May 28, 2012

Maybe this is working...even if it is not doing what I thought it would

Well, I have managed a single modest hike in the woods since I started using the site. I had higher hopes, but the press of work and family are keeping me from a serious look even at my immediate surrounds. But, having the app on my phone is definitely making me look harder at the world than I had been. Back in the Grinnell notes days, I would manage 30 species a day in downtown Manhattan and over 100 on a poor day in Florida. Recently I have been wondering through without an open mind. I have been missing good stuff.

This site has me looking harder at what is surely dross, crows, sparrows, swallows, and invasive plants. But, in looking a little harder at what I see every day I notice things I know I would have missed. For example, I know towhees. I know their call and their antics, I can tell a towhee in the brush from a mammal or herp by the timbre of its fidgeting in the litter. Sitting in my office I can think of two spots within 500 feet where I could show you a towhee with just a little luck. But...I am not sure when I last SAW a towhee by accident. Well, actually I am. Carrying Abel Tasman to the car, as he pointed and laughed at a passing dog, there, in the wrong spot, 10 feet from the bushes, on a manicured lawn, was a spotted towhee. But for this site, the iPhone weighing my pocket the way my field notebook used to, I would missed it. Just another LBJ in my peripheral vision.

My predatory instincts are getting sharper. And, best of all, there are real experts in things I barely know, who are willing to put names and background to stuff I used to see as scenery.

Posted on May 28, 2012 05:33 AM by stingraydoctor stingraydoctor | 1 observation | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 20, 2012

A short Orcas trip

I still have not managed another nature walk, but we took a family camping trip to Orcas. They went in the van and I flew over. Saw a few good birds on the way to Moran, and now I recognize a bunch of the common plants. Had to fly back to San Juan for Saturday and the open house then back to Orcas for the evening. I need to take a picture of the common gigantic pine that is all over these islands. I know the redcedar now and that was common, but there is another gynmnosperm that I am sure everyone but me knows. Returned home to swallows and blackbirds in teh orchard.

Posted on May 20, 2012 09:33 PM by stingraydoctor stingraydoctor | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 16, 2012

A short walk

Today was my wife's birthday so I took the day to do things with her. Among the best of them was as short walk with a dog and a small boy out near Cattle Point. We walked the trail out to Jaekle's Lagoon in the hopes of seeing birds, but a late start made the birding pretty hopeless. So, I looked at plants. Used to be I was not totally hopeless with plants, but that was years ago and on the other coast. But, as in most places if you can nail 10 species you have 50% of the diversity. I am getting there. I have maybe five down pat.

Posted on May 16, 2012 11:30 PM by stingraydoctor stingraydoctor | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 15, 2012

motivation but no action yet

This site is causing me to look harder...something I should have been doing long ago, as I settled in here. But, I didn't and the piddly observations so far...which amount to listing of the most scrofulous sort, have served to emphasize how little time I have to stop and smell the roses. I have not had a purpose driven nature walk since I started on this site and that is terrible.

Posted on May 15, 2012 07:32 AM by stingraydoctor stingraydoctor | 4 comments | Leave a comment

May 09, 2012


Walking the streets of town I realized how little I knew of the plants. I started posting pictures and now I know more. Saw a great middle sized mustelid this morning but I don't know who it was. Fisher? Marten? Solo baby river otter?

Posted on May 09, 2012 03:19 AM by stingraydoctor stingraydoctor | 0 comments | Leave a comment