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Thank You!

308 people have posted identifications on my observations. 308!

The number is humbling. That's a lot of people who gave of their time to help me leave a record of the creatures which share the world with us in this tiny moment of earth's history. And it probably doesn't count everyone who spent time looking at my observations. I know that I look at quite a few where I decide I'm not confident on ID :)

I'm trying to do my part, but I know I'm receiving more than I give because still learning.

So, Thank You!!

Anotado en diciembre 02, miércoles 02:07 por whateverwatcher whateverwatcher | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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not a single dove

just yellow-rumps and sparrows, who knows where that oriole got to.

Anotado en diciembre 02, miércoles 01:53 por roomthily roomthily | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Presentando a Coptocycla dorsoplagiata, reporte de una posible nueva especie para Honduras

El pasado 19 de noviembre, se reportó en el campus Zamorano la especie Coptocycla dorsoplagiata (https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/272124-Coptocycla-dorsoplagiata), un escarabajo (Coleoptera/Polyphaga) de la familia Chrysomelidae. Este es el primer reporte en iNaturalist para esta especie en Honduras. Sin embargo, existen algunas observaciones en México, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica y Colombia. Además, existen reportes para Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador y México en la Infraestructura Mundial de Información en Biodiversidad (GBIF, por sus siglas en inglés). Este reporte representa la especie #2848 reportada en iNaturalist.org para Zamorano Universidad y el municipio de San Antonio de Oriente, y la especie #8137 reportada en iNaturalist.org para Honduras.

El reporte fue realizado por Samuel Treminio, cerca de la unidad de producción porcícola de Zamorano (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/65258891). Samuel es un estudiante de primer año en la Escuela Agrícola Panamericana Zamorano, quien comenzó a utilizar iNaturalist como parte de una asignación de su curso de Ecología y ha seguido utilizando la herramienta después de entregada su tarea. ¡Felicidades a Samuel por este tan interesante hallazgo!

Anotado en diciembre 02, miércoles 01:36 por narcisozapata narcisozapata | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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December 2020: Describe your walk by adding a comment below

Each time you go out and make observations for this project, describe your walk by adding a comment to this post. Include the date, distance walked, and categories that you used for this walk.

Suggested format:
Date. Place. Distance walked today. Total distance for this project.
Categories.
Brief description of the area, what you saw, what you learned, who was with you, or any other details you care to share.

Anotado en diciembre 02, miércoles 00:56 por erikamitchell erikamitchell | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario
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Community Survey on the EcoFlora Project

Hello Everyone!

As we are now almost a year into the public outreach phase of the EcoFlora Project we want to connect with you on how the Sarasota & Manatee EcoFlora Project has impacted you. Please complete this survey to help us find out how the EcoFlora Project has impacted you! Survey ends December 15th!

Survey Link: https://forms.gle/jBJ4zuq79Zgi9paB6

Regards,
The Selby EcoFlora Team

Anotado en diciembre 02, miércoles 00:24 por sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Tuesday 12/1/2020

December 1st, 2020 (Tuesday) 9:10-11:50 pm: 15 dead newts found, no live newts
Weather was nice, foggy earlier in the morning. No real rain in the past couple of weeks, after the initial rain. Rainfall: (MTD: 0 in; YTD: 0.93 in). Data from - http://www.weathercat.net/wxraindetail.php
@tyap and me documented 15 dead newts, 3 of them juveniles. Only one of the newts was freshly killed. It was found right in front of population study #1. I didn't include it in our project yet, I'd like to wait and see if we get a photo of it from the survey team. The rest of the newts were very dry, and were probably there for a while.

Other roadkills: 1 slender salamander, 2 unidentified vertebrates, a caterpillar, 3 Jerusalem Crickets, 1 cricket, 5 soil centipedes.
Coverage: north part - the county park parking lot till the second stop sign.
Traffic: 2 trucks, 34 cars, 2 motorcycles, 4 bikes, 9 pedestrians, and 17 cars parked by the road and in the parking lots. Some of the cars were county roads pickups.

We met the Midpen population study a few times. They haven't seen any live newts since the last rain.
The rowing club was open. All county park parking lots were open.

