Journal archives for April 2020

04 April, 2020

Emotions during COVID19 - and my iNat activity...

"Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on."
~Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

Someone sent me that quote, and I thought, "Oh, that's a nice quote" but then I really thought about it more and more and more and more, especially right now. I guess that's the nice thing about quotes -- we are allowed to interpret them however we want to. :)

To me, this quote is so appropriate for what we're going through right now. I will admit, I only know a few people that have COVID19 currently, but my parents are at high risk, and many folks that I know and deeply care about are high risk as well. It's a creepy amount of time that I've been thinking about other folks right now too! Each time I go outside, not only am I looking at the critters and plants, but I'm thinking about the people that have given me guidance on the ID's...or for whatever reason, I just think about these folks...

I'm extremely fortunate to be able to still go outside right now. Of course, I'm staying crazy careful -- I avoid touching anything that other people touch, I'm wearing a little fabric face mask, I go to places where others aren't, and I wash my hands like I've got OCD. So, I'm taking all of the precautions, I think. Yet it's spring, my absolute favorite time of year. The bugs are out, the birds are singing, and every single weed has a bloom on it. For my mental, emotional health and sanity, I just have to be outside. I bring iNat with me each time too -- to share observations with others, but also just to explore. With iNat, I can travel vicariously through other naturalists' observations, and some travel with me too.

I guess that's the kicker -- when I'm out exploring, by myself, I actually bring a lot of naturalists with me. I'm physical distancing, but also figuratively walking alongside lots of folks. And that's a good feeling. :)

Going back to the Mary Oliver quote, this time of quarantine, social fear and anxiety, has reminded me of my place on the planet. I'm here but for a nanosecond geologically, and I'm so freaking lucky to even glimpse at the fellow residents of the ecosystem. To learn their names is one of my absolute favorite things to do.

Anywho, hope everyone is staying safe, staying healthy, washing hands, and if you're able to, going outside just a little to look for a bug or two. :)

Posted on 04 April, 2020 22:38 by sambiology sambiology | 21 comments | Leave a comment

18 April, 2020

Backyard mothing facebook live video... Sunday, April 26: 8:30 - 9:30 pm

Just as an FYI: Next week I’ll be doing some “backyard mothing” – it’ll be a facebook live video with the TPWD DFW page
Sunday, April 26, 8:30 - 9:30 PM

I'll talk about how to attract moths with lights, why moths are important in the ecosystem, and I will try to ID a few things that show up!

Also, I'll go through a step-by-step process on how I upload a moth observation to iNaturalist -- taking the photos, editing/cropping, and uploading through the website.

Fingers crossed that a few bugs show up! :-D

Posted on 18 April, 2020 03:24 by sambiology sambiology | 8 comments | Leave a comment

22 April, 2020

Engaging social media with the city nature challenge and iNaturalist!

Hey all!

Hope you are all doing well and that you/your families are stay healthy and safe during this unprecedented time. I wanted to ask a huge favor of you, as I know you are some most enthusiastic iNat users out there.

Since this year’s City Nature Challenge is no longer a challenge, our efforts have focused to engage users with their immediate surroundings: outside their front doors, in their yard, or anywhere nature is found which they can safely and responsibly explore while complying with social distancing and stay-at-home orders where they live. It’s also a great opportunity for us to fill some data gaps!

That is why we need YOUR help! The TPWD Conservation Outreach Team is asking for me to reach out to some of our most engaged iNaturalist users in TX and ask them to share their City Nature Challenge experience.

Here are a few asks during and/or leading up to the City Nature Challenge (April 24-27):

  • Post a photo/video on Facebook, Instagram, and/or FB/IG stories
  • This post should be about how you are engaging with nature close to home during this CNC. You can answer some of the following questions:
    o What are some of your favorite things to observe in your neighborhood?
    o What are some species you never would have thought you’d find there?
    o Where are some of your favorite local places to go? Why?
    o Why do you think neighborhood nature is relevant for all community members?
    o How has neighborhood/backyard nature helped you or your family deal with COVID?

  • Use hashtag #yardchallenge; you can also use hashtags #CityNatureChallenge and/or #CNC2020
  • Tag the Texas Nature Trackers Program in your post:
    o Facebook/Instagram handle: @texasnaturetrackers

  • Tag 3-5 other friends and challenge them to post about their neighborhood nature/CNC experience!
  • Feel free to post once, or more than once!

We hope this engagement campaign will encourage others across the state and globe to get out and find what’s been hiding right under their nose all along!

Most importantly, we are stressing that all participants strictly adhere to federal, state, and local public health guidelines as they are updated in real time in response to COVID-19. Please do what you can to make sure you adhere to these guidelines during the event.

Let me know if you’re interested in helping out with this. Can’t wait to see what we all find this year!

Posted on 22 April, 2020 19:53 by sambiology sambiology | 22 comments | Leave a comment

26 April, 2020

Observations: April 24-27! Upload observations before May 3rd!

Hey all,

Just an FYI -- observations made on April 24-27 count for the city nature challenge, and you have until May 3rd to upload for them to count. The sooner you upload, the sooner folks can ID or verify too!

I've been taking quite a few photos, and I've still got a LOT of editing and cropping to do before I upload. After I upload, I'll be spending lots of time ID'ing stuff.

Here's the ID page for DFW observations:

Any little bit helps! :)

Posted on 26 April, 2020 23:19 by sambiology sambiology | 3 comments | Leave a comment