Documenting ecosystems (or why I am still posting dandelions)

Now that I have a camera, and lots of time, one of the things I am doing is a type of "census" of the different ecosystems that I can reach within walking distance of my house.

I am lucky to live in an area with lots of biodiversities. The Humboldt Bay area is one of the natural wonders of the world (although I might be a bit biased), and involves four major ecosystems: upland Redwood forests, fresh water wetlands, salt water wetlands, and open ocean/beaches, with lots of gradients in between. These ecosystems can be very close to each other physically, occuring in a few miles radius. They are also interdependent on each other.

So one thing I am doing is documenting them as completely as I can, as an amateur walking a few miles from my house. What else is in a Redwood forest, other than the obviously photogenic Redwood trees (although Redwoods are not actually that photogenic unless you get lucky: their size and lighting make it hard to get a good picture of them)? There is an understory of ferns, nettles, elder, and, in wet regions, alders, willows and skunk cabbages. And that is what I am trying to survey here.

The downside to that is it can get a bit boring! With all this natural wonder around, I feel it is necessary to document the "bread and butter" it rests on. Dandelions might not seem that interesting, but it is the dandelions (and Queen Anne's lace, and Three Cornered Garlic, and Crucifers) that feed the insects that fall into the water and get eaten by the crabs that are eaten by migrating shorebirds. So the entire ecological net is often supported by plants and animals that seem too prosaic to mention.

Of course, I will try not to flood my feed. As mentioned in a forums post, I can't post every dandelion I see. But for my first encounter with each new ecosystem and location, I will try to give a thorough documentation of what lives there, including common weeds, and also common birds and insects.

Also, I know Queen Anne's Lace isn't a dandelion, but that is what I photographed today, so that is what I am posting here.

Posted by mnharris mnharris, April 25, 2020 01:40


Photos / Sounds


Wild Carrot (Daucus carota)




April 24, 2020 11:25 AM HST


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