Anotado en diciembre 02, miércoles 00:04 por merav merav | 2 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Home for The HollyDays - December Ecoquest

Sarasota-Manatee EcoFlora's December EcoQuest is Home for the HollyDays! Holly trees are attractive natives that have become symbols of the winter holidays. Hollies are one of the few trees found in all fifty states, with several species native to Sarasota and Manatee counties. Hollies are dioecious, meaning that trees bear either male or female flowers, but not both. The female trees bear beautiful berries. While they are toxic to humans, the berries are an excellent food source for birds and mammals in the winter. Many insects pollinate the flowers and the dense foliage of the trees is excellent for wildlife.


(Image of Ilex vomitoria in bonsai form at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens)

The leaves of some holly trees can be made into tea. The Yaupon holly is the most caffeinated plant in the United States. Native Americans used the leaves for medicinal and ceremonial purposes, making a black drink. Because these ceremonies involved vomiting (likely due to fasting and consuming large quantities of caffeine), Scottish botanist William Aiton named it Ilex vomitoria in 1789. When moderately consumed, it does not actually cause vomiting, and you can now purchase Yaupon holly tea commercially! In addition to teas, one of our native hollies, Ilex glabra, (also known as gallberry and inkberry), provides us with delicious honey from its nectar.

For more help ID'ing these holiday hollies check out our handy reference guide here!

Also be sure to check out our scientists going depth depth on the Ilex genus in our monthly Ecoquest Video, Home for the Hollydays!

Anotado en diciembre 01, martes 23:49 por sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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December themes, if any...

I just came back from Paramount Ranch north, which just a month ago, when Laura and I explored it to celebrate her birthday, was quite lush by comparison to now. And it was already dry then. Now even the Valley Oaks have dropped their leaves, the beautiful sunflowers at the lowest, moistest elevation are dead, and even the Crows have left. A mountain biker in the far distance must have stirred up some dust that rose into the air like a smoke plume. We need rain so badly, but will get another Santa Ana event Wednesday evening through at least Saturday, red-flagged because of the extreme fire danger. My go-bag is still packed from the last one that wasn't all that bad, so here's hoping for the best.

Hiking up and down the mountain trails, with little to document that would give me joy (much needed joy, considering all that's going on around us), I felt I should (a) bite the bullet and drive longer distances, and (b) focus on the shore. So, anyplace king tide would be a major highlight of the month for me and something I really look forward to. Also something I really REALLY want to do is exploring docks, poop covered and all, as suggested by Susan. So possibly, marine life?

I had a blast exploring various San Fernando Valley lakes and ponds in the last few days. Laura got me to Los Encinos Historical Park, and I also walked around Lake Balboa, Lake Reseda (highlight fighting Coots, https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/65949861), and of course the lake in the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve which I make a point of visiting once a month or so. I also really love the Los Angeles River @ Burbank Blvd. Bette Davis Picnic Area is on my list for the next few days, another great spot in the Los Angeles River. Any other suggestions? City Wildlife might be a theme too.

By the way, Laura and I are both "streaking," that means posting at least one observation every day, rain or shine. https://mapsandapps.github.io/inat-streak/ shows the stats. Laura is at 425 (!!) consecutive days, I'm at 348, with a streak that started December 19 last year and has kept me sane through all of 2020. And gave me an opportunity to really see seasons change, organisms come and go, especially since my radius has been so very limited. No trip to Germany and France to see my folks, no overnighter at all this year... (I so miss it.) But what I miss most in this limited radius of the mountains here right now... insects. Just hanging out at whatever flowers and observe... The highlight today was a lone Western Honey Bee on a near dry California Aster...

I hope you and your loved ones are all doing ok, and staying safe.

Big hugs, much love!!

Anotado en diciembre 01, martes 23:46 por andreacala andreacala | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario
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Exploring Tide Pools, What You Can Do to Preserve Them

An incredible variety of colorful marine plants and animals can be found in tide pools. This insert explains the vulnerable nature of these areas, and what visitors can do to help preserve them.
https://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/735/files/inserttideppools%203up.pdf

California’s Natural Aquariums
Tide pools, or rocky intertidal zones, are areas of the coastline that are covered and uncovered each day by the high and low tides. Tide pools are formed when water is trapped in depressions on rocky shorelines during low tides. An incredible variety of colorful marine plants and animals can be found on rocks or in tide pools—seaweeds, sea anemones, mussels, hermit crabs, limpets, and sea stars. The level of low tide will determine what you can see.

