Yes! I just passed 1,000 observations. I found a handful of old photos from a field biology class way back in 2016, so I decided to upload them to iNat. Pretty fitting that observation #1000 was a California poppy (Eschscholzia californica) considering my West Coast origin. The 15 or so observations I added probably doubled my existing observations from Oregon, where I've spent 20 years of my life. You'd think I would have more representation from my home state, let alone my home country. But alas, I only got into iNat after I moved to Central America. Now if only I could get the photos off of my old, broken phone... Oh boy, I can't wait to go back to the states and see my temperate taxa flourish. Who knows when that will be, because of this damned quarantine.

Speaking of quarantine, I'm finding it hard to stay on top of submitting novel observations. That is, taking nice photos of species without solid image references, or documenting taxa I haven't observed before. Plus, I'm finding myself with an increased desire to post ornamental plants, which is usually a big "no-no" in my eyes on this platform. Admittedly, I've added a few street trees on occasion. But it's only for the phenology info, ya know?

I don't think anybody is going to read this journal post, because who reads journal posts on iNaturalist? But if somebody is reading this, hello I hope you're doing fine. It's just nice to put down my iNat excitement somewhere so I don't have to annoy my roommate, Yuval. Might delete later, who knows.


Posted by rileyfortierii rileyfortierii, 16 April, 2020 02:50


I'm following you, so this popped up in my home screen/updates. Congratulations on breaking 1000! As you probably have surmised, through the quarantine I've been obsessively combing through old pictures and adding to iNaturalist myself. This has been a great opportunity to remind myself of the cool places I've been, and my IDing skills have increased through the roof. My iNaturalist standards have sagged a bit, as I had originally wanted to have each observation I post be a different species, though I've decided to ease that a bit for observations from different places and times. I also look forward to returning home and getting pictures of species I've known most of my life, but never bothered to document. I guess this is a time to reflect on appreciating the seemingly mundane, as cheesy as that sounds. Here's to a swift and thorough end to the quarantine so we can add to our Panama fish species lists, and that you take me on that BCI botanizing hike to teach me the families.

Posted by hubertszcz over 2 years ago (Flag)

California poppies are one of my top top favorite, so huzzah! Congrats on an inat milestone! I've found myself cataloging my home life these days, both inside and outside. Spring wildflowers I've always known, but never identified. Various statewide groups weigh in. It's lovely. But I really enjoy your CA posts. A glimpse into another home!

Posted by wkonwent over 2 years ago (Flag)

Hi Riley,

Your blog post popped up in my inbox like a cenote in the Yucutan as if you put your thoughts in an underground water system. You identified a handful of my posts in Panama and so I started following you, then I met Maria from the Gamboa station and found out she knew you personally. Anyway, I appreciate your thoughts but if you think finding novel observations is difficult in Panama, its nearly impossible being locked down here in Oakland CA. When this quarantine is lifted (hopefully by September) I am moving with my family to head a restoration project in the Mamoni Valley of Panama and the observation floodgates will open! https://caracolbasin.squarespace.com

Posted by ausinheiler over 2 years ago (Flag)

@hubertszcz I wish I had pictures of past nature trips as well - maybe I would have a chance to catch up with your observations! I agree, I'll have to make the most out of the bugs in my house and my occasional walks around Gamboa now and then. I guess it could be worse! We'll do that fishing trip as soon as we can get to BCI. I need the observations as well as the protein.

@wkonwent It's nice to reacquaint yourself with a familiar ecosystem, right?? Can't wait to do that myself! I hope you're doing well back home. It looks like you're eating very well, if your Instagram is any indication :)

@ausinheiler Cenotes are awesome. So I hope my blog post popping up was a welcome thing! I actually remember Maria bringing up iNat a while back, so that conversation must have been inspired by you two meeting. And yes, I agree that I do have it much easier than most being in Gamboa. If there's any chance you end up in Panama before July, I would love to visit that site. What a cool project that looks like. Cheers!

Posted by rileyfortierii over 2 years ago (Flag)

Ur a blogger, @riley!

I've had a joyous time reacquainting myself with the flora of northeastern NA. While I was perpetually amazed while walking through moist tropical forests at the diversity of forms, colors, and species, Vermont woods bring no less joy. In Panama I'd be happy to recognize iconic genera. Here, I'm regularly aware of cultural histories of plant, their edibility, indigenous folklore or which ones were used in a 261 year field study of climate change impacts on flowering phenology (https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0053788).

I'll miss adding a new species to my list every other time I show you a flower, but it's pretty neat to stroll through the shepherds' woodland and reconstruct 300 years of its history. Pit and mound topography in an even aged stand of immature hemlock? Sign me up for horse drawn timber harvest during a winter in the mid 19th century!

Still plenty of mysteries to solve though – insect emergence holes on trees are a current project. Also, I think that firefly larva prefer to overwinter in beetle-killed ash trees. Also, might get the first Emerald ash borer observation in my county yay/sad.

I found a master's program in VT specifically training field naturalists. Tempting as all heck.

I saw a fruiting rubiaceae yesterday. Wanna guess which?

Posted by pkm over 2 years ago (Flag)

@rileyfortierii Yes it was! Not likely that we will be there before July but we are planning on living there for at least a decade so there will be many opportunities in the future for you to visit!

Posted by ausinheiler over 2 years ago (Flag)

@pkm I guess I'm a blogger now, I didn't expect anybody to actually read this! Man, I sure would love to go on hikes with you on your home turf. At least just to eat wild plants, if nothing else. What a cool study you linked, using historic naturalist data to inform phenology cycles? Sign me up!

Maybe if you just kill the Emerald ash borers they will leave your county? Is that how it works?

Also, I think you were made for that master's program, I say go for it.

Was it partridgeberry? I think that's the common name... Mitchella repens?

Posted by rileyfortierii over 2 years ago (Flag)

bingo, Mitchella repens indeed.

Posted by pkm over 2 years ago (Flag)

Ánimo !

Posted by alexespinosa601 over 1 year ago (Flag)

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