Jess Morton

Joined: Apr 14, 2016 Last Active: Jun 23, 2024 iNaturalist Monthly Supporter since December 2020

I came to California in 1959 to work in the aerospace industry after growing up and attending college on the East Coast. With the onset of the Viet Nam War, I chose to change profession from military-related science to accounting. In 1968, I settled in San Pedro where I can still be found.

I have garnered some modest skills as birder, walk leader, photographer, writer and naturalist, being drawn to natural history after the first Earth Day triggered a strong interest in the natural world and its conservation. I served on the National Audubon Society’s Board of Directors for six years. Regionally, I was a co-founder of the Palos Verdes/South Bay Audubon Society, the Endangered Habitats League and Endangered Habitats Conservancy. Fifty years on, I still volunteer with many environmental and cultural organizations.

My interest in iNaturalist is a consequence of all this, and I am now in the process of pulling up my backlog of photos to post. Some of the photos, which go back decades, provide critical evidence of ebbs and flows of species’ occurrence. I am particularly interested in birds, dips, odes, butterflies and, after an eye-opening fall trip to New Hampshire, fungi, especially mushrooms.

As a writer, I contributed a series of 100 natural history essays under the sobriquet “This Unknown Peninsula” to a local newspaper. Most of them have appeared in Audubon and other newsletters, which also carry my poetry, essays and photography. I have written more than a dozen books of poetry, and many of my poems can be found online.

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