December 31, 2021

What Plants Have I Tried to Grow?

Been getting into native gardening a lot over the past year. I figured I'd start keeping a list of the plants I've tried to grow, mainly just because I'll otherwise forget.


  • wild lupine (planted outside, grew to seedlings, died upon transplant)
  • wild basil (planted inside, grew to seedlings, died when I knocked over their pot)
  • common milkweed (planted outside, grew to seedlings with the help of a fence to deter rabbits)
  • swamp milkweed (planted outside, never grew)
  • butterfly milkweed (planted inside without cold strat, didn't grow)
  • various Symphyotrichum spp. (planted outside, never grew)
  • northern red oak (planted in pots outside and in garage, too soon to know result)
  • bitternut hickory (planted in pots outside and in garage, too soon to know result)


  • red osier dogwood (too soon to know the result)
  • american pussy willow (too soon to know the result)
  • green ash (twig grew leaves, but eventually died along with everything else growing in that jar)

I'm going to update this post every once in a while when I grow more things or remember plants I tried to grow before or just decide to make the formatting look better

Posted on December 31, 2021 07:05 PM by mws mws | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 10, 2021

My Tagged Trumpeter Swans

This is a list of all the tagged trumpeter swans I've observed. That's all.

M46 (Thrice: TTP x2, Reesor Pond)
P88 (Twice: Reesor Pond, TTP)
T82 (Twice: Reesor Pond)
V80 (Twice: TTP)

Posted on March 10, 2021 03:31 PM by mws mws | 0 comments | Leave a comment

November 21, 2020

Parasite Projects

I observe a lot of parasites, usually plant parasites. I upload them all to projects, but I don't have a centralized location for all of those projects. An umbrella project wouldn't quite work, because it can't contain other umbrella projects. So, I've made this list of all the parasite-related projects I submit to:

Plant parasites

North American Leafminers for leafminers, barkminers, and stemminers
Galls of North America for arthropodal or fungal galls. I usually don't include the galls that look like leafspots in here
Animal-caused Plant Diseases of North America. I use this one mostly when I can see the parasite, which will usually be an aphid or scale. I try to only add host-specific parasites to this project
Non-metazoan Plant Diseases of North America is a counterpart to the Animal-caused project. I use it for leaf spots, mildews, viruses, and so on.
Root Nodule Nitrogen-fixing Bacteria is for bacteria that form "nodes" on the roots of legumes. These are host-specific. I need to find more of these.

Animal parasites

Animal parasites are usually a lot harder to find than plant parasites, what with animals moving and all. Here's the two I use:
Parasitic and Phoretic Mites for mites that live on other animals, for parasitism or phoresy
Passengers: Parasites Taking Rides. I use this one only for animal parasitoids where I can view the interaction in-action. I wouldn't count an ichneumonid wasp for this project unless I saw it ovipositing in a caterpillar.


Unidentifiable Plant Damage is for observations of what I uploaded as a plant parasite only to find that it was some other sort of damage
Host-specific Plant-parasitic Taxa is a collection project for all of the plant parasite groups covered by the projects above. I use it mostly to see what parasites are being observed in my area that I haven't seen. This project works via taxon, so it's not perfect. An aphid observed without its host plant isn't engaging in any visible plant parasitism, but it'll still get added to this project. A leafminer in a taxon that I didn't know had leafminers in it won't be added. It's an endless work in progress.

Posted on November 21, 2020 01:16 AM by mws mws | 2 comments | Leave a comment

September 24, 2020

Pretend That These are Instructions for ID

Here's how to separate Lorem ipsum from other Lorem spp.


Posted on September 24, 2020 02:42 AM by mws mws | 1 comment | Leave a comment

This is an Example of Collection Instructions

Hello, I am looking for specimens of Lorem ipsum. Below are my instructions for how to collect them. Please DM me when you collect a specimen, so I can give you an address to mail them to.

