Journal archives for May 2020

May 22, 2020

One More Weekend!

We have one weekend left of our bioblitz, so let’s make it count! Get outside this weekend and look for plant species that haven’t been observed by others or that may be new to you. All observations must be in by midnight, Monday, May 25. If the weather looks bad near you or you aren’t able to get outside, consider looking through the observations that have already been posted. You can suggest identifications for plants that you know and confirm all non-wild plants are labeled as “captive or cultivated.” If you are using a web browser or android device, you can add annotations, so we know if a plant was flowering, fruiting, alive, or dead. It takes all kinds of participation to make a successful bioblitz. Thank you for being a part of it. We can’t wait to see what Monday brings!

Posted on May 22, 2020 22:02 by merrherr merrherr | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 06, 2020


We reached our goal of 500 species this weekend, and then surpassed it! Thank you for logging species that were new to our project, and possibly new to you.

I know this weekend I definitely added a few more species to my repertoire. From the tuberous grasspink (Calopogon tuberosus) to the seaside brookweed (Samolus parviflorus), there is no way I would have learned about these small backyard plants without the help of the iNaturalist community. I especially gained insight from the comment section of your observations. Seeing the questions, answers, and comments shared among the users in this project inspires me to ask, share, and observe more. I encourage you all to comment on an observation and ask a question to learn more about it, or even take advantage of the “fave” feature and fave an observation that interests you!

This weekend also brought some changes to the leaderboard. Congratulations to user colemama for logging 83 species so far! Observing such a great diversity deserves a prize, and we’re sending one your way. This user is currently leading our project in Most Species and Most Observations. Way to go!

Posted on May 06, 2020 19:17 by merrherr merrherr | 1 comment | Leave a comment

May 14, 2020

We are lichen the leaderboard!

Together we have observed close to 700 species of plants, fungi, and lichen! While roughly 95% of the organisms we have observed are plants, the other 6% is comprised of a variety of fungi and lichen. Why is there such a disparity in plant versus fungi and lichen observations?

It may be because our eyes are first drawn to showy blooms and charismatic plant specimens before the small mushroom on a decaying log or the flat patch of lichen on some tree bark. Along with the latter often being invisible to the naked eye, many of us are unfamiliar with fungi and lichen. Fungi are microorganisms that are everywhere, like mushrooms, mold, and yeast. Lichen are a combination of fungi, cyanobacteria, and algae living in a mutualistic relationship. Even scientists are mystified by lichen and fungi. There are around 120,000 known species in the Fungi Kingdom, but recent findings lead scientists to believe there may be closer to 2.2 to 3.8 million species! To put that into perspective, there are about 1 million species in the Animal Kingdom, and around 390,000 known species in the Plant Kingdom.

Despite all of this, one user has found quite a variety of fungi and lichen and has taken the overall top rankings on our Project leaderboard this week! Congratulations to user taylorlevit for submitting the most observations and most observed species this week. One fungal find by this user may look familiar to you due to its large home range. If you look at the iNaturalist distribution map for mica cap (Coprinellus micaceus), you might just find that it has been observed near you! We encourage you to spend some time this weekend looking for some often-overlooked fungi. You might find your own mica cap or some fungi and lichen that you passed before.

Posted on May 14, 2020 14:59 by merrherr merrherr | 0 comments | Leave a comment