Challenges Facing Our Intertidal Zones
Visitors in coastal parks see tide pools and naturally want to explore them. However, walking through tide pools is very dangerous to the tiny, delicate marine organisms living there because they can be easily crushed underfoot. Exploring pools usually means turning over rocks that may be protecting animals from light and air that could kill them. Pulling intertidal animals off the rocks or poking them with sticks can damage or destroy them. Few organisms survive being removed from their tide pool home. Today many of California’s tide pool populations are decreasing due to these activities. Pollution is also having a major effect on tide pools and beaches. Trash left behind by visitors finds its way into tide pools, poisoning the water and hitting small pool inhabitants with every surging wave.

What You Can Do To Help
• Know the park rules and the Department of Fish and Game regulations for this area.
• Do not disturb or turn over rocks.
• Look, but don’t touch. You’ll see more natural behaviors by observing tide pool creatures where they are, being themselves.
• Avoid harming tide pool animals—don’t pick them up, pull them off the rocks, or poke them with sticks.
• Walk gently and cautiously. Rocks can be sharp or slippery. Take care not to step on marine life.
• For safety’s sake, always face the ocean when exploring tide pools and beware of unexpected waves that can sweep you off the rocks.
• Don’t trash our beaches. Always pack out whatever you bring in.

Please follow tide pool rules, and spread the word about good tide pool behavior to your friends and family. For more information on the tides, tide pools, or how you can do more to help, ask the lifeguard or ranger on duty. Kids can join Junior Rangers or Junior Lifeguards to learn more today!

https://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/735/files/inserttideppools%203up.pdf

Anotado en diciembre 01, martes 23:42 por oceansanctuaries oceansanctuaries | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Winter Scavenger Hunt

Winter weather is finally starting to settle in at Runge. Just a week ago, butterflies, flies, bumblebees, and a variety of insects were all too easy to find. Asters, white snake root, and a handful of other miscellaneous flowers were still in bloom. And, many of our nature center patrons were still wearing short sleeves and shorts. The weather has turned colder, many organisms have migrated, gone dormmate, or died, but there is still a lot to be discovered at Runge. Challenge yourself to get outside this winter by participating in our iNaturalist observation scavenger hunt. Scavenger hunts can be found at the front desk of the nature center. After completing the hunt using the iNaturalist app or website and adding your observations to the "Runge Biodiversity Project," stop at the front desk to receive a free nature discovery item.

Dont forget to check out our "Observation of the Month" for October and November in the comment section (click on the title of the journal post on the online version to view the comments, or the following link for October and November’s "Observations of the Month" https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/runge-biodiversity-project/journal/44432-winter-scavenger-hunt). Keep exploring and maybe one of your observations will be selected in the future. Also, remember to share your favorite observations using Instagram - #RungeBiodiversityProject. Get out, observe, and explore this winter!

Anotado en diciembre 01, martes 22:07 por amlambert11 amlambert11 | 2 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Test journal post

BONAP map:













Photo from iNaturalist:

Anotado en diciembre 01, martes 21:00 por nathantaylor nathantaylor | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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900 видов!!!

Дорогие друзья!
Наш проект по флоре Владимирской области взял очередную высоту, в 900 отмеченных видов.

Anotado en diciembre 01, martes 20:09 por vist vist | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Новый результат

У нас 80 000 наблюдений. Хорошо в последнее время поработали орнитологи. Железногорский район вышел в лидеры по числу обнаруженных таксонов. С небольшим отставанием далее идёт Курский район. В целом уже почти 4400 видов.
Всем новых зимних находок!

