upload this material and understand its context is to upload it in forward chronological order—yeah, I know, “What a concept!”

After spending a few days organizing and labeling much of my digital imagery from the past 10 to 12 years, I’ve now begun the REALLY fun process of moving forward in time to upload that early digital material. The Bad News: This constitutes a collection of over 25,000 digital images of all kinds to wade through. The Good News: Luckily for iNat, some large proportion of the Refuge-related imagery is made up of reeeeeally boring habitat pics, documenting every type of living or dead juniper tree, weather events, construction activity, public use events, etc. So I’m going to make a wild guess that I only have to wade through a few thousand Refuge images to look for the new/interesting biotic stuff. For the present time, I will demur from uploading the zillions of images of plants on the Refuge. With all due respect to you botanical types, that flora is well-documented but its digital residence on iNat—other than what I’ve already uploaded—will have to take a back seat to bugs, butters, and odes.

All in due time. Enjoy!!

Lähettänyt gcwarbler gcwarbler, 3. syyskuuta 2015 22:40

Kommentit

Wow! I'm impressed with your organization and commitment. I think that the "backlog barrier" can be a big one for some people--I know it was for me, and mine's comparatively small! I think a have a couple thousand images at most to put on iNat from extensive travels in New Zealand (pre-grad school) and lots of field work in Tanzania (grad school). I think I've caught up on all my misc domestic travel captured in digital photos since 2004. I definitely would have taken more organism-based photos if I'd imagined something like iNaturalist to organize them all! When I try to recruit new people who I suspect have tons of suitable phoots, I emphasize adding something rather than feeling overwhelmed by the feeling of needing to do everything. One day, maybe I'll even scan my photos from when I went to the Galapagos in 2001 and Kenya in 2002 (I don't think I have too many organism photos from Kenya though). Boy do I wish iNaturalist existed then!

Lähettänyt carrieseltzer noin 6 vuotta sitten (Lippu)

I love love love these older observations, Chuck! Like Carrie, I SOOOOO wish I knew of iNat when I was out collecting gophers for my thesis (all those times I would just explore the surrounding area as I waited for a gopher to be caught -- saw so many bugs and plants!), and as I was narrowly focused on plant collecting (could have been documenting ALL of the other critters in the ecosystem)...

Good for you for photodocumenting these things at the refuge, and thanks so much for devoting the time to put these on iNat for all of us to enjoy. :)

It's a great way to spend the super hot days here in tx -- in the ac in front of the computer! Oooor (as I will do) during the winter in front of the heater! :)

Lähettänyt sambiology noin 6 vuotta sitten (Lippu)

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