Large-billed Crow or Carrion Crow

seeing 10s of new Japanese crow photos a week at inat makes me understand that I know less than I think I do.
I thought i had it sort of figured out with this pair but...sometimes it is hard.
Sure the obvious birds are just that obvious...other than that..

In the field ID is often straightforward. Birds call differently, behaviour can be viewed. This post deals solely with ID from photos, which more often than not seems to be surprisingly hard.

Comparison sites I could find are focused mainly on the obvious differences.
I hope to collect some info here

Carrion Crow Large-billed Crow
ハシボソガラス ハシブトガラス

questions I ask myself:
The curve in the upper mandible could be something to work with
Is the feathering of the saddle an indication?
Tail-width and length seem to be greater with LbC but is it a fact?
What other features could help?

big bill? large tail? This appears to be a Carrion Crow anyway
(the saddle may be a feature)

Posted on June 12, 2021 07:37 by housecrows housecrows | 0 comments | Leave a comment

High mountain reserve

I went to walk at the high mountain reserve during the day. It was pretty humid in the forest right before a down pour. I walked for around 40 minutes discovering some cool signs of life. When I first entered the forest i saw a dead log which had some lichen on it. The Lichen was whiteish green. As I continued I started to get bit by some bugs but also noticed a moth like insect almost hit me on the face. It was black with 2 orange dots. As i continued further i noticed some oyster looking mushrooms on a big dead tree stump. I felt like it was hard to find some fungus so i went a little off trail to an area where i thought i might find some cool things and i ended up spotting this fungus that complete covered the underside of a branch. It was white and made a big sheet on it. I honestly had a fun time taking photos and walking through nature. I felt like i observed more and actually got to take some time and enjoy the things going on around me

Posted on June 12, 2021 03:59 by narteaga narteaga | 8 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Emergency watering continues

60 gallons covered the 1000sq feet in June 9. Next plan is to water on June 14. Trying to keep a record here.

Posted on June 12, 2021 03:40 by jeanbog jeanbog | 0 comments | Leave a comment

A Walk

I decided to take a walk near a small river near my house that is always contaminated with mercury. It was in the 60s and not very sunny. The actual place where there are trees and "nature" is behind a big office building so everything is pretty artificially kept. For example, there is a big parking lot then it leads to a large grass area that you can tell is mowed often and then there are pebbles up until the edge of the water. The whole walk is about 2 minutes and you can count how many trees are there, needless to say, it's a very small area but I did the best I could. I saw some green substance growing on some trees and I believe it was lichen from what I could observe. On the ground between some rocks, I also spotted what looked to me as fungi. Among this, I also spotted a rat who was very fast and I was not able to capture a picture. On the grass there was an absurd amount of what I at first thought was spider webs then realized it was most likely cotton from Eriophorum plants. I also saw some plants which the app helped me identify as "Genus Parthenocissus". And lastly, I spotted the cutest little geese family but they were too far for pictures. All in all, I actually saw more on this walk than I expected to considering how small of an area it is.

Posted on June 12, 2021 03:21 by brenda_e brenda_e | 6 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Neighborhood Nature Walk

For my nature walk this week, I went on a walk around my neighborhood with my mom just before sunset. The weather was cool and in the 70s but started to drizzle towards the end. I normally go on walks around my neighborhood just to get outdoors or walk my dogs, so walking with the purpose of observing nature was a bit different. I absolutely loved paying closer attention to different fungi and plants on my walk. I never noticed how biodiverse my neighborhood is! This walk inspired me to play more attention to the details in nature everywhere. I was surprised that I was able to find the amount of different fungi that I did.

Posted on June 12, 2021 03:20 by bridgetgreen bridgetgreen | 9 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Can't Respect What You Can't Name

Today, as I was heading out of the house to see some of my favorite doctors, I noticed this fly on some of the vegetation along our walkup. Didn't recognize it, took a few photos, got on my way.

When I got home and loaded it into, I learned it was likely a Narcissus Bulb Fly (Merodon equestris). I looked to see if I had ever seen one before, as it did not look familiar. I learned that I had indeed see one, ONCE before, on the very first day I ever used iNat, on June 8th, 2016. That day I helped Pete Leki and the folks at Waters Elementary, where my kids did some of their elementary education, to do a bio blitz on the Waters School campus grounds.