Collect adult specimens of Lorem ipsum. These will be distinct from the juveniles, due to their 6 wings instead of 2, and external genitalia twice the size of their body. Put the collected specimen in a plastic vial of 75%-90% EtOH alcohol. Mark the date of collection, your iNat user ID, and the ID of the observation for the specimen. If you did not make an observation for the specimen, instead mark the date of collection and the coordinates of collection.

Thank you

(Please don't actually try to mail me anything. This is an example.)

Posted on September 24, 2020 02:39 AM by mws mws | 1 comment | Leave a comment

January 23, 2020

August 22, 2019

Project Masterlist

In this journal post I will be collecting every project that I think people should consider joining into one masterpost. I tried to get only world-wide projects, but unfortunately, a few of them are restricted to North America.

Evidence Type Projects

These projects deal with the type of evidence presented in an observation.

Bites and Stings collects observations that have come along with a bite or a sting from the subject of observation.
Cicada Exuviae is for the shed skins of cicadas.
Dead Animals is an umbrella project for observations of deceased animals. It's composed of four other projects: Dead Birds, Dead Fish, Dead Herps, and Dead Mammals
Eggs and Nests is for eggs, nests, or nests with eggs in them. It is not restricted to birds.
Found Feathers is a project for observations of feathers
Galls of North America is a project for observations of galls, deformed masses made in plants by some arthropods
Lone Cones is a project for observations of cones without photos of the plant that produced them.
North American Leafminers is an umbrella project consisting of several location-restricted leafminer projects. Leafminers are insects whose larvae make lines and blotches in leaves. With the host plant, these can often be identified.
Skulls and Bones is for skulls, bones, and skeletons as a whole

Behaviour and Interaction Projects

These projects showcase an organism's unique behaviours, or the interesting interactions between organisms

Common Dandelion Visitors is for observations of animals interacting with dandelions. This can be as a fly on the dandelion's flower, or it could be a deer pulling up and eating the whole plant.
Flower-Visiting Wasps of the US and Canada is for observations of wasps visiting flowers. Unfortunately, it's restricted to the two aforementioned countries.
Hand Feeding is a project for observations of nonhuman animals eating out of a human's hand.
Mating Behaviour is for observations of animal courtship or mating
Molluscan Mycophagy is for observations of terrestrial gastropods (slugs and snails) eating fungi (mostly mushrooms)
Parasitic and Phoretic Mites is for mites (and ticks) on other animals
Pollinator Associations is for any observation of an animal visiting a flower.
Salticidae Meals is for observations of salticids (jumping spiders) eating other arthropods.

Location and Habitat Related Projects

These projects are about where something was seen. I'm purposely not adding region-based projects to this section. Instead, these are moreso about habitat or interaction with human development.

Animals in Swimming Pools is for animals in swimming pools. They can be dead or alive.
Animals in the Backyard is for animals in backyards.
Animals in Urbania is for animals in "highly human-dominated landscapes".
Beach Finds and Washashore is for observations of things found in wrack lines.
Bird Feeders is for visitors of bird feeders. This is not restricted to birds. (Additionally, check out the Humans Feeding Animals umbrella project)
Freshwater Habitat is for anything found in freshwater, excluding wetlands. So far, it's mostly only been used in New Zealand, but there's no rule against adding outside observations.
Intertidal Zone is for animals and algae between the areas of high and low tide. So far, it's mostly only been used in New Zealand, but there's no rule against adding outside observations.
Never Home Alone: the Wild Life of Homes is for observations of non-human animals living in human households.
Project PorchLight is for animals visiting porch lights during the nighttime.
WildMart is for observations of animals found in walmart and other large stores. The goal is to spot newly introduced species as they're imported into the country, hidden within products such as exotic fruit and plants.

