Archivos de diario de junio 2021

04 de junio de 2021

Insect Overload!

A few weeks ago, probably around March or April, I kept on observing the Spotted Cucumber Beetle. After a while, I felt a little guilty---I was overloading the database with observations of something extremely common.

And then they stopped. I am still looking for them, but they don't seem to be present. As is often the case, maybe I just am not looking in the right place, but it also seems that this is a real pattern.

So anyone, the past few weeks, the newest things has been... Lady Beetles. Spittlebugs, too, but lets talk about the Lady Beetles. Everywhere! I have observed them in all four phases of their lifecycle, eggs, larva, pupae, adults, and even mating adults. I certainly am learning about the Ladybirds and the Bees! :) And much as before, I feel I am overloading the database. And my own mind! Do I need to observe every one I see?

I don't, but I also feel it is good information to have. Fascinating to me, and they are charismatic. But just as the little green Spotted Cucumber Beetle was a good sign of early pollinator activity, and might have some type of keystone role in the ecosystem, they swarming presence of the Lady Beetle says a lot.

For one thing, we have had an early warm season, with the usual cool rainy May hardly present at all. Instead, we are having June or even July weather in May, and I wonder if the Ladybirds are related to that. So that is why I still feel it is a good idea to get lots of observations of them.

Publicado el junio 4, 2021 08:04 MAÑANA por mnharris mnharris | 1 observación | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

23 de junio de 2021

So this guy threatened me today, and that is why I am not being silly

A few days ago, I got irritated and made a forum post. The forum post caused more bad feeling, and I deleted it. I thought I might have been overreacting, but something happened to me today that told me I was not.

A problem I have encountered, from time to time on here, is people who don't understand that not everyone has the same finances, technology, time, and ability level. There are some people who think that observations are made in a vacuum. And who don't understand why pictures come out blurry, at a distance, or are taken from a weird angle. Etc.

Often these people are also highly focused on their own taxa of interest, and don't understand why other people are not.

Today, I was observing in my local park---2 blocks from my home, just taking some easy pictures after work. I heard a man yell something at me, something about how he was going to "break my phone". I think that someone, probably with some mental health and behavior issues, didn't like the sight of me with my camera out. I didn't react at all-- to be honest, maybe he was just yelling at the sky, I don't know. And in fact, I kept my camera out and photographed a hummingbird less than a minute later. But while I was doing that, I did have a potentially violent person less than 100 feet away.

That is kind of a strong example, but there are plenty of times, while observing, that I feel nervous. A lot of the things I do could be seen as weird, even threatening. There are lots of people who would take offense, even violent offense, at someone taking pictures of (or near) their house, and probably aren't going to listen to explanations of how well posed the Spotted Towhee was.

Even without that, there are lots of other situations where things aren't as easy as they seem when looking at a picture. Walking down the slope of a roadside ditch to get a better picture of a flower isn't difficult---unless you have just bicycled 20 miles, then it takes a lot more effort than it seems at first. Maybe it is getting dark. Also, maybe I just don't have much battery power left on my camera.

I guess it is especially ironic, that while we are celebrating Pride Month, and when we have been thinking about how minority naturalists feel, in light of things like the Cooper Incident, but that people often don't connect that to practical questions like "Why would someone not feel comfortable sectioning a mushroom on someone's front lawn?"

Publicado el junio 23, 2021 09:00 MAÑANA por mnharris mnharris | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

25 de junio de 2021

It is hot out.

It is hot out. Really hot! :/

I live in Corvallis, Oregon, and the climate here is usually described as a cross between oceanic and Mediterranean: wet, cool winters and warm, dry summers. The summers don't usually start until July, and they are warm rather than hot. This weekend they are expected to go up to 39C on Saturday and 45C on Sunday--- the Sunday temperature would beat the all-time high temperature in Corvallis by 3C, and the June all-time high by 6C. I am planning to take the bus to the coast both days to avoid the worst of the heat (the good news is, the night time temperatures will still be "normally" hot). Next week looks hot, but not 40s hot, which is very dangerous to people---and also to wildlife.

So a very obvious fact of this, is that the observations that I, and others on here are making, are an important record of how climate change is effecting wild animals and plants. It seemed to me that the spring was very active, especially with insect activity, but now that summer is starting off so hot, it could have dire consequences across the ecosystem.

Also, of course, hot weather changes how I and others can observe. I will be at the cooler ocean, I hope, but obviously if I were here, it would change the level I could be out---I think a 15 minute walk at 40C is like an hour at 30C. An important thing to keep in mind when looking at the closeness of people's observations.

Publicado el junio 25, 2021 11:05 TARDE por mnharris mnharris | 4 comentarios | Deja un comentario