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Get Ready for City Nature Challenge 2019!

Welcome to the Cleveland-Akron-Canton team!!!

In just a few days we will be competing against 150 teams around the WORLD to see who can document the most biodiversity. Stats will be compiled through iNaturalist and bragging rights will be awarded based on the following categories:
1) Highest number of TOTAL observations
2) Highest number of species recorded and identified
3) Most people participating

Check out the City Nature Challenge Website for more information and follow along here to stay up to date on our team's progress.

Important Dates:
Upload Observations to iNaturalist from April 26-April 29.
Finish identifying observations through May 5th.

Posted on April 23, 2019 15:51 by cmnh_education cmnh_education | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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REMINDER: City Nature Challenge 2019 is only days away!

Mark your calendars for April 26-29 for City Nature Challenge 2019!
Please spread the word and encourage your friends, families, co-workers, neighbors, and everyone else to join the City Nature Challenge 2019: Cleveland project. (This is a different project page for a new year - be sure to join it yourself!)

Important Dates:
Upload Observations to iNaturalist from April 26-April 29
Finish identifying observations through May 5th.

All other correspondence from me will be coming from the NEW 2019 project page. See you there!

Posted on April 23, 2019 15:45 by cmnh_education cmnh_education | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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NatureFest on 27th & CITY Nature Challenge 26-29 April

Wow! All y'all have been doing a fantastic job of making observations. Keep it up! We also wanted to let you know about (or remind you of) two events coming up this weekend: NatureFest at Seneca Park and Greater Rochester CITY Nature Challenge!

Upcoming Events


NatureFest on Sat, 27 April, 10 AM to 2 PM


Join us for nature-themed fun at Seneca Park (go passed the zoo and down into the park by Wegman's Lodge!) and visit with partners like WXXI Kids, NYS Dept of Environmental Conservation, Monroe County, Rec on the Move, Seneca Park Zoo, Monroe County Libraries, REI (outdoor store), Rochester Fire, Rochester Police, and more.
Meet WXXI Kid's Nature Cat! Get a picture with Smokey Bear... and wish him a happy early 75th birthday!
Visit WXXI's Nature Fest for more info about the event, or follow the Nature Fest event on Facebook.

CITY Nature Challenge runs April 26-29


Seneca Park Zoo is running Greater Rochester Area's attempt in the CITY Nature Challenge, an international challenge to make observations during one weekend. This year, 2019, over 150 cities around the world are participating! But remember to make sure they are observations found in nature, not at zoos or of pets. You can learn more about Seneca Park Zoo's CITY Nature Challenge over at Greater Rochester CITY Nature Challenge.

Posted on April 23, 2019 13:27 by eviltwinnyc eviltwinnyc | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Tips and tricks for welcoming & helping new users

The short version: You can use these links to filter for observations made by users who created their accounts in the last day or last week. Uncheck “verifiable” in filters to see even more observations that could use additional guidance. Bookmark these links to verifiable observations in the identify tool needing identification from new users in the last day or week. For dealing with common observation issues, you can copy/paste from these frequently used responses.


From the iNaturalist Stats page

We’re in the April bump! April tends to have several factors driving people to iNaturalist:
-Northern Hemisphere spring
-Earth Day/month activities, press, and promotion (e.g. there was a big media promotion in the UK last week)
-City Nature Challenge happening in 160+ cities around the world April 26-29

With all the new users, it helps to have more experienced members of the community as welcoming guides to help people correct common observation and identification mistakes and improve the likelihood that their future observations will be identifiable by the community. No one can do this task alone, but if we each take a few minutes to help a few people, then together we help steer new people in the right direction.

You can add additional query parameters such as &user_after=1d to a url to only see observations from users who created their accounts in the last day.
E.g. Observations from users who joined:
In the last 2 days (&user_after=2d)
In the last 1 week (&user_after=1w)
More than 1 month ago (&user_before=1m) (if you don’t have the patience to work with brand new users at the moment!)

Want to filter just for observations made from a mobile app? Add &oauth_application_id=2 for Android and &oauth_application_id=3 for iOS.
E.g. iOS observations from users who joined in the last 2 days
Android observations from users who joined in the last week

There are even more tips from @bouteloua posted in the Forum on dealing with low quality and inappropriate content on iNaturalist.

If welcoming new users isn’t your thing and you’d rather just focus strictly on identifications, that’s great too! We know there are hundreds of you who are extremely dedicated identifiers with thousands of identifications and 70K+ people have chipped in. iNaturalist works because of many people doing good things to help each other, so thanks for everything and anything that you’re doing to help.

-by Carrie Seltzer

Posted on April 23, 2019 13:05 by carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 5 comments | Leave a comment
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The City Nature Challenge is almost here!

We're getting very excited now as the clock counts down to Friday 26th April. If you want to use iNaturalist to record wildlife and you'd like to find out more about how it works, drop into our pre-Challenge event at Manchester Museum. Thursday, 6-9pm, http://events.manchester.ac.uk/calendar/date:2019-04-25/view:day/

Posted on April 23, 2019 09:00 by rachel467 rachel467 | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Second Adventure to Foxcroft Farm

When approaching the farm in the morning, the first thing that could be noticed was the change in color on the farm. Gone was much of the yellow hayfield and in its place was lush green grass with many budding red maple trees in the distance and one tall, bright green tree that stood out from the rest of the other trees. During the second listening experience, no disturbances by human-made transportation was made as was heard from the last week (there were no sounds of trains or airplanes). Again, the singing of multiple birds could also be heard in the distance as well as a peeping sound that could have possible been made from peepers that could not be found near the vernal pool environment. In addition, the wind was heard blowing through the grasses and the hayfields, and there was also a cacophony of insects buzzing around. Some disturbances that I heard included the sounds of cows mooing that could have been from a nearby dairy farm and there were also screams that could be herd during the fifteen minutes of silence which are speculated to have come from the swamp team. While observing the BioCube this week, our team saw that not a lot of change had occurred but we thought this might be due to the cooler temperatures of the beginning of spring and hope that we will be able to find more life as the days progressively get warmer. We were able to find more insects, however, and were able to capture some but they have not yet been identified. We also noticed that there was still a lot of hay that lay in the vernal pool and was within our BioCube, but a lot of this fallen hay had in turn provided shelter for many insects that were found. During this second trip, we also dug into the clay beneath the vernal pool to see if there may be any organisms that lay within the bed of the vernal pool; although no insects or mammals were found, there were a plethora of grasses and mosses that were taken from the bed. When observing the general environment, the team took a walk along the vernal pool and its surroundings and noticed that we could always hear the peepers but were never able to physically find any of the amphibians. We also noticed that there were a lot more insects that could be found during our second trip compared to the first and we think this might be due to the rain that had fallen the night before.

Posted on April 23, 2019 06:03 by brittany_ye brittany_ye | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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The Stone Walls of De Hoek

The Stone Walls of De Hoek
Outramps CREW Diaries
Tuesday
23rd April 2019

"It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop".
Confucius
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https://photos.app.goo.gl/F6CTRgxtj1ZQsoaQ8 - ALBUM Tuesday 23rd April 2019
For captions or info click on i on the top right-hand side. A good way to go - the Slideshow is found at the top of the page on the rt hand side by clicking on the 3 dots. Featured this week – Leopard Trail in the Langeberg, Robberg Corridor on the coast, a puzzling Gladiolus from the Klein Swartberg and De Hoek in the Groot Swartberg.