I had never heard of a Narcissus Bulb Fly before that day. That day it was just a fly. An interesting looking fly. I had also never heard of iNaturalist, and wasn't sure I even wanted to learn how to use it. HA! Turns out, this fly was the 28th iNat observation I ever made. Flash forward 5 years (and three days) and I see the second Narcissus Bulb Fly I have ever seen. It was iNat observation 22,026. Still didn't know what it was when I saw it today. I did know how to find out what it was this time.

In the 5 years between these two Narcissus Bulb Fly observations, I have made 22,000 additional iNat observations of 4110 other species of living things. That comes to about 12 observations a day for the 1829 days I have been an iNat user. For the last 898 straight days, I have made at least one iNat observation a day as I try to learn the world of living things that share Spaceship Earth with us. Can't respect something you can't name. Isn't that why they chant "Say his name?"

I digress.

Really, that is about it. I found it rather amusing that today I saw my second ever Narcissus Bulb Fly, a bug I only ever saw once before, and that on the first day I ever used iNat. How interesting that that was almost exactly 5 years ago today. In the interim I have made 22,000 additional iNat observations.

I thought this was pretty cool.

Derek likes to say to me that making iNat observations is my compulsion. Or is it my obsession? My addiction? Could be worse I guess. At least those observations will help with the citizen science that iNat empowers. And really, I think of it as my classroom. My text book. My teacher. I think of what I knew about our natural world 5 years ago, I think about what I know now. HA!

I think Spaceship Earth would be a better place for humans and the organisms who share this ride around the sun with us on this 3rd rock from the sun, if everyone made one iNat observation a day to learn what else travels with them on these annual rides around our sun.

Really, I do.

Can't respect what you can't name.

Posted on June 12, 2021 03:06 by skrentnyjeff skrentnyjeff | 1 observation | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Key West, FL 2021.05.29

My friend @scottsimmons and I decided to take a biotour of the Florida Keys. This series of journal posts chronicles the expedition.

6AM Campsite

Our plan was to use a tent camp site as a base of operations and drive to different Keys each day, looking mainly for Leps and Aves.

The plan worked, but not entirely as expected. As we do, Scott and I brought backpacking gear. When we arrived at Boyd's campsite, we were greeted with RVs, a pool, and a laundromat. So much for roughing it. Nevertheless, we started at 6AM looking and listening for birds. About 20 ft from our campsite was a nesting Gray Kingbird. Laughing Gulls were out over the water, and some White-Crowned Pigeons popped up from the tops of Mangroves just across the water. Familiar species like Mourning Dove, Red-Winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, and Northern Mockingbird were heard and seen. But unfamiliar species also visited the campsite like Eurasian Collared Dove, White Ibis, and Magnificent Frigatebird. Sadly, I never got to see any Frigatebirds puff up their necks.

The absolute strangest find of the morning was a medium-sized black bird with a thick yellow beak sitting passively in the grass. It looked disheveled and made no objection when we respectfully approached for pictures. I stared at it. Scott stared at it. We both declared our ignorance. Suddenly Scott says "That's a chicken!"

Indeed: feral chickens ("Red Junglefowl") are all over Key West. They get onto hoods of cars, up in trees, into campsites. And most amusingly, they chime in for morning chorus.

8AM Key West Botanical Gardens

It turns out the gardens are closed until 10AM. However, we parked for a bit and tried to get pictures of the very common yet annoyingly flighty Florida Duskywing. These are not "true" Duskywings, but it's not easy to tell the difference in the males. They seem to be most active in the morning from 7-11 AM and seem to prefer edges of woods. These were hypnotized by a planting of Bahama Wild Coffee at the front gate of the gardens.

Also seen or heard: Monarch, Mourning Dove, Osprey, Rock Pigeon, White-Crowned Pigeon.

Fort Zachary Taylor 9AM

This area was by far the most productive site we found in Key West for butterflying ("lepping"? I would enjoy calling myself a lepper). There are some butterfly garden areas with both shaded and open habitat. And to the northwest against the ocean is a large meadow area with some very nice Bay Cedar.

