The Streak Continues, And It Has Changed Me

Many, very impressively, note their eBird observation streaks. The other day I saw that one of my FB contacts has been making an eBird report everyday for FIFTEEN YEARS. That's incredible. I try to remember to do an eBird report everyday, but the longest I have made it is 201 days, though truth be known, my streak would be longer if I would actually submit the reports I started but did not complete... Follow through... Working on this for 2022.

Where I have failed to follow through on eBird, I have figured out how to manage on iNat. This year I noticed that on the iNaturalist “Year In Review,” they included a graphic on the longest iNat streaks; how many consecutive days someone has made an iNat observation. As of December 31st my streak was at 1100 days. Some of you may have seen my post on September 22nd, when I reached the 1000 day mark (https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/skrentnyjeff/57108-1000-consecutive-days-of-an-inat-upload).

Pretty cool to know that of the millions of iNat users worldwide, I have the 3rd longest streak, a few days longer than three consecutive years of making at least one "verifiable" iNat observation every day (https://www.inaturalist.org/stats/2021). As I mentioned in September, I am proud of this. At that time I had no idea I have the third longest streak in the world of iNat users, which is cool, but not nearly as cool as the nearly 25,000 observations of the natural world I have been privileged to make in that time.

Doing this has changed me.

Mostly in very good ways. I see the world in a very different way than I once did. And yes, this all started with birds for me. After birds it became about making sure birds have habitat, which resulted in my efforts to help the FPCC restore LaBagh Woods. In restoring LaBagh Woods, I met folks like Derek, who helped me develop a deep love for more than just birds, and flying things, but for all life. Of course he has a predilection toward plants and mushrooms, but together we have made a great exploring team that have made iNat observations throughout Cook County, Illinois and beyond.

All of this, birding, restoration, exploring and documenting nature, has healed me after some health issues that I still work to manage daily in my life. Doing these things has added a purpose to my life that was taken from me when those health issues first stopped me in my tracks all those years ago, and dramatically changed my life. Though I may not be the man that had his first cardiac arrest in February of 2010, and now my health may require much more attention than I prefer to give it all the time, the metamorphosis since my life took the turn into birding, restoration and observing nature because of these health issues, is one I am very pleased to have grown through.

It has made me a better passenger, sharing my ride here on Spaceship Earth with all these other creatures that travel with me, and you, too.

Posted by skrentnyjeff skrentnyjeff, January 05, 2022 18:38

Comments

Way to go, Jeff!!!

I've found that doing the observation a day streak (inspired by @jmaughn ) has changed me as well. We are sooooo lucky to share this planet with such tremendous biodiversity. Each day, we get to celebrate that with making some observations of our natural neighbors. :)

I'll be honest -- there are days that I've got lots of stuff going on, and to make an observation feels like a "chore." Buuuuut, when I actually get outside, it becomes such a relief and pleasure. :)

Keep it up, Jeff! :)

Posted by sambiology 7 months ago (Flag)

As @jmaughn inspired you I was inspired by you and @sanguinaria33 and @psweet.

Like you Sam, I find I have much going on in my life right now, it does sometimes feel like a chore. Yet, like you, I often find that the best part of my day was getting that chore done. I am glad it has become a reflexive activity I set out to accomplish everyday.

I was never aware of the natural world like I am since this streak began, and I have enjoyed it so much that sometimes I worry I am a bit to "evangelical" in my enthusisam for iNat and observing the world around us. I live in the heart of Chicago, and wildlife is everywhere, if you just take a minute to look. I want everyone to look.

Posted by skrentnyjeff 7 months ago (Flag)

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