For earlier versions of the Outramps CREW Diaries
https://us17.campaign-archive.com/home/?u=be2accf3de565e1297257f79e&id=8113ba68c6
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Leopard Trail in the Langeberg
HAT Evie’s report
Spending a weekend with the South Cape section of the MCSA at the “Langeberg Leopard Trail Bushcamp” allowed me to once again really enjoy the Fynbos. What a treat to walk through vast slopes of unburnt Fynbos. At this moment, our local areas in George are still at the slow recovery stage after burns 6 month ago. I was reminded how beautiful it is. There were huge hillsides of Protea Fynbos - creams and pinks on Protea aurea subsp. aurea with its “candlestick” new buds. Protea neriifolia in red, while Protea repens was mostly decorative pointed cones. Protea nitida showed off with red, new-growth leaves.

Then higher up the Erica Fynbos – decked out in bales of deep magenta-pink. Amazing splashes of colour! I had to get right up to the rounded terminal heads of flowers to notice the white hairy bits. Erica similis it is. Another very distinctive Erica - Erica grandiflora subsp grandiflora in bright orange and gold, with pine needle-like leaves, very much an E. vestita look alike. Other dominant Ericas were, E. plukenetii, E. articularis and on the lower open ground E. peltata. Muraltia species were well represented in deep purples.

On a less enthusiastic note – after walking 7 to 8 km through pristine Fynbos (no aliens visible), we rounded a corner turning into a deep, long, protected valley. What greets us – loads of Hakea trees (Hakea sericea) in all sizes? This continued along the old contour path towards the now disused Nooitgedacht Hut. The Hakea has found a good niche.

On the downhill return to our campsite at the “Leopard Trail Bushcamp” – super views across the Overberg. On closer inspection it was scary to note how dominant the individual Black Wattle (Acacia mearnsia) forests are on the farms bordering the Langeberg foothills.

Other huge eyesores are the utterly enormous covered citrus orchards. The locals tell us the structures have been initiated by overseas investors (?? Spanish). In Spain orange trees grow in their own fully automated and controlled microclimate. This reminds me of images I have seen of “plasticultura” southwest of Almeira in Spain. There an area of 20,000 hectares is covered in plastic roofed structures below the backdrop of the purple ‘Sierra de Gador” mountains. Is this the future of agriculture in the Overberg? Set against the backdrop of the beautiful Langeberg?? I shudder at the thought.
For images visit: https://www.amusingplanet.com/2013/08/the-greenhouses-of-almeria.html

And thus, the long day’s hike eventually ended – HAT Evie was able to plunge to her hearts content in a huge, fresh, mountain stream dam near the bush camp, where we were to sleep our second night. A lovely campsite and a great weekend. All to replace our original booking for the Swellendam Trail. We are told by CapeNature that the huts are still being renovated and the trail remains closed. For how much longer??
Evie
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Robberg Corridor
12th April 2019
For most of the day there was a chilly wind swirling tendrils of mist around. It was our first visit to this property, which is in the process of being incorporated into the Robberg Corridor. RC is a stewardship initiative between the owners and CapeNature to preserve this wonderful stretch of coastal fynbos. This newest addition is owned by Jean More, who asked us to visit and make a species list for the property via iNat observations.

Post-fire, the major problem is that the aliens like Port Jackson and Rooikrantz are coming up like grass. Jean has had a couple of guys hand-pulling these out for ages on a daily basis. She has clear areas to show for it, but it is a daunting exercise and she could really do with some help. As part of the Robberg Corridor Conservation Initiative, would there be any assistance forthcoming from organisations like "Working for Water or Working on Fire"? Carlo, I would be grateful if you could give us some guidance here.

We were very pleased to see plenty of Acmadenia alternifolia (Vulnerable) thriving in the clear patches. Also present was a scattering of Oxalis pendulifolia (Near Threatened) on most of the land. We are sure that Muraltia knysnaensis (Endangered) is lurking under the forest of aliens, but we were unable to find any plants.

Here is the link to the specific iNat place - : https://www.inaturalist.org/places/robberg-coastal-corridor-roodefontein-440-ptn-42
And below is the link to the entire Robberg Corridor Project https://www.inaturalist.org/places/robberg-coastal-corridor-e8267c6b-9263-4a87-a721-a24619be6dc8

After a very pleasant walk and fossick over the property, we returned to the house to a sumptuous lunch cooked by Susan, who could teach me a thing or two about preparing food. Or is it too late teach the old bitch new tricks"? Thank you Jean for a very pleasant morning and please don't lose heart. It is so essential that we have people who think and act as you do in the greater Southern Cape community.
Sterkte!
tanniedi
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STOP PRESS
Peter and Werner found a rather mysterious Gladiolus on a recent trip to Buffelspoort in the Klein Swartberg. Peter said, "I've been through the Glad book a billion times and I can't seem to ID it. I'd love some help. It's also strange to see it flowering at this time of year. It looks like a Glad I'd expect from the Boland".

So we sent the iNat link to Jan Vlok.
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/22597566

His reply, "The Glad is something that has been ‘a thorn in the flesh’ for me for several years. It is currently regarded as an autumn-flowering version of Gladiolus rogersii. Sure you will be equally surprised at this verdict. It has several distinct characters, including the almost terete leaf and hard corm tunics. However frustrating, I do understand why Goldblatt & Manning came to this conclusion. There are a great many variations of typical spring-flowering Gladiolus rogersii (including the once recognised Gladiolus rogersii var. vlokii) that links up to these Swartberg plants. At the other end of the spectrum there is a bright pink, late spring flowering version of Gladiolus rogersii on the Kamanassie mountains that looks equally distinct. For the time being we will have to regard them all as one species".
Jan Vlok
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De Hoek stonewalls the Ancients
17th April 2019
Advancing years and a wide range of injuries have all contributed to slowing the ancients down and there was no way we could keep up with our younger compatriots at De Hoek on Wednesday. After a vigorous argument (which Bill won), we went up anti-clockwise to the nek, where the track branches off to Gouekrans. This very steep section of the path is out of general use and was pretty bushed at times. Aspalathus shawii subsp. shawii (one of a series of plants known by the Outramps as Horribilis maximus) was the main very prickly contributor to our discomfort. At the nek we decided, "Discretion is the better part of Valour" and descended down again. The only plant with possible conservation status seen on this stretch was an Argyrolobium, which still needs to be id'd. The Proteaceae regeneration is going well.

I much prefer the clockwise direction which takes you up to some wide plains that are dissected by numerous small streams and are covered with interesting plants. It is particularly the way to go if you are doing a thereandback. However, I lost that argument...............

The rest of the party did the whole Circuit and reported similar findings to ours. They spotted Leucadendron tinctum (Near Threatenend) on the plains after the river crossing and the steep climb up out of the kloof. They had a wonderful day on this spectacular trail in the high Swartberg Mountains. Once again, I make an impassioned plea to CapeNature to open this magnificent trail to the hiking public. It is truly one of the best in South Africa.

An amazing feature - stone walls that cross the foothills for miles and miles. The theory mooted is that the farmers built these to contain livestock. It must have been very hard work, demonstrating that our forbears were certainly tougher than we are today. That is of course, with the exception of "Oom Willie van die Berge". After a long layoff after a catastrophic fall, he is fighting to regain his fitness. Watch this space!