@dni_catipo @rovzap @ikskyrskobl @ev_sklyar @lex_deineko @yriysokolov73 @tatyaya @zibzap @pvk
@michail_anurev03 @alakey @alex_pol_64 @nomen_dubium @cuprum @naturalist26685 @andrewbazdyrev @ivanovdg19 @elenalitoshenko @arepieva @olga020302 @eleno4ka @shure-61 @art_mal @margory @okasana @jagermeister @anna_grus @vinakurova @andrey_bobkov @naturalist13056 @kohab @naturalist37402 @vavsek @allatroshina @alien_mb @lesya3 @sklar @stepan_zko @anastasia_frizen @epopov @lesaluga @sergei999 @sleepysugar @vikula_bludov @lornel
@mooie_glans @baipidi @aiserg @ankhen @entomokot @alina_klu @alexandrakupkina @arinagolovenko @elfikichka @elizaveta_ch @lerka @lyudaan02 @marina0117 @naturalist16818 @selivanova_e_m @naturalist13869 @naturalist42262 @marya2001 @igor_voinov @naturalist28432 @t-kuznecova @shorokhovak @allegator @naturalist6383 @kiril_zko08 @naturalist40942 @naturvladislav @ninjago @blashyrkh @naturalist34121 @innagal @nekomata9 @vladapo @ironnie @naturalist43202 @lillian0712 @axeb @naturalist38484 @naturalist35656 @ylia_hobotkina @yavorskayas @naturalist21399 @valeria_v_a @naturalist15374 @yakuninazhenya @merlu @tanyapavlova @svetlanapetrova @andreyshepickixin @virus574 @naturalist43676 @ilyas07 @naturalist41420 @naturalist39793 @elizabethfox2 @anthonyu @sawyerksojaleniy @mariia-9024 @naturalist36297 @naturalist_varvara @nat_sklyar @naturalist27669 @sladik @naturalist25387 @naturalist23494 @konstantinperezhogin @aimorozova @nzherdev @naturalist20799 @doggod @naturalist19052 @anatoliy @ancelle @yaroslav9 @npn @naturalist16122 @sevadn @naturalist14909 @naturalist13824 @revolution @andrey_zuev @mlinnaeus @alexander227 @adalisk @polins @zzeneck @angelinakonice @anyabuyol

Anotado en diciembre 01, martes 19:53 por dni_catipo dni_catipo | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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December 2020 EcoQuest: Spot Spurge

Join the December EcoQuest: Spot Spurge.

Poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) are often a botanical highlight of the holiday season, but this month we are taking a look at one of their relatives: sandmats. The red, white, and green colors of these plants and their matted growing habit can bring garland or knit sweaters to mind. There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to these tiny tenacious “weeds.” Get into the holiday spirit, get your closeup lenses ready and see how many sandmat spurge plants you can spot.


Join the EcoQuest here:
December EcoQuest: Spot Spurge
Species seen in metro Phoenix on iNaturalist


This EcoQuest is focused on sandmat spurge plants (Euphorbia sect. Anisophyllum)

Overcoming some of the harshest urban conditions, these evolutionary champions can be found all over metro Phoenix. Often going unnoticed until they frustrate gardeners or lawn care enthusiasts, sandmats use their prostrate growing habit and exponential seed production to the best of their ability.
There are so many species of sandmats that they have their own section with nearly 400 different species. Sandmats are in the section Anisophyllum. This section is in the genus Euphorbia. A section is a taxonomic rank above species and below genus. The reason for botanical sections is to help with organization, especially when genera are very large, like this one.
Sandmats have interesting adaptations that make them well equipped for survival. They have evolved to grow in a prostrate form, meaning most of the plant grows on or just above the ground. This adaptation helps them go unnoticed underfoot and avoid being eaten by animals. The milky latex sap they produce when broken is also an animal deterrent. Adding to their survival expertise, these plants are allelopathic and each plant can produce several thousand sticky seeds that are explosively dehiscent. Allelopathic means they exude chemicals that keep other plants from growing around them. Having explosive dehiscent seeds means that their seed pods dry, split open and forcefully fling seeds for some distance.

