City Nature Challenge 2020: Ann Arbor's Journal

April 29, 2020

Join us tonight or tomorrow (Wed/Thur 29/30Apr) for Online ID!!!

Hi all,

We are hosting two Live Discussions (ID "parties"!) with area experts to ID iNat observations!

  1. Animals (birds, herps, mammals, insects, etc.) Wed 29Apr 6 pm EST
  2. Plants (wildflowers, trees, mushrooms, lichen, moss, etc.) Thur 30Apr 6 pm EST

We'll hear from the experts on identification tips, and look at the CNC observations from earlier this week to ID as much as we can. Bring your mystery observations too!

Find out more and register here .

Bring your favorite beverage and join us!

Posted on April 29, 2020 16:27 by kitkestrel kitkestrel | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Links to Identifications

Hello friends! On rainy days like today, identifications are a great way to help out the City Nature Challenge 2020: Ann Arbor project. Here are a couple of direct links to observations that need identification for our project.

2020 Apr 24 – 27, Washtenaw county, needs id/casual, plants/fungi
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/identify?reviewed=any&quality_grade=needs_id%2Ccasual&iconic_taxa=Plantae%2CFungi&order=asc&place_id=2649&d1=2020-04-24&d2=2020-04-27&photos=true

Animals (anything except Plants, Fungi & Protozoa, doesn’t include Unknowns)
2020 Apr 24 – 27, Washtenaw county, needs id/casual, animals
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/identify?reviewed=any&quality_grade=needs_id%2Ccasual&iconic_taxa=Aves%2CAmphibia%2CReptilia%2CMammalia%2CActinopterygii%2CMollusca%2CArachnida%2CInsecta&order=asc&place_id=2649&d1=2020-04-24&d2=2020-04-27&photos=true

Posted on April 29, 2020 14:32 by a2naturalareapreservation a2naturalareapreservation | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 28, 2020

Observation Period Complete - Now to Identify

That's right, the observation period is complete, but City Nature Challenge 2020 is far from over with! Here's how you can help:

Finish uploading your April 24-27 observations:
As long as your photos were taken April 24 - 27, then you can upload them through May 3 and have them count for the City Nature Challenge.

Help with identifications:
In the same way that anyone can be an observer, anyone can help identify observations. In iNaturalist, go to your city’s project, click “Observations” and you’ll see an “Identify” button pop up just below it. Clicking this will take you to the iNaturalist Identify page and show you all of your city’s observations that still need to be identified. From this page, you can restrict what it shows you by taxon, which helps if you know how to ID certain groups. If you’re not an expert in any group, you can still help by identifying the “unknowns” - the observations with no IDs at all! Click the “Filters” button and then select the dashed-line leaf with a question mark in it. This will show you all the observations that are currently listed as “unknown.” It’s really helpful to go through these and add high-level IDs like “plants” or “insects” or “birds” or “fungi” - whatever you know about the organism - so people who do know how to ID these groups down to species can find them!

No matter what, please only add an ID of which you can be reasonably sure - it’s fine if you don’t know what something is, and it’s fine to only add a genus or family or even kingdom level ID.

Mark observations as "not wild"
If you know you made observations of organisms that were not wild, but forgot to select "captive/cultivated" before uploading them, please do so now! Every observation has a "Data Quality Assessment" at the bottom of the page, one of the lines says "Organism is Wild." Go ahead and click the thumbs down on that line. Once you've done that for your observations, you can also look through the other observations made in your city and help us out by doing the same: if you see an observation of something that is OBVIOUSLY not wild (a plant growing in a pot, a fish in a fish tank, a vegetable in a garden, etc.), then go ahead and click that thumbs down for "Organism is Wild!"

A big thank you to everyone who is participating! Now get out there and ID some observations!

Posted on April 28, 2020 18:34 by a2naturalareapreservation a2naturalareapreservation | 2 comments | Leave a comment

April 22, 2020

City Nature Challenge is This Week!

