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EcoEvo Nature walk 1

On Sunday I took my first nature walk since covid. It was a little warm. There were a few bugs out, most of the trees were green. There were a few really pretty red, yellow, orange, and dark purple almost black leaves. There were some cute squirrels, chipmunks, and birds. They were eating and scavenging so I couldn't get any picks but it was nice to observe. While I was walking I noticed a lot of lichen and I ran into a tree stump with some fungi growing out f it. Generally I enjoyed myself and think I might go on another nature walk soon.

Posted on October 01, 2020 04:19 by kpetersen03 kpetersen03 | 6 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Los ecosistemas de la finca El Cerro - 5

Estos días estoy escribiendo la información que he ido recopilando en las últimas 3 décadas sobre los ecosistemas y especies presentes en la finca El Cerro. En la finca hay 5 ecosistemas principales:

1) Matorral-rosetal del cañón
2) Bosque húmedo y maduro de la quebrada alta
3) Bosque semihúmedo de encenillos de las laderas altas
4) Bosque joven de las laderas bajas
5) Pastizales y áreas abiertas alrededor de la casa y huerto

Voy a ir publicando, en forma sucesiva, la descripción de cada uno de estos ecosistemas. Terminando ahora con el último, de pastizales y áreas abiertas.

PASTIZALES Y ÁREAS ABIERTAS ALREDEDOR DE LA CASA Y HUERTO
Son las áreas que se han mantenido abiertas mediante podas de prado, cultivos y desyerbes regulares. Esto ha impedido la regeneración de árboles, arbustos, trepadoras y otras plantas del bosque y ha permitido que se mantengan como espacios con vegetación baja a la que le entra mucho sol. Las podas ocasionales que se hacen a los prados (apenas una o dos al año) permiten que el pasto crezca alto (con espigas de hasta 1 a 1.5 m de altura) y que, entremezclado con él, crezcan muchas flores silvestres.

Entre las especies dominantes en estos prados altos se cuentan: pasto poa (Holcus lanatus), ochoro o pasto azul (Dactylis glomerata), pasto de olor (Anthoxanthum odoratum), pasto kikuyo (Pennisetum clandestinum), achicoria (Hypochaeris radicata), carretón o trébol morado (Trifolium pratense), carretón o trébol blanco (Trifolium repens), oreja de ratón (Hydrocotyle bonplandii), acedera (Oxalis corniculata), sangre de toro (Rumex acetosella), Cyperus hermaphroditus, Dichondra sp., diente de león (Taraxacum sp.), venadito (Castilleja arvensis) y Orobanche minor.

La parte del prado que está detrás de la casa fue sujeta hace casi 30 años a una fuerte remoción de suelo, para ampliar la superficie plana en un área originalmente inclinada; esta área remata en unos taludes bastante inclinados (pendiente de 45 grados). Al retirarse la gruesa capa orgánica original, el terreno quedó más pobre en nutrientes y desde entonces el pasto aquí ha crecido más bajo, menos denso. Esto ha permitido que, con los años, crezca mucho musgo (Leptodontium) en el suelo y ha favorecido que en este sector crezca, entremezclada con las especies mencionadas arriba, una mayor variedad de hierbas y arbustos. Aquí se ven, por ejemplo, pastos nativos (Bromus pitensis, Andropogon aequatoriensis), margarita (Leucanthemum vulgare), orquídea de pastizal (Aa sp.), helechos (Elaphoglossum sp., Thelypteris rudis), vira-vira (Achyrocline sp.) y angelito (Monochaetum myrtoideum).

Hacia la huerta, que en la actualidad no se encuentra muy cultivada, se observan especies plantadas, con algunos arbolitos de hasta 4 a 6 m de altura. Entre estas especies cultivadas se cuentan laurel (Laurus nobilis), sauco (Sambucus nigra), durazno (Prunus persica), cidrón (Aloysia citriodora), rosa (Rosa sp.), romero (Salvia rosmarinus), salvias (Salvia leucantha, Salvia officinalis), orégano (Origanum sp.), tomillo (Thymus vulgaris), hinojo (Foeniculum vulgare), acedera (Rumex acetosa) y hierba de San Juan (Hypericum perforatum).

En este sector de la huerta se observan plántulas de árboles y arbustos, helechos y otras especies más propias de bosque, que constantemente están intentando colonizar este sector. Entre ellas, tuno esmeraldo (Miconia squamulosa), cucharo (Myrsine latifolia), arboloco o camargo (Verbesina crassiramea), amargoso (Ageratina asclepiadea), chucua (Viburnum tinoides), mora silvestre (Rubus robustus) y pecosa (Bomarea multiflora), así como ejemplares adultos de helechos (Thelypteris rudis, Pleopeltis macrocarpa, Pleopeltis murora).

RIQUEZA DE ESPECIES
Dos áreas de 1000 m2 de esta vegetación se encontraron albergando 20 y 59 especies de plantas vasculares respectivamente; de las cuales, respectivamente, 5 y 16 especies son nativas propias de bosques y matorrales. El resto son especies exóticas naturalizadas, especies nativas propias de áreas abiertas y especies cultivadas.