Get ready for a challenge. Sandmats can be very difficult to identify, so great photographs and details are key. A hand lens or closeup lenses on a phone or camera can be very helpful. One of the most distinguishing characteristics of spurges is their flowering structure, called a cyathium, and cyathiums on sandmats are tiny! Other distinguishing characteristics of Euphorbia sect. Anisophyllum include opposite leaves, generally asymmetric leaves, and a clear “upper” and “lower” side to their stems. There are both native and non-native species here in metro Phoenix. Don’t worry too much about identifying these plants to a species level, they can be really tricky! All observations can be helpful and contribute. (See the Description section for identification resources). @NathanTaylor has created a helpful guide for photographing sandmats: Making Great Sandmat Observations


Image by Matt Berger (@sheriff_woody_pct)

As amazing as these small plants are, little is known about their ecological interactions such as pollination. It has been found that ants can help disperse seed and that the smallest bee in North America pollinates sandmat species here in the Sonoran Desert: Perdita minima. Others have been found to be self-pollinating. Could there be other pollinators? Which pollinators visit which species? What insects interact with sandmats? What are the native and non-native distributions? Maybe you can help answer these questions.


Photo by Stephen Buchmann from USFS

Sandmats are a fascinating world of microstructures and adaptation. Understanding more about these common “weeds” can provide an appreciation and respect for them in their own right.

FUN FACT: Another relative of sandmats, fire stick (Euphorbia tirucalli) should be starting to turn bright reddish orange, putting on a show this month.


Observing and mapping sandmats in metro Phoenix can provide information and data about occurrences and species populations. Ecological interactions like pollination and seed dispersal are especially needed.
The data gathered through this EcoQuest can contribute to Ph.D. student Nathan Taylor’s efforts and research at the University of Oklahoma. Nathan is especially interested in Euphorbia sect. Anisophyllum and has various projects to join on iNaturalist. For our area, it may be most helpful to contribute to "Organisms Associated with Euphorbia." The ecology of sandmats in metro Phoenix is little understood, and our efforts can contribute to this knowledge.


Nathan’s Projects:
Organisms Associated with Euphorbia
Sandmats of the World
Euphorbia Species of the United States



If you can’t get enough of sandmats, listen to this enjoyable, informative and fascinating podcast interview with Nathan on In Defense of Plants.
In Defense of Plants: Spurge is the Word

!!!PLEASE NOTE: Like all plants in the Euphorbia family, sandmats leak a milky latex sap when broken. This sap can be extremely irritating. Take care to not get the sap on your skin or in your mouth or eyes.

WHAT TO OBSERVE:
Scientific Name: (Euphorbia sect. Anisophyllum)
Common Names: Sandmat spurge, prostrate spurge
Family: Euphorbiaceae (Spurge Family)

DESCRIPTION:
Please see the following resources to aid in identification of sandmats:
Section Anisophyllum Explained by Nathan Taylor
Key from Flora of North America
Nonexclusive list of species that have been found in metro Phoenix on iNaturalist
Sandmats on SEINet

WHERE TO OBSERVE:
All over metro Phoenix. These impressive plants can be found growing in sidewalk cracks, through asphalt, in gardens and in natural areas.


Supporting Sources:
American Journal of Botany (Joan Ehrenfeld):
https://bsapubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/j.1537-2197.1976.tb11828.x
BioOne (William D. Wiesenborn):
https://bioone.org/journals/the-pan-pacific-entomologist/volume-91/issue-2/2015-91.2.148/Absorbing-incident-ultraviolet-light-decreases-landings-by-Diptera-and-Hymenoptera/10.3956/2015-91.2.148.short
iNaturalist:
https://swbiodiversity.org/seinet/taxa/index.php?taxon=1364&clid=3116
In Defense of Plants: Spurge is the Word with Nathan Taylor
https://www.indefenseofplants.com/podcast/tag/Anisophyllum
University of California
http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7445.html
USFS: Peridita minima-“World’s Smallest Bee”
https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/pollinator-of-the-month/perdita_minima.shtml




EcoQuests are month-long challenges that are part of the larger Metro Phoenix EcoFlora project.
You can learn more and join the Metro Phoenix EcoFlora here:
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/metro-phoenix-ecoflora

Sign up for the newsletter at ecofloraphx@dbg.org.
Let's be social @ecofloraphx

PLEASE observe COVID-19 guidelines/recommendations.
This a great opportunity to get outdoors close to home as we all navigate the complications of COVID-19. However, it is imperative that you follow the guidelines/recommendations of your local governments and institutions (wear a mask, practice physical distancing and wash your hands). Do what’s best for you and your community.