The fun part of coming to a new area is that you don't know what is common. This is the Keys -- that small yellow thing could be anything! But we quickly found that the whites were seemingly all Great Southern Whites. The blues were overwhelmingly Cassius Blues. Scott and I spent way too much time waiting for a Blue to settle down because it seemed smaller than the Cassius Blues. It turned out to be ... Cassius.

The small Sulphurs divided into a few Dainty Sulphurs and a larger number of Little Yellows. These fooled me for a bit because the orange HW spot was faint, especially in comparison to ones seen near me in Maryland. The large Sulphurs were seemingly all Large Orange Sulphurs -- none of which wanted to pose.

We saw / heard:

Great Southern White
Large Orange Sulphur
Dainty Sulphur
Little Yellow
Cassius Blue
Ceraunus Blue
Gray Hairstreak
Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak
Julia Longwing
Gulf Fritillary
Common Buckeye
Dorantes Longtail
Hammock Skipper
White Checkered-Skipper
Fiery Skipper
Southern Broken-Dash

We also saw a Great White Heron

Key West Botanical Garden 12:30PM

Finally! The garden is organized as a hardwood hammock with a lot of interesting plants. The species mix shifted accordingly.

We saw

Large Orange Sulphur
Orange-Barred Sulphur
Cloudless Sulphur
Lyside Sulphur
Statira Sulphur
Great Southern White
Zebra Longwing
Florida Duskywing
Dorantes Longwing
Hammock Skipper
Monk Skipper

Brown Thrasher
Northern Mockingbird

Little Hamaca State Park 2:45 PM

This is a White-Crowned Pigeon Refuge ... next to an airport. The White-Crowned Pigeon is declared endangered because of disappearing habitat and small numbers (est about 7500 pairs). Nevertheless, it seems prevalent all over Key West, including downtown.

The habitat is salt marsh with Mangroves growing here. White-Crowned Pigeons like to hide out in Mangroves and poke their heads up in the morning and evening.

Saltwort also grows here, host plant for Eastern Pygmy-Blue, which was a nice find.

We saw:

Eastern Pygmy Blue
Gray Hairstreak
Fiery Skipper
Large Orange Sulphur
Great Southern White
Cassius Blue

Gray Kingbird
White-Crowned Pigeon
Red-Winged Blackbird
Red-Bellied Woodpecker
Northern Cardinal
Black-Whiskered Vireo

Downtown Key West 4:45 PM

Saw Monarchs along the waterfront, along with Green Heron, White-Crowned Pigeon, Cormorant, Eurasian Collared Pigeon.

See the whole gallery from 2021.05.29 here (Scott) and here (me).

Posted on June 12, 2021 02:42 by jrcagle jrcagle | 1 observation | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Publications using data from iNaturalist virus observations

Douch JK, Poupa AM (2021) Citizen science data opens multiple avenues for iridovirus research and prompts first detection of Invertebrate iridescent virus 31 in Australia. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 183: 107619. Publisher's version (open access after embargo period elapses in July 2022; requires institutional login before then): Authors' version (green open access):

Posted on June 12, 2021 01:06 by jameskdouch jameskdouch | 1 comment | Leave a comment
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На 12ый день проекта мы пересекли рубеж в 10 000 наблюдений! Участники проекта взяли очень хороший темп👍

👀И это пока только 288 участников сделали наблюдения. Очень надеемся, что совсем скоро сможет объвить о круглом числе наблюделей 😉

Дальше больше!💪

Posted on June 11, 2021 23:12 by valentinaborodulina valentinaborodulina | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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🔥1000 ВИДОВ🔥

Меньше, чем за две неделе участники проекта нашли более 1000 видов!🤩

Сейчас наш проект включает наблюдения 1117 видов! 🌼

Продолжаем искать новые интересные виды 😉

Posted on June 11, 2021 22:59 by valentinaborodulina valentinaborodulina | 0 comments | Leave a comment


Want to get more practice using iNaturalist with fellow MnSeeders? Join us Tuesday, June 22 at Horton Park 1383 W. Minnehaha Ave St Paul MN 55104 6:00-7:30 pm for a drop in session to tour the arboretum and native gardens in the park and practice your iNaturalist documentation skills. If you’re a resident or garden in the Capitol Region Watershed Service Area and have joined the MnSeed Native Plant Community Science Project on iNaturalist we’ll have a special set of lenses to enhance your photo taking using your smartphone camera.