Happy Earth Day all! This year is the 50 anniversary, and it's getting me pumped up for the City Nature Challenge coming up this weekend! To learn more about how to participate, watch the video below created by our friends at Sandia Mountain Natural History Center in preparation for this global event, then join the "City Nature Challenge 2020: Ann Arbor" project on iNaturalist.org. Big thanks to organizers at California Academy of Sciences and Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County for finding new and innovative ways to encourage everyone to participate safely!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzcF_GhPrEw&feature=youtu.be

Posted on April 22, 2020 18:19 by a2naturalareapreservation a2naturalareapreservation | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 14, 2020

Photo Tips Webinar Cancelled

With greatest apologies, the iNat photo tips webinar this evening, 14 April, has to be cancelled. Hopefully we can reschedule later. Thank you for your support of the CNC!

Posted on April 14, 2020 17:23 by kitkestrel kitkestrel | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 10, 2020

More Ways To Participate FROM HOME

Hi all,

This is going to be a doozy of a post, since it will include the list of formal events and a bunch of ways you can participate at home during the challenge dates! This year, we City Nature Challenge (CNC) organizers and partners want to embrace the healing power of nature and encourage the collaborative aspect of the CNC. This will allow people to safely document biodiversity in whatever way they can, even from their own homes if necessary. We urge all participants to carefully follow public health guidelines provided by your local governments, as they are changing in real-time. While at home, try the following:

Anytime Friday, 24 April through Monday, 27 April

Tuesday, 28 April – Sunday, 3 May

  • Can your city go through ALL the observations (not just CNC!) that have already been made in your area but aren’t research grade yet? You may be surprised by how much you know, and I'm sure you will also learn a lot!

Here is a comprehensive list of formal CNC-associated activities that we know about. Please let us know if you’d like to add one by leaving a comment on this post. Please see below the listings for descriptions of the events.

COVID-19 ACCOMMODATIONS: For all in-person events, we will practice responsible social distancing, everyone is requested to wear a mask (at least until we are separated on the trail), and bring your own water, snacks, and wipes. Please also bring a garbage bag so we can pick up and port out any trash we find.

Saturday, 11 April

  • WALK: 1 – 5 pm, Scio Woods Preserve; 4000 Scio Church, Ann Arbor, there is a sign and off-road parking. Host: Kit Howard. We’ll be experimenting again with sharing the walk via Zoom so feel free to log into the session using the credentials below.

Tuesday, 14 April

  • WEBINAR: 6 – 7 pm, How to Take Good iNat Photos (see below for dial-up). This will draw upon the expertise from several iNat members who have graciously posted information over the years along with the presenter’s own (hard-earned) experience. Host: Kit Howard et al.

Tuesday, 21 April

  • WEBINAR: 6-7 pm, Where to Go to Bioblitz, (see below for dial-up). We’ll review a comprehensive list of publicly-accessible green spaces in Washtenaw County, including where they are, and how to find out more about them. This will also be a good time to ask questions about activities occurring during CNC. Host: Kit Howard et al.

Friday 24 April - During CNC!

  • CANCELLED WALK: 5-6:30 pm, Brokaw Preserve, 3013 W Huron River Dr, Ann Arbor, Entrance W Huron River Drive just south of N Wagner. No sign yet, look for the cars. Host: Meija Knopfl
  • MOTHING: 9 pm – 1 am. Location to be announced. Host John Christiansen

Saturday 25 April During CNC!

  • WALK: 1 – 5 pm, Nan Weston Preserve, south side of Easudes Rd at Jacob Rd, Grass Lake, MI; park on the roadside. there is a sign but it's easy to miss. Host: Kit Howard.
  • MOTHING: 9 pm – 1 am. Location to be announced. Host John Christiansen

Sunday 26 April During CNC!

  • WALK: 1 – 5 pm, Goodrich Preserve & Horner Woods, Start at Goodrich, at 3695 N Dixboro Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48105; Horner Woods is accessed through Goodrich. Host: Kit Howard.

27 Apr – 3 May Second part of CNC!
ID “parties”! A series of interactive webinars open to everyone to identify observations made during the earlier part of CNC. We hope to have experts from University and elsewhere to help with identification - the topics will depend upon who helps out. If there aren’t many observations from CNC, attendees can ask about their own observations from earlier times. If we run out of those, we’ll help out other CNC cities!

Specific dates, times, topics and hosts will be announced as they are scheduled.