Arizona Office of Tourism: Responsible Recreation in AZ
https://tourism.az.gov/responsible-recreation-across-arizona

Please do not observe indoor houseplants or pets.
For your own safety and the protection of plants and wildlife, do not trespass when making observations. Please follow all posted rules and guidelines in parks/preserves and do not enter private property.
Do not remove or move natural materials (plants, animals, rocks).
Respect wildlife (do not touch, feed, or disturb animals and keep a safe distance).

Anotado en diciembre 01, martes 19:31 por jenyonen jenyonen | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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NYBG EcoFlora December EcoQuest Challenge

FLAG PHRAG

Common Reed (Phragmites australis subsp. australis), also known simply as “Phrag” is very aggressive in disturbed sites and forms extensive monospecific stands (e.g. New Jersey Meadowlands). Estuaries and marshes are some of the most productive ecosystems on earth and their transformation to monocultural stands of one non-native species such as Phrag degrades their dynamic structure and diversity.

More Information

iNaturalist Project Page

Anotado en diciembre 01, martes 19:21 por danielatha danielatha | 3 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Computer Vision Nearby Injection, het toevoegen van bekende Top10 soorten uit de omgeving

By Kueda
Let op de Nearby Injection en recnete forum posts

Blijkbaar wordt de TOP100 gebruikt
https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/identification-quality-on-inaturalist/7507

I gave a talk on data quality on iNaturalist at the Southern California Botanists 2019 symposium recently, and I figured some of the slides and findings I summarized would be interesting to everyone, so here goes.

Accuracy of Identifications in Research Grade Observations

Some of you may recall we performed a relatively ad hoc experiment to determine how accurate identifications really are. Scott posted some of his findings from that experiment in blog posts (here and here), but I wanted to summarize them for myself, with a focus on how accurate “RG” observations are, which here I’m defining as obs that had a species-level Community Taxon when the expert encountered them. Here’s my slide summarizing the experiment:

And yes, https://github.com/kueda/inaturalist-identification-quality-experiment/blob/master/identification-quality-experiment.ipynb does contain my code and data in case anyone wants to check my work or ask more questions of this dataset.

So again, looking only at expert identifications where the observation already had a community opinion about a species-level taxon, here’s how accuracy breaks down for everything and by iconic taxon:



Some definitions
  • accurate: identifications where the taxon the expert suggested was the same as the existing observation taxon or a descendant of it
  • inaccurate: identifications where the taxon the expert suggested was not same as the existing observation taxon and was also not a descendant or ancestor of that taxon
  • too specific: identifications where the taxon the expert suggested was an ancestor of the observation taxon
  • imprecise: identifications where the taxon the expert suggested was a descendant of the observation taxon

Close readers may already notice a problem here: my filter for “RG” observation is based on whether or not we think the observation had a Community Taxon at species level at the time of the identifications, while my definitions of accuracy are based on the observation taxon. Unfortunately, while we do record what the observation taxon was at the time an identification gets added, we don’t record what the community taxon, so we can’t really differentiate between RG obs and obs that would be RG if the observer hadn’t opted out of the Community Taxon. I’m assuming those cases are relatively rare in this analysis.

Anyway, my main conclusions here are that

  • about 85% of Research Grade observations were accurately identified in this experiment
  • accuracy varies considerably by taxon, from 91% accurate in birds to 65% accurate in insects

In addition to the issues I already raised, there were some serious problems here:



Since I was presenting to a bunch of Southern California botanists, I figured I’d try repeating the analysis assuming some folks in the audience were infallible experts, so I exported identifications by jrebman, naomibot, and keirmorse (all SoCal botanists I trust) and made the same chart:



jrebman has WAY more IDs in this dataset than either of the other two botanists, and he’s added way more identifications than were present in the 2017 Identification Quality Experiment. I’m not sure if he’s infallible, but he’s a well-established systematic botanist at the San Diego Natural History Museum, so he’s probably as close to an infallible identifier as we can get.