Stay cool and don’t forget to load your photo observations with as much detail as possible. We’ll see you on Tuesday June 22nd at Horton Park! Don’t forget your camera or phone! Oh and invite your neighbors!

Posted on June 11, 2021 22:58 by sckh sckh | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Эксперты, которые просматривают сейчас наблюдения проекта «Виртуальный боатник» просят напоминить:

🌼Просматривайте комментарии экспертов. Там могут быть не только подтверждение или определение вида, но и ценные комментарии к вашим наблюдениям. А так же эксперты могут задать уточняющие вопросы, не забывайте на них отвечать.

🤓Пока вы только осваиваете платформу, мы просим вас не определять наблюдения других участников.

🌱Не спешить соглашаться с определениями экспертов под вашими наблюдениями. Под своими наблюдениями стоит дождаться хотя бы двух подтверждений от экспертов прежде, чем соглашаться с ними.

Posted on June 11, 2021 22:58 by valentinaborodulina valentinaborodulina | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Дорогие участники, по понедельникам мы будет рассказывать о том, как продвигается наш проект на платформе и подводить небольшие еженедельные итоги.

Итоги 1️⃣ недели проекта «Виртуальный ботаник»

🔸5500 наблюдений
За неделю участники сделали больше 5500 наблюдений! Уже на третий день проекта было сделано первое юбилейное - 1000ое наблюдение! О юбилейных наблюдениях будем делать отдельные посты😉
Сейчас в проекте уже 5684 наблюдения, возможно уже сегодня пересечем новый рубеж в 6000! 🤩

🔸850 видов
Более 850 видов уже нашли участники, а именно 879 видов отмечаны в проекте. Это восхитительный результат для одной недели! 🎉

🔸239 наблюдателя
Приведенные выше внушительные и впечатляющие цифры - дело рук 239 наблюдателей.
К нашему большому сожалению, не все участники присоединившиеся к проекту на платформе iNaturalist загружают наблюдения. Но мы верим, что они скоро подключатся к увлекательной фотоохоте на растения!

🔸Лидеры недели по числу наблюдений и найденных видов
Практически всю неделю лидерство по числу наблюдений и видов сохранялось за Анастасией Меркуловой.
Следом за Анастасией в лидерах одновременно по числу видов и наблюдений: Светлана Галкина, Валентина Костина.
Кроме того, Екатерина Зайкова, Татьяна Ганина и Екатерина Зазнобова являются лидерами по числу собранных наблюдений, а Яна Злочевская, Савва Чигарков и Лиана Ишмухаметова лидируют по числу найденных видов.

Но как показал опыт первой недели ситуация меняется буквально на глазах, и каждый может вырваться вперед!

Posted on June 11, 2021 22:57 by valentinaborodulina valentinaborodulina | 0 comments | Leave a comment


This hot weather has all of us in accelerated gardening mode, especially plants. You may have noticed that many of your plants are flowering early and ones that have flowered are setting seed very quickly. So now is the time to check those early spring blooming natives for seed heads. Plants like pussy toes , prairie smoke, pasque flower, and wild geranium are all setting seed here in the twin cities region. Many other early flowering native shrubs and trees are setting seed as well. Now it’s time to take your phone or camera out to the garden to document the current plant life stages for your MnSEED project. Here is a link to local pussytoes that has ready had seed harvested:

Posted on June 11, 2021 22:56 by sckh sckh | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Рекомендации и советы по работе с платформой и вашими снимками

🌱Фотографии, которые вы будете загружать на платформу должны быть сделаны с 1 июня по 31 июля. Если вы загрузите наблюдения, сделанные до 1 июня, то они не будут включены в проект «Виртальный ботаник»

☘️Фотографируйте дикорастущие растения, а не посаженные (культурные) специально на клумбах или на грядке. Если вы всё-таки сфотографировали культурное растение, то при загрузке пометьте этот факт галочкой. А если вы уверены, что культурный вид “одичал” (растет теперь в лесу или на компостной куче без какого-либо ухода), то сообщите об этом в разделе “описание”.