NOTAS SOBRE LA FAUNA
Para un ave como el copetón (Zonotrichia capensis), esta vegetación de áreas abiertas constituye el único hábitat adecuado que le queda disponible en la finca. Pues todas las demás áreas abiertas, que antes cubrían la mitad de la finca, han desaparecido debido a la regeneración de los bosques jóvenes descritos en la entrada anterior. Esto ha llevado a la desaparición en la finca de aves propias de áreas abiertas que antes se encontraban aquí en forma permanente u ocasional. Por ejemplo semillero (Catamenia analis), espiguero (Sporophila luctuosa), canario sabanero (Sicalis luteola), chirlobirlo (Sturnella magna) y perdiz (Colinus cristatus).

La adaptable mirla (Turdus fuscater) visita estos prados para buscar lombrices y otros invertebrados en el suelo. Cuando la huerta se encuentra cultivada, el bababuy (Pheucticus aureoventris) baja a ella, para comer las semillas de maíz y alverjas. Varios colibríes visitan el bebedero que hay instalado en la casa, para tomar agua azucarada; entre ellos Colibri coruscans, Chaetocercus mulsant, Coeligena bonapartei, Eriocnemis vestita, Lesbia victoriae y Ensifera ensifera.

Las golondrinas (Orochelidon murina) duermen y anidan bajo las tejas de la casa. El cucarachero (Troglodytes aedon) ocasionalmente construye su nido en el cobertizo donde se guardan las herramientas.

Bajo el suelo vive la serpiente tierrera (Atractus crassicaudatus). En estas áreas de pastizal también se pueden encontrar a veces individuos de las lagartijas Anolis heterodermus y Stenocercus trachycephalus. También ejemplares de la rana sabanera (Dendropsophus molitor).

Mamíferos como el conejo silvestre (Sylvilagus brasiliensis), chucha (Didelphis pernigra), zorro (Cerdocyon thous), comadreja (Mustela frenata), cusumbo (Nasuella olivacea) y curí silvestre (Cavia aperea), todos frecuentan estas áreas silvestres como lugar de paso y de alimentación. También se observan aquí ratones silvestres (Cricetidae) trepando a las espigas de pasto para alimentarse de sus semillas. Las musarañas (Cryptotis thomasi) recorren los pastizales en su constante búsqueda de invertebrados para alimentarse. Durante la noche, murciélagos de la familia Vespertilionidae sobrevuelan estas áreas abiertas, consumiendo insectos voladores.

Mariposas que frecuentan estas áreas de pastizal (antes presentes por gran parte de la finca, pero ahora reducidas a estos pequeños espacios que se han mantenido abiertos) son la amarilla del trébol (Colias dimera) y la azulita del trébol (Hemiargus hanno), ambas de las cuales buscan carretones o tréboles (Trifolium) para poner sus huevos. Otra mariposa típica de estas áreas abiertas es el satirino Panyapedaliodes drymaea, que, a diferencia de sus parientes cercanos, no se alimenta cuando es oruga de hojas de chusque, sino que come pastos.

Visitando las coloridas flores de achicorias y tréboles se observan más mariposas, como los hespéridos Ancyloxypha melanoneura y Poanes azin, el espejito del curubo (Dione glycera) y otras especies.

Cuando uno camina por los pastizales, a cada rato se levantan individuos de polillas del pasto (Crambidae), las cuales, luego de un corto vuelo, vuelven a posarse sobre otras hojas y tallos.

Caminando por los tallos de las gramíneas se observan chinches del pasto (Collaria). También un gran número de pequeños cicadélidos.

En las áreas abiertas de la finca se han registrado varias especies de cucarrones de la familia Scarabaeidae; por ejemplo Ancognatha ustulata, Clavipalpus ursinus y Manopus biguttatus. Las larvas de todas estas especies viven bajo el suelo de pastizales y cultivos y son las conocidas “chisas”. En ocasiones, se han registrado en estas áreas abiertas dos especies de escarabajos coprófagos, también de la familia Scarabaeidae (uno grande y uno pequeño).

Zumbando a baja altura, visitando flores, se pueden observar aquí al abejorro negro (Bombus pauloensis), la abeja doméstica (Apis mellifera) y la abeja de cuernos largos (Thygater aethiops). También pequeñas abejas Halictidae.

Otras especies que frecuentan las flores son moscas de la familia de los sírfidos (p. ej. Toxomerus).

Corriendo por el suelo se pueden observar en los pastizales dos especies de arañas lobas (Lycosoidea), una grande y una pequeña. Persiguiendo a estas arañas se observa ocasionalmente a una pequeña avispa de la familia Pompilidae, que las paraliza y arrastra hasta su nido, para que sirvan de alimento a sus crías.

Otra araña que frecuenta los pastizales es la pequeña y colorida Alpaida variabilis, que puede ser amarilla o roja.

El pastizal más pobre que queda detrás de la casa es el último sitio de la finca donde aún viven algunos individuos del saltamontes endémico Bogotacris varicolor, el cual requiere pastizales algo secos y cortos para su supervivencia. Esta especie, que antes se extendía por gran parte de la finca, ha perdido mucho terreno en ella debido al crecimiento del bosque nativo, que forma un hábitat donde los saltamontes no pueden vivir.