And after years and years of visiting, we are finally making friends with Regina and Nellie, the Aunties at the gate. This time I got a huge welcome from Nellie and a hug to go with it. It was worth waiting for!
tanniedi
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Field Trips
This week we are doing an Overnighter to Oukraal at Gamkaberg Nature Reserve. We are keen to see the progress of the regeneration of the Fynbos post-fire. We will hike up Tierkloof, spend the night at Oukraal and then hike down the western boundary back to the offices. We are so looking forward to that.

Susan Campbell has given us permission to walk on her property, Endlovana, on Friday 26th April. We will walk down the road towards the coast. I will park a car there to bring everyone/drivers up. Hike suitable for all. I will meet Outramps at the gate at 8.30am. Please let me (Nicky) know if you would like to join us.
Hamba Kahle
Groete en dankie
Di Turner
Outramps CREW Group
Southern Cape
South Africa


All id’s subject to confirmation by Doc AnneLise and Jan Vlok, Steven Molteno, Dr Tony Rebelo, Nick Helme, Prof Charlie Stirton, Dr Robert Archer, Dr Robert McKenzie, Dr Ted Oliver, Dr Christopher Whitehouse, Adriaan Grobler, Prix Burgoyne, Dr Kenneth Oberlander, Dr Pieter Winter, Dr David Gwynne-Evans, Malthinus and Mattmatt on iNat. Thank you all for your ongoing help and support.
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Outramps Places on iNaturalist – You can browse through the observations or refer to the checklist which is in alphabetical order eg. Animals, birds etc.
Area covered by Southern Cape Herbarium - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/southern-cape-aoi
Cola Conservancy - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/cola-conservancy
Dune Molerat Trail - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/dune-molerat-trails
Featherbed Nature Reserve - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/featherbed-nature-reserve
Gamkaberg - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/gamkaberg
Gerickes Punt - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/gerickes-punt#/places/gerickes-punt
Gouriqua - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/gouriqua-private-nature-reserve
Gouritzmond - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/the-gouritsmond-commonage
Heaven in the Langkloof - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/heaven-in-the-langkloof
Herolds Bay - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-herolds-bay
Kammanassie - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-kammanassie-reserve
Klein Swartberg - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/klein-swartberg
Knysna - Westford Bridge https://www.inaturalist.org/places/westford-bridge-estate-knysna
Kouga Mountains Kliphuis - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-kouga-mountains
Kranshoek - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-kranshoek-
Langeberg Grootvadersbosch - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/grootvadersbosch-nature-reserve
Masons Rust - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/masons-rust-32-ptn-4-gezwinds-kraal-41-ptn-0
Mons Ruber and surrounds - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/mons-ruber-and-surrounds
Mossel Bay Aalwyndal - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/aalwyndal
Mossel Bay Diosma Reserve - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/diosma-reserve
Mossel Bay - :https://www.inaturalist.org/places/hartenbos-heuwels
Mossel Bay - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/erf-14072
Mossel Bay - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/erf-19201
Mossel Bay St Blaize Trail - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/st-blaize-trail
Natures Valley - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/nature-s-valley-south-cape-south-africa
Outeniquas Bobbejaanberg - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-bobbejanberg-in-the-outeniquas
Outeniquas Camferskloof - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-camferskloof
Outeniquas, Collinshoek and the Big Tree - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outenoquas-collinshoek-and-the-big-tree
Outeniquas - Cradock and George Peak Trail - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/cradock-peak-trail
Outeniquas Doringrivier East - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-doringrivier-east-in-the-outeniquas
Outeniquas East - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-eastern-outeniquas-from-bergplaas-to-gouna
Outeniquas Eseljagt - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/ezeljagt-eseljagt-and-surrounds
Outeniquas Eseljagtpoort - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/ezeljagts-poort-72-ptn-0-eseljagt-poort
Outeniquas Flanagans Rock - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/flanagans-rock-rsa
Outeniquas Lange Berg - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/lange-berg-112
Outeniquas Montagu Pass North - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-montagu-pass-north
Outeniquas Paardekop - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/paardekop-13
Outeniquas Paardepoort East - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-paardepoort-east
Outeniquas Paardepoort West - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-paardepoort-wes
Outeniquas Pizza Ridge - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-pizza-ridge
Outeniquas Southern Traverse - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-outeniqua-southern-traverse
Robberg Corridor - : https://www.inaturalist.org/places/robberg-coastal-corridor-roodefontein-440-ptn-42
Robberg Corridor - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/robberg-coastal-corridor-krans-hoek-432-ptn-5
Robberg Corridor - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/robberg-coastal-corridor-e8267c6b-9263-4a87-a721-a24619be6dc8
Rooiberg - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-rooiberg-reserve
Spioenkop - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/ruigtevlei-plantations
Strawberry Hill - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/strawberry-hill-7-passes-road-wilderness-south-africa
Swartberg Bloupunt - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-bloupunt-swartberg
Swartberg Spitskop - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-spitskop-to-meiringspoort-swartberg
Swartberg, Swartberg Pass to Bothashoek high and low - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/swartberg-pass-to-bothashoek-jeep-track-and-crag-route
Swartberg Waboomsberg - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/waboomsberg-in-the-swartberg
Uitzicht Portion 39 - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/uitzigt-216-portion-39
Uitzicht - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/uitzigt-216-ptn-65
Western Head - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/walker-s-point-215-portion-1-buffalo-bay
Western Head – https://www.inaturalist.org/places/walker-s-point-215-portion-2-buffalo-bay
Western Head - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/walker-s-point-215-portion-3-buffalo-bay
Western Head - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/western-head-knysna
White Heather - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/white-heather
Wilderness Brown Hooded Kingfisher Trail – https://www.inaturalist.org/places/brown-hooded-kingfisher-trail
Wilderness Kingfisher Trail - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/kingfisher-trails
Witteberg Kromme Rivier - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/kromme-rivier-72-ptn-0-willowmore

Outramps CREW Stellenbosch HAT node
Jonkershoek created by Vynbos - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/jonkershoek-cv
Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/mont-rochelle-nature-reserve
Papegaaiberg - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/papegaaiberg

