I Did a Science!

Around New Year’s Day I blogged about my new project of logging species observations with iNaturalist while on my walks. I can’t honestly say I’ve been out and about a ton yet, but I have accomplished one science unit.

A mourning dove I saw and photoed while walking home on my lunchbreak one day has been verified by two other users. That makes it research grade.

Mourning Dove
It’s a little shadowy, but still identifiable. It was cold and I was too short on time to try for a better shot.

screenshot
Three IDs.

Screenshot
I’m a scientist now!

I find this extremely motivating. The temperature around these parts is supposed to go above 20 F tomorrow. Maybe I can go out and find more science to do.

~~

On Today’s Walk: Start of a New Challenge

Snow goose
Though this photo of a snow goose be grainy, it represents the first step of a fun challenge I’m undertaking.

My older kid introduced me and my second born to the Seek app, affiliated with iNaturalist. Now we’ve all embarked on the app’s challenges. Son number two lives with me currently and is often game to accompany me on my walks. Today, we took advantage of the 60 degree weather to get in a good walk at an area lake before a predicted winter storm rolls in tonight.

We both had the app open and got our first recorded observations for an official challenge. I had already used Seek a few times to identify plants and wildlife, but then I learned I could do so much more. I even registered at iNaturalist so they can use my photos for science and track where different species are observed.

Here’s a little of what I learned about snow geese today:

There are many challenges within the app, but I’m going to take them one at a time. I’ve started with the Conservation Challenge, which has just a few achievable observation and learning goals, so it doesn’t feel overwhelming. This appeals to me on many levels. It’s a prompt to pay attention to the world around me. I want to believe I’m helping science. I will learn some things!

One of my goals for 2022 is to explore more trails in my area. There are so many of them. This will add to the fun, and maybe spice up my “On Today’s Walk” posts a little.

Happy New Year and happy trails to you!