Webinar access for all online events is: https://zoom.us/j/5944709556 . Either join with computer audio, or call in +1 929 436 2866; Meeting ID: 594 470 9556

Location and Event Descriptions

Scio Woods Preserve: entirely wooded with many large trees, first-order streams and riparian wetlands. The blooms of native spring wildflowers are among the most diverse and impressive in the Ann Arbor area. Varying types of woodlands—oak and hickory trees are found in locations with drier soils and the wetter woods are dominated by sugar maple and beech trees. A wetland system is located in the eastern portion of the preserve where you will find a buttonbush swamp and wetland plants such as pawpaw trees, spicebush, and bladdernut. The wooded habitat is home to some uncommon birds including barred owls and pileated woodpeckers. Find more here

Mothing: Host John Christiansen says “I'll set up a white mothing sheet before sundown and turn on insect-attracting lights as darkness falls. Over the next few hours, moths, beetles, katydids, wasps, flies, and other bugs or insects should be attracted to the light and land on the sheet, allowing close observation and photography. If there is steady action, I may keep the light on all night, otherwise it will be turned off around 1:00am. The event will proceed if there is light rain, which can be great for mothing, but be cancelled if heavy rains are expected.”

Nan Weston Preserve: floodplain forest and wooded wetlands, vernal pools; over 260 species of wildflowers and other native plants; bright blue hepatica, Dutchman’s breeches, spring beauty, southern blue flag iris, squirrel corn, starflower, bloodroot and large-flowered trillium; red-backed salamander, eastern newt, frogs, toads, snakes; stopover habitat for migrating birds as they travel through the Great Lakes flyway and provides nesting sites for several warblers and other birds, including the yellow warbler, rose-breasted grosbeak, barred owl and pileated woodpecker. River Raisin runs through it, small and calm here; Owned by the Nature Conservancy, an audiotour available on their website.

Goodrich Preserve: used primarily by U of M for research & teaching - is dominated by old growth forest that grades from hilltop oak-hickory on the eastern Goodrich property to maple-mixed Hardwoods covering rich central valleys. Native shrubs, mostly buttonbush, surround several small wetlands and fill a large swamp which separates much of the woodland from the M-14 freeway. The central portion of this forest, known for its outstanding spring wildflower displays, is preserved by U-M as a plant sanctuary. Established: 2006; Learn more here

Horner McLaughlin Woods: 90-acre site that was donated to the U-M by the Michigan Botanical Club in 1964 as a plant and wildflower sanctuary. It contains oak-hickory woodlands, old-field and rolling terrain, several small woodland ponds and streams, and a sizable buttonbush swamp. Together, Goodrich and Horner have about 2 miles of trail. Learn a bit more here

Posted on April 10, 2020 13:47 by a2naturalareapreservation a2naturalareapreservation | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 09, 2020

Walk in Scio Woods Preserve this Saturday 11Apr!

Join us! The wildflowers should be out!

WALK: Saturday April 11, 1 – 5 pm, Scio Woods Preserve; 4000 Scio Church, Ann Arbor, there is a sign and off-road parking. Host: Kit Howard.

We’ll be experimenting again with sharing the walk via Zoom so feel free to log into the session: https://zoom.us/j/5944709556 . Either join with computer audio, or call in +1 929 436 2866; Meeting ID: 594 470 9556. Please be forgiving - this is very much a work in progress!

COVID-19 ACCOMMODATIONS: we will practice responsible social distancing, everyone is requested to wear a mask (at least until we are separated on the trail), and bring your own water, snacks, and wipes. Please also bring a garbage bag so we can pick up and port out any trash we find.

Scio Woods Preserve: entirely wooded with many large trees, first-order streams and riparian wetlands. The blooms of native spring wildflowers are among the most diverse and impressive in the Ann Arbor area. Varying types of woodlands—oak and hickory trees are found in locations with drier soils and the wetter woods are dominated by sugar maple and beech trees. A wetland system is located in the eastern portion of the preserve where you will find a buttonbush swamp and wetland plants such as pawpaw trees, spicebush, and bladdernut. The wooded habitat is home to some uncommon birds including barred owls and pileated woodpeckers. Find more here

Posted on April 09, 2020 04:43 by kitkestrel kitkestrel | 0 comments | Leave a comment

UPDATED! Full List of CNC-Related Activities in Ann Arbor/Washtenaw

Here is a comprehensive list of CNC-associated activities that we know about. Please let us know if you’d like to add one by leaving a comment on this post. Please see below the listings for descriptions of the events.

