Haha! This is so true. “Oh, you brought your camera to take pictures of us? How nice.” “Not really for you, but sure.”
Today I saw something on the wall, and when I leaned in to look, my first thought was “Pterygota.” File that one under “too much time thinking about unknowns.”
I’ve started automatically saying the scientific names of things in my head when I see them. For example, I’ll hear a flicker and think “Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)” without even consciously deciding to. I also sometimes randomly remember scientific names for higher taxa, like “Order Polypodiales”, “Family Salticidae”, or “Infraorder Aculeata” for no reason that I can tell.
Or enjoying the alliterative poetry of reciting, “Magnoliophyta, Magnoliopsida, Magnoliales.”
I usually say names of lower taxa, like “Genus Stenaelurillus” or “Pachliopta aristolochiae”.
…you are hiding Easter eggs and you have to suppress the pattern-matching part of your brain that yells “Strepsiptera!”
… after a year of no travel more than 20 miles away from home, you finally get a COVID vaccination appointment an hour away in southern New Jersey (USA), and when you arrive you realize there is a little lake next to the CVS pharmacy where you will get the shot, so you pull out the new plankton net from the back of the car and go down to the lake and get some samples among canada geese poop, plastic junk, and some other abandoned items (while son waits in car, probably rather embarrassed over his mom), put the sample in in the car, go into the pharmacy and get the shot, and then think about all the things you will see in the microscope when you get home after the more then hour long drive home. Found some new things for our Personal Bioblitz on iNat!