My big year 2016!

So, this year I challenged myself to observe more species than last year. Well, I pulled it off – I observed 2113 species in 9465 observations. That’s even more than last year! wipes sweat from forehead and blows smoke from camera Whew. :)

I suppose that is what amazes me about iNaturalist – I continue to enjoy it. This tool enhances my experience outside. It’s enhancing the time I spend inside too. I love to look at what others observe and in some cases, provide a bit of guidance to an ID or give a “great observation!” As I meet more naturalists from around the world, I’m encouraged to go out and explore even more… I’ll go out and look for things similar to what others are finding. “Community, exploration, knowledge, curiosity, friendship, guidance, data collection, fun…” I use these words when I talk about iNaturalist.

My belief is solidified – this kind of thing can change the world. My life sure has been enriched by it. :)

One of my favorite challenges this year came from the iNat folks. Thanks to @loarie, @kueda, @tiwane and the others at iNat headquarters that came up with the critter calendar concept. It may have fizzled out for some after the first couple months, but I put the target taxon for each week in my calendar this year. Every week I pulled it off (although, I did use end up using just evidence for the hummingbird and swift week in February!) and, most importantly, had great fun.

Just for giggles, here are the critters that I observed this year for the critter calendar and the particular one that I enjoyed observing for each week:

Suliformes (cormorants) Jan 3 – 9: 1 observation
Double-crested cormorant from Mansfield, TX

Piciformes (woodpeckers) Jan 10 – 16: 7 observations
Yellow-bellied sapsucker from Hudson Oaks, TX

Accipitriformes (hawks and vultures) Jan 17 – 23: 6 observations
Northern harrier from El Paso, TX

Anseriformes (ducks) Jan 24 – 30: 36 observations
Northern pintail from Arlington, TX

Pelecaniformes (herons) Jan 31 – Feb 6: 2 observations
American white pelican from Weatherford, TX

Cactaceae (cacti) Feb 7 – 13: 4 observations
Christmas cholla from San Antonio, TX

Caudata (salamanders) Feb 14 – 20: 1 observation
Small-mouthed salamander from Arlington, TX

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fish) Feb 21- 27: 1 observation
Western mosquitofish from Cedar Hill, TX

Apodiformes (hummingbirds and swifts) Feb 28 – Mar 5: 1 observation
Chimney swift (evidence) from Dallas, TX

Rodentia (rodents) Mar 6 – 12: 5 observations
Fox squirrel from Dallas, TX

Bryophyta (mosses) Mar 13 – 19: 7 observations
Green-tufted stubble moss from Cedar Hill, TX

Boraginaceae (borages) Mar 20 – 26: 3 observations
Corn gromwell from Dallas, TX

Apiaceae (carrots) Mar 27 – Apr 2: 6 observations
Shepherd’s-needle from Dallas, TX:

Fabaceae (legumes) Apr 3 – 9: 20 observations
Eve’s necklace from Dallas, TX

Hylidae (tree frogs) Apr 10 – 16: 3 observations
Blanchard’s cricket frog from Sherman, TX

Sauria (lizards) Apr 17 – 23: 1 observation
Little brown skink from Fort Worth, TX

Brassicaceae (mustards) Apr 24 – 30: 2 observations
Annual bastard cabbage from Lewisville, TX

Ranunculaceae (buttercups) May 1 – 7: 4 observations
Prairie larkspur from Cedar Hill, TX

Asparagaceae (agaves and asparagus) May 8 – 14: 2 observations
Asparagus from Cedar Hill, TX

Serpentes (snakes) May 15 – 21: 1 observation
Cottonmouth from Fort Worth, TX

Rosaceae (roses) May 22 – 28: 3 observations
Callery Pear from Denton, TX

Testudines (turtles) May 29 – Jun 4: 3 observations
Common snapping turtle from Arlington, TX

Poaceae (grasses) Jun 5 – 11: 39 observations
Carolina jointgrass from Hudson Oaks, TX

Bufonidae (true toads) June 12 – 18: 1 observation
Woodhouse’s toad from White Settlement, TX

Plantaginaceae (plantains) Jun 19 – 25: 3 observations
Largebracted plantain from Hope, AR

Odonata (dragonflies) Jun 26 – Jul 2: 54 observations
Royal river cruiser from Fort Worth, TX

Coleoptera (beetles) Jul 3 – 9: 21 observations
Carolina metallic tiger beetle from Garland, TX

Ericaceae (heathers) Jul 10 – 16: 1 observation
Sparkleberry from Arlington, TX

Lamiaceae (mints) Jul 17 – 23: 1 observation
Lemon beebalm from Cedar Hill, TX

Lepidoptera (butterflies/moths) Jul 24 – 30: 68 observations
Anna carpenterworm moth from Dallas, TX