Outramps Projects on iNaturalist
Ericas of the Southern Cape - https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/ericas-of-the-southern-cape
Fungi of the Southern Cape - https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/fungi-of-the-southern-cape
Geranicaceae of the Southern Cape - https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/geraniaceae-of-the-southern-cape-of-south-africa
Lianes and Creepers in the Southern Cape and Little Karoo - https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/lianes-and-creepers-of-the-southern-cape-and-little-karoo
Veg Types of South Africa - https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/vegetation-types-of-south-africa
Flowers of the High Drakensberg - https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/flowers-of-the-high-kzn-drakensberg
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Abbreviations Glossary
MCSA – Mountain Club of South Africa
MSB - Millenium Seed Bank based at Kew in the UK
WIP – Work in Progress
HAT – High Altitude Team
LOT – Lowland Team
SIM – Somewhere in the Middle Team
WAGS – Wednesday Adventure Group
VB – Vlok Boekie “Plants of the Klein Karoo” and our Plant Bible
ITRTOL – Another thread “In The Rich Tapestry Of Life”(It describes a challenging situation, usually to do with the Buchu Bus)
ITFOT – In the fullness of time
WOESS – Fair Weather Hiker
FMC and JW – too vulgar to translate, but the equivalent is “Strike me Dead” - An expression of surprise and delight on finding a new “Rare”
Kambro – same as above
Fossick – A meter per minute, scratching around looking for rares
SIDB – Skrop in die Bos – Another name for a field trip, this one coined by Prix
BAFFING – Running round like a blue-arsed fly
SYT – Sweet Young Thing - Anyone under the age of 40
TOMB – Get a move on
Mayhem - Needless or willful damage or violence
SESKRYNG – “Sit en staan kry niks gedaan” ,with thanks to Brian
SOS – Skelms on Scramblers
FW – Idiot
BOB – Another name for the Buchu Bus when she’s misbehaving.
CRAFT – A symptom of Old Age
DDD - Metalasia tricolor (Damned Diabolical Daisy)
VP – Vrekplek – Retirement Village
Qàq – Self-explanatory Inuit word describing some of our local problems
Mr Fab – Our Fabaceae specialist, Brian Du Preez – originally Boy 1
Muisvoel -The Mathematician – Peter Thompson
Boy 2 – Kyle Underwood who works on Orchids and is still at school
Sharkie – Finn Rautenbach – Our latest SYT is a surfer in his spare time and is now the Curator of the Garden Route Botanical Garden
Sicko – Someone who suffers from Car Sickness. With 4 in the Group, allocating seating in the Buchu Bus is tricky
VAG – Virgin Active Garage, which is our meeting place when we head north
MATMUE – Meet At The Mall Under E - Meeting place when we head West
WG – Waves Garage in Wilderness East. - Meeting place when we’re going east.
VU- Vulnerable
DDT – Data Deficient and Taxonomically ?
NT – Near Threatened
EN – Endangered
CR – Critically Endangered
PE – Presumed extinct
LC – Least Concern
TBC – To be Confirmed
TLC – Tender loving care
JMS – An expression of absolute disdain
FOMO – Fear of Missing Out
Milk – the fruit of the vine
Condensed Milk – Scotland’s finest export
Full Cream Milk or Fat Milk – Any product of Humulus lupulus eg. Milk Stout
Milk of the Gods – Rooibos and Brandy
Milk Shake - Sparkling Wine
NS – Species of conservation concern new to the Outramps
PS -Priority Species allocated to the Outramps by our CREW Cape Co-ordinator , Ismail Ebrahim
iNatFD – iNaturalist for Dummies as compiled by Sally
Mizzle – Mist and drizzle combined. A regular feature of George in the ”good old days”.
FE – Fire Ephemeral – only appears immediately or after a couple of years after fire
Squirrel – aka President Ramaphosa
WOG – Wrath of God – eg. incurred when you put a young Pine tree on iNat as Leucadendron album
Skedonk - A banger - old, battered motor car more than 30 years old
Hoedown - redneck gathering, usually involves shouting catchy phrases like "yee-haw" and "the south will rise again"
VHF - Vat Hom Fluffie - our nickname for furry or woolly plants
SA - Stay Attractive is Google's translation of "Mooi Bly"
OTL - Out To Lunch is used to describe the Buchu Bus when she's taking a break after she's behaved badly
DFKIAA - A very funny video in Afrikaans is doing the rounds. It refers to the current power outages.

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CREW Outramps · PO Box 2991 · Mossel Bay, WC 6500 · South Africa

Posted on April 23, 2019 05:26 by outramps-tanniedi outramps-tanniedi | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Reto Naturalista Urbano Manzanillo, Colima 2019

Hola, te invito a unirte al Reto Naturalista Urbano Manzanillo, Colima 2019, los días 26 al 29 de abril, sube la mayor cantidad de observaciones hechas en el territorio de Manzanillo esos días.

Hi, Join to Reto Naturalista Urbano Manzanillo, Colima 2019 (City Challenge 2019) april 26-29, upload a lot of observations those days taken at Manzanillo.

https://www.naturalista.mx/projects/reto-naturalista-urbano-manzanillo-colima-2019

Posted on April 23, 2019 05:23 by abdavid abdavid | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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私の公園:Creek Park

私は家にとなりの公園住んでいるから、公園に犬とよく歩く。この公園の名前はCreek Parkだ。公園の中で小川がある。きれいじゃなくて、ごみがたくさんあるから、小川に蛙が住めない。でも、たくさん虫とアヒルがいる。最近、アヒルが八匹生まれた。アヒルの赤ちゃんはとてもかわいくて、小さい!

そして、公園にりすが住んでいる。私はりすが大好きだ。でも、りすは橋を壊している!橋の下にりすは穴を掘った。そして、人間はりすが食べ物をあげる。今、りすは太っている、人間が好きだ。

今日、私は父と犬といっしょうに散歩した。白い鳥を見た。このおもしろい鳥の英語の名前はSnowy Egretだ。私はその鳥を見たことがあった。おもしろい動物をもっと見たい。

Posted on April 23, 2019 05:07 by kokomomo kokomomo | 1 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Field Observation 6: Reproductive Ecology

Date: April 13, 2019
Time: 1:45-3:15pm
Weather: Rainy, cloudy and 43 F
Location: Shelburne Pond

I was rather surprised to observe multiple birds during this outing because it was raining. There were about five Mallards swimming on the pond. I heard more birds than I saw. During my walk, I did not observe a lot of reproductive behaviors. At one point I must have got a little too close to a Red-winged Blackbird nest or territory because I heard its alarming call.

Most of the trees in the woods have not yet developed leaves. There were multiple times that I observed nests, new and old. I saw a Hermit Thrush nest in a smaller conifer where it was sheltered from the elements. I was slightly surprised at how low the nest was and if I were a tad bit taller, I would have been almost eye-level. I came across the Red-winged Blackbird territory closer to the edge of the water. I was unable to see the actual nest, but I did not want to stick around to try to find it. There was also a Brown-headed Cowbird around. These individuals plant their eggs in other bird's nests. I also noticed that there were some nests in various tree cavities that were higher up in the trees.

Posted on April 23, 2019 04:02 by oliviaberger oliviaberger | 8 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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another gorgeous day in centennial woods

3/22/2019; 11:30-5:30pm; 60ºF w/ slight wind and sunny; Centennial Woods Natural Area; protected forest with wetlands, fields, and marsh areas

The last species that I saw today was a pair of Black-capped Chickadees that appeared to have nested in this snag near the northwestern part of Centennial Woods. I didn't realize the cavity in the tree until I started calling the pair with the Audubon app and after they both flew away–I saw one of them dive down and go in headfirst into the hole. I did my best to be able to get up and look down, and listened closely–I didn't tread any close to the snag out of fear that I would possibly scare the duo off–however, I wasn't able to see if there was a nest or any nestlings in there. There was a possibility due to my observation that the parents didn't fly off immediately when I initially approached.
I did some Google searching and confirmed my suspicion that a cavity such as the one I found would provide a perfect house to raise young chickadees. It's out of way of foot traffic, close to a water source, and the environment is wide open to check for predators; but at the same time provided enough cover if something should happen. Another thing I noticed in behavior was the curiosity of one the chickadees that has not happened before. When I called them, one individual came flying out the trees, landing no more than 5 feet on a branch to look at me. Now from what I've experienced with chickadees, is that they like to watch you, but at a distance, never this close. Perhaps it was because I was close to his/her possible nest and I was using a call of another chickadee (they might see this as a rival chickadee).
This behavior differs from, say a Canada goose mother, who lays here eggs near a water's edge. There is one mother on Redstone who nested on an island in the runoff pool between the apartments and main dorms. Mostly an aquatic habitat, she surrounded herself with tall reeds in an area that is very accessible to predators from the air, but not from land(unless they can swim), and can see much of what's around.