AFINIDADES CON OTRAS LOCALIDADES
Prados de clima frío, en suelos húmedos y fértiles por todas las cordilleras andinas de Colombia muestran una composición de especies muy parecida a la descrita aquí para los pastizales de la finca El Cerro. Son ambientes muy transformados, mantenidos por los seres humanos mediante el pastoreo de ganado o el corte ocasional del pasto. Aquí dominan completamente especies de flora exótica, como el africano pasto kikuyo y los europeos pasto poa, ochoro y oloroso. También son de origen europeo las achicorias, carretones y dientes de león, que son las flores más comunes y las que le dan a estos prados sus colores amarillos, rosados y blancos tan característicos.

Los pastos nativos están limitados sobre todo a áreas con suelos más pobres, ácidos, secos o a lugares despejados por la agricultura o a bordes de caminos, donde quedan abiertos espacios libres de las agresivas e invasoras especies extranjeras.

En la mitad de los pastizales dominados por pastos y otras hierbas exóticas, crecen, en baja abundancia, algunas especies nativas, como las aquí mencionadas venadito (Castilleja arvensis), oreja de ratón (Hydrocotyle bonplandii), Dichondra sp. y Cyperus hermaphroditus.

En otras localidades, cuando los suelos son más secos y ácidos, se entremezcla un mayor número de especies entre los pastizales, incluyendo un mayor porcentaje y cobertura de especies nativas, por ejemplo especies de Rhynchospora, Cuphea, Spermacoce, Andropogon, Bothriochloa, Setaria, etc. En otros lugares, cuando los suelos son más húmedos, llegando a encharcarse, pastizales parecidos al descrito también incorporan otra variedad de especies nativas, entre ellas de los géneros Juncus, Acmella y Cuphea.

Posted on October 01, 2020 04:13 by mateohernandezschmidt mateohernandezschmidt | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Houghton Garden (Sept. 30, 2020)

McClain and I walked to Houghton Garden from BC's main campus at around 11:10 am. It was raining before we got there, but it stopped pretty quickly. It was cloudy and humid. So the forest was quite damp. Since the theme of this week was fungi, we tried out best to find fungi. We saw a lot of lichens (which consists of a symbiotic relationship between fungi filaments and algae) on trees. I found two organisms that looked like different types of mold, but it was hard to figure out what exactly they were didn't have very distinctive forms. Later, we also found a few mushrooms on a tree on the way back to campus. (Strangely, we couldn't find any when we were in the forest but found some on a tree next to the sidewalk).

Side note/"Fun" Fact: McClain and I saw a dead rat decaying in the middle of Houghton Garden.

Posted on October 01, 2020 03:25 by joannafolta joannafolta | 12 observations
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September 30 Observations

At the time of these observations, the temperature was about 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit, with slight winds and very little to no humidity. There was minimal daylight. Of the five observations I made, three of them were found at the Chestnut Hill Reservoir, and the other two (mushroom and yellow flower), were found on Boston College's main campus. The moss was on the dirt of the path around the perimeter of the reservoir. The soil was slightly damp from rain in the morning-early afternoon. The green, wide-leaved plants and the small purple flowers were found in the same environment: they were in damp soil about 10 feet from the water.

Posted on October 01, 2020 03:17 by gianna_jarmain gianna_jarmain | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Walk Through Edmands Park, Newton, September 29, 2020

I walked through Edmands Park, located along the border of the Boston College Newton Campus. It was a beautiful day; not too humid, and not too cool either. It had been a little cloudy in the morning, but the sky cleared up just in time for my nature walk! I hadn't been inside Edmands Park before, but I was pleased to learn that there are many beautiful trails within the park. At the entrance of the park, the trees' leaves were mainly green, however upon venturing further into the park, the leaves were a variety of colors. It was peaceful to watch the leaves fall with the gentle breezes. It was interesting how the colors of the leaves varied so much from the beginning of the trails to deeper within the park. In addition, I was also surprised by the number of squirrels and chipmunks in the park. There seemed to be a squirrel or chipmunk every few feet! Sometimes, I was a little startled as the squirrels would suddenly run across the path in front of me. I noticed that there appeared to be a stream running through the park, however there was no water flowing through. It probably dried up due to the drought. I'd be interested to see the plants that grow alongside the stream when water is flowing through.

Posted on October 01, 2020 03:12 by lillyadler lillyadler | 8 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Webster Conservation Walk - 9/30/20

Today, I set off to walk through the trail Hammond Pond and Webster East, but as I was getting there, I noticed a trail in the Webster Conservation Area, both a hiking and rock climbing park. So I decided to explore the trail and spent about an hour both on and off-trail. It has been a long time since I explored a wooded area leisurely, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The colors have just started to change, so the ground speckled with yellows and reds. The weather was perfect for walking in the woods - breezy and not humid. Since this week we were asked to focus on fungi, I specifically sought out dying trees and particularly moist areas. I also took pictures of plants that I noticed growing in unusual places, like the side of a cliff. I did my best to try and determine the species for the fungi and plants but I was not very successful.

