ארכיון יומן של אפריל 2020

אפריל 25, 2020

Documenting ecosystems (or why I am still posting dandelions)

Now that I have a camera, and lots of time, one of the things I am doing is a type of "census" of the different ecosystems that I can reach within walking distance of my house.

I am lucky to live in an area with lots of biodiversities. The Humboldt Bay area is one of the natural wonders of the world (although I might be a bit biased), and involves four major ecosystems: upland Redwood forests, fresh water wetlands, salt water wetlands, and open ocean/beaches, with lots of gradients in between. These ecosystems can be very close to each other physically, occuring in a few miles radius. They are also interdependent on each other.

So one thing I am doing is documenting them as completely as I can, as an amateur walking a few miles from my house. What else is in a Redwood forest, other than the obviously photogenic Redwood trees (although Redwoods are not actually that photogenic unless you get lucky: their size and lighting make it hard to get a good picture of them)? There is an understory of ferns, nettles, elder, and, in wet regions, alders, willows and skunk cabbages. And that is what I am trying to survey here.

The downside to that is it can get a bit boring! With all this natural wonder around, I feel it is necessary to document the "bread and butter" it rests on. Dandelions might not seem that interesting, but it is the dandelions (and Queen Anne's lace, and Three Cornered Garlic, and Crucifers) that feed the insects that fall into the water and get eaten by the crabs that are eaten by migrating shorebirds. So the entire ecological net is often supported by plants and animals that seem too prosaic to mention.

Of course, I will try not to flood my feed. As mentioned in a forums post, I can't post every dandelion I see. But for my first encounter with each new ecosystem and location, I will try to give a thorough documentation of what lives there, including common weeds, and also common birds and insects.

Also, I know Queen Anne's Lace isn't a dandelion, but that is what I photographed today, so that is what I am posting here.

פורסם ב אפריל 25, 2020 01:40 לפנה"צ על־ידי mnharris mnharris | תצפית 1 | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה

אפריל 18, 2020

I bought a camera

I joined iNaturalist back in January, and since then, I have been uploading old pictures, and taking new pictures. I have not had a real camera since April of 2016, so all my pictures for the past four years have been done with a cellphone. While this was good enough for most uses, I have realized that for certain things, such as birds, I needed something better. So I ordered a camera so I could take better nature pictures.

Right now, like a lot of us, I am not working, and don't have a lot of activities open to me. Being able to experience nature and share that is one of the few things open to me, so the expense for a camera seems warranted.

I am still finding out how it will work technically, and so these first two pictures are tests of that. Hopefully it will allow me to share more about where I live with all of you!

פורסם ב אפריל 18, 2020 02:27 לפנה"צ על־ידי mnharris mnharris | 2 תצפיות | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה

אפריל 19, 2020

North Eureka Walk

Today, with my new camera, I went to the northern portion of the Eureka Waterfront Trail. This allowed me to test my camera, and also to see several different sections of an ecosystem, in a one-mile walk. The trail loops around, starting in marshy, fresh-water territory, going through brackish marshes, and ending up at the ocean (or at least a bay of it) proper. I am sure there are more technical explanations of the different ecosystems, but that is the brief version.

I also managed to see how my camera works with close-in pictures, and also with zoomed-out pictures.

Most of those worked pretty far, but as you can see from the lichen picture...not always. Hopefully I will get better at using my camera.

פורסם ב אפריל 19, 2020 12:11 לפנה"צ על־ידי mnharris mnharris | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה

אפריל 20, 2020

I realize more about my environment when I show it to others.

I consider myself pretty savvy about my natural environment, but being on inaturalist has made me realize that there is a lot I am wrong about.

Eureka is next to Humboldt Bay, which is about 20 square miles of salt water, bordered by both salt water and fresh water marshes. Although the open ocean is pretty close to where I live, it is pretty hard to get to. And if I would have been asked before this morning about Humboldt Bay, I would have said that it isn't really like the ocean, that it isn't salty enough to have sea creatures in it. I wouldn't have said this firmly, I just would have had a general idea that they wouldn't be present. But today I went down to the pier, less than a mile from my house, and found that there were indeed sea anemones there. Because I want to document what is going on here, because I want to demonstrate my environment to others, I end up going to places I would not otherwise go, and seeing and noticing things I would not otherwise see and notice.

פורסם ב אפריל 20, 2020 11:25 אחה"צ על־ידי mnharris mnharris | תצפית 1 | 1 comment | הוספת תגובה