Monitoring gardens and spreading the message

650 yard species, including my 75th Lepidoptera yesterday.

How’s it going in your gardens? Pictures and stories encouraged!

3 Likes

https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/nature-s-archive-backyard-wildlife

Project to track observations from my yard, which is about 6000 square feet in suburban San Jose. I include anything I can see or hear from my yard. You can listen to how this project came to be in this podcast episode: https://podcast.naturesarchive.com/2020/07/28/365species/

@naturesarchive has such a good project for his own yard. His enthusiasm is infectious.

2 Likes

I do, but my garden is in a canyon surrounded by sagebrush shrub steppe so it’s not the same at all. I am in Washington state and we started our own project to collect all the bees posted in our borders called: Washington Native Bee Society. As a member, I helped give a talk this week and one of the questions was how to make a project with a smaller irregular border so I am going to figure that out. I can set that up to corral all the things I’ve already photographed over the years.

I am amazed at what people can find in urban settings and I read or heard that they can be refuges, which surprised me. Some cities are better than others and that would be an interesting thing to compare. Cities with wild areas, large parks or ones where people have more flowers would all do better I suppose that the ones with the most concrete and asphalt. When I traveled to New Orleans I was surprised at how many placed didn’t plant shrubs, flowers or trees near their homes. Seattle is full of trees and has many huge full grown, probably second generation trees all over, plus a lot of water and drainages needed for the rain.

This is a good question. Thanks for sharing!

PS: I remember hearing about a British woman who found several thousand different things in her garden and wrote a book. My search is not finding her, but you can make the news:
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-52840241
Or a study:
https://naturalhistorymuseum.blog/2017/08/04/the-british-garden-life-and-death-on-your-lawn-id-trainers/

4 Likes

Have started an iNat project for my garden … almost at 100 (leaf) taxa, 79 actual species

3 Likes

When I get back to the Dominican Republic, I have in mind to keep a “window list” – to include only those bird species viewed through the windows while I am inside the house.

2 Likes

My garden stats to date: 1156 observations; 380 species. Of these 244 species of insects and 48 of arachnids.

2 Likes

Awesome! How many of those are spiders vs other arachnids?

1 Like

@Aztekium and his family monitor the things they find in their house and yard in Monterrey, Mexico, which led to the description of a new species.

5 Likes

As of this morning spiders = 213 abs; 49 species. Overall it’s been a fascinating lockdown project for me.

1 Like

I take pictures of the wildlife in our little garden and I use the keyword “Garten”. When I search the keywords/description section for “Garten” I get also species that include “Garten” in their common name. Is there a way to organize the observations from my garden in a better way ?

I obscure all my garden observations and none of the other ones in my state, so I use that to filter. Many people have projects set up, either location or keyword based I think.

Thank you Tony, I was not aware of this tread. :)
I feel proud of my garden diversity, since is really quite small, it started back in 2015, when we moved to this house.

3 Likes

You should be proud! It’s great to find so much diversity in a small space and hopefully more friends or neighbors are interested and start doing the same. It will never replace large scale conservation, but our gardens can be a mini wildlife refuge.

1 Like

Don’t forget to tell interested people, to avoid/reduce “fumigacion” which is very popular in Mexico.
Although, we had a little garden in Mexico City we almost had no wildlife due to the insecticide (which apparently killed everything alive, except the “alacranes”). Most of the time, I didn’t allow the fumigator to enter house and garden, but our neighbors found ways to get our garden sprayed indirectly.

3 Likes

That is awful. Environmental exposure to breathing in insecticide too.

1 Like

That sounds very illegal.

2 Likes

Found my 100th yard Lepidoptera tonight https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/121974443 which makes it the first major wild “group” to hit triple digits. Not the most exciting moth, but it beats identifying Noctuidae.

4 Likes

I walked outside for lunch break (working from home) and the insect swarms are incredible. So many wasps and bees especially, one of the perks of sunny summer days.

What are y’all seeing? Anything new or exciting?

3 Likes

Lots of moths, spent each summer of my childhood here and never noticed how many of them are here.

2 Likes

First time posting so I hope this works. I live in Loveland, Colorado. After letting our mostly bluegrass front lawn die last year, we installed a native plant garden on 2/3 and a native buffalo grass/blue grama lawn on the other third. We planted three native trees, several shrubs and many plains and foothills species. As I am mostly a plant person, I make INat obervations in nearby open spaces, parks, trails and the National Forest. Observations of plants in gardens cannot be elevated to research grade as they are not naturally occurring.

What I plan on doing in my garden is making phenology observations. This is something I was doing on a property I used to own which was several acres, and on two Native plant gardens that are nearby. I use Budburst, www.budburst.org as it allows you to add new species. Nature’s Notebook is another great website, but not as flexible as you can’t add new plants. For us in the Mountain West, many of our iconic and common species are not listed on Nature’s Notebook. But they have lots of resources and tutorials on how to make observations, which Budburst is not as good at. Budburst is international in scope, but Nature’s Notebook is limited to the US.

Here are the links: Budburst https://budburst.org/
Nature’s Notebook https://www.usanpn.org/natures_notebook

3 Likes