Posted on October 01, 2020 02:56 by sjalkut sjalkut | 6 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Science in Action: Random Find on iNaturalist Leads to Huge Discovery | La science en action : une observation fortuite dans iNaturalist mène à une découverte d’importance


Picture this: a person walks past a tree with a leaf that has been obviously chewed by an insect.

They snap a photo of a pretty distinctive zigzag pattern that it made and posts it on iNaturalist.ca. The person has no idea what it might be and hopes maybe the iNaturalist community might be able to help.



Observation by Alain Hogue

The observation catches the attention of an entomologist who then shows it to an expert in Germany and another in the United States. Turns out this random find is the discovery of the first ever occurrence of the non-native (and potentially invasive) Elm Zigzag Sawfly in North America. As if elm trees needed another pest to deal with after Dutch Elm Disease having worked away on these trees since the 1940’s.

The agency in charge of invasive species that attack plants (the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, aka CFIA) caught wind of this find. In response, it set up monitoring traps and confirmed the presence of the insect. On the observation post, the Agency thanked the iNaturalist observer.

“We are looking into its distribution in Canada. iNaturalist community has been tremendously helpful!” ~Natural Resources Canada

Natural Resources Canada has published information about the Zigzag Sawfly and this find in their Simply Science magazine to encourage others to keep an eye out for this potential pest. This species naturally occurs in Asia and was found to be introduced in Europe in 2003, where it has since become established.

The Value of iNaturalist

This is iNaturalist in action. Its participants are helping Canada’s wildlife. Even a seemingly insignificant observation can lead to a major discovery.

Detecting new invasive species early on before they take hold is critical to curb their spread before they become unmanageable.

As for the observer, he has inspired others (including a scientist at the Montreal Insectarium) to take a second look at elm leaves. There are now 13 observations of the Elm Zigzag Sawfly in North America, all centered around southern Quebec.

We can all help track and curb the spread by checking any elm leaves you see and reporting these distinctive zigzag patterns using iNaturalist.ca or the free iNaturalist app.

Beyond that, all your observations contribute to the knowledge of Canadian biodiversity. You never know when one of your observations may turn out to be a momentous discovery.


Imaginez : vous passez à côté d’un arbre avec une feuille qui a été rongée par un insecte.

Vous prenez une photo du motif distinctif en forme de zigzag et vous la téléchargez dans iNaturalist.ca. Vous n’avez aucune idée de quoi il s’agit, et vous espérez que quelqu’un dans iNaturalist pourra vous aider.



Observation par Alain Hogue

L’observation retient l’attention d’un entomologiste qui la montre à un expert en Allemagne et un autre aux États-Unis. Il s’agit de la première occurrence en Amérique du Nord de la tenthrède en zigzag de l'orme, une espèce non indigène et potentiellement envahissante. Comme si l’orme avait besoin d’un autre fléau après avoir lutté contre la maladie hollandaise de l’orme depuis 1940.

L’organisme responsable des attaques d’espèces envahissantes contre les plantes indigènes (l’Agence canadienne d’inspection des aliments – ACIA) a eu vent de l’observation. En réponse, il a installé des pièges et a confirmé la présence de l’insecte. L’ACIA a même remercié l’observateur dans iNaturalist.

« Nous examinons sa répartition au Canada. La communauté iNaturalist a été extrêmement utile. » Ressources naturelles Canada

Ressources naturelles Canada a publié de l’information sur la tenthrède en zigzag de l'orme dans le magazine La science simplifié pour encourager les gens à garder les yeux ouverts pour cet insecte potentiellement nuisible. Il s’agit d’une espèce indigène de l’Asie qui a été introduite en Europe en 2003, où elle s’est depuis établie.
La valeur d’iNaturalist

Cette histoire est une histoire d’iNaturalist en action. Les observations apparemment fortuites de particuliers téléchargées dans iNaturalist peuvent mener à des découvertes d’importance.

Il est essential de découvrir les nouvelles espèces envahissantes tôt, avant qu’elles ne s’enracinent ici.
L’observateur, quant à lui, a inspiré d’autres personnes (y compris un chercheur de l’Insectarium de Montréal) à observer les feuilles d’orme. Il y a maintenant 13 observations de tenthrèdes en zigzag de l'orme en Amérique du Nord, toutes dans le sud du Québec.

Nous pouvons surveiller l’infestation de cet insecte et la freiner en examinant les feuilles d’ormes et en téléchargeant nos observations dans iNaturalist.ca ou l’application gratuite d’iNaturalist.
Des plus, vos observations dans l’ensemble contribuent au corpus de connaissances sur la biodiversité canadienne. Vous ne savez jamais quand une de vos observations pourrait devenir une découverte monumentale!

Posted on October 01, 2020 02:41 by cwf_tobi cwf_tobi | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Burlington Seasons Clock October 1st Update

Our clock has certainly gotten a UVM bump to start off the fall with observations pouring in daily! Notable sightings in the second half of September include the first phoebe in months, several more endangered monarch butterflies, and only the second wood frog observation of the year. There was even a flowering purple-flowered raspberry sent in about a month after the previous withering specimen was seen.

