Kinda like shooting hoops with Jordan...

So, I was euphoric the other day. Seriously euphoric (characterized by or feeling intense excitement and happiness). I had the awesome opportunity to go down to Dripping Springs to meet up with some other TX iNaters with the gracious invitation from Greg Lasley. It was so wonderful to finally meet face-to-face with so many iNaters that I'd only corresponded with before. As I was driving down, it really felt like I was going to a family reunion. As someone once said, "people don't remember what you say, they remember how they felt." It felt really awesome to meet up with these people.

I was also trying to explain what it was like to some folks that aren't into nature... I told them "it felt like shooting hoops with Michael Jordan. Also, Jordan didn't think that you sucked." :)

I'll be posting the observations I made down there in a bit, and I know they were likely over-observed by several iNaters, but I want to recall as many details from this trip as possible. It was so dang awesome.

And yes, I'm even more motivated to spread the word of iNat now -- the community is magnificent.

Thanks much to @greglasley @gcwarbler @robberfly @maractwin @mksexton @mchlfx @taogirl @annikaml @lotus @mikaelb @blubayou @brentano @gpstewart @connlindajo @cullen @billdodd @cgritz and, of course, special thanks to @kueda -- looking forward to the future of iNaturalist!

Posted on 13 November, 2015 21:32 by sambiology sambiology


Great meeting you, dude! As an eye witness, I can attest that Sam was, in fact, in a state of visible euphoria.

Posted by kueda over 7 years ago (Flag)

Oh boy it sounds so great!

How can I find out how many iNatters live in NYC? I would love to have a meet-up locally if that was possible before the frosts start.

Posted by susanhewitt over 7 years ago (Flag)

You could always contact some of the folks listed under the "People" tab at I was sort of maybe kind of thinking of doing something in CT over the holidays if you're willing to schlep it up I-95 a bit.

Posted by kueda over 7 years ago (Flag)

Like true Manhattanites, we have no car. If the meet-up is somewhere where the train goes, then I guess it's doable for us/ for me.

After the frosts start in earnest, then there are no live land snails or slugs to find, but maybe some dead shells of land or freshwater species, and the shells of marine mollusks are certainly still findable on the beaches.

I suppose bird people and tree people are OK after a hard frost, but in any case... we will have to see how late the hard frosts arrive this year.

Posted by susanhewitt over 7 years ago (Flag)

What a fantastic time! I look forward to seeing more of your posts. And of course, if you are ever in CA and want to do some naturalizing I doubt there would be a shortage of local experts looking to join you!

Posted by rjadams55 over 7 years ago (Flag)

Euphoria. Yeah, I seem to have that effect on most people that meet me... 😜
Sam, a complete joy to be afield with you - your knowledge, your sense of discovery, your magnificent teaching skills. Hearing you explode with wonder at each and every turn: like a boy opening a gift on Christmas morning and getting that one Hot Wheels he asked for.
" Being in a place with a rarified host plant and the butterfly that goes with it, all that I love rushes in like a momentary vacuum and...I am at one."

Vladimir Nabokov

Posted by robberfly over 7 years ago (Flag)

Agree. What a treat to get together with so many Texas iNat folks as well our distinguished visitors from out of state! It was definitely worth taking the day off work. And come to think of it, I did spend a few minutes talking Ruby, github and pull requests with @kueda. So maybe I can bill those hours afterall... :-)

Posted by billdodd over 7 years ago (Flag)

Sam, you put it very well! Aaron and I really enjoyed being with you all!

Posted by cgritz over 7 years ago (Flag)

It was a great and memorable occasion. Thanks to Ken for the work you do. It touches so many lives in such a positive way.

Posted by mchlfx over 7 years ago (Flag)

This sounds awesome. Anyone have suggestions for a conference I could attend in Texas next year to get me down there? ;-)

Susan, @klodonnell 's students from CUNY Macaulay honors college are giving presentations about bioblitz data/related projects December 5-6. I was planning to go up to see them but for a variety of reasons I need to stay in DC now. Maybe it could still be the impetus for a small NYC gathering?