Projects for Observations of Peculiar Things

This is for observations that have some peculiar attribute to them that make them worth paying attention to

Amazing Aberrants is for observations of an individual that has different colouration than the majority of its species.
Banded Birds is for observations of birds that are banded, tagged, ringed, or tracked in some other way.
Fascinating Fasciation is for plants that are fasciated - they've grown in an atypical manner. The project has great examples of what fasciation is.
Observations With a Good View is for observations with a pleasant scene behind the subject.
Peculiar Petals is for plants whose flowers have an amount of petals atypical for the species.
Pink Common Yarrow Observations is for wild common yarrow (Achillea millefolium) with pink flowers instead of the more typical white.
Wild Hybrid and Integrade Birds of North America is a North America-restricted project for observations of birds that are hybrid or integrade (cross between subspecies of the same species).

Projects About How an Observation was Observed

These projects are about the how of the observation. How was this particular observation made?

Animated Observations is for observations that use .gif files, instead of just the typical .png and .jpg files.
Audio Observations From Around the World is for observations that use .mp3, .wav, or similar audio files instead of just image files.
Ethaning is for observations with photos that were taken from within a moving vehicle. The name originated from an iNat user who often creates such observations. Any vehicle is allowed, be it car, boat, gondola, helicopter, or anything else.
Nature Drawing and Journaling is for observations that use a drawing or sketch of an organism, instead of or along with a photo of the organism itself.

Humorous Projects

These lighthearted projects are for fun observations

Debatably an Organism is for observations that are such low quality that you can barely tell that it's a living thing, yet can still attain research grade.
Geralds of the World is for any observation that makes you laugh, or just any observation that you want to add to the project. It's inspired by Gerald, the beaver with over 100 IDs
Observational comedy is for any comedic observation.
Organisms On or Near Appropriate Signs is for organisms that are on, or near, appropriate signs.
The Butt End of Nature is for observations where you can only successfully photograph your subject from behind.

Other Projects

These are projects that I couldn't fit into any of the above categories. Many of them are for organisms of species that fit into a somewhat arbitrary category.

Ant Mimics is for organisms that mimic ants.
Flowering Fugitives is for plants that have escaped from the horticultural trade.
Megafauna of the World is an umbrella project for species that get above 40kg.
Non-Apid Bees is a collection project for bees that are not in the family Apidae. This project is most useful as a search filter on the explore page.
Moths of the World is a collection project for moths (lepidopterans that aren't butterflies). This project is most useful as a search filter on the explore page.

I'm always willing to add new projects to this page. If you have an interesting one, send it to me!

Posted on August 22, 2019 08:41 PM by mws mws | 1 comment | Leave a comment

May 21, 2019

Want to Help me With Some IDs?

There are some taxa that I find I can never get IDed. I'm going to be compiling a list here so that if any experts ever encounter this page, they can have an easy time getting in some IDs.

My Ontario 2021 Botanists' Big Year observations

Vascular plants of Ontario
Insects of Ontario
Insects of BC & Alberta
Harvestmen currently up to date on most harvestman IDs
Snails and slugs

I'll update this post if I find any more taxa that I think could use a good look over from an expert.

Posted on May 21, 2019 12:54 AM by mws mws | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 02, 2019

A List of Identification Resources

I'm going to be collecting identification resources that are useful to me in this post

Squill (glory of the snow) ID:

Eastern Bumblebee guide:

Posted on May 02, 2019 12:38 AM by mws mws | 0 comments | Leave a comment

August 30, 2018

3000 observations !

I definitely accomplished my goal that I set only 3 months ago, back in May: to get to 2000 observations. At the time, I expected to accomplish that within 2 years. Instead of making 1000 new observations in 24 months, (~42 obs/month), I made 2000 new observations in 3 months (~667 obs/month). Wow! I definitely did way better than I thought. I still have more observations from my trip to the Rockies to upload, but I think I'll try for 5000 total observations by 2019. That goal is slower than the observation speed I've had in the past three months, but the past three months were the middle of summer. School and colder weather will definitely limit my observations, so I think 2000 more in 4 months (~500 ob/month) will be achievable. Good luck to me.

Posted on August 30, 2018 01:41 AM by mws mws | 1 comment | Leave a comment