Great article about iNat and Seek in Wired

Just wanted to share:

At the risk of sounding like an infomercial: After just two weeks of using iNaturalist, I really was able to notice more.


Thanks for posting Tony! Among other things, seems like a testament to the value of cultivated/captive observations as a “gateway drug” to discovering the wider world through iNaturalist.


Also an amazing story about iNaturalist and Seek “curing” someone of “plant blindness”! Great article!


I will say that using iNat and hanging out with other iNatters has definitely made me much more interested in plants, and quite a few other taxa from my original herps/spiders/weird bugs focus. I now go even more slowly while hiking.


Me too! Half my life I’ve known I should learn some plants but not seen my way in. With iNaturalist I’ve learned more plants in one year than in the previous 40.


Botanist pace: one mile an hour, maybe. Slower in really good habitats.

Taking my snark hat off, I’ll say that iNaturalist has led me unto the Valley of The Lichens. Maybe even into the Morass of The Mosses. I still don’t know any lichens, mind you, but iNat is slowly teaching me to see more.



I wanted to bathe myself in the slow-living energy of lovely middle-aged people who only use biodegradable shower products because the pipes of their century-old Victorian home are extremely sensitive, and come out the other side cleansed of my inclination to browse Instagram ads for direct-to-consumer couches when I already have a perfectly fine couch.

I love that article!


I resemble that quote, but… for anyone reading, this in no way represents a stereotype of an average iNat user! Such a being doesn’t exist. :relaxed:


lol, yeah… it’s more the writers’ initial perception of what she was getting herself into… here in NZ we used to go by the name “NatureWatchNZ”, precisely because of a desire to avoid the perception of naked people running through the woods (which here in NZ, “naturalist” conjures up)…

which is another great thing from that article… “forest bathing”… so cool! I just looked that up, and so true… I remember the days when phones were so temperamental that you wouldn’t consider taking them into the bath… but nowadays we can “forest-bathe” with our phones to our hearts content! And, oh… how content is the heart when it is in the forest, bathing :)


have to say, I smirked at the article’s stereotype of the user base… my being a very young, energetic, college student and army vet from the Middle East…


I don’t want to provoke a heated discussion of “captive/cultivated” on this thread, but I do want to point out the importance of cultivated local plants to the writer’s experience. I notice this for a lot of casual iNat users in urban areas. The first thing they are likely to use iNat for are cultivated plants. Just something to consider.


My botanist pace is more like 200 yards/hour. I have to decide, firmly, ahead of time, whether I’m going to iNat or not, to avoid completely derailing my hikes.


I usually go for new species during a hike, which makes the start really slow, but as I hike I only really stop in ecotones, and the pace generally stays fast. That is, of course, in Colorado, where biodiversity is lacking sometimes.

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Me too. I am a teen and know a few teens that use iNat too.

Interesting how the author of the article did not mention that Hedera helix is an introduced species in the USA. I don’t think this information is provided at all in the iNat app (I dont have Seek yet) so that’s why the author may be unaware.

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You struck a nerve. It amazes me how slowly I walk (one mile an hour sounds about right) when I’m observing nature. I’m a generalist and rather new at this, so I notice lots of things: birds, trees, flowers, sea shells… Yet when I’m just walking to the grocery store it’s much faster; I’ve timed myself at about 17 minutes per mile.

Oh, and lichens! I’m likin’ lichens! When I was young we didn’t have lichens in NYC because of the air pollution, but now I notice them and have a bunch of photos of lichens, but no idea how to identify them. A new project!


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