Last journal, but definitely not the last outing.

Till next time....

Posted on April 23, 2019 04:02 by aromano17 aromano17 | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Journal Entry 2 (Second Time at Foxcroft Farm)

Journal Entry #2

Name: Fanny Riand
BioCube Number: 1 (Swamp)

BioCube Location: We had to move our BioCube slightly because it rained so much that it became flooded and no longer had vegetation in it. We moved it so that it was only partially in the swamp water and contained vegetation, so it has a source of food to attract organisms and insects may also use the plants to land and rest.

Listening to Nature Notes:
It's crazy how loud the birds are. They are so many different sounds today. Quick little chirps and longer, throaty trills. They chant nonstop, chaotic, wanting to be heard above all the others. They all stopped all of a sudden. Maybe a predator came by? A hawk? I look but I don't see anything. I can't believe how quiet everything is now. It's like night and day. It stays like that for a while and then one bird calls out in the near silence. Then one by one the other calls start back up again too, gaining confidence and becoming increasingly loud. The dry grasses and small branches around me rustle when the wind starts to pick up. It is so peaceful out here. I can hear one call being responded to by another on the other side of the nearby forest. The calls come at regular intervals, and I actually begin to anticipate them. A bird flies overhead, its call getting louder as it gets closer and fading out as it flies into the distance. I can hear the branches of a tree squeak above my head. I wonder how much I could learn if I just stayed here all day long.

Observations:
A black-capped chickadee landed on a cattail right next to us! It was really exciting to see it so close. It pecked at the cattail, eating its seeds. We also caught a crayfish! We named him Cray Cray and kept him with us for a bit before releasing him. He was really cool to look at and to hold. I thought it would be much harder to catch something like a crayfish. He was about the length of half my palm. I wonder how big he can get, or if that is his full size. We saw many plants today, including yellow flowers (genus Caltha?) and small blue flowers (flowering bluets). Leaving the swamp we saw a fluffy black and red caterpillar on the ground in the meadow. Based on its colors, I wonder if it is actually poisonous, or if it is using mimicry to appear poisonous and deter predators.

Posted on April 23, 2019 03:59 by friand friand | 10 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Field Observation #6

Time: 1:30 pm
Date: 22 April 2019
Location: Intervale Community Farm natural trail area

One distinct behavior I observed that I had not yet encountered this year was an animated exchange between two chickadees. They were somewhere high in the tree canopy and the birds were calling back and forth, back and forth for several minutes without (it seemed) even taking a breath. I had never heard two chickadees talking to each other like that, so it was really interesting to observe. I am not positive if that behavior is indicative of mating season. Maybe two males were talking to each other and establishing some territory. It was neat to hear a conversation between two birds. Chickadee nesting habitat is usually in birch trees and alder trees, and there were many of those in the Intervale woods. House Sparrows were spending time in low brushy thickets, threading in and out of the patches of branches. I wonder if they were foraging for materials for their nests. The house sparrows seemed to pair up and then break off and pair up again. I am not sure what kind of mating behavior house sparrows partake in, but maybe the small group was made up of males and females who were getting acquainted with one another, or possibly a group of mostly males who were sizing one another up. This type of highly interactive behavior seems typical of the early spring days. The last species I noticed possibly working on their nesting habitat was a Pileated Woodpecker. They were high in a tree drumming away, which might have been to forage for food, or it might have been to construct a nesting cavity. A woodpecker's nest habitat is different from a chickadee in their tree or a House Sparrow in narrow crevices of buildings or birdhouses because they build their nest inside an excavated hole in a tree.

Mini-activity: I heard 6 different species, but there was only 1 individual for each. I still cannot identify one sound I heard. It was a 2 second song and the bird sang every 15 or 20 seconds consistently for more than 6 or 7 minutes. There were 3 parts to the song (a high, swooping check mark, a low chatter, and a series of high cheep-cheep-cheeps. It was really nice to do this activity and I want to do the same thing when I can barely make out the individual sounds of 10 or more species in a true cacophony.

Posted on April 23, 2019 03:53 by jess-savage jess-savage | 7 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Field Observation 6: Reproductive ecology and evolution

On April 22, a Monday, at about 2:00 PM I walked over to Centennial Woods for my birding excursion. The weather was really nice. It was only partly cloudy with a few cool breezes here and there. The temperature fluctuated around 60 degrees Fahrenheit. I was heading to the very first entrance of Centennial which consisted of dry coniferous woods. I happened to stumble upon a bird feeder with a variety of frequent visitors. My excursion consisted of mostly walking along the trails and observing any birds I came across until roughly after 3:30 PM.
As I walked up to the bird feeder, one of the first birds I noticed was a Black-capped Chickadee. After spotting one individual, I noticed more flying back and forth from the nearby eastern hemlocks. They were very vocal and there had to be at least 10 individuals in direct proximity of the feeder. Picking out one particular individual I observed it for a couple minutes as it foraged from the feeder. I noticed that each time it picked a seed from the feed it would fly up to a branch and peck the branch with its beak. I am unsure if it was storing seeds for later or pecking the branch for other reasons. I also noticed some males in particular pick out certain perches and sing for a few minutes. I was unable to distinguish males from females so I assumed that every Chickadee that sung was a male.
After a while more birds started visiting the feeder. One of the new birds I saw was a Gold-headed finch. There was only one male in the area that let out a very low volume call. This individual perched very close to the feeder and made it his singing perch. The lone male was very calm and did not show much activity except to hop down into the feeder. That all changed when I imitated his song. When I started making a similar whistle, the male became more active, started singing much louder than before, and flew to more locations as if trying to secure more territory.
Overtime another species made its appearance. At first I had no idea what this brown, discrete robin-sized bird was. Confused of what bird I was observing I unsuccessfully tried to snap pictures. Though I was unsuccessful on capturing a photo of the brown bird, I accidentally caught a glimpse of a black bird. This black bird was much more bold and a lot easier to take a picture of. I was not entirely sure what this black bird was until it sang. Once I heard its vocalization I knew immediately it was a Brown-headed Cowbird. After making that realization, I soon noticed the male was hovering by the brown bird which I now knew was also a Brown-headed Cowbird. I did not see any mating behavior, but the male and female were very close and seemed to share the same territory. There were a couple times they both perched on the same branch and the male displayed some dominating behaviors like raising his head or looking bigger. Seeing these two together made me want to inspect the tree and surrounded area for a nest. I had no luck finding their nest if they had one but I saw a very large nest in a somewhat further away tree. No clue what made that specific nest, but I know it has to be larger than a cowbird.
After discovering the nest, I decided to continue down the trail. I did not see much on the trail, but I definitely heard a variety of calls and songs. At one point I followed the vocalizations and found myself under an eastern hemlock teamed with black-capped chickadees. Unsurprisingly, the chickadees in this area behaved the same as the ones by the feeder as they sang, foraged, and pecked the branches beneath them. After a while, I resumed my journey along the trail. I met a dead end, made my way back, noticed it was 3:30, and decided to call it a day.

