I love iNaturalist – not a paid advertisement. I love that iNaturalist not only helps you identify plants, animals, insects, and those strange spots on leaves (insect eggs, most likely) that you find on your hiking adventures, but also adds to a collective research database. What can the database do? Well, a lot!
According to iNaturalist, May Apples bloomed around May 9th this year.
The iNaturalist database can help researchers better understand things like climate change through phenology, the study of when things in nature happen. For example: it indicates when May Apples bloom–this year they bloomed around May 9, 2021. (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/78133733) Or it can help stop the spread of invasive species. It can also help document species diversity.
I really like this app because it encourages people to visit places…
Beyond the database, I really like this app because it encourages people to visit places that they may not have visited before to find something awesome and get outside. It helps those who struggle with purpose to be outside and hiking. They can take pictures that can have more meaning than just a pretty instagram shot.
…to find something awesome and get outside.
If you would like to help add to Big Hill Park’s iNaturalist database, we have two separate places:
Big Hill Park is the full park. Big Hill Prairie (area around the Center) is a subsection. If you post a picture that appears in the prairie it will also show up in the park, but not vice versa. You don’t have to do anything special to post to these places. Your camera will time and GPS stamp your pictures, so all you have to do is upload them to the site. Then other members will confirm or suggest identifications that may or may not agree with your own. It is super fun and easy!
I hope to see you out hiking and taking pictures soon!