🍃Делайте несколько фотографий одного и того же растения (общий вид, цветки, листья) и загружайте их, обязательно, как одно наблюдение. Так экспертам будет проще определить или подтвердить ваше определение.

🌻Не загружайте размытые снимки, снимки со случайными “обрезками” растения, снимки с листьями злаков без колосков и панорамные снимки леса, опушки или обочины (на которые попадает сразу много разных видов). По таким снимкам, к сожалению, ни эксперт, ни нейросеть помочь с определением растений не сможет.

🍀Если снимаете растение дома, сорвав его в лесу или на лугу, то точка на карте должна соответствовать месту произрастания, а не месту съёмки. Это важно для составления карты распространения растений.

🌸Не делайте скриншоты изначальных снимков или фотографий из интернета (facebook, ВК и проч.) - у таких наблюдений нет вшитого файла с местом и временем съемки. И ваши фотографии не будут отмечаться на картах и не попадут в базу данных.

🌷Не загружайте чужие снимки. Ведь вы здесь, чтобы собрать свою собственную коллекцию! 🙂

🌿При загрузке наблюдения, если вы знаете, к какому вид или роду относится растение - подписывайте! Если нет, посмотрите, что предлагает нейросеть 😉

🌹Если вы не знаете, что за растение сфотографировали даже приблизительно, а предложенные нейросетью варианты не подходят, подписывайте растения хотя бы до отдела (цветковые растения, папоротники) или указывайте группу - Сосудистые растения.

🌼Просматривайте комментарии экспертов. Там могут быть не только подтверждение или определение вида, но и ценные комментарии к вашим наблюдениям.

🤓Пока вы только осваиваете платформу, мы просим вас не опредялять наблюдения других участников, и не спешить соглашаться с определениями экспертов под вашими наблюдениями. Под своми наблюдениями стоит должаться хотя бы двух подтвержданий от экспертов.

Posted on June 11, 2021 22:56 by valentinaborodulina valentinaborodulina | 0 comments | Leave a comment

iNaturalist Webinar Recording Available


Are you signed up for the MnSeed Native Plant Community Science Project? Have you started to document your native plantings as observations in iNaturalist? Minnesota State Horticultural Society hosted a great iNaturalist introduction webinar in May. Britt Forsberg, UMN Extension Educator and Master Naturalist shared her best practices to make the most of iNaturalist and this project. If you missed the webinar here is the recording:

Posted on June 11, 2021 22:50 by dmlamm dmlamm | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Today we held a program all about pollinators. Lucinda and Roger Mays joined us and along with our visitors we had a great time! First, Roger read us a story "Flowers are Calling" by Rita Gray. Then Lucinda and the audience talked about types of pollinators, and what makes good pollinator habitat. We all went outside and the hands on fun began. Visitors made their own cardboard pots, and potted up starts of parsley (a host plant for black swallowtail butterflies). Then they cut out seed packets and opened up the seed heads of Queen Sophia marigold seeds grown in Lucinda's garden. They were amazed at how many seed there were! Participants left with seed packets, a new plant and a basking stone to help make comfortable butterfly habitat.

Staff planted two containers in front of the library planted with parsley, marigolds, and anise hyssop. Now we will just wait for visitors. We will take photographs to post of our insect guests this summer.

Posted on June 11, 2021 21:51 by sjrolfsmeier sjrolfsmeier | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Massachusetts Butterfly Big Year update 2

Today I hit 50 species, half-way there to my goal. Of course, I've already gotten a lot of the easy ones, in addition to the early spring difficult ones. My next challenge is getting the hairstreaks when most of them start flying in a couple of weeks. There are only a few habitat specialists to worry about at mid-summer, like Bog Copper and Dion Skipper. I've written off a second species, Cobweb Skipper.

Posted on June 11, 2021 21:19 by maractwin maractwin | 4 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Get ready we are live at Sunset June 11 EDT

I hope you have had a chance to think about what images you would like to get. Anything you see on a forest walk is great. The best images focus in on one species without a lot of other plants or debris around the image.