COVID-19 ACCOMMODATIONS: For all in-person events, we will practice responsible social distancing, everyone is requested to wear a mask (at least until we are separated on the trail), and bring your own water, snacks, and wipes. Please also bring a garbage bag so we can pick up and port out any trash we find.

Saturday, 11 April

WALK: 1 – 5 pm, Scio Woods Preserve; 4000 Scio Church, Ann Arbor, there is a sign and off-road parking. Host: Kit Howard. We’ll be experimenting again with sharing the walk via Zoom so feel free to log into the session using the credentials below.

Tuesday, 14 April

WEBINAR: 6 – 7 pm, How to Take Good iNat Photos (see below for dial-up). This will draw upon the expertise from several iNat members who have graciously posted information over the years along with the presenter’s own (hard-earned) experience. Host: Kit Howard et al.

Tuesday, 21 April
WEBINAR: 6-7 pm, Where to Go to Bioblitz, (see below for dial-up). We’ll review a comprehensive list of publicly-accessible green spaces in Washtenaw County, including where they are, and how to find out more about them. This will also be a good time to ask questions about activities occurring during CNC. Host: Kit Howard et al.

Friday 24 April - During CNC!

WALK: 5-6:30 pm, Brokaw Preserve, 3013 W Huron River Dr, Ann Arbor, Entrance W Huron River Drive just south of N Wagner. No sign yet, look for the cars. Host: Meija Knopfl

MOTHING: 9 pm – 1 am. Location to be announced. Host John Christiansen

Saturday 25 April During CNC!

WALK: 1 – 5 pm, Nan Weston Preserve, south side of Easudes Rd at Jacob Rd, Grass Lake, MI; park on the roadside. there is a sign but it's easy to miss. Host: Kit Howard.

MOTHING: 9 pm – 1 am. Location to be announced. Host John Christiansen

Sunday 26 April During CNC!

WALK: 1 – 5 pm, Goodrich Preserve & Horner Woods, Start at Goodrich, at 3695 N Dixboro Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48105; Horner Woods is accessed through Goodrich. Host: Kit Howard.

27 Apr – 3 May Second part of CNC!
ID “parties”! A series of interactive webinars open to everyone to identify observations made during the earlier part of CNC. We hope to have experts from University and elsewhere to help with identification - the topics will depend upon who helps out. If there aren’t many observations from CNC, attendees can ask about their own observations from earlier times. If we run out of those, we’ll help out other CNC cities!

Specific dates, times, topics and hosts will be announced as they are scheduled.

Webinar access for all online events is: https://zoom.us/j/5944709556 . Either join with computer audio, or call in +1 929 436 2866; Meeting ID: 594 470 9556

Location and Event Descriptions

Scio Woods Preserve: entirely wooded with many large trees, first-order streams and riparian wetlands. The blooms of native spring wildflowers are among the most diverse and impressive in the Ann Arbor area. Varying types of woodlands—oak and hickory trees are found in locations with drier soils and the wetter woods are dominated by sugar maple and beech trees. A wetland system is located in the eastern portion of the preserve where you will find a buttonbush swamp and wetland plants such as pawpaw trees, spicebush, and bladdernut. The wooded habitat is home to some uncommon birds including barred owls and pileated woodpeckers. Find more here

Mothing: Host John Christiansen says “I'll set up a white mothing sheet before sundown and turn on insect-attracting lights as darkness falls. Over the next few hours, moths, beetles, katydids, wasps, flies, and other bugs or insects should be attracted to the light and land on the sheet, allowing close observation and photography. If there is steady action, I may keep the light on all night, otherwise it will be turned off around 1:00am. The event will proceed if there is light rain, which can be great for mothing, but be cancelled if heavy rains are expected.”

Brokaw Nature Preserve: very bird, plant and habitat-diverse park with seven species of oak (including shingle oak, which is rare around here), wet mesic, mesic, old field habitat. So new it doesn’t even have a sign! Find more here

Nan Weston Preserve: floodplain forest and wooded wetlands, vernal pools; over 260 species of wildflowers and other native plants; bright blue hepatica, Dutchman’s breeches, spring beauty, southern blue flag iris, squirrel corn, starflower, bloodroot and large-flowered trillium; red-backed salamander, eastern newt, frogs, toads, snakes; stopover habitat for migrating birds as they travel through the Great Lakes flyway and provides nesting sites for several warblers and other birds, including the yellow warbler, rose-breasted grosbeak, barred owl and pileated woodpecker. River Raisin runs through it, small and calm here; Owned by the Nature Conservancy, an audiotour available on their website.

