1,000!!

This morning my daughter got up "too early" and joined me for a walk in our local park - knowing I'd most likely make my 1,000th iNaturalist observation today. What a gift iNaturalist has been in my life, and sharing the excitement of my 1,000th observation with @greatspaceflamingo was also a gift (as she got me into this wonderful adventure only a little over a year ago)!

iNaturalist has become such a genuinely delightful part of my Every Day this past year and as we headed out on our 4 mile walk this morning I was recalling the earliest Nature Walks I went on with my daughter - years before I had a camera...with only her stroller and our shared wonder at exploring everything on our neighborhood walks. When you see the world through the eyes of your children, it's sort of like experiencing everything all over again for the first time - with all the questions "What makes roses pink? Why are blue birds blue? Why does tree bark crack?" that I had to look up answers for in encyclopedias (remember those?!).

How special it is, almost 26 years later, to go for a long walk and still be fascinated with the world around us...to sit on a bench under a tree and hear my daughter say "I think this might be some type of willow..." and now we have the luxury and privilege of uploading a photo to iNaturalist and confirming that it is indeed a Pacific Willow. Or to share the excitement of knowing that if we walk slowly and quietly to the edge of the creek behind the dam, and wait patiently, we might see a Great Blue Heron swoop in for a snack - and share our delight at what "absolute dinosaurs" these magnificent birds are.

Being a mother is absolutely the best part of exploring the wonderful world around us - I used to want to understand more about the world around me so I could better answer her questions. But now, knowing that maybe some scientist studying wildlife somewhere might benefit from our observations and maybe be able to better answer their own questions about migratory patterns or invasive species...well, it fills me with as much enthusiasm and excitement as looking up all those answers for my daughter from those earliest Nature Walks together.

So it was pretty special to have her join me for today's walk - early as it was. Because walks with my daughter have always been filled with wonder. And her ability to get up close and personal with lizards will forever leave me in awe.

So here's to the children the world over who engage curiosity and exploration. And here's to the parents who indulge curiosity and exploration. And here's to the scientists who value and make purposeful the observations born of all this curiosity and exploration. And here's to all those who make identifications and answer questions and explain the subtle (and not so subtle!) differences of observations. Thank you for making this such a welcoming "place". And thank you to all those who keep iNaturalist "alive" behind the scenes - on behalf of the curious explorers making observations: we really appreciate your efforts.

Onward to the next 1,000 observations!

Posted by sarahcoty sarahcoty, 02 October, 2022 19:52

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

Observer

sarahcoty

Date

October 2, 2022 09:53 AM PDT

Description

My 1,000th observation! 💕🥳💕

Photos / Sounds

What

Pacific Willow (Salix lasiandra)

Observer

sarahcoty

Date

October 2, 2022 09:39 AM PDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis)

Observer

sarahcoty

Date

October 2, 2022 10:13 AM PDT

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