Readers’ wildlife photos

February 14, 2018 • 7:30 am

Reader Ken Phelps sent some artistic photos of nature. His notes are indented:

Due to positive feedback on not-always-wildlife images,  Jerry is graciously allowing me to post my Flickr address.

Here’s a heavy coating of dew/melted frost on fir saplings.

Cladonia fimbriata [a lichen], growing on an old piece of knotted rope hanging in the yard.

Macro shot of the melting edge of a snow bank. Looks like a small bird, with the colors of the bank behind giving it a Tuscan feel.
Chatterbox Falls, Princess Louisa Inlet. [British Columbia]:
Princess Louisa again. 80 degree day in September, looking up from the boat at a glacier 6000ish feet above us.

Just for fun, some pareidolia. Snow melt rushing down a steep ditch beside a logging road. I see a skeletal wraith, his ghostly female companion, and an angry lizard.

Join iNaturalist and get your nature photos identified to species

September 12, 2016 • 1:00 pm

Reader Susan Heller called my attention to a new free program called iNaturalist, run by the Cal Academy, where you can register (takes one minute: just give a login name, email, and password), and then submit your nature photos. There’s no downside. As Susan wrote:

Your readers who send wildlife photos might enjoy joining iNaturalist. You post your photos on this site, and if you’re not sure of the identification, other members will help identify your postings.  I recently posted a couple of dragonfly photos (and I know nothing about dragonflies except that they emerge from nymphs), and within 30 minutes both had been identified!  I love the name “Black Saddlebags,” one of the dragonflies with bizarre black ‘bags’ on its wings. Various groups also check the site and add your observations to their data bases – especially the bird and biodiversity groups. Anyway, is the address.

I’m sure you’re curious about the Black Saddlebags dragonfly (Tramea lacerata), so here it is:


This is a project of The iNaturalist Network, which describes itself like this:

iNaturalist is an global community of naturalists, scientists, and members of the public sharing over a million wildlife sightings to teach one another about the natural world while creating high quality citizen science data for science and conservation. The iNaturalist technology infrastructure and open source software is administered by the California Academy of Sciences as part of their mission to explore, explain, and sustain life on Earth.

If any reader needs an ID, try it out and report back here.

Grasses, live oaks, pines

January 15, 2012 • 3:14 pm

by Greg Mayer

There are some interesting comments on live oaks, their distribution, and resistance to hurricanes in the discussion (see #5) of my post on Long Beach, MS and its cuisine. One thing I’ve noticed is the striking zonation of the vegetation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Just a few miles inland, the live oak forest along the coast gives way to a forest strongly dominated by pine. Here’s a pine forest, less than two miles north of the water.

Pine forest, Long Beach, MS

This pine forest continues considerably far inland, becoming mixed with broadleaved deciduous trees around Hattiesburg.

Mixed deciduous/pine forest, Rte. 49, Mississippi

The live oaks dominate in a narrow strip along the coast.

Live oaks along Beach Blvd. (the coast highway); note white sandy soil.

And the beach itself supports grasses.

The beach, Long Beach, MS.

A new kind of cloud

August 27, 2010 • 10:53 am

You probably didn’t know that there’s a Cloud Appreciation Society that recognizes new types of clouds.  A new one has recently been named, the first since 1951.  It’s the asperatus cloud (or, formally, Undulatus asperatus—clouds seemed to be named like organisms!), a strange, undulating formation that’s been described as looking like the surface of a rolling sea.  They’re apparently rare, and their formation mysterious.  But they’re gorgeous.  Has anybody seen these?

Check out the Cloud Appreciation Society’s gallery, with about 6500 photos of clouds, classified by type. There’s also a nice section on “clouds that look like things.”