Coming up in October, keep looking for more woolly bears and the last of the monarchs for the year. Some winter species behavior should be coming back soon as well, which presents and interesting challenge for displaying out findings on the clock. Notice that the black-capped chickadees are shown September through April now since they were found singing their "fee-bee" song again. Being that they only sing it in the colder months, we can't connect those sound observations through the summer.

Check on the current clock and see a GIF past years' clock data here:
https://burlingtonwildways.org/projects/burlington-seasons-clock-2020

Happy observing!

-Gustave Sexauer
Burlington Wildways

Posted on October 01, 2020 02:38 by gsexauer gsexauer | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Eco Evo Nature Walk 1

I went to one of my favorite hiking trails for my nature walk. The weather was pretty chilly and windy. It was drizzling as well and I almost slipped and fell a couple of times. I went on the walk right after I finished my last midterm for the week, and it was nice to be able to go outside, unwind, and get some fresh air after being cooped up in my room for days from cramming. Furthermore, it was amazing to see how much the leaves had changed in the span of a couple of days - less than a week ago almost all of the trees were a rich, lush green and now almost half of them have changed to varying shades of red, orange, brown, and yellow. Another interesting thing I noticed from my walk was how abundant fungi were at the trail I went to, yet I never really noticed them whenever I went hiking in the past. Additionally, I noticed that almost all of the fungi (at least the ones I were able to notice) were growing on dead trees. This might be because the decaying tree provides a good source of nutrients for the fungi.

Posted on October 01, 2020 02:24 by rlaalstj rlaalstj | 8 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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No mammals today

9.30.20 - 6:04 pm. 93 degrees. Very smoky.

Turkeys on the north fire break. No mammals observed today.

Posted on October 01, 2020 02:19 by bruin_mike bruin_mike
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Chestnut Hill Reservoir

I took a lovely walk around the Chestnut Hill Reservoir and some of the surrounding wild spaces. These observations span a few different days, because you just never know when interesting animals will appear! I was fortunate enough to spot a Great Blue Heron resting by the rocks in the reservoir. It was pacing around, definitely looking for something to eat-- perhaps a fish or other water-dwelling organism. I've seen what appears to be the same heron individual on numerous occasions in the reservoir. It always appears around dusk and begins to hunt!

The mallards and mute swans are regular visitors at the reservoir, always bobbing their heads in and out of the water, searching for food. I was also lucky enough to get the chipmunks on camera. They're very fidgety and energetic-- you can't ever get too close to them! They seem to prefer hiding in rock crevasses. Overall, a very pleasant evening and mild weather, around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Posted on October 01, 2020 02:17 by lfaitar lfaitar | 5 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Houghton Garden Walk, Sept. 30 2020

I went on a nature walk at Houghton Garden on Suffolk Rd. near campus in Newton. The weather was about 70 degrees so it was perfect for a walk after class. I saw a lot of different plants but also a few animals and some algae. The chipmunk was especially cute. There were a lot of different paths to take and the fall colors looked really pretty against the water. Definitely a perfect spot for a nature walk.

Posted on October 01, 2020 01:26 by webbjoht webbjoht | 7 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Arnold Arboretum Nature Walk (EcoEvo and more...)

I set out on a small hike to Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University on September 30th, 2020. The weather was clear and in the 68 - 72F, and it had just rained before I departed for the Arboretum. With the hope of discovering some fungi, I wandered around the place for quite a while. To my surprise, I did not manage to find an abundance of fungi other than in the form of Lichens, which I believe is a symbiotic partnership between a fungus and an alga, with the fungus giving it most of the characteristics.
It was actually somewhat tricky looking for different wild organisms, and I believe it is due to the nature of Arnold Arboretum ultimately being some kind of a collective botanical garden with many of the major exhibitions and their immediate surrounding landscape regularly curated and up-kept. As a result, the wild organisms allowed to grow there might also be under some level of control.
Completing tasks aside, I brought my own DSLR and did a little bit of bird and wildlife photography. If there is one thing I learned today, it's that Blue Jays have a screeching loud song and they really despise staying still and getting their pictures taken. Sheesh!

Posted on October 01, 2020 00:43 by jerrythemaus jerrythemaus | 8 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Chestnut Hill Reservoir

My friend and I took a walk around the Chestnut Hill Reservoir, walking in and out of trails there. It was a perfect night and the weather was gorgeous. It was a little cold with a slight breeze off of the water but still very comfortable. We saw a good amount of flowers as well as a couple chipmunks, although I couldn't get any pictures of those. We looked and walked for a long time, determined to find any sort of fungi but we couldn't find any. The closest thing we could find was some moss and although this isn't a fungi, at least they both grow close to the ground! We went at the perfect time and got to see the sun set over the water as well as the moon shining down, reflecting off of the water. It is starting to be fall and I love it, there were leaves everywhere on the ground and a lot of the trees were turning brown, orange, yellow and red. I got to see a fish flop in the reservoir and that was pretty exciting. I really enjoyed this beautiful walk!

