The Seven Fundamental Forces of Citizen Science

  1. The punishment principle : when you find a butterfly that u have never seen before,it files away from you. If you try to get to it no matter what,you will get the pic u desired but u will also recieve a punishment. As a personal example,when i finally got close to this butterfly after folowing it for 45 minutes,i had to bend way down to get the pic(i was on an elevated platform and it was in a small trough) i bent too hard that my pants got ripped apart :sweat_smile:. so i did get a good pic but also got punished at the same time.
  1. The Heisenberg blurriness principle

delta_sub * delta_eq = const.


delta_sub = the blurriness you get in your picture because the subject is moving or won’t let you come near
delta_eq = the bluriness you get because of the limitations of you equipment, roughly anti-proportional to equipment price

In practical terms this means any rare / hard to photograph species may turn up right in front of you and stand perfectly still, if and only if all you have with you is a crappy old smartphone. See:


The Eternal Recurrence of Inanimity (aka Camouflage Conundrum; Identificatory Overdrive): You have learned, Grasshopper, to see the beetle camouflaged as caterpillar dropping, the caterpillar posing as stick, the hopper as thorn, the moth slyly painted in perfect facsimile of dead leaf, the gecko colored like bark (so much so that you shook your head in disbelief or squealed with delight), the mantis decked out head to toe as lichen, the flounder with scales like a sand bank and the cephalopod a cinema of whatever it happened to be passing, creatures turned over millions of years into images of anything and everything but themselves–and having gone a bit batty squinting at these things to ferret out the hidden lives, you will, full of hope, discern: oh, actual poop again. See also Tick or Freckle?


Gorgeous, though! That one would have killed my back, tool

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The Dog Corollary of The Vehicular Force When you line up a shot near the ground or in a marsh, your dog, which has been happily sniffing around behind you, runs past the target or stops to see what you are doing. Either way, the target vacates area, never to be seen again.


The Butterfly Effect Applicable to all flying things. The butterfly comes up from the grass and flits around erratically. The observer can visually track the butterfly which always seems to be about to land, but then it ups and vanishes. Soaring birds do this with much more rapidity, not matter how hard you run.


Forward Pull Phenomenon

When walking with non-iNaturalist-users you have enticed into going on nature walks with you, the demanding force of their desire to move on has been known to physically rend you from whatever subject you find. Although it is hitherto poorly studied, naturalists theorise that the impatience of walking partners creates a temporary gravitational pull. As you orbit them, you find that you cannot take the crisp representative photos you wished you could. You also finish the walk with a small fraction of your average photo count.


I like dogs and own dogs but I never want them near me when I’m doing nature photography. For every animal they flush from the underbrush that I otherwise wouldn’t have seen, I’m sure they scare off several others. Plus the distraction of having to keep an eye on them so they don’t get in trouble.


To be fair to my dog Finn, the only animal that he has flushed was a fox. Which I got a picture of -
I know him - he’s harmless. He mainly looks for dead things to eat. The distraction is another issue!


…and a really annoyed hiking partner!


The Weather Paradigm:

If it looks like it’s going to rain, so you bring your rain gear, the weather will immediately clear up as soon as you are away from home. If it looks like it is going to be sunny, so you leave your rain gear home, it will begin raining as soon as you are away from home.

Also, the temperature is inversely proportional to whether or not you brought your jacket.


20. The force of the wind in the clouds:
When you decide to kneel, or even lie down, for the framing of a macro photography the weather is calm and sunny. Once on your knees, or lying down, you do all your light adjustments and finally the focusing, so important for a macro photo targeting a very small object or specific organ. You then stop breathing to be sure not to move the device and when you are going to press, but the wind will wobble your grass and / or fly the insect. You wait a bit, still in apnea, but nothing stabilizes. The wind which was at a standstill now sings evenly. You catch your breath, taking your eye away from the camera a little … and suddenly the wind stops, and the sand comes back motionless. You resume the apnea and you prepare to press but again the wind reappears, like from nowhere. At the end of the 3rd time, you have learned to hear the wind coming over the treetops and therefore you think you can finally press when everything is stalled, except … a very small cloud that seemed not to exist before passes in front of the sun. You have to quickly redo all the settings, or take out the flash, until everything is ready and the wind calms down again, you will press, but … the sun comes out! You then learn to estimate the time of shade under a cloud, or the time of sunshine between two, + the sound of the draft in the nearby treetops, etc. Half the time you are in apnea again and again. In the end, you lack oxygen and your blood pressure drops … you give up your goal in front of so much fatigue. At this point in, the clouds disappear for good and the wind finally drops. In short, it was (almost) a beautiful day !


21 The Singing Birds Of Silence A Singing bird will stop singing as soon as you point your recorder at it and press the record button. To never be heard again that day. The rarer the song / bird the more fractionally accurate their timing.


22. Foreign Object Identification is especially strong in the field of fungi IDing. During your walk in the local cemetery, a place where people also walk/gambol their dogs, you will see far in the distance a small round white object looking remarkably like a rare stalked puffball. You hurry but try not to run in case you get the canines interested. You get there and discover a golf ball, plover egg shell, or other round white object. That was only the first of that sort of occasion, a stick encrusted with a melted blue sandal sole probably the most embarrassing.


23. Effect of stunned naturalist
Upon seeing an object of desire and interest body of naturalist can’t do nohing but start thinking about this wonderful specimen, admiring the beauty of it and describing its connections with other species, of course by the time this person comes back from their thoughts to this world this animal is already long gone with no photos to prove its existence.


The Floater Disorientation
Probably age related. When on alert for movement (birds, insects), observer eye scanning causes the floaters inside the eye to simulate a moving object, causing the observer to follow the path of the illusory beast. Occasionally, this will cause the observer to miss actual moving objects.


Trailwalker’s Magnetism
You have been the only one on the trail all day. As soon as you start to focus on a rarity, suddenly a garrulous band of hikers comes along, emitting the constant flocking calls that humans are known for. Probably operates by a similar mechanism to the Vehicular Force described earlier.


Berry Distraction
At certain times of the year, berries or wild fruit, are getting ripe. Once the observer begins to sample them, more are seen, resulting in a search for them. The observer enters a fugue state, and is unaware of what is happening around them.


this is true - some one has to write an article on this.


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