April 06, 2020

Patapsco Valley State Park Spring Flower Hike

Hi everyone! Hope you are holding up well as the quarantine continues. Last week was my first day "back to work". In Maryland we have transitioned to online learning, so teachers in Anne Arundel County spent the last week in training to use online resources and setting up their Google Classrooms. Thankfully my department had already been using Google Classrooms, so I feel very comfortable with the transition.

Since my last journal post, I decided to start taking more initiative using my iNaturalist account. I've started posting observations more regularly and contribute to identifications when feeling confident enough.

I've even gotten the kids involved. After learning about the Seek app, I downloaded it for both my stepdaughters to use. It served as a useful tool for a science lesson my oldest had to complete. I sent the girls each a picture of different flowers we found on our hike yesterday. I told them, the first to correctly identify their flowers wins a prize. Not sure what that prize is yet, but we'll figure it out. Feel free to make suggestions!

Our hike yesterday was at Patapsco Valley State Park. Our original plan was to hike the Chevrolet Trail Loop, a 6 mile trek with moderate elevation, on the east side of the Patapsco River. I was very excited to add a new trail recording to my AllTrails app. Upon arrival to the trail head, there was a number of cars parked and too many people in one location for our comfort. So much for social distancing...

Instead we decided to check out one of our favorites, the McKeldin Switchback Trail. A shorter hike, only 4 miles, located on the west side of the river just across from the Chevrolet Trail. I was very happy we went with plan B. On our hike I was able to add 15 new species to my collection! Spring beauties and a number of other wildflowers were in full bloom throughout the hike. Everyone else hiking was very respectful of each others' space and did a fantastic job navigating the trails safely. After getting home I uploaded my finds to the Patapsco Valley State Park project. We still have plans to explore the Chevrolet Trail, but on a day less crowded.

I've included a link below to check out my AllTrails profile. Unfortunately, I did not record our hike yesterday. However, previous recordings can be found under my history tab. You can also find maps to both trails mentioned earlier under my lists, PVSP (Patapsco Valley State Park).

Continue to stay safe and healthy.


Posted on April 06, 2020 15:12 by ehall1994 ehall1994 | 16 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 26, 2020

My First Journal Post

Hi, my name is Emily and I've been a member on iNaturalist for almost a year now. I learned about this great resource from a coworker who also shares an admiration for the outdoors. Initially after downloading the app I recorded a couple of observations, but then life got busy and I forgot I even had it for awhile.

Since we've been encouraged to practice social distancing during the COVID-19 outbreak, I rediscovered the app on my phone and decided it's a good time to take my observations a little more seriously. I've started my own project, Fort Smallwood Park Biodiversity 2020, in attempt to fill my time away from work with something I enjoy doing. Upon creating the project, I was very happy to see a number of observations already recorded from other members that fit the criteria for the project. I hope to see the collection build as more naturalists record their findings.

My boyfriend and I have ambitions to do more camping this year and I look forward to adding to my own personal collection. I'm still fairly new to the program, so any tips, tricks, suggestions are greatly appreciated.

As my boyfriend and I plan for our next camping trip, I would like to put together an area specific list of species that are at their population peaks during this time of year. Does anyone have suggestions on how to best collect and compile that data using this app? Again, any information is greatly appreciated.

Hope everyone is staying safe and healthy, and still enjoying the outdoors!


Posted on March 26, 2020 14:13 by ehall1994 ehall1994 | 2 comments | Leave a comment