Worst Inaturalist Experiences Ever

Well that brings up more neurodiversity issues. As in, my autistic difficulties with sensory processing make long trousers problematic. I’m that one who wears short shorts everywhere – and then at the end of the day wonders when and how I got those scratches on my legs.


I on the other hand, can’t recall a nature outing where I haven’t worn trousers, so any mosquito and other biting insect attacks as well as scratches from leaves and branches will manifest on my arms and hands.

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I get that. For a long time, my sensory issues with certain types of fabric that were too constraining or with certain textures were completely overwhelming. I still can’t wear (or, frankly, touch without recoiling) some fabrics.
It is a little overwhelming to go out in full field kit with basically all my skin covered except a bit for my eyes (I h a t e wearing my mask but public health comes first). As irritating as it is to have to feel all of that on my skin all the time, I’m grateful that I’ve learned skills that let me focus regardless. It also helps that once I’m out in nature my general sense of wonder and intense interest drowns out the unpleasant sensory feeling for the most part.
Must be tough not being able to turn that off. If I couldn’t, I’d also be in shorts and a t-shirt 24/7. Mosquitoes be damned.


Not so much an iNat experience but instead regarding nature in general. I was out with a service project in Abilene (the Eunice Chambless Hospitality House), probably in 2012, and managed to stand what must have been right in a Pogonomyrmex (harvester ant) nest. I didn’t even notice anything until we got back to the car and started feeling occasional stings. They’d managed to get all through my shoes and pants (with a few starting to get concerningly high based on sting marks). Luckily, I was able to de-ant behind the building. That was a painful few days, and I didn’t even get a chance to collect a specimen for my troubles!


Everyone’s sensory profile is so different. I would rather have a hoodie on with the hood up, or a knitted cap, All The Time. I don’t do it in the summer because i don’t like heat stroke but… i like being covered.

I mean to make an “iNat and Neurodiversity” thread at some point, but just haven’t had time yet


I’m not sure I completely understand the term ‘neurodiverse’. I suspect I would fall into the category, but if you could define (as best you can), that would be helpful!

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Sorry, i may be misusing the term slightly. Neurodiversity is the idea that all sorts of different brain types are important and valid including autistm spectrum, adhd, etc. (or at least that’s an oversimplified summary)… but the term for someone who is not ‘neurotypical’ is actually ‘neurodivergent’. as mentioned here: http://dart.ed.ac.uk/neurodiverse-or-neurodivergent/ . Neurodivergent includes neurotypes such as being autistic/on the autism spectrum, adhd, dyslexia, etc etc…


I hadn’t heard the term “neurodiversity” until I read this thread. In the sciences – and in my experience working with other biologists – divergent people might be closer to the norm than so-called neurotypical … whatever typical might be for humans. Any of us who become obsessive over organisms that most people wouldn’t pay a moment of attention to are certainly different. In a good way, of course.


I have to admit, that’s pretty funny! :grin:
The same thing happened to me, but instead of turkey, I filmed myself grinning from ear to ear as I thought I was recording baby dear running around and playing in my yard!


well, i made a thread. https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/neurodiversity-and-inaturalist/17268


I thought I was well-covered while hiking this summer with trousers, a long-sleeved shirt, cap, mask, and my eyeglasses. However, none of that helped with the annoyance of small flies buzzing around my ears for goodness knows how long. The idea did cross my mind of bringing ear buds to block out the noise but I didn’t want to miss any aural cues – Warbling White-eye calls, woodpeckers hammering away at tree trunks, snakes moving through the underbrush, and (potentially) wild boar.


It’s my home away from home too :) I felt a bit of an oddity as a young person, although that feeling eased when I got to university and I met other biogeeks!


I’ve never found that to deter mosquitos.
I have been bitten through jeans.

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Darn. I suppose thats because the fabric is thin and porous enough for the mosquito to detect a meal and to be able to get it. My personal experience so far though was that I’ve never been bitten any place in my body that wasn’t exposed. I mean other factors could definitely come into play eg. type of ecosystem, geographical location, blood type(?) etc.


Glad I went down this rabbit hole!

RE: Mosquitoes–I wonder if O blood is their favorite type? My husband says I am the bait–he rarely gets bitten and his blood is AB.
I have thought it might be nice to have shorts with net lower legs added, or maybe to sew screen panels to pants to allow more air circulation. I will be using the face net that goes over the brim of a hat from now on–something likes my ears too much too!

And to help to avoid harrassment–My mentor gave me a sign he made to put into his car when he was out collecting. He used his computer to make a more professional looking sign. He made a green circle and labeled it Washington State Bee Survey with a nice photo of a bee in the middle. He added his name, address and phone number back then. It was all down with type, not handwritten.

I wear my PNW Bumble Bee Atlas Project t-shirt and/or my Oregon Bee Project hat to identify that I am somewhat official. It would be easy to emulate and make a shirt with a patch or sew something onto a hat that looks a bit more “Official” to give yourself some gravitas.

Worst experience in iNat–figuring out the proper etiquette. I have looked and looked for a beginner’s how-to. I just learned that I am not supposed to agree with the ID from other people and I have been in here for years. I would think a pop-up box or maybe a sidebar for the newest members that explains the way to do this best, that stays put until you are either vetted by someone or you have made at least some number of minimum entries would be most helpful.

Worst and best experience in Nature–finding B. californicus near the Troll under the Aurora Bridge in Seattle, but also finding that the little bit of wild there was being used by a homeless couple. They seemed nice, but before I met them, I nearly stepped in their latrine area by accident–biggest pile o’poo ever. If I had had a shovel in my car I would have donated it to them.


Hmmm… ear covers:

(and, don’t let anyone tell you these are not cool :wink:)


Welcome @wenatcheeb! :grin:

My worst experience is also mosquito related.
Last fall, I started photographing moths that came to my porch light. I had no clue what anything was, and while standing on a chair to photograph one that was high up, I dropped my camera. It survived, mostly. It’s now stuck in tungsten light mode which makes all daytime shots blue. That should have been my worst experience.

And then this summer happened.

Having finally caught the moth mania bug, I was out at the porch light every opportunity I could get. It wasn’t so bad in April and May as they were both cool, dry months and the blackflies were not bad this year. Unfortunately in June the rain started and the entire yard stayed damp for the next…well, it’s still damp as it’s still raining. The mosquitos loved all that damp and reproduced like crazy.

So in mid July, with temperatures in the high 30s, and the humidity making that feel like 45 degrees C, there was I, out on the porch trying to photograph moths. I was wearing 2 pairs of pants because the mosquitoes were easily biting through just one pair, my bee-keeping jacket with the hood up, and winter boots because they were the only footwear that was tall enough to fully protect my ankles.
I have spent a lot of time re-hydrating and even more time swearing at mosquitos.
At least I got a couple of observations of them out of it:

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Oof! That gallinnipper looks like it could bite through a raincoat.