Posted on October 01, 2020 00:40 by armstraw armstraw | 5 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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September 30, 2020

I took a bit of a nature walk in my neighborhood. Living in Ridgefield, CT there is always a lot of nature that goes around, so I decided to do a nature walk in my neighborhood since this is usual route I take for all of my walks. It was a nice, cool and breezy afternoon, the perfect weather for the start of autumn. Sadly, most of the trees I had seen had already started to shed their leaves so there wasn’t too much beauty to see of the autumnal trees. I would usually see some deer and squirrels walking and running about, but today all was quiet and not much animal life could be seen. However, the birds were chirping away, although I could only hear not see them.

Posted on October 01, 2020 00:39 by arsh_san06 arsh_san06 | 7 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Venta Spur Trail

I took a walk in the Venta Spur Trail near my house that leads to the Peters Canyon Trail. The weather was extremely hot, but not too humid. I tried my best to look for fungus near trees and under plants, but I wasn't able to spot any, which was disappointing. Instead, I saw various type of plants along the way. Most of the trees and plants started to show colors of orange and yellow rather than bright green. I look forward to coming back to the trail during the fall and winter time to observe more distinct seasonal changes.

Posted on October 01, 2020 00:36 by jaelee84 jaelee84 | 5 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Walk down Beacon Street

Today, I decided to go for a walk down beacon street and around the chestnut hill reservoir. It was nearing dusk when I first left my dorm building and there was a slight breeze. Despite the wind, it was still about 72 degrees out so goose bumps peppered my exposed arms but I was not cold. The sun was beginning to dip behind a tree line and the moon looked particularly large when it emerged later on my trip. The harvest moon is tomorrow so it will be even bigger and more orange then. I couldn't help but admire the yellow glow on all of nature from reflecting the sunset. Warm-colored leaves blanketed the ground in patches indicating that fall has not reached its peak yet. I had passed a few fungi on a past walk so I tried to find some of them again. All of the fungi I found appeared on or near a tree and most of them were on tree stumps. I also saw a few chipmunks and a lot of ducks which was cute. It was overall a very nice and calming walk.

Posted on October 01, 2020 00:34 by vidalka vidalka | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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First iNaturalist Nature Walk

I went to Edmands Park which is behind BC's Newton Campus. It was a beautiful day sunny day outside despite the rain earlier in the morning. It was admittedly colder in the woods without the sun shining directly on me. Even though I lived on Newton campus last year, I had never been to Edmands Park. I was quite surprised how many trails there were and the diversity of the woods. The trail I went on had a stream on the side and also a little field of flowers. That is where I saw the "sunflowers" but I was not able to get close enough though in order to make an exact species identification. At first, I had a hard time finding fungi but it became easier as I began to look at fallen dead trees. The small, white round fungus (which I believe to be Birch Polypore) and the large brown fungus were both on dead tree limbs. The other fungus I observed was on a live tree. There was a ton of moss everywhere. I found it on rocks and also trees. While I was taking a picture of the crisped pincushion moss, I noticed a spider was right underneath it. It goes to sure how we are surrounded by insects without always knowing it. Lastly, another thing I was surprised about was how many chipmunks there were. You could always see and hear them scurrying around in the leaves. Some were quite territorial and chased other chipmunks. I really enjoyed the ones that were stuffing fallen acorns into their mouths. I did see some birds such as a Blue Jay and Red Bellied Woodpecker but was not able to get a good photo. I had an overall pleasant experience and enjoyed the time outside!

Posted on October 01, 2020 00:33 by gabriellecalbo gabriellecalbo | 7 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Walk on 9/30/2020

On my first nature walk, I took a very enjoyable walk around Webster Woods/ Hammond Pond. I went in the late afternoon, and was pleastantly surprised by this spot that was pretty close to campus. The weather was almost perfect, despite raining this morning. It was sunny, but not too hot. I saw many great plants to take photos of, and I even found what I believe to be a type of fungi. The algae on the pond was especially interesting to me. I went with 2 of my roommates, who enjoyed the walk just as much as I did, taking a break from all of the stress of midterms. We also saw a couple other people walking around, and even saw some dogs.

Posted on October 01, 2020 00:26 by bklaproth25 bklaproth25 | 5 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Webster Conservation Area/Hammond Pond, Sept. 30 2020

I took a long walk through the Webster conservation area and then went to Hammond Pond near BC on a sunny and warm autumn day. It is autumn so many of the leaves are yellow and orange, and they are falling off the trees. The first thing that I observed a lot of was moss. It was everywhere on trees, rocks, and the soil. Then as I continued walking towards the enormous rocks, I noticed lots of insects, especially black ants. Then I walked some more and found a small spider that I thought looked like a wolf spider, but it was an American nursery web spider on a piece of decaying wood. As I looked to the areas off to the side of the trail, I noticed many trees that were decaying and that had fallen over. I walked over to some and found fungi growing on the trees and breaking down the dead matter. These specifically were mushrooms like the common bonnet. Finally, my last stop was at the pond where I noticed Canadian geese swimming in the pond. It was interesting to watch them swim in the pond and follow each other around. There seemed to be a leader of the group. They even walked out of the pond next to me and were shaking the water off their feathers. I had never visited these trails before and I really enjoyed walking through the peaceful woods. I wish that I had seen more animals, but all I saw were squirrels, some common birds, and chipmunks. I will definitely be returning here in the future.