If you have a drone and can legally fly in a forest get up close to leaves and flowers and take a picture. The higher off the ground the better. I have not been too lucky seeing animals with my drone but you might do better than me! We had some students observe the Duke Lemur center inhabitants

Posted on June 11, 2021 21:04 by dukexprize dukexprize | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Join our Calgary Pollinator Count!

This project aims to document the insect pollinators present in Calgary and their associated plants. Please contribute your photographs of an insects interacting with the flower surface or flower parts of plants. Associated plants can be in wild or cultivated settings.

To be included, observations must:

  • Be of an insect
  • Clearly show the plant the insect was interacting with
  • Include the observation field "Interaction->Visited flower of"
  • (Optional) Include the observation field "Associated observation"

Thank you for helping us better understand Calgary's Insect Pollinators!

Posted on June 11, 2021 20:57 by m_summers m_summers | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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BioBlitz results!

Thanks everyone for joining us for the Coyote Creek BioBlitz! It was nice to be back by the Anderson Reservoir Visitor Center, after such a long time. We saw plenty of bird activity, including a Steller's Jay nest, and Bewick's Wren fledglings, in addition to many other birds.

We documented many insects that were found on the oaks along the creek, including the rare Ashy Gray Lady Beetle and a few species of galls (and the first of the season Spined Turban Gall Wasp on a Valley Oak). We saw 6 species of ants, and some really cool wasps, such as the Pacific Velvet Ant, which is not an ant, but a female wasp, searching the ground quickly for native bee nests to lay her eggs in.
In the creek, we found a few Damselfly larvae, Mayfly larvae, aquatic bugs and crustaceans, and countless invasive New Zealand Mudsnails, that unfortunately keep spreading in the area.
I hope you had fun, and please join our future events!

Posted on June 11, 2021 20:34 by merav merav | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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6/11/21 - “Easy" Summer Bees

As you have probably figured out by now, there aren’t a lot of bees that are easy to identify. There are, however, a couple common species that can be easily recognized once you know what to look for.

The Bicolored Striped Sweat Bee (Agapostemon virescens) is probably the easiest bee in VT to identify. The females are big and bright green with a black and white-striped abdomen (we don’t have to worry about males for a few more months).

Wilke's Mining Bee (Andrena wilkella) is not nearly as distinctive, but is common and often found in many human-modified landscapes. It is an introduced species that is associated with non-native legumes and one of the only midsummer Mining Bees (Genus Andrena).

Posted on June 11, 2021 20:26 by beeboy beeboy | 1 comment | Leave a comment

Doolittle Lake

Walked all around the lake which is about 3 miles and took about an hour and a half due to walking slowly to search for fungi. I'm not very good at spotting or identifying fungi, but I was pleasantly surprised to find more than just a few. The shallow end of the lake is where I found most of my specimens as it is in a wetland. The weather was dry, clear and about 90 degrees fahrenheit. Most of my finding where on or new trees in the woods on the embankment of the lake. This spot is a family vacation place that we love to visit when we get the chance.

Posted on June 11, 2021 20:11 by natureangel22 natureangel22 | 9 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Fungi-Focused Nature Walk

I walked for about 30 minutes at a nearby state park. I mainly stayed on one walking trail that weaved through a forest and passed a few lakes and ponds. The more mushroom-looking fungi I found were near these bodies of water. There was also a strong smell of sulfur by the water, which I thought was interesting. I also saw a lot of common forest animals, like squirrels and deer. The wild turkey I added to my observations had a limp which was sad to see. But back to the fungi! Besides the mushrooms, I saw an additional organism that I had more trouble identifying. It was definitely a fungi, but it was broken up into three different pieces, maybe by an animal. I also observed lots of moss on the forest floor, and green algae in the water. It wasn’t hot out at all. It was a more cloudy day and it even started to drizzle by the end of my walk.

Posted on June 11, 2021 20:06 by kkitrick kkitrick | 7 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

First Butterfly Walk for 2021

11th June 2021

Yesterday Neha shared a photograph with me. Looked like some blood drops on a ber leaf. I thought she got pricked with the thron while taking the photograph, she thought it was some butterfly egg so she took picture to check with me.

We both had a hearty laugh at our imaginations and then suddenly felt we are missing butterflying for so long. The day we decided to visit Sihagad and ARAI, Corona lockdown hit and it’s been a long wait. We decided to take calculated risk today to venture out.

For the Butterflies of Pune WA group members, they are familiar with Neha’s Aho. So our concern of ‘how to reach’ the spot Neha has been asking to visit for several months now was solved. We went triple seat (butterflying ke liye ye risk bhi liya) till the spot.

Ab spot tha kaunsa? Locally known as DY Patil College hill or Khandoba Mandir Tekdi (there are three hillocks running together, from DY Patil College side of medium height, then we graduate down to a flat hillock and the Khandoba Mandir tekdi needs a bit of muscle power. We climbed from DY Patil College side. BTW officially its called Mauje Lohegaon Reserve Forest Area (from the board pinned up on the hillock)

Day was quite windy, hills are barren (no huge trees to break wind speed), butterflies we saw were struggling to take hold on ground/vegetation however it was hard for them to get the foothold. Hard for us to photograph them. The first sighting was of a tawny coster, trying to grip its hold on stone as wind made it difficult to fly. Next to struggle for hold was a mottled emigrant. We had another challenge here. Two officials from the plantation department were telling me how to photograph a butterfly. Neha took the time to focus on the tawny coster then, and as I rushed to photograph the tawny coster, she chanced on the mottled emigrant while the officials kept telling us, how to photograph butterflies. Anyhow, we slowly distanced from them and get back to exploring the vegetation on the hill.

Next on the surprise list was a plumbeous/common shot/ scarce shot silverline. I could just get a glimpse when it flew away before we could photograph it. Looked for it a bit, did not find so we started walking ahead. The butterfly popped up again right infront, but again tested our patience with hiding act right infront. We went ahead and spotted our first Capparis sapling on hill. Yet to identify the species, definitely not C zeylanica that we keep observing on our other hot spot. We were hoping to see pioneer or gull caterpillars on the plant but it was clean.

With couple of showers right from beginning of May month, all the ground vegetation is breaking its dormancy and popping up. There were interesting grass species all set to hold up the mud during heavy rains. Tiny nail head sized flowers have started blooming and attracting butterflies 10 fold its size to come and nectar on it. We spotted another silverline on the rocky patch. It was really tired of the wind and wanted to rest. So it was trying to dig all its three pair of leg onto the rock or grass that the high wind pushed it across. We were also pinning ourselves flat to photograph it.

We saw couple of more silverlines and danaid eggflies flying around us, as if to hold us back. They were successful but again we picked up pace to explore more things around. Spotted another Capparis species (this was growing like C zeylanica but the leaf shape was quite different. Need to consult expert to confirm id) that had plenty of pioneer caterpillars in all instars. Further ahead we spotted a female trying to lay egg on plant but the winds made it difficult for her to get a foothold on the leaf. We also saw couple of Woodfordia fruticosa saplings along the hills. Both are hosts for common sliverline at least. Perhaps the reason also why we saw the butterfly around. Need to inspect the hostplant association more frequently though. The winds now gave way to rains, we could see it coming from a distance as we were on the highest point. If not for the scare of catching cold now, in times of this Pandemic we’d have not rushed but enjoyed the drizzle. Even while running we eyed this Capparis and found plenty of pioneer eggs everywhere.

Now we’d reached hill no 3, Khandoba Tekdi that has Khandoba temple. The rains had stopped and suddenly it became sunny, with it the tawny and the danaid were basking or say luring us to photograph them. Spotted a little orange tip here, first sighting in Lohegaon for both of us, but as destiny has it, we could not photograph it, despite the efforts put in. It was 3 pm, we were happy but tired and decided to call it a day. Neha’s Aho were patiently waiting for us, without uttering a single word of impatience. We climbed down, looked up at the temple and made a promise to come back again, more frequently to enjoy nature and document the bio diversity around. As this visit taught us, explore the world but heart is where home is. Lohegaon is our home and our heart. More we explore, more we find and more we share with you all 😊

