You know you're seriously into iNat when

…when you go from being a “Nope!” to a “Oh, that’s a…”


…when you’re on a tour and by day four, as you carefully crouch down to photograph an insect, a tour mate says “There he goes again.”


…you list iNaturalist citizen science participation as volunteer experience on your resume.

…you feel depressed when not able to stop to photograph and record roadkill.


Exactly on the road kills
My wife hates it
Toyota service department loves
The business because of
Having to replace the breaks and wall to wall servicing My vehicle


…you build up an interest in every species you encounter, so much so that you decide to put together an inventory of every living thing naturally occurring on your own property, not realizing just how much work it requires.

…you get anxious prior to significant phenological events (spring bird migration, breeding amphibians) because you want to observe every species you can and add them to your aforementioned inventory.

…you stop taking good photos, and instead start taking boring generic photos of tree trunks, seeds, leaves, etc. which often come out poorly because you don’t pay attention to your camera settings in favor of taking as many photos as possible.

…you attempt to document every single tree along a trail, then feel like you might have missed one.


I bet, hehe! I’m not the one usually driving, so it is tough!

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  • when Google Maps suggests you upload a recent photo to a restaurant you visited and the photo is of a roadkill squirrel.

…when you sift through old photos to see if there are any more things to upload.

( I currently am looking though photos from moth trapping sessions and there a TON of extra observations to upload)


…You don’t remember the last time you left the house without a camera


I remember - it was the time I saw a Cooper’s Hawk on a car wash sign and resolved to never leave the house without my camera again! :laughing:


When you go out to do some work in the garden in the morning, then realize over an hour has passed with no work done at all. It was just supposed to be one quick pic of a micro moth in the grass, but then you had to stalk it around the yard for fifteen minutes, then you saw a cool hoverfly, then a bumblebee…

When you decide to let a mosquito continue biting you so you can get some good pics before swatting it. Then you sort of regret that decision a week later when its still itching like crazy… but hey it was a new species for your iNat list.


When you’re generally not into competitive pursuits like sports, games, etc. but things like competitive bioblitzes or the city nature challenge can get you out of bed at 5am to hit a good spot or making travel plans to the nearest participating metro area now that you no longer live in a city.



…you didn’t realize how much your definition of “gardening” had come to imply wandering intensely and joyously around, sometimes in circles, observing every thing in your path and waiting to see how species interactions play out and such, since you began using iNat and it gave “purpose and justification” to your once toned-down habit of noticing things … You had to think twice over why the above description of garden work didn’t sound weird,then realize that just because you currently share the same definition, once upon a time garden work involved a lot more actual work in the garden and a lot less being belly down in your driveway to catch 15 shots of a caterpillar from its perspective to upload to iNat.

…you come inside to visit the forum to report that you’re seriously into iNat as you just found yourself considering, for the first time ever, letting a mosquito land on you so you could try to catch it and photograph it for iNat. Then you realize someone beat you to the punch and laugh in appreciation realizing, “maybe there are others like me out there!”

…you find yourself looking at deer browse in your garden and instead of letting a string of profanity fly you immediately wonder if this is a great opportunity to get good photos of teeth patterns/sign as an observation for iNat and whether you can just pretend you have some neat frosted tip /variegated yucca cultivar instead of a chewed up deer smorgasbord

These have all been spot on and hilarious! Thanks for being an awesome group of internet strangers!


Haha! Yes! My (longsuffering) wife commented the other day that she often opens her bag to find I’ve slipped my camera in there even if we’re just heading down the road! I think she probably expects it now… :P


I once found a bedbug in my flat (thankfully an old flat, a good few years ago now…), and my first reaction was genuinely excitement that I could get an iNaturalist observation. Same with the mice we had a couple of years back… I’m glad I’m not the only one!!


On gardenweb people call this activity WALATing… “walking around looking at things”. As in, “I planned to do a bunch of transplanting this morning, but ended up WALATing for several hours instead.” There’s also SALATing…“standing around looking at things.” Now when I’ve got my camera on me, I can say I’m iNating instead!


You know you’re seriously into iNat / entomology when…

… you can positively identify your specialty species from a blurry photo.

… you see a wasp fly by and find yourself talking about its particular species and place in the ecosystem while everyone else wants to kill it with fire.

… you pause class in the middle of teaching to document an ant crawling on your arm.

… you immediately know the genus of said ant and begin talking about it even though your students are geology majors.

… you include iNaturalist identifications and journal posts in your resumé.

… you get random texts from friends asking “what is this bug, and does it want to kill me?”

… you then explain that it’s an insect other than a bug.

… you come back from the field with insect observations and/or specimens… that you found while recording notes on stratigraphy.

… you’ve been known to use geology department microscopes for the additional purpose of looking at ants.


… when you nearly get arrested for being on a golf course and taking photos - which apparently is forbidden. When I said, I’m only taking photos of butterflies, the official said, he didn’t believe me, because I was hiding! - of course, bending down to take a photo of a beetle. (True story!)


were you in the US? That seems like it shouldn’t be legally viable


…you have put vanity aside and accept that to get “the shot” you may also have to share photos of crusty garden hands holding insects, over-sized filthy garden crocs and whatever other potentially embarrassing clues to your gardening/wandering attire. Good thing everyone is busy counting prolegs and abdominal segments!


That was Melilla, which is a Spanish enclave in Morocco. The golf course is near the border and a refugee camp, so maybe they get a lot of unwelcome people there.