Posted on April 23, 2019 03:38 by david4561 david4561 | 4 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Second Visit to Foxcroft Farm

Our second visit to Foxcroft Farm was just as fun as the first! It had rained the night before, so there were pools of water across the farm, so much so that one of the teams had to walk in trash bags to reach their ecosystem! While the walk to the stream was not that bad, unfortunately, the stream had overflowed its banks, and we could not reach our BioCube. Instead, we took more pictures and samples of the stream wherever we could reach.
I noticed immediately the sounds of birds filling the air. I could not see the birds or identify them, as they were hidden or too far up in a tree to see, but there was certainly a flock nearby. Perhaps next time, I should record their sounds. We started taking pictures of the plants we could reach. There was a lot of a certain grass looking plant growing in the bank of the water, which I captured a photo of. They were rooted in the water. When I uploaded the image, I found out they were young cattails. I have attached the image I took of the cattails.
We had a small net in our bag, so we used that to skim the top of the stream and small pools of water that had been created by the rain for organisms. We caught a spider, and a fly. We found a few more insects but were unfortunately unable to catch or photograph them.
We continued to explore the stream, but not much had changed since last week, save the stream overflowing, so we could reach even less. During our silence, I heard the birds mentioned previously and the sounds of the stream. I could hear my groupmates moving around the ecosystem, as well. I decided to go as far into the woods next to the stream as I could, to see if I could find something new. I ended up just enjoying how peaceful the scene was instead of finding different organisms, but I just enjoyed taking a minute to be fully immersed in the environment.
One exciting thing that happened was that one of our group members almost fell into the stream! He was reaching over the edge with a net to see what he could catch, and a piece of wood broke off under his feet. Luckily, he was able to catch himself, and we were even able to retrieve the wood that fell. We found that inside, there were many carpenter ants, which were the cause of the wood breaking off. The wood also had some mushrooms on it, which I am not fully convinced on the ID of. Overall, the second week at the farm was a lot of fun, and we were able to find lots of cool organisms!

Posted on April 23, 2019 03:34 by arshiak arshiak | 5 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Field Trip 2 Journal Entry

Today was a particularly windy day. It was a significant contrast from last week which had light breezes through the conifers. This week, trees were shaking and there was a biting cold. During the 15 minutes of silence, I heard many dead leaves being rustled by new animals which appeared since last week. There were significantly more birds (peepers maybe) going back and forth from trees to build a nest. There were more flies/bugs near us which we could hear buzzing in our ears. This week it was warmer so we heard walkers alongside us venturing on the road. Sitting in silence really helped me realize the powerful force of the wind. It seems like a mere obstacle when we're so focused on finding organisms under the soil surface, and we seem to forget what a huge role it plays. Its power disperses seeds, creates new habitats, and destroys old ones. During the spurts where the wind disappeared, I felt the fresh rays of the sun briefly before their pleasant warmth was disrupted by louder wind. Meanwhile, the conversational chatter of the birds was pretty consistent in the background.

This week we found many of the same organisms such as different types of fungus and mosses, but also a plethora of new ones that we needed notice before. We spent more time digging in the dirt this week, since last week taught us that they are countless things hiding beneath our feet. We were able to see skunk cabbage sprouting up near a wetland that was beginning to form at the edge of the forest, most likely from the recent excessive rain. We tried to dig up the soil in the water but did not have as much luck finding organisms there as we did in the dry soil. This week, I surprisingly found a tiny salamander buried near a moist tree stump. This was easily by far the highlight of the trip. This little guy was extremely excited and jumpy (probably from fear), and I was able to capture a video of him. We also found many bundles of spiders on the forest floor. There were some more brown droppings scattered on the floor, as well as new plants with varying shapes. We found a dead caterpillar covered in black fuzzy which we could more closely examine as it wasn't moving. The fact that we found such different species from last even though we were in the same tiny plot of land amazed me. There is so much more biodiversity surrounding us than I realize, and a simple walk in nature can be tremendously eye-opening.

Posted on April 23, 2019 03:24 by arnimbalkar arnimbalkar | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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April 22

Date: 4/21/19
Time: 5:30 – 8:00 pm
Location: Kirby, Vermont
Weather: 65 degrees, sunny, a few clouds, no wind
Habitat: open fields, open timber, think stands of timber (many different spots were explored)
While on my exploration, I saw a lot of mating behaviors. The main one that I was interested in was the wild turkeys. The toms could be seen strutting around with hens, despite the lack of interest from the hens which were more worried about feeding and finding a place to roost. I also saw small flocks of American crows, American robins, mallard, American woodcock, white-breasted nuthatch, and black-capped chickadee. The very cool thing that I heard for mating behavior besides the turkeys, was the courtship call of the woodcock. For years I have heard this but not know what it was, and I loved sitting there listening to the individual as the sun set.
Since the eastern part of the state is a little behind the western, mating is still in courtship and the nesting and breeding is just starting. All these species pick spots to build nests that are either tucked away in thick spots under trees/bushes, or up in trees. There is a mating pair of mallards that routinely use our pond at my house this time of year, but I have yet to see them build a nest. They love to hide in the tall grass though and I think that there is just too much activity for them to nest here. The turkeys and woodcock also love to get tucked into thick pockets that are easily missed by predators but also easily escaped. The other species prefer to nest in the trees, using the branches and leaves to hide them.
The woodcock I heard, if he is lucky enough to find a mate, will likely nest in the little finger of woods behind my pond as there is soft ground and the field close by for them to feed. They also can find thick spots to hide under the boughs of softwoods to make a nest and hide from predators. American robins are very different in where they would build a nest. I often find them building nests in our sugarhouse which has rafters to build a nest, and the roof to keep aerial predators away and the elements off them. Turkeys are also very different, they like to find high, dry ground. Yet, like the woodcock, they use brush to hide from predators while incubating the eggs. I have found many of them on field edges where there is a think edge with lots of visibility for the hens while they sit but still lots of cover to blend in with while they sit motionless.
Mini Activity: while doing the activity I saw/heard, black-capped chickadee, American woodcock, wild turkey, American robins, and American crow. I saw 9 turkeys and 4 crows, but I heard 6 robins, 1 woodcock and 7 chickadees. None of the species I encountered were unidentified. It was very cool to think about the songs and calls and then try to draw them as I really had to focus on the tone and pitch which really helps you realize the uniqueness and helps to provide hints identify them.

I was only able to get photos of the turkeys as all other species did not stick around for a long enough period to get photos on my phone using binoculars.

Posted on April 23, 2019 03:08 by nigelwaring nigelwaring | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Biocube 1 - Foxcroft Farm 4/16

It's amazing what a little rain can do. The area just beyond the bridge was flooded, and much of the land was waterlogged. Once we got to the swamp, the water levels there were higher too. Our biocube was not underwater, but areas that were ankle deep the week prior now flooded my boots as i trudged through the swamp to get to the cube. Although there seemed to be quite a bit of biodiversity where we originally placed the cube, we decided to move the cube to a more accessible spot as it took us approximately twenty minutes of maneuvering thorn bushes and sinking into the swamp before we were able to get to the cube. In the cube we found some water plants and a cray fish. last week we found a tadpole, and I will say that finding creatures like the cray fish and tadpole make me feel like a kid again and made me forget about the swamp I was carrying in my boots.
The rain not only flooded the farm, but seemed to bring life to everything there. Our first week on the farm everything seemed dead and brown. Aside from the skunk cabbage taking over the banks of the swamp, signs of life seemed scarce. This week, I saw flower popping up between the decaying leaves, buds on trees, the plants in the water were green and looking around I noticed the bugs and the birds and even found a caterpillar. What I enjoyed most was during our group's fifteen minutes of silence, I saw a large predatory bird, a hawk maybe, being chased by two smaller birds. Shortly after from a tree just across the swamp, a flock of birds flew overhead across the swamp into a nearby tree, calling out what I can only imagine to be warning calls. I later found out with inaturalist that these were the calls of red-winged black birds. I would never have known!
As much as I enjoyed finding all of the different species of plants, bugs, animals, birds and fungi, I could have done without the swamp water seeping through my socks. I hope more rain will bring more species to life for next week, and I can't wait to go back and find out.

