Archivos de Diario para agosto 2020

04 de agosto de 2020

Tech Tip Tuesday: A Final Review

And just like that, the final Tech Tip Tuesday is upon us. Well, at least the last TTT that I will write for you. It has been a pleasure writing them every week. I have really appreciated your thoughtful questions and enthusiasm for learning about the species we share Vermont with. While this is good-bye for now, do not worry—I am not going far. You will still be able to find my observations on the Vermont Atlas of Life and I look forward to seeing all the new species you discover!

This Week on Tech Tip Tuesday

Since this is the last week, I thought I would give you a final exam. It will be a combination of short-answer and essay questions. And yes, it is closed book.

Just kidding. However, I did think it was time to look back on the past 35 articles and highlight some that drew the most interest.

Our very first TTT was posted on October 15th 2019 and explained duplicating observations. This tool is quite useful for photos that contain multiple species, like a picture of a bee on a flower.

One popular TTT described using “places”. Place is great to use when you are interested in learning more about the flora and fauna in a particular location. Unlike iNaturalist “locations”, places are not predetermined by Google Maps. If you have a favorite park or trail, or love exploring your yard, you can create a place to help keep track of your observations.

Even the most experienced iNaturalist users need help improving their observations at times. I recommend revisiting Improving Your Observation Quality, Observation Basics, and Improving Photographs if you ever need some pointers. In these articles, I walk you through what you should consider when taking photos and some basic boxes to check before submitting.

And remember, iNaturalist is not just for pictures. You can also upload sounds! You can learn more in this TTT article.

If you are looking to learn more about a particular species, then taxa info is the place to go! Species’ taxa info pages contain pictures, resources, and graphs that will help you better understand your organism of interest. You can learn more about using taxa info from this TTT article.

Ever wonder how iNaturalist works? You can learn about the A.I. iNaturalist uses to develop its species identification in this article about computer vision.

The most popular TTT by far was Identification Resources. In this article, I provided a list of different websites and books to check out for learning more about species identification. I invited anyone with a favorite identification resource to suggest its addition to our list and you all stepped up with great ones. The offer still stands—if you have a favorite resource that you do not see on the list, please send the VAL team an email or iNaturalist message.

These articles only represent a handful of the topics I have covered on TTT over the past 10 months. You can find a complete list of all topics on the Vermont Atlas of Life website. You can also access the TTT list and identification resources from the VAL iNaturalist homepage by scrolling below our description on the right-hand side of the page.

Before I go, I will leave you with one final tip. You can access the VAL iNaturalist page on your smartphone by clicking either in the top left corner on the three horizontal lines (Android) or on the three dots at the bottom of your screen (iPhone). Once the menu pops up, click on “Projects”. You will then see a list of the projects you have joined—find the Vermont Atlas of Life. You can look through all the observations shared to VAL or you can see the news—this is where you can find TTT articles. Although the smartphone app is not quite as easy to navigate as the website, I hope this shows that you can still use it to access some of the same features.

TTT Task of the Week

This week, look through the list of old TTT articles and revisit any that jump out at you as topics to explore further. If you have favorite identification resources that are not currently on our list, please let us know. And, as always, make sure to take photos of the species you encounter and share them with the Vermont Atlas of Life.

Thank you for helping us map Vermont’s biodiversity, stay safe, and happy observing!

Publicado el 04 de agosto de 2020 a las 07:08 PM por emilyanderson2 emilyanderson2 | 7 comentarios | Deja un comentario

06 de agosto de 2020

Mission: Find and Share Observations of Squash Bees from Your Garden

Known as the Eastern Cucurbit Bee, Squash Bee or, the Pruinose Squash Bee (Peponapis pruinosa), is an important pollinator of cultivated crops of squash, pumpkins, and related plants in the genus Cucurbita. Females will only use cucurbit pollen to provision their young. Its range expanded as human agriculture spread throughout North America and squash plants became more abundant and widespread.

Surprisingly, it has only been recorded in five counties in Vermont. We need your help in recording the range of this species throughout the state. Finding and photographing them is easy. Just watch some squash flowers in your garden with camera in hand!

How to Find Them

Activity patterns of the bees are closely tied to the squash flowers, which open near sunrise and close before noon. The male bee spends most all of his time in and around flowers, foraging and mating in the open flowers and sleeping inside the closed flowers after noon. Have a peek inside and your likely to find one. The females live in and around the flowers until nesting season, when they live in and maintain one or more nests. You can find them gathering pollen in the morning inside of the flowers. Females dig a nest in the ground near its host plants, sometimes even in lawns. She will sometimes plug the nest just below the surface, and have a mound of dirt at the entrance. Nest building activity often occurs later in the day when the flowers close to foraging.

Report Your Discoveries to the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist

Check as many squash patches as you can in your area and report your photo-observations to our iNaturalist project, and check out all the other observations too!

Publicado el 06 de agosto de 2020 a las 07:42 PM por kpmcfarland kpmcfarland | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

10 de agosto de 2020

July 2020 Photo-observation of the Month

Congratulation to Jo Ann Russo for winning the July 2020 Photo-observation of the Month. Perhaps the American Toad was looking for a moth meal, but instead it was a moth resting pad. The moth species is in the genus Halysidota and is either a Sycamore or Banded Tussock Moth, but one can't be sure without examining it under a microscope.

With almost 30,000 photo-observations submitted by 1,662 observers in July, it was extremely competitive. Click on the image to see and explore all of the amazing photo-observations.

We wondered if perhaps the moths were also licking moisture on the toad's skin. Some insects can be found licking at dung, carrion, wet soil, or even at animal tears and sweat. This behavior is called "puddling" and can be important for obtaining salts and amino acids. Male butterflies and moths can have higher reproductive success when they transfer salts and amino acids to the female with the spermatophore during mating as a nuptial gift, enhancing the survival rate of the eggs.

Visit the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist where you can vote for the winner this month by clicking the ‘fav’ star on your favorite photo-observation. Make sure you get outdoors and record the biodiversity around you, then submit your discoveries and you could be a winner!

Publicado el 10 de agosto de 2020 a las 06:16 PM por kpmcfarland kpmcfarland | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

27 de agosto de 2020

Don't Forget to Fav Photos for the August Winner!

Cast your votes and be counted! You can 'fav' any observation that you like to vote for the Vermont Atlas of Life iNaturalist photo-observation of the month. Located to the right of the photographs and just below the location map is a star symbol. Click on this star and you've fav'ed an observation. At the end of each month, we'll see which photo-observation has the most favs and crown them the monthly winner. Check out awesome observations and click the star for those that shine for you. Vote early and often!

Check out who is in the lead and see a list of all of this month's photo-observations.

Publicado el 27 de agosto de 2020 a las 06:49 PM por nsharp nsharp | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario