This subject has been touched on in other threads which I have followed with interest, largely because I became aware that it was happening to me.
Let me be clear at the outset; I am NOT going to be naming anyone. This isn’t a personal attack, nor indeed is it an attack of any sort. Rather it is an account of my own experiences from which I hope others may learn.
My primary interest is in freshwater microlife. It has been a fascination since my early teens, but only in the last few years has life and finance allowed me to purchase a couple of decent microscopes and really dive in (sorry, terrible pun!) to this wonderful hobby. The myriad species which can be observed from just puddles, a tiny pond, and a bird bath in my back yard are simply spectacular. It is amazing and beautiful to watch different populations ebb and flow with the seasons.
Now, I’m not a scientist in any formal sense. Neither am I – nor will I ever be – an “expert” in this field, or any other. I am a curious and interested observer; one who has a special appreciation for the tiny life forms by which we are surrounded, and of which we are largely unaware.
When I find something new (almost every day!) I have a go at identifying it. I’m usually wrong.
That’s where iNat comes in.
I saw this as the ideal place to post some of my images in the hope that others with far greater knowledge and experience than me might offer some advice or guidance regarding identification of these microorganisms. It almost worked. I was even learning to use the search URLs to look for similar observations. And there were a few very helpful – and greatly appreciated – suggestions and pointers. Sadly these were vastly outnumbered by the condescending and demeaning, passive-aggressive comments from others.
I know my attempted IDs are probably wrong – that’s why I’m here! - I’m trying to learn. I’m trying to find the right direction, and my attempted ID is my starting point. If you know it is wrong, then please point me in another direction rather than just dismiss my initial attempt.
All this has left me quite disillusioned. Earlier this year I “emerged” from a dreadful bout of depression which I have lived with all my life. I beat it this time around without meds and I’m rather proud of that. My experience of iNat put me in serious jeopardy of relapsing.
So for now, my journey continues, but without iNat.