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2020 Year End Wrap

I don’t need to say this- but 2020 was a year for the history books. I did my best to follow Shelter-in-Place guidelines for my county. At first I tried staying close to home- but being in Oakland open spaces with hundreds of other inner Bay Area people on a trail felt less safe than driving to the next county over. I posited my actions were reducing pressure on our local parks where much of Oakland’s populace has little privilege to get further out. Perhaps my internal justification is self serving— but access to natural open spaces can be very difficult for many city dwellers.

This year’s highlights were modest:

-Local Butterfly Counts:
My favorite was the Berkeley count. Meeting up with @robberfly, @tiwane, Danielle, @kueda reminded me why it’s a privilege to be out in a beautiful day counting urban butterflies. I forget how many species we had, but we saw a number of Euchloe ausonides, Large Marbles (and a Lycaena gorgon, Gorgon Copper!).
Euchloe ausonides Large Marble
I helped with the SF, Mt. Diablo, Benicia and Pt. Reyes counts this year as well.

-Quercus palmeri:
Been wanting to see this species and tracked one almost in my backyard. Well- it was in the inner Bay Area and in my county! Still want to see the acorn cap for this. It makes a little hat that flares out amazingly. I am amazed by the potential bio-diversity in our urban areas.

-Staying safe and surviving:
I have missed all the people who I usually hike with. But here's to getting through this together.


2020 year end comparison

(Click on photo if you want to be able to read the text.)

The iNat team graciously created a Year in Review tool. It got me thinking about the 5 years that I’ve been using iNat to understand what’s around me. I started in 2016 as a way to learn my fungi and along the way, that interest shifted to lichens and then to moths. Here is my comparison of use. You can see how my interest in moths has grown (and how 2020 really was an outlier since travel was suppressed.) @robberfly was a huge part of helping me learn this area of biology. Thanks, buddy- I’m sure in 2021 or 2022 we will be able to get out and about more easily.

Posted by catchang catchang, December 28, 2020 20:24

Comments

Yech, way too many birds and far too few inverts for me this year. Need to fix that in 2021. And yes, the Berkeley count was so much fun! Fingers crossed we get to hang out in the field next year!

Posted by tiwane 11 months ago (Flag)

@catchang I like your reasoning about why going to further larger/less packed parks can be actually better. Oh my- how do I get involved with butterfly counts? I have been enjoying socially-distanced bioblitzes with Merav's bioblitz club this year and would love to get involved with butterfly counts during Covid quarantine & after! & @tiwane I agree--definitely need more inverts next year!

Posted by chyroptera 11 months ago (Flag)

@chyroptera I will let you know about them or help get you in touch with the organizers! @euproserpinus and I were talking about (actually more like writing to each other) about how to encourage more involvement. I'm thinking of leading a couple of walks in Mitchell Canyon in the spring to learn butterfly ID for the Mt. Diablo Count which usually happens in June. Many of the species there will also be present at the other local counts. Although it is helpful, it's not absolutely required that you know your species- even having spotters and notetakers is a HUGE help.

And YES to more inverts- always.

Posted by catchang 11 months ago (Flag)

@catchang That sounds great! I've been studying up on my butterflies thanks to iNat and have a telephoto camera to take photos. Walks in Mitchell Canyon would be excellent--it is so awesome for everything (wildflowers, insects, birds, etc).

Posted by chyroptera 11 months ago (Flag)

@chyroptera - I identified as many of your lep observations as I could. Looking forward to seeing more! And I hope you will participate in some butterfly counts this year. To give you and idea of your options, here is some info from 2020. There may be more counts in 2021 because some were cancelled this year due to the pandemic.
http://www.sfbaywildlife.info/activities/butterfly_counts.htm

Posted by euproserpinus 11 months ago (Flag)

@euproserpinus Thank you! And thanks for the link with the counts! I'll pencil them in on the calendar and look for info before June.

Posted by chyroptera 11 months ago (Flag)

@chyroptera In May- you should email each organizer of the counts you are interested in. I'll also try to keep you in the loop!

Posted by catchang 11 months ago (Flag)

Great stuff, Cat! :)

Posted by sambiology 11 months ago (Flag)

@sambiology Happy New Year! I hope with vaccines I can come to the Texas Hill Country and help my mom out. She's been by herself all year. At least she has her property that she's been working on preserving the original native plantings on. It definitely keeps her busy. Best wishes for a better 2021!

Posted by catchang 11 months ago (Flag)

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