Goodrich Preserve: used primarily by U of M for research & teaching - is dominated by old growth forest that grades from hilltop oak-hickory on the eastern Goodrich property to maple-mixed Hardwoods covering rich central valleys. Native shrubs, mostly buttonbush, surround several small wetlands and fill a large swamp which separates much of the woodland from the M-14 freeway. The central portion of this forest, known for its outstanding spring wildflower displays, is preserved by U-M as a plant sanctuary. Established: 2006; Learn more here

Horner McLaughlin Woods: 90-acre site that was donated to the U-M by the Michigan Botanical Club in 1964 as a plant and wildflower sanctuary. It contains oak-hickory woodlands, old-field and rolling terrain, several small woodland ponds and streams, and a sizable buttonbush swamp. Together, Goodrich and Horner have about 2 miles of trail. Learn a bit more here

Posted on April 09, 2020 04:31 by kitkestrel kitkestrel | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 07, 2020

Tonight's Webinar - POSTPONED

Tonight's webinar, "How to Take Good iNat Photos" from 6 – 7 p.m. will be postponed. Please join us instead on April 14! More details to come soon.

Posted on April 07, 2020 19:09 by a2naturalareapreservation a2naturalareapreservation | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 20, 2020

Walk in Creekshead and Weatherbee Preserves Saturday 20 March 1 - 5 pm!

In these challenging times, relax and reconnect with nature at the Creekshead and Weatherbee Preserves and see what's flowering, or flying, or burrowing, or swimming...

Please be prepared for muddy trails. We'll practice good social distancing, so bring your own water, snacks, hand sanitizer, and any other supplies you want.

Start at Creekshead, northeast of Ann Arbor in Salem Township, on Curtis Road between Brookville and Five Mile Roads. Park along the west side of the road in front of the woods - the trail begins at the south corner and is marked by a sign set back in the trees.

The trail at Creekshead isn't that long, so at around 3 pm we'll continue on to Weatherbee. From M-14, take exit 10 for Ford Road Immediately turn east on Plymouth Road Take Plymouth for 2 miles, then turn south (right) onto Berry Road, turn east on Warren Road (the first intersection). The preserve is accessed through Schroeter Park 0.2 miles down the road on the south side.

We will be experimenting with livestreaming the walk, so if you can't join us in person, consider logging in to https://zoom.us/j/5944709556, and join the audio through the app or call +1 312 626 6799 Meeting ID: 594 470 9556. This is our first experiment, so we'll apologize in advance for any glitches!

Creekshead Preserve: This 27-acre preserve just 12 miles north of Ann Arbor, was donated to Legacy Land Conservancy in 1995. It holds a beautiful mature beech-maple-basswood forest and is invasive-free. Because the ecosystem here is intact, spring brings spectacular wildflower blooms including carpets of spring beauty, wood anemone, and trillium with scattered plants of the more rare, Dutchman’s breeches, squirrel corn, and the parasitic plant, beech drops.

Both Johnson and Nelson Creeks, tributaries to the Huron River, begin in this wet forest giving the preserve its name, Creekshead. The hydric soils and wet conditions make it an amphibian hot spot. Brush up on your frog calls before heading out to see the spring wildflowers and you’ll be able to hear several types of frogs calling for mates while you enjoy the blooms. The half-mile trail loop will lead you through this high-quality southern-mesic forest, past vernal pools and over the small, seasonal creek flowing through the property. Creekshead is the only publicly accessible natural area in Washtenaw County’s Salem Township. This preserve is truly a gem.

Weatherbee Woods Preserve:
The northern portion of the preserve is mainly wooded and adjoins Schroeter Park, a facility owned by Superior Township. Its high quality landscape contains significant plant diversity, including upland woodlots and a hardwood swamp. A perennial stream cuts through the steeply sloped topography.

Weatherbee Woods Preserve is operated by the Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission and was purchased through the Natural Areas Preservation Program.

Ellen Weatherbee
This preserve is named for Ellen Weatherbee a local naturalist, who - along with the Superior Land Preservation Society - was instrumental in the protection of this property.

Posted on March 20, 2020 23:37 by kitkestrel kitkestrel | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Archives