Posted on October 01, 2020 00:07 by connortp connortp | 5 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Walking Near My Dorm

For my nature walk I decided to walk behind the dorms on Newton Campus. I chose this spot because it is a very green and vibrant area (or so it seemed before I walked). In reality, it was not as vibrant as I’d hoped, but I found what I could. There was a lack of fungi or animals, however, there was a vibrant array of colors in the trees and leaves. The leaves could be bright green, or yellow, or orange, and sadly, even brown. Fall is truly here and the leaves will show it. This is the unique point where the leaves are an arrangement of all colors, not only brown. Some leaves are still alive and well, while others are dead and brown. I enjoyed seeing this unique state of fall that we are currently in.

Posted on October 01, 2020 00:06 by grimescd grimescd | 4 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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First Nature Walk

Today I went on my first nature walk. I decided to walk around the Chestnut Hill Reservoir this afternoon. It was sunny and warm despite the rain and wind that came through Boston this morning. My first initial observations were fairly obvious to me, like the geese, swans, and ducks in the water, but as time went on, I began to notice more. I noticed the Small Copper, or Lycaena phlaes, only when I was about to stop and take an observation of the flowers it was sitting on. This ties into this weeks theme of Archaea, Bacteria, and viruses because these microbial organisms are not noticed, and sometimes go without recognition, just because they are not obvious to us, the observer, but they play an integral role in biology and in the world around us. Even though I could not see the bacteria, archaea, and viruses today on my nature walk, knowing they are there around us on the plants and animals we can see, and literally on and in us, gives a different perspective about their role in our day to day lives.

Posted on September 30, 2020 23:54 by sarahkc sarahkc | 8 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Great Lakes Unknownathon (October 2020)

Help Identify!

"Unknown" observations don't have any identification label at all. Many people helping identify observations on iNaturalist will filter the observations by the group of species they know how to ID (like "plants" or "insects"), so observations with no ID at all yet will be excluded from those filtered searches. Putting in a general ID helps funnel the observation to someone who might know what they're looking at so that it can get identified more quickly.

Baseline stats:


61,809 observations in the Great Lakes region without an ID

And state/province by state/province:

Let's see how low we can get these numbers by the end of October!

View a quick tutorial on how to efficiently use the Identify page here.

*Tallying observations posted to iNat before Sept 30th, 2020.

Questions:

Why the Great Lakes region?
It's where I find most interesting. :) And...I don't feel like tallying stats for more places. Though someone could probably write some simple code to tally these automatically for a bunch of places at a time, like every state or every country!

Do I have to know anything about how to identify stuff in this region?
No! Even a basic identification, like "frog", "mammal", or "flowering plant" will help other identifiers find these observations better.

I want to hang out and chitchat with other iNatters while I'm IDing unknowns. Where can I do that?
Check out the main iNaturalist Discord server or the Great Lakes Botany server.

Someone said something snarky, like "duh" or "obviously, but I want to know which species" when I added a coarse ID to their observation - what should I do?
These people usually don't understand yet how identifications work on iNaturalist. Sometimes it's best to just not respond at all, but one option is to use or modify the commonly used response for this situation. There are several listed here: https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/responses#addid You might even consider using some boilerplate text as you are adding IDs with some quick copy/pasting. If it was a really inappropriate comment (check the Community Guidelines), always feel comfortable flagging the comment so a curator or iNat staff can take a look.

Wait, but some of these are your observations...
Hey, that's not a question. And, sorry.

Why do some species show up in the stats as unknowns?
They're waiting to be grafted by a curator/staff, or it's an unknown bug! Yay!

Help Identify!

Posted on September 30, 2020 23:46 by bouteloua bouteloua | 1 comment | Leave a comment
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Lunchtime Fall Stroll

I took a little more time today on my lunchtime stroll, venturing over towards Fitzsimmons Creek and hoping for a little quiet after the buzz of crossing the highway. The creek is quite full and milky after the heavy rains last week and the sight was made all the more lovely with a tinge of fall on the cottonwoods.
The sun is still very warm so it was a pleasant amble and just past Riverside Camp Ground, I was treated to a busy Pika, diving amongst the rocks and popping up further away (reminded me of whacker mole), far too busy for a photo but chanced a few looks my way before disappearing.
Onward to Green Lake and after dodging a barrage of teenagers (I know, I'm not too old to remember how fun it is to be that age), I came across a small group of American Coots - I think some were juveniles but I'm not familiar enough with them and I was a bit too far away.
Picking up the pace a little, or I'll never get back to work!! Still a few flowers around, mostly common tansy, a little hardhack, yarrow, red clover - nice that our pollinators still have something to.........pollinate!
Back over the highway, always happier when I'm back in the vegetation and here I find a young Douglas Squirrel, bounding across the path and then playing peek-a-boo with me from behind a giant Sitka Spruce - so cute. The fireweed is pretty much finished flowering over this side and all that's left is the fluffy tops - one decent breeze and off they float.
Passing the golf course it occurs to me that it just looks too neat and I much prefer the rambling scenery of a forest. Back down the last path towards work and I'm treated to the waft of Western Red Cedar, which is still a little damp down lower to the ground, where the forest is still quite thick - beautiful.
Fall is my favourite time of year!