Posted on April 23, 2019 02:46 by mcalderone mcalderone | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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March 31

I went out to the march and was able to identify several species I had never seen at the marsh before. One species that I was able to easily identify was the prostrate cape weed, which was a common yellow flower that I spotted around the march. I spotted a Coyote Brush, as well as several wild carrots. The most common plant I was able to see was the Rib wort Plantain. There were some plant species that I was not able to clearly identify. a couple examples of this is what I thought was a Scarlet Indian Paintbrush, and a Bristly Oxtoungue. I was not able to find the exact species for these two plants, so I went with the closes ID i could come up with.

Posted on April 23, 2019 02:43 by mc18 mc18 | 7 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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March 2nd

I went to the march today, and I was able to notice changes as the spring season started. I noticed that red seeded dandelions were more common, as well as three-corned garlic. I saw many ducks, geese, and swans, but I was unable to determine the species because they were so far away. I many Field mustard, as well as Fuller's teasel. I was also able to see a Zebra Jumping Spider on a rock right next to my willow tree. I also saw that others made the same observation which made me think that they are more common in the spring.

Posted on April 23, 2019 02:32 by mc18 mc18 | 5 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Day 2 at Foxcroft Farms

On the second day of visiting the farm, we found even more biodiversity. Most interestingly, we found various insects in and around the water. First we found what looked like a spider (unfortunately I could not capture a picture of the insect). Next we found a black ant inside of a log above the stream. There seemed to be several holes in the wood formed by the ants. During my fifteen minutes of contemplation, I noticed these insects, specifically by sound, something I had not realized before. I also noticed bubbles on the surface of the stream, presumably formed by insects. I also saw other vegetation today, including the eastern skunk cabbage. This seems abundant, especially on the bank of the stream. The stream had overflowed, washing several plants onto the shore and bridge by the stream. Because they were misplaced, they appeared to be in the early stages of death and even decomposition. This was most prominently brought on by dehydration, as the sun was rather bright this day on the farm. The strong wind also contributed to this plant displacement. There was also a fungus living in the wood found near the stream, which was only discovered because the wood was broken accidentally. This discovery goes to show just how much biodiversity, often hidden, there is in our environment.

Posted on April 23, 2019 02:27 by melinad_ melinad_ | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Field Observation 6: Reproductive Ecology and Evolution

On Sunday April 21st, I went to Centennial Woods in Burlington, VT at 11:30 a.m. The temperature was quite warm, about 70 degrees C, and the morning was sunny with slight cloud coverage. As our time spent birding progressed, the cloud coverage became thicker but the temperature remained warm. The first bird seen was a Pileated Woodpecker beginning to peck at the trunk of a tree. Since the tree was dead, it is most likely that this Woodpecker was creating a nesting site for offspring. Two Red-winged Blackbirds, a male and a female, were seen rustling in a field of goldenrod plants. These individuals were most likely choosing a spot to nest and begin breeding. This species tends to defend its territory, so it makes sense that they were trying to find a spot with the best location and resources. Slightly later on, a House Sparrow was seen sitting in the top branches of a tree. The bird seemed to be very still, even during the approach of humans, most likely because they are very used to living with humans.
Throughout this time period, three Black-capped Chickadees, an American Robin, and two Canada Geese were heard. The Chickadees seemed to be calling to each other, possibly signaling a food source or a good nesting site. These birds are very social, so it makes sense that they would be communicating to each other for resources verbally. The American Robin displayed its “cheerio” call from what seemed to be high in a tree. Robins usually nest in trees in wooded areas, so this bird could have found a nesting site and was signaling to its mate. Although I didn’t spot a nest, there could have been one already built that I couldn’t see and the individual could have been calling for its mate to find it. Canada Geese were heard in what seemed to be calling out to each other. During the spring, mating pairs break out from flocks and begin to defend territories, which is probably the behavior that was displayed. Males may have been showing defense mechanisms of territory by honking at one another.
Nesting requirements of House Sparrows are very different when compared to other birds. They are typically found nesting in holes of buildings or other urban fixtures, like streetlights and signs. Since nesting requirements are not very strict for this species, this could be the reason the Sparrow seen was calmly sitting in a tree rather than finding a place to nest. There are many houses and buildings the bird could easily make its home. Unlike the Sparrow, the Woodpecker has a unique place of nesting, usually in cavities that they hollow out themselves. Because of this, Woodpeckers may be more territorial because of the work put into building a nest. The Canada Goose also creates nesting sites unlike either of these two species. Geese prefer open sites, usually near water, and lay their eggs in a hole in the ground. Canada Geese are mainly a monogamous species, so males spend less time guarding females and females can put most of their energy into nesting and brooding.
In response to the mini activity, three Black-capped Chickadees were heard in the 10 minutes of sitting in one spot and listening. The individuals seemed to be fairly close to each other, but ranging from about 15 to 20 feet away from me. Three individuals were heard one after another and this was the only species heard during that 10 minutes. Thinking about where these individuals were in respect to my location put into perspective the sociality and movement of this species.

Posted on April 23, 2019 02:01 by mkerner mkerner | 6 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Journal Entry 1

While out in the field this past week I was able to observe far more than I expected. The first week, when we were introduced to our environments, I did not pay as close attention to the details of the environment and the organisms thriving there. This week though, I approached the vernal pond in which we placed our BioCube with fresh eyes and was amazed with what I saw. Also, the 15 minutes of silence was also more fruitful then I expected it to be.

15 minutes of silence:
During the time of silence, there was more activity than I had initially realized. Not only were the birds very lively and communicative, I was able to hear different calls of different breeds. Initially I assumed it was one species of bird, or maybe two, but when I listened closer I realized that it was many more species all chirping at the same time. This was fascinating to listen to as they were each communicating with other members of their populations without interfering with different species' calls. Another thing I was more aware of was the sound of the moving trees. Last week, I heard the brush and leaves moving in the wind however this week I was more attuned to the movement and creaks of the trees located near the pond. The wood didn't appear to be moving but when I simply listened I could hear it moving in the wind. When I first heard it, it reminded me of the sound I would hear when a wooden swing set would move, so I was surprised. The trees, which did not look like they were moving at all were making far more noise than I would have ever noticed without paying close attention. Finally, a new, somewhat startling, thing that I heard was the voices of other neighboring groups. The first week in the field, I hadn't been able to hear any other groups talking, or perhaps I did but I didn't even notice I could hear them, but during this week the human voices stood out more prominently. They seemed more out of place too as I didn't expect them to be mixing in with the sounds of the nature around me. When I heard them, as I said before, I was startled by how loud and, almost aggressive, they sounded in contrast to the other natural sounds that I had been listening to.

