An observation a day.... :)

So, some folks know that I've been trying my best to make at least one observation every day. This was inspired by @jmaughn , who has made daily observations for over the past 7 years! Well, I'm a couple years behind James, but for the past 2053 days, I've made at least one observation. Here's a fun "find your longest streak" program to see what yours might be:

So, why? Why in the heck would I do such a thing? It's sort of silly, right? Well, at first, it was just a challenge for myself. I won't lie, there are some miserably hot or miserably cold (believe it or not, we do get some cold icy days in TX!) where catching an observation was a challenge.

However, my reason for doing this has changed. Every day we interact with nature. I'm extremely lucky to live in an area where there are nearby parks or some green-ish roadsides to find some different plants or bugs. I'm also lucky to have relatively good health to walk around and search for things. Every day, I've been lucky enough to engage with some other species that are occupying the same space as I am. That's a cool thing!

And geez, I'm crazy lucky to be an urban wildlife biologist where I'm asked to know the local flora and fauna! Someone pinch me!

Like exercise, it feels better when you're doing it and afterwards. I definitely don't regret any day that I've been able to spend even a moment outside looking at/for nature. :) Being a plant and bug guy makes it a little easier -- these taxa are abundant in Texas!

Anyways, even if you're not making iNat observations, hopefully you're engaging with nature in some way, every day. :)

Posted on 22 October, 2020 00:49 by sambiology sambiology


Congratulations. I admire your determination.

Posted by connlindajo over 2 years ago (Flag)

As a new Master Naturalist, I am also new to iNaturalist, so I enjoy seeing what you find every day. Thanks for sharing with the rest of us!

Posted by kari-tx over 2 years ago (Flag)

Working on it this year! I'm at 294 days, and it's been a really rough year. Not sure if I'll do it next year...

Posted by daniel112 over 2 years ago (Flag)

14 days for me.

Posted by centratex over 2 years ago (Flag)

You forgot to mention that making a daily observation challenges you to look beyond your comfort zone of plants and bugs when the weather or season isn't pleasant. You can get into fungi/lichen, birds, galls, seeds... or just go on a trip and explore somewhere new!

Posted by kimberlietx over 2 years ago (Flag)

congrats! I don't go out and do much anymore. My longest streak was 22 days, though. I'd like to go birdwatching more

Posted by madisong over 2 years ago (Flag)

Your daily obs have taught me so much. I find things to look for on my walks based on some of the observations you post. Thanks for continually observing, and teaching!

Posted by texslm over 2 years ago (Flag)

Hi Sam, I enjoyed reading this. It's nice to know that I have a fellow traveler on this weird journey. I'm sorry we weren't able to meet up the last time I was in Texas. Hopefully there will be a next time!

Posted by jmaughn over 2 years ago (Flag)

I should also mention that one of the aspects of your achievement that really impresses me is just the massive number of species you've seen compared to me in this endeavor. Clearly I need to up my plant-and-bug efforts. I'm also impressed you've been able to do all of this without succumbing to the temptation to divide your observations into more and more arcane lists, something I've clearly failed at in a monumental way.

Posted by jmaughn over 2 years ago (Flag)

Several of my long streaks are in 2020, probably because once COVID-19 hit what else was there to do but take walks. I decided that this year my goal would be to get to 10K observations. Almost there! 481 to go!

Posted by jblinde over 2 years ago (Flag)

I am glad you are doing it. The database will help others for years to come. I have admired your dedication to science from the day Pat and I met you.

Joseph, from Weatherford NPSOT

Posted by josephbyrne42 over 2 years ago (Flag)

Thanks all -- I sure do enjoy it. And it's good to hear that I'm not thoroughly annoying folks that are following me and getting daily emails of my weed observations! :)

It's a fun challenge at first, and then it becomes habit. It's a good habit to have!

Posted by sambiology over 2 years ago (Flag)

Ooooh how fun! I didn't even think of making a streak! Starting today. :-)

Posted by crabbymaxie over 2 years ago (Flag)

Well, I did it! At least one observation per day for the entire 366-day year - despite all that happened. Some days it was just the weeds in the hotel parking lot while I try to find a new apartment, or a cockroach on the sidewalk - but I did also have quite a few lifers (including a new invasive cockroach that I haven't seen before lol).

Start date End date Streak duration
2020-01-01 2020-12-31 366

The aforementioned cockroach:

Posted by daniel112 about 2 years ago (Flag)

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