Anyway, note that we’re a good 8-9 percentage points more accurate here. Maybe this is due to a bigger sample, maybe this is due to Jon’s relatively unbiased approach to identifying (he’s not looking for Needs ID records or incorrectly identified records, he just IDs all plants within his regions of interest, namely San Diego County and the Baja peninsula), maybe this pool of observations has more accurate identifiers than observations as a whole, maybe people are more interested in observing easy-to-identify plants in this set of parameters (doubtful). Anyway, I find it interesting.

That’s it for identification accuracy. If you know of papers on this or other analyses, please include links in the comments!

Accuracy of Automated Suggestions

I also wanted to address what we know about how accurate our automated suggestions are (aka vision results, aka “the AI”). First, it helps to know some basics about where these suggestions come from. Here’s a schematic:

The model is a statistical model that accepts a photo as input and outputs a ranked list of iNaturalist taxa. We train the model on photos and taxa from iNaturalist observations, so the way it ranks that list of output taxa is based on what it’s learned about what visual attributes are present in images labeled as different taxa. That’s a gross over-simplification, of course, but hopefully adequate for now.

The suggestions you see, however, are actually a combination of vision model results and nearby observation frequencies. To get those nearby observations, we try to find a common ancestor among the top N model results (N varies with each new model, but in this figure N = 3). Then we look up observations of that common ancestor within 100km of the photo being tested. If there are observations of taxa in those results that weren’t in the vision results, we inject them into the final results. We also re-order suggestions based on their taxon frequencies.

So with that summary in mind, here’s some data on how accurate we think different parts of this process are.

Model Accuracy (Vision only)



There are a lot of ways to test this, but here we’re using photos of taxa the model trained on exported at the time of training but not included in that training as inputs, and “accuracy” is how often the model recommends the right taxon for those photos as the top result. We’ve broken that down by iconic taxon and by number of training images. I believe the actual data points here are taxa and not photos, but Alex can correct me on that if I’m wrong.

So main conclusions here are

  1. Median accuracy is between 70 and 85% for taxa the model knows about
  2. Accuracy varies widely within iconic taxa, and somewhat between iconic taxa
  3. Number of training images makes a difference (generally more the better, with diminishing returns)

Overall Accuracy (Vision + Nearby Obs)



This chart takes some time to understand, but it’s the results of tests we perform on the whole system, varying by method of defining accuracy (top1, top10, etc) and common ancestor calculation parameters (what top YY results are we looking at for determining a common ancestor, what combined vision score threshold do we accept for a common ancestor).

My main conclusions here are

  1. The common ancestor, i.e. what you see as “We’re pretty sure it’s in this genus,” is very accurate, like in the 95% range
  2. Top1 accuracy is only about 64% when we include taxa the model doesn’t know about. That surprised me b/c anecdotally it seems higher, but keep in mind this test set includes photos of taxa the model doesn’t know about (i.e. it cannot recommend the right taxon for those photos), and I’m biased toward seeing common stuff the model knows about in California
  3. Nearby observation injection helps a lot, like 10 percentage points in general

Conclusions

  1. Accuracy is complicated and difficult to measure
  2. What little we know suggests iNat RG observations are correctly identified at least 85% of the time
  3. Vision suggestions are 60-80% accurate, depending on how you define “accurate,” but more like 95% if you only accept the “we’re pretty sure” suggestions

Hope that was interesting! Another conclusion was that I’m a crappy data scientist and I need to get more practice using iPython notebooks and the whole Python data science stack.

https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/identification-quality-on-inaturalist/7507

Anotado en diciembre 01, martes 18:19 por ahospers ahospers | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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the willow family in Manitoba - the state of play...

In many Manitoba locations, willow family members are the dominant plants present, shaping the environment for the other organisms located there. VASCAN provides checklists of the plant species occur in each Canadian province including the willow family. Here is an overview of the Manitoba iNat data as of the end of November 2020 for each willow family species on their Manitoba checklist...

