You know you're seriously into iNat when


I’ve had some funny iNat-related experiences and it made me laugh to think of how many positive, and often quite funny effects my usage has had on my life. Go ahead and finish the topic title sentence with your own endings. Here are some of mine to start:

You know you’re seriously into iNat when

…you have more than one dream in a week where seemingly unrelated to the rest of a serious dream, you encounter an insect and try to ID it wondering, “who can I tag in for help with beetles?” Then you wake up and laugh out loud but also think, "what was that insect I wish I could’ve taken a photo! " (what a fun Freudian/Jungian puzzle, huh?)

…you find yourself tuning out of conversations when you see a plant, mold, dead windowsill-insect, road-killed mammal, herp etc. and immediately locate your camera forgetting about relevant social norms.

…you somehow manage to work iNat into almost every conversation with people, including strangers and sometimes inappropriately at funerals or in other off-topic social situations. You don’t mind when peoples’ eyes glaze over as you explain the beauty of the intricacy of the DQA section and the fun of community ID! You are an iNat/ citizen science evangelist.

…you pull over to document road kill. You always noticed such things and maybe kept notes but now compulsively pull your car over when safe to document the species for “Science!”

…mornings begin and evenings end with a check-in on the website and also the forum. It’s also an escape from whatever other thing you’d rather not be doing during the day.

…you no longer run away from spiders. You see just how close you can get to properly document even if you are still scared/ twitching/nauseated etc. because…“science!”

…you are more than a little excited to start to get the hang of observation fields

…you volunteer to moderate the forum! :wink:

Hope you have some laughs, folks.


The category of "cultivated" is problematic for plants in urban landscapes

… your idea of a fun Friday night becomes poring over field guides and identification keys to identify obscure organisms.

… you see a cool bug or tiny flower but don’t even bother trying to photograph it because you know your crummy camera phone won’t even focus on it, let alone make it identifiable.

… you name your children Inat and Tani (this one’s not true… yet!)



…you keep going back to the same spot to keep track of the progress of an organism that you’re 99% sure of, but have to see it bloom/ fruit/ leaf out/ hatch/ have a meal to be sure.



…you stop in your tracks to take a picture of an organism even when you are late/carrying lots of stuff/both



…it takes you several hours to hike one kilometer because you have to stop and photograph each plant and sift through the dirt looking for little crawlies.



–You keep pestering your brother to take you to the ghost town on top of the mountain that is near your old home town because you just know that in those undisturbed ruins are some real iNat finds . . . (Note: Brother has yet to be persuaded.)

–Your best friend from grad school, when you go to visit her, actually plans a day out in the local park, so you can look for “stuff” to your heart’s content. You now understand fully why she is your best friend.

–You can wander trails happily for hours and feel the tension in your back dissipate as you enjoy nature and look for cool finds.

–Your iPhone camera is never used for selfies–you save your camera for iNat photos.



we joked about me wanting to name our daughter i-Natalie though we didn’t do it.


-you get diagnosed with a pathogen related illness and add it to iNat (hopefully the grossest ones are omitted)

I do it anyway…

-you spend hours pouring over google street view trying to document biodiversity data because you miss iNat and there is tons of snow outside.



Always wondered…if I’m ever unfortunate enough to get head lice…or something worse…maybe I’ll iNat under the guise of it being on another family member :)


  • your boyfriend or girlfriend sends you pictures of plants or animals he/she founds interesting, so you can upload them to the website.

  • almost all organism in your house are identified!

  • you carry a cheap mobile macro lens in your wallet, just in case


  • your doctor says walking slowly has no health benefits so you need to walk briskly and you reply, “But I need to stop every few feet and photograph stuff and record it!”


…you walk around your house looking for something new to make an observation on, and realise you have uploaded observations on everything!
…you are considering moving because you have run out of interesting things to iNat at home
…you secretly wish they would list number of habitat types nearby like they do for number of bathrooms in the real estate listings



You regularly find yourself reading scientific names like a child learning to read; one syllable at a time. And if you do ever figure out how to pronounce it you spend serious time repeating it in your head so that you remember it.

One I struggled to learn to pronounce: xanthophloea
One I had to repeat a lot to remember: Pterocelastrus tricuspidatus



when you have a separate account for things like this because you don’t want them on your life list if you didn’t see them yourself

when you need a new doctor. It may not have cardiovascular benefits but it’s so healthy to be active out in the world! I wonder if one can do species ID on a treadmill or something.

I can’t believe how i still regularly find new ‘life’ species for our acre and a half. So many insects I haven’t found yet, for sure.



…you have more than one dream in a week where seemingly unrelated to the rest of a serious dream, you encounter an insect and try to ID it wondering, “who can I tag in for help with beetles?”

…A recurring nightmare is seeing some crazy animal/mythological monster and not being able to get your camera to focus (or not having your camera with you at all!!).

…Your camera roll is 80% animals.

…When someone incredulously asks “Why are you stopping to take a photo of a slug,” you’ve got your answer down to word perfect (‘Pokedex for animals’ is a phrase that comes up a lot…)

…You take a point and shoot even when you just go to the shops, because, you know, you never know what you’re going to see…!



…you spend more time on iNat than on any other website

…your only friends are iNatters

…you stop everything mid-class when you find a spider and photograph it for five minutes, getting every view possible, while the rest of the class is screaming to kill it.



-you often take romps into the nearby cemetery (that’s built to be like a park) to look for new things
-you accidentally convert a large number of people to using iNat by using it in a class project
-you stop to take pictures of some weird insect or plant on the ground in the middle of a crowed area
-there is a large concentration of pins on iNat’s map wherever you go, even on passed roadsides



…you have made over 13,000 IDs in 7 months
…you hit the “refresh” button every 2 minutes, just to make sure



… you are the top observer of you country and have more observations than nr 2. 3. and 4. combined



Yep, That is me!



The story of my life…