Diptera (flies) Jul 31 – Aug 6: 5 observations
Palpada furcata from Fort Worth, TX

Hymenoptera (ants, bees, wasps) Aug 7 – 13: 10 observations
Eastern cicada killer from Fort Worth, TX

Artiodactyla (deer) Aug 14 – 20: 1 observation
White-tailed deer from Hudson Oaks, TX

Hemiptera (true bugs) Aug 21 – 27: 9 observations
Concheula bug from Big Bend, TX

Ranidae (true frogs) Aug 28 – Sep 3: 1 observation
American bullfrog from Cedar Hill, TX

Polygonaceae (knotweeds) Sep 4 – 10: 2 observations
Pinkweed from Denton, TX

Asteraceae (sunflowers) Sep 11 – 17: 25 observations
Texas skeleton plant from Benbrook, TX

Orthoptera (grasshoppers) Sep 18 – 24: 2 observations
Admirable grasshopper from Dallas, TX

Columbiformes (doves) Sep 25 – Oct 1: 1 observation
Rock pigeon from Cedar Hill, TX

Sapindaceae (maples) Oct 2 – 8: 1 observation
Box elder from Cedar Hill, TX

Araneae (spiders) Oct 9 – 15: 5 observations
Arrowhead orbweaver from Kountze, TX

Fagaceae (oaks) Oct 16 – 22: 1 observation
Southern red oak from Centerville, TX

Pinophyta (pines) Oct 23 – 29: 1 observation
Loblolly pine from Navasota, TX

Lecanorales (lichens) Oct 30 – Nov 5: 2 observations
Star rosette lichen from Fort Worth, TX

Mollusca (snails) Nov 6 – 12: 4 observations
Marsh rams-horn from Fort Worth, TX

Carnivora (carnivores) Nov 13 – 19: 3 observations
Common raccoon from Mineola, TX

Pteridophyta (ferns) Nov 20 – 26: 3 observations
Wavy scale cloakfern from Arlington, TX

Charadriiformes (shorebirds) Nov 27 – Dec 3: 4 observations
Wilson’s snipe from Arlington, TX

Crustacea (crabs) Dec 4 – 10: 1 observation
Common pill-bug from Cedar Hill, TX

Orchidaceae (orchids) Dec 11 – 17: 1 observation
Great Plains ladies’ tresses from Hudson Oaks, TX

Agaricales (mushrooms) Dec 18 – 24: 2 observations
Split-gill mushroom from Cedar Hill, TX

Passeriformes (songbirds) Dec 25 – 31: 65 observations
Hermit thrush from Seagoville, TX

2016 was a good year. Looking forward to learning and exploring even more in 2017! I hope you do the same. :)

Posted on 31 December, 2016 22:19 by sambiology sambiology


Photos / Sounds


Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis)




December 31, 2016


Last day of the year, so while Elizabeth was in a Quilt store, I explored this lovely park by Hillwood properties. They did a GREAT job here -- lots of native grasses. I'm planning on visiting again come spring.


Really impressive, Sam! I'm about to write my own 2016 review! I'm really impressed that you stuck with the whole critter calendar—well done!

Posted by carrieseltzer over 7 years ago

Very impressive Sam!

I agree totally -- iNat has enhanced my enjoyment of the outdoors very considerably. And it has made my enjoyment of indoors wonderful too, because I so much love "looking over other people's shoulders" as they walk on beaches or poke around under logs and in ponds!

iNat has also, without question, made me a better naturalist, with a broader interest in nature of all sorts. And whether I ever get to meet them in person or not, it has enabled me to befriend other naturalists all over the world. And feel part of that worldwide community.

Posted by susanhewitt over 7 years ago

I am impressed with all you have done. I am in full agreement about the wonderful benefits of iNaturalist and its community. I think if this had been around when I was younger, the whole path of my life might have been different. But it is never too late to continue growing in knowledge and hopefully in positive impact on the world. Glad you have been a part of my world this year.

Posted by taogirl over 7 years ago

Going out on a limb here, but I gather you're really into this. :D Your accomplishments with iNaturalist are inspiring and your enthusiasm is infectious. Keep enjoying life--your own and all that around you in 2017!

Posted by driftlessroots over 7 years ago

That's great, Sam! Love reading your posts and receiving help on my own observations.

Posted by frogfellow over 7 years ago

What a great accomplishment Sam.

Posted by wildflowerenthusi... over 7 years ago

Very impressive any new lifers to your life list?

Posted by galactic_bug_man over 7 years ago

Congratulations. I hope 2017 is another great year.

Posted by marknenadov over 7 years ago

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