List of butterflies we recalled during the walk
1) Tawny coster – plenty
2) Mottle emigrant
3) Lemon emigrant
4) Lime swallowtail
5) Common silverline – plenty
6) Plumbeous/Common shot/Scarce Shot silverline
7) Little orange tip
8) Small Cupid
9) Common Cerulean
10) Common grass yellow (surprisingly not many as we see in city)
11) Danaid eggfly – plenty

Posted on June 11, 2021 19:50 by savita savita | 1 comment | Leave a comment

Srebrny śluzowiec

Wybraliśmy się szukać krzywoszczeci... znalazłam, jak zwykle, nie to, czego szukałam. ;)
Piękny srebrny śluzowiec, prawdopodobnie to samotek zmienny (czekam na potwierdzenie przez jakieś mądre głowy od śluzowców). Na początku myślałam, że to może kawałek plastiku czy gumy (las jest mocno nawiedzany przez ludzi) - kolor był nieprawdopodobny, jak lakier metaliczny albo srebrny panton. Bliższe oględziny potwierdziły organiczność. Delikatnie uszkodziłam patyczkiem brzeg - brązowy środek, jak u dojrzałej purchawki. Nie mam pojęcia, w jaki sposób żywy organizm jest w stanie wyprodukować taką powłokę, ale wydaje się być gotowy do podróży kosmicznych.

Posted on June 11, 2021 19:43 by kroolik kroolik | 1 observation | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Two Weeks Away!

We're two weeks away from our event. Please tell your friends and share on social media if you can! I am very excited for this... still must decide though where I will be visiting on the days of the event. I encourage all participants to map out your days if you can ahead of time. Will you visit a park? Will you be observing from your backyard? Will you be inside at work... I mean, check those windowsills for arthropod specimens!

Other things to consider, if you are planning to venture out in the field:

  • Try to go with a partner if you can, especially if where you go is secluded
  • Bring water! Stay hydrated and also if you will be in the sun, maybe bring some sunscreen.
  • I like to bring a backpack with me, as well as binoculars for birds. Things in my pack include: water, field guides, small plastic containers for temporary trapping of wildlife, small snacks, a flashlight, an extra phone mobile charger, etc.

Within the next two weeks leading to the event I will continue to post guides and helpful tips. Have a great weekend!


Posted on June 11, 2021 19:21 by arthropodarchives arthropodarchives | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Don Valley Nature Walk

This morning I walked around the Don Valley here in Toronto with my sister. It was a beautiful day, clear sky and about 68 degrees F (20C). Usually I would go for a run or a bike ride in the valley so I wouldn't really get the chance to look around at the different species and biodiversity down there so it was really interesting. We went out with the goal of finding fungi in mind so it was exciting to be able to find a bunch of them. I wasn't expecting to find many since I'd never seen them before in the valley. We had to go a bit deeper and off the main path to find the big fungi and clusters of little fungi but they were relatively easy to spot. They were mostly in the crevices and on the bases of trees. The smaller mushrooms grew in little clusters and the bigger ones in groups of about two to four or five. Most of the trees were covered in some type of moss and lichen. Since we went out in the morning the paths were quite empty, only a few bikers and runners out. We also saw some ducks and some frogs near the Don River. It was really nice to take time to observe the nature that I would usually just run by!

Posted on June 11, 2021 19:14 by soniawalk soniawalk | 27 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Nature Walk One

Today, my mom and I walked the trail at Cutler park in Needham, Massachusetts. Though I had been there multiple times before, I had never looked closely at the insane variety of species and life that covered the trees, mud and water. The weather was quite cool and somewhat breezy, which made it easy to look at and take pictures at the different species. Most of the trees were covered with different moss and what I believe to be different types of fungi. It was very interesting to see the insects and plants surrounding these different types of fungi and lichen. Near the water, I was able to observe the different species that were growing in the mud, or on different rocks or tree roots adjacent to the water. The loop was a little bit over a mile, and my mom and I were shocked at the different things we found! One of my favorite observations was a type of fungi growing on the side of a tree with what looked like sap dripping down it! it was cool to see the mushrooms and different types of fungi we have discussed in lectures and on perusall in real life!

Posted on June 11, 2021 17:51 by frankiefaggiano frankiefaggiano | 13 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment