ארכיון יומן של מרץ 2021

מרץ 27, 2021

Where are all the snakes?

One thing that I have learned on my time on iNaturalist is that many animals are much more common than I thought they were---if I took the time to look. I have become accustomed to such things as seeing the tracks of muskrats in the wet mud of a stream, of realizing that a distant speck is a bald eagle, and of picking out a hummingbird surrounded by leaves.

But not reptiles. In the six months of living here, I have gotten photos of three garter snakes, a gopher snake, and some turtles sunning themselves. One of the garter snakes was yesterday. The gopher snake, and one of the garter snakes, was during last summer's wildfires, when the sky was hazy. Perhaps they came out because they needed to bask.

There have also been a few times when I saw a snake but it got away before I could photograph it. But in general, they seem pretty sparse.

And at this point, I have visited a lot of different ecosystems and landscapes, and have done it very extensively. Over the past 7 months, I have...somewhere over 2000 observations. I've been everywhere from city parks to national wildlife refuges, in forests, swamps and meadows, and reptiles, even the modest garter snakes, are very hard to come by.

Am I missing something, or are they really that rare in this area?

פורסם ב מרץ 27, 2021 07:24 אחה"צ על־ידי mnharris mnharris | תצפית 1 | 4 comments | הוספת תגובה

מרץ 10, 2021

The trip that was almost a disappointment, until I discovered flies.

Last weekend, after a long time confined to my city by the pandemic, I took a bus to the Oregon Coast. The pandemic had lightened up enough that I felt safe in doing this.

I was going to the city of Newport, and while I might be biased by fondness for my home state, from an objective standpoint, the Oregon Coast in this area is full of biodiversity. It is interesting for a scientist, or a casual naturalist. And of course, it is just aesthetically nice. I was expecting to get many observations. I had brought my battery back-up, and was hoping to get over 100 observations.

Pretty soon into my trip, I realized that my lens had fogged over---which happens sometimes. It usually would defog, but in this case, it didn't, and while I got some okay pictures, most of them were blurry. I also found, despite moving along ground like tidepools that would seem to have lots of interesting new species, that the beach wasn't really that fruitful. Lots of seagulls and kelp, and lots of blurry pictures of weedy plants. Lots of moon jellies. Then, I looked at the schedule for the bus, and realized that the bus was leaving two hours earlier than I thought it was. Then the battery of my camera ran out. My trip had turned up some adequate new things, but it was hardly the break-out experience I expected after being cooped up for so long. Was my big trip going to be a bust?

Once my camera battery had recharged, and I figured out I could defog my camera lens with my body heat, I was back up in town, away from the shore. I was in a park by the library, and I noticed lots of daisies with flies. And, in quick succession, I snapped about 10 good quality pictures that showed pollinating flies. And it seems odd that after coming to the wonderful nexus of biodiversity that is the Oregon Coast, I should find my best observations in a city park.

But of course, those flies are important. Presumably, the daisies that flower first, and the flies that come to them, are going to be a big base for birds, and eventually for the sea life, that is so much more obviously photogenic and interesting. So I am proud of my little flies, buzzing around on one of the first sunny days of the year!

פורסם ב מרץ 10, 2021 08:25 לפנה"צ על־ידי mnharris mnharris | תצפית 1 | 1 comment | הוספת תגובה