Danny Nelson

Joined: Feb 25, 2020 Last Active: Jul 14, 2024 iNaturalist

Self-taught naturalist with a lot left to learn. From Holmes County, Ohio, but have spent a significant amount of time in Georgian Bay area of Ontario, Canada and the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. I now live in Bethel, Alaska.

My initial interest in nature as a child was always amphibians. For as long as I can remember I have been closely observing salamanders, frogs, and toads. In our house the arrival of Spring Peepers always felt like a holiday, as did Toad Day, when American Toads would gather for mating in our pond. These days in Alaska I am limited to observation of Wood Frogs, but what a worthy and special species to observe!

Also, for as long as I can remember my family and I have been fishing for smallmouth and largemouth bass, pumpkinseed, bluegill, channel catfish, walleye, bowfin, yellow perch, rainbow trout, northern pike, etc. I was familiar with Pacific Salmon only in their introduced populations in the Great Lakes and have been working to expand my knowledge here in Alaska. I also was introduced to Burbot and Alaska Blackfish upon arriving here and find them to be fascinating species. My interest in fish stems from a fisherman's perspective, though I find that the best fisherfolk are those who respect, understand, and study fish with conservation in mind. That doesn't mean catch-and-release only. Subsistence is a way of life for many and one can use a resource or animal, while still respecting it.

I also learned a great love for trees from my father, who showed me all the trees in the woods around our house. I need to get back into that more, but have left the hardwood forest of Ohio for the tundra of Southwest Alaska. Carrying buckeyes home and planting an Ohio Buckeye tree in our yard in first grade is my first memory of really studying trees.

My love of birds came from my mother and actually came a little later than my other nature interests, which is kind of funny now, considering birding may be my biggest focus these days. I think my eyes were opened to what my mother had always been saying about birds when I came to Alaska. The sheer volume of species and individuals that migrate here to breed is among the most spectacular phenomena in nature. It also helps that I befriended several birders in my new community that have helped and encouraged me.

My interest in fungi began with foraging for morels, oysters, and chanterelles. I would like to learn more about fungi as my knowledge is very limited in that field. As a dedicated berry-picker my interest in most plants is similarly lacking beyond edibility. My interest in Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) is new, but expanding because of iNaturalist.

I spent my early years observing without any photography, so I am afraid much of my pre-iNaturalist amateur fieldwork is only available in my memory. There is value in observing things in the moment, but in retrospect I wish I would have photographed some amazing things I saw in my teens and early twenties. Feel free to correct me, message me, tag me in the comments of observations, etc.

Here's my 2020 year in review: https://www.inaturalist.org/stats/2020/dannynelson94

And my 2021 year in review:



Here's a map of my identifications so far: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?ident_user_id=dannynelson94&not_user_id=dannynelson94&place_id=any

Here's my ebird profile: https://ebird.org/profile/MTIxODA1Mw
Was resistant to ebird until recently, but most of my lifers since my birder awakening are recorded at least once there, and I have gotten better with making checklists

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