Environment observations:
After this past week, I realized that I missed so much during my "exploration" on the first week of lab. What I had initially viewed as an only semi-diverse environment was actually teeming with far more organisms than I realized. As I was more attentive during the moment of silence, I was also more attentive in the observations I was making. One practice that I really enjoyed while observing the ecosystem was sitting at the edge of the vernal pool for about 5 or more minutes completely still. I just watched the water and what was going on in and around the pool and noticed more than I expected. There were so many bugs flying around and landing in the water, interacting with the plants and abiotic parts of the ecosystem. Also, there were so many spiders roaming around in the brush. While I am not a fan of spiders at all, I was intrigued by the sheer number I saw. I tried to count each of the arachnids that I came across while making my way around the pool and lost count around 15 within about 10 minutes. The small details which I skipped over so easily the first week were much more prominent this past week when I really took the time to sit and observe and look with more attentive eyes. I'm extremely excited to go back next week to see just how much I missed just like last week. There is so much more to vernal pools than I realized, and it is fascinating that each time I have gone back I have been more aware of my surroundings and of nature as a whole.

Posted on April 23, 2019 01:51 by jade1700 jade1700 | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Berry Springs Preserve Herps of Texas report, 20Apr2019

We had a great spring night - five amphibian species were observed in various locations within the park, and we got photos and/or recordings for all of them !

- Blanchard's Cricket Frogs (ultimately at CI = 3) at the middle slough springhead (by the bird blind) and main pond
- A Rio Grande Leopard Frog (CI = 1) near the footbridge
- Three American Bullfrogs (CI = 1) in the main pond
- Three Gulf Coast Toads (CI = 1) near the footbridge and main pond's fishing deck
- Several Western Narrow-mouthed Toads (formerly known as Great Plains Narrow-mouthed Toads, CI = 1) in a shallow, flooded, grassy area at the base of the hill below the parking lot

Everyone contributed to identifying the calls and catching them - thank you !!
The monitoring period was 20:00 - 21:30.
Participants were Kathy, Christie, Leia, Diane, Mike & Amy, Lynne, and Larry & Marek (aka, the bullfrog whisperer).
Environmental conditions at the middle slough springhead at sunset:
- Air temperature = 68.7 deg F
- Water temperature = 70 deg F
- Sky = No/few clouds
- Water level = Average
- Relative humidity = 48 %

Posted on April 23, 2019 00:51 by k_mccormack k_mccormack | 5 observations | 1 comments | Leave a comment
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Under-Loved Brooklyn Sites for CNC?

City Nature Challenge is just days away! While I'm not expecting any formal events to emerge at this late date, I've been looking at iNaturalist to find under-represented areas in Brooklyn, especially during April.
April Observations in Brooklyn
Weather permitting, I'm hoping to visit one or more of these spots on Friday, April 26, and Monday, April 29. If you have other suggestions, please leave a comment or send me a message here on iNaturalist. Even better, let me know if you'd like to meet up somewhere in Brooklyn!
I also would like to try at least one night event, specifically to try to lure in and identify some moths. If anyone has any thoughts about where and how to do that, please let me know.

  1. Owl's Head Park
  2. Calvert Vaux Park
  3. Coney Island Creek Park
  4. Plumb Beach/Point Breeze
  5. Dead Horse Bay (surprisingly, there's only been one observation from there in April
  6. Holy Cross Cemetery
  7. Naval Cemetery Park
Posted on April 23, 2019 00:46 by xris xris | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Silverwood: Harry Woodward Trail to Rudy's View (April 21, 2019)

Route: Harry Woodward to the Chapparral Trail; Right onto the Spring Trial Spring Trail; Left on Big Oak Trail; Left on the Circuit Trail across the Big Rock Slab; Right on Rudy's View Trail. Came back the same way, even though there are a variety of ways to make it a loop.

Notes:
At the end of the Harry Woodward trail before it crosses the bridge to the bird viewing area, there was a patch of Narrow-leaved Cryptantha with Parry's Phacelia dramatically interspersed.

There were lots of Blue Dicks all the way from the lower part of the trail to the top.

There were lots of White-flowering Currents, some tall enough to canopy the path.

The Big Rock Slab, should be renamed the Rock Garden since there were so many flowers even though the location is harsh, has little soil, and is exposed and windy. Common Goldfields made the are a blur of gold. Nuttall's Snapdragons, Bush Poppies, and Everlasting flowers bloomed. On the Silver Bird's-foot Trefoil, were Tussock Moth caterpillars. There were even some Lupines.

Rudy's View presents, in addition to the view, lots of Ceanothus plants, though they seem to be finishing now.

I barely scratched the surface of making observations since this was my first time using iNaturalist.

Posted on April 23, 2019 00:42 by sage_and_seaweed sage_and_seaweed | 33 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Pluteus observed in the Mangemangeroa Reserve - Pluteus sp. ‘Yellow NZ'

The cap of this species can appear similar to Pluteus readiarum. In the Mangemangeroa Reserve this species can be distinguished in the field from Pluteus readiarum by the cream stipe and the gill lamellae which extend all the way to the cap margin. (The variety of Pluteus readiarum which is seen in the Mangemangeroa Reserve has a tan stipe along its entire length and the cap margin exceeds the gill lamellae). The dark squamules on the cap surface are more uniformly distributed over the surface of the cap whereas for Pluteus readiarum the dark squamules are typically arranged in a network pattern although this can be variable.

Pluteus sp. ‘Yellow NZ'

The cap of this species has yellow tones with brown squamules. The fruit bodies are convex, occasionally becoming flatter with age and typically grow 3-5 cm in diameter but have been observed growing up to 6.5 cm in diameter. The gills are yellow-pink and extend all the way to the cap margin. The stipe is cream to yellow and may have tan-brown squamules towards the base. Microscopically the cap cells are somewhat shorter and narrower than for P. readiarum and typically have a rounded apex. Pleurocystidia are variable but narrow bottle-shaped pleurocystidia are often seen.

Abundance: Commonly observed in the Mangemangeroa Reserve.

Acknowledgement: J.A. Cooper

Posted on April 23, 2019 00:34 by codfish codfish | 7 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Science in This Century Needs People.

An ecologist built an army of beach surveyors over 20 years and now has the world’s largest data set of marine bird mortality informing climate change and disaster studies.

https://eos.org/opinions/science-in-this-century-needs-people

Posted on April 23, 2019 00:22 by biohexx1 biohexx1 | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Pillar Point Trip 1 (Trip)

Testing out trips for monitoring at Pillar Point.

Posted on April 22, 2019 23:59 by rebeccafay rebeccafay | 45 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Pluteus observed in the Mangemangeroa Reserve - Pluteus sp. ‘Mangemangeroa’

Microscopically the pileipellis terminal cells are similar to Pluteus perroseus but the stipe of these fruit bodies was quite yellow in colour.

Pluteus sp. ‘Mangemangeroa’

This medium sized Pluteus species has a dark brown velvety cap surface with dark raised squamules which are very dense in the centre. The gills are cream-pink in colour with a fine dark edge. The fruit bodies grow up to 4-5 cm in diameter. The stipe is quite yellow in colour with ‘fibrils’ projecting out from the stipe in tiny scattered groups.

Abundance: Rarely observed in the Mangemangeroa Reserve.

Acknowledgement: J.A. Cooper

Posted on April 22, 2019 23:51 by codfish codfish | 1 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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