Posted by carrieseltzer over 7 years ago (Flag)

Thanks Carrie! I know Kelly from last year's fall Macauley College bioblitz at the New York Botanical Garden, for which I was the mollusk leader.

And Macauley is not very far from where I live.

I looked over the list of people on the New York page. However, I do know that some people who have made a number of observations in NYC actually live far from there. Plus I did not recognize a lot of the names on that list, so I would not be sure who to pick to contact about this event. Any ideas how to choose from that very long list?

Thanks for any suggestions.

Posted by susanhewitt over 7 years ago (Flag)

Sam, since you asked about showing that animated map I had up at this event elsewhere, I got a relatively stable version up that you can use: It will only show data up to November 2015 until I update it, which I might do every few months. There's also a video at

The global version of the "Recent Observations" display is at

Posted by kueda over 7 years ago (Flag)

totally agree Sam. Haven't had a stable internet connection since leaving New Braunfels where we stayed so just getting on line today with much difficulty, slow slow connection. So much enjoyed meeting new people through iNat and renewing friendships with those I had already met face to face. Have hundreds of observations to add from here on the coast of Texas once I get a good internet connection. Have been promoting iNat here with other birders... Thank you Greg for hosting the event and thank you Ken-ichi for your work to bring iNat into being and keeping it going.

Posted by taogirl over 7 years ago (Flag)

@carrieseltzer -- do you think that SUNY group would be willing to share their findings with the public (like here on iNat)?

@kueda -- I think I've watched that map light up like 10 times in a row. It's so awesome. I love it!!!

These sort of iNat meet ups are so motivational to me -- if you can schedule one in your area, you should. It's a blast. And don't forget to set up a moth light. :)

Posted by sambiology over 7 years ago (Flag)

Thanks for the map Ken! That is so awesome. I'm going to use it in our workshop tonight.

Posted by mchlfx over 7 years ago (Flag)

@sambiology I hope so! I'll reach out to @klodonnell tomorrow as I owe her a real email instead of just tags on iNat :-) @invertzoo can you send me an email at so I can more formally reconnect you and Kelly? As far as choosing from the list goes, I have no suggestions beyond trying to search for who has made observations there recently. I'd say cast a wide net!

@kueda I am loving the bejesus out of the map. However, I can't see any info about how you made it (as was suggested in the blog post linking to it). Am I not hovering in the right place on the map? Where can I find the nerdy details about data?

Posted by carrieseltzer over 7 years ago (Flag)

Carrie, assuming you can see, there's a little question mark next to the time slider. If you click it a popup with details will appear.

Posted by kueda over 7 years ago (Flag)

D'oh! Thank you, @kueda. To clarify, did you use observations made AND created after 1/1/08, or just created after that date? Just wondering how you got down to 930K rows from 1.9 million (I don't think there are that many private or missing locations).

You should totally update at the end of this week when you pass 2 million (my guess it that will happen on Friday morning). :-)

Sorry to hijack your post, @sambiology!

Posted by carrieseltzer over 7 years ago (Flag)

Here's the query I used for those who read SQL:

SELECT DISTINCT DATE(created_at) AS created_on, observed_on, round(latitude, 3) AS latitude, round(longitude, 3) AS longitude FROM observations WHERE geom IS NOT NULL AND observed_on > '2008-01-01'

In English, that's all observations observed after 2008-01-01 that have coordinates but only 1 per date per rounded lat / lon. So if there are 500 observations from a bioblitz in a small park on the same date, they just get counted as one.

Posted by kueda over 7 years ago (Flag)

Got it! Thank you @kueda!

Posted by carrieseltzer over 7 years ago (Flag)

I think I've watched that map like 35 times now. :)

Posted by sambiology over 7 years ago (Flag)

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