Posted on September 30, 2020 23:39 by roslynmohr roslynmohr | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Great time of year

Hi all,
Our little group has grown a bit, and we now have more than 3,400 observations which include 976 species. Would this be good at keeping you occupied while you sequester at home and remain socially distanced? You bet! we live in a nature lover’s paradise. You just have to get out and look. To those of you who collect things…anything at all, you know that it’s not always what you have, but the search that is exciting. You never know what you will find that is new to you, or even something you haven’t seen in a long while.

Keep at it and enjoy your time outdoors. You can always message me, or any other project member with questions, ideas, or just for more information. Can’t wait for the time when we might actually safely get together as a group and do some exploring. I’ve already had one offer to go out ‘herping’. Sounds good.

In the meanwhile, stay safe, and keep exploring.

Rich Wolfert
rich10

Posted on September 30, 2020 23:34 by rich10 rich10 | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Houghton Garden

Today, I went for a walk through Houghton Garden for the third time. The weather was different to the other times I had visited, which had been warm and beautifully sunny days (75°). Today, the weather was humid and cloudy, but nevertheless, it was a peaceful afternoon for making observations. As always, I went through the hidden entrance, or in other words, I started from the end of the trail. I am always amazed by the beauty of this place, and even more astonished by how different it looks during the different seasons. I walked through several short trails, but as fall is beginning, there were much less flowers than the last time I visited (spring). First, I walked up a small trail, but I only saw green leaves across the floor of the garden. As I walked closer to the pond, I was able to see some hidden white flowers. Further on, I crossed the small bridge, and I was able to see more colorful flowers, ranging from purple, red, and pink. There were many insects around, but it was expected. Finally, as always, I rested on a bench for several minutes admiring and absorbing the beauty around. Houghton Garden is a very relaxing experience, and I wish more people knew about it as it is one of Chestnut Hill's hidden gems!

Posted on September 30, 2020 23:20 by mirandbc mirandbc | 7 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Walk through the Reservoir Woods

Today me and one of my roommates went on a walk through the trails in the woods by the Chestnut Hill Reservoir. I have walked around the Res many times, but never on these trails. It was saddening to see the amount of trash in the woods. There was a lot of moss and some colorful flowers and other plants. There was a lot of lichen and other forms of fungi on rocks and trees, especially trees beginning to rot. A few bugs accumulated around some of these. I saw a few chipmunks here and there but not too many other animals. It was a beautiful day outside: the sky was blue and cloudless, and the air was crisp and cool as summer begins to turn to fall. The walk was a nice break from midterm studying and a reminder of how pretty it is right on/outside of campus. Breaks to enjoy your surrounding environment are always a mood-booster!

Posted on September 30, 2020 23:19 by millstf millstf | 10 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Unique elk in California may be killed under controversial plan.

The National Park Service’s proposed plan for Point Reyes National Seashore would preserve ranching and cull tule elk within the park’s boundaries.

https://api.nationalgeographic.com/distribution/public/amp/animals/2020/09/tule-elk-culled-under-point-reyes-proposal

Posted on September 30, 2020 23:05 by biohexx1 biohexx1 | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Thank you!

Thanks everyone for joining SBCCC and BioBlitz.club for a fall BioBlitz! We had such a fun event, after a long break. We were guests in the beaver territory of Los Gatos Creek, documenting the many feeding marks on willows and almonds around the beaver dam.
The creek and trail area is home to many native and non-native species, including many plant species. We documented 44 plant species, including some trees and shrubs that were probably planted by the trail. Some of these trees, although planted, support a wide diversity of insects, birds, squirrels, and other animals.
Inside the creek, we found fish, flatworms, non-native crayfish, and aquatic insect larvae - mayfly, dragonfly, and damselfly. We saw some beautiful adult dragonfly and damselfly - Flame Skimmer and American Rubyspot, among others.
And galls! This is fall gall season, so we looked at some valley oaks, and found 12 gall species on them!
This is such a great spot, with so much to discover - join us for our next event!

Posted on September 30, 2020 22:54 by merav merav | 1 comment | Leave a comment
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Nature Journal #2 Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Today marks the 2nd nature journal and I will tell you the events of what I saw during my deadliest venture to the park to date. At 10:42 am I stepped out my humble abode and set forth to the foreboding wilderness AKA the park. In all reality, it was a pleasant experience, unlike the last time where I almost got bit by ants. I spotted a Vermillion Flycatcher perched on a branch. I didn't know what kind of bird it was until I looked it up on google. Along with the birds singing a chorus of nature and along with the symphony of tree leaves dancing in the wind and its sounds bustling. The sounds never fell into decadence and the birds simply went on their way. The Vermillion Flycatcher was foraging and others came around but alas it didn't seem that the others found anything at their disposal. They left shortly after I recorded all this information. I didn't seem to see anything out of place or anything comeback. I saw a butterfly that had a reddish-orange tinge with black spots of course. I do not wanna say if it was a Monarch because I do not really know much about butterflies. That is all I really saw besides stray cats who ran across the parks in a dash trying to get to work or something like that. Thank you and the picture will be included in a doc

Posted on September 30, 2020 22:52 by aaronbruh aaronbruh | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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