Dean Firth

Joined: Feb 1, 2022 Last Active: Jul 24, 2024

Thanks for having me. Amateur naturalist here. Professional information technologist by trade. Discerning information, attention to detail, and elimination of variables comes naturally for me. I've read quite a few field guides for the area, I've been growing a native garden, and am constantly reading more as I use this tool. I'm no professional, but I increase my knowledge more and more the more I use this. I am stoked to finally have an outlet for all the photos I take of the life I come across on my hikes and the visitors I get in my garden. So far all photos have all been taken with my phone. I hope to upgrade one day. Recently got a "new" phone. Camera slightly better but not by much.

A lot of my observations come from my backyard, but I also like spending time in the small spaces of wooded areas we have left in the city and around neighborhoods. There's a lot of cool wildlife right under our noses. Any place under a tree is a nice place for me.

The local ecosystems here in South-Eastern/Mid-Atlantic United States are my absolute favorite. I've been to Europe and the South Pacific and both are wonderful, but there's no place like home. We have such a unique, diverse, and overlooked ecosystem in this area. I'm so at peace when under the trees and by the water. I focus my identifications in the Hampton Roads section of Virginia. It's quite the intersection of north and south as it sits at the northern border of zones 8a and 7b. I created the "place" myself for my own convenience as there wasn't a place for Hampton Roads set yet.

I have a special fascination for spiders, pines, vines, and most flowering plants you'll find growing in the swamp. They all seem to tie in together. Most recently Jellyfish and crabs have caught my eye. I read the most about these taxa as they are the best at catching my attention and keeping it. So, I'm best at identifying those. In particular when it comes to spiders I'm definitely best with orb-weavers SuperFamily Araneoidea; mostly families Araneidae, Tetragnathidae, and Uloboridae. They have always fascinated me since I was a young kid. Networking and accessing the interwebs are my specialty; maybe there is a connection there? When it comes to pines I specialize in Southern Yellow Pines found in S.E U.S. Mainly Pinus Taeda and Pinus Echinata.

Please excuse any mistakes I make. I'm not a professional and this is fun for me, but I take this seriously and sincerely do my best. I have a keen mind for attention to detail, and I improve all the time. I pick up fast. I hope my observations and identifications can help with the overall mission of this site.

This is a great learning tool for me, and I intend to keep improving. Thanks to everyone for all of your assistance with my observations. Everyone's help is greatly appreciated! Also, if there's any questions about an identification I make I will gladly elaborate or concede if I was mistaken. I'm quite active on here so I should be able to respond quickly. Shout out to Joey Santore of Crime Pays but Botany Doesn't for the inspiration to join the site.

Map of ID's made.

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