Salicaceae, willow family 1,079 40% RG

Populus - poplars, cottonwoods, aspens 579 57% RG

Populus tremuloides - Trembling aspen tree, native 317 81% RG
Populus balsamifera - Balsam poplar tree, native 91 48% RG
Populus deltoides - Eastern cottonwood tree, native 83 25% RG
Populus alba - White poplar tree, introduced 24 29% RG
Populus grandidentata - Bigtooth Aspen tree, native 3 33% RG

Salix - willows 488 20% RG

Salix interior - Interior Sandbar Willow shrub, native 103 66% RG
Salix discolor - American Pussy Willow shrub, native 28 29% RG
Salix amygdaloides - Peachleaf Willow tree or shrub, native 16 6% RG
Salix reticulata - Net-leaved Willow shrub, native 13 69% RG
Salix petiolaris - Meadow Willow shrub, native 9 0% RG
Salix candida - Hoary Willow shrub, native 7 42% RG
Salix alba - White Willow tree, introduced 6 0% RG
Salix bebbiana - Bebb's Willow shrub, native 6 33% RG
Salix arctophila - Arctic Willow shrub, native 5 100% RG
Salix eriocephala - Heart-leaved Willow shrub, native 4 0% RG
Salix humilis - Prairie Willow shrub, native 3 0% RG
Salix lucida - Shining Willow shrub, native 3 0% RG
Salix scouleriana - Scouler's Willow tree or shrub, native 3 0% RG
Salix calcicola - Lanate Willow shrub, native 1 100% RG
Salix fuscescens - Alaska Bog Willow shrub, native 1 100% RG
Salix glauca - Grey Willow shrub, native 1 0% RG
Salix pedicellaris - Bog Willow shrub, native 1 0% RG
Salix planifolia - Tea-leafed Willow shrub, native 1 0% RG
Salix pyrifolia - Balsam Willow shrub, native 1 0% RG
Salix serissima - Autumn Willow shrub, native 1 0% RG
Salix × fragilis - Hybrid Crack Willow tree, introduced 1 0% RG
Salix alaxensis - Alaska Willow tree or shrub, native 0 -
Salix arbusculoides - Little-tree Willow shrub, native 0 -
Salix athabascensis - Athabasca Willow shrub, native 0 -
Salix brachycarpa - Short-fruit Willow shrub, native 0 -
Salix famelica - (starved willow) shrub, native 0 -
Salix herbacea - Least Willow shrub, native 0 -
Salix lasiandra - Pacific Willow tree or shrub, native 0 -
Salix maccalliana - McCalla's Willow shrub, native 0 -
Salix myrtillifolia - Myrtle-leaf Willow shrub, native 0 -
Salix pellita - Satiny Willow shrub, native 0 -
Salix pentandra - Laurel Willow shrub, introduced 0 -
Salix pseudomonticola - False Mountain Willow shrub, native 0 -
Salix pseudomyrsinites (tall blueberry willow) shrub, native 0 -
Salix richardsonii - Lanate Willow shrub, native 0 -
Salix vestita - Rock willow shrub, native 0 -

Anotado en diciembre 01, martes 17:35 por marykrieger marykrieger | 1 observación | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Naturalist club zoom mtg tonight, Dec. 1, 7pm

Hi all,

We have started a small naturalist club. It's like a book club, but instead of books we talk about our nature observations, like we did in our Mass Audubon class.

We are meeting tonight, Dec. 1, at 7pm on zoom.

Send me an email or a direct message in iNat to get a link to the zoom - zupan.jane@gmail.com.

Happy observing!
– Jane

Anotado en diciembre 01, martes 17:12 por janezupan janezupan | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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inventario de arboles via san lorenzo 27 de noviembre 2020

Recently our dear friend Nico helped our crew identify 31 species of tree over the course of a few hours in the morning at a critically important birding spot near the town of Mindo. Six of the tree species are of conservation priority according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Toucans, hummingbirds, tanagers and many more of the birds in Mindo depend on these trees. The area inventoried, a simple country road accessing several popular eco-tourism attractions (canopy ziplines, waterfalls, hiking trails) is threatened by over-use and plans to open the area up for further exploitation, by doubling the size of the access road, has us mortified.

Conservacionistas en acción: Nacho, David, Rudy, Dalia, Julia, Nico, Vivi. Recientemente, nuestro querido amigo Nico ayudó a nuestro equipo a identificar 31 especies de árboles en el transcurso de unas pocas horas por la mañana en un lugar de observación de aves de importancia crítica cerca del pueblo de Mindo. Seis de las especies de árboles son prioritarias para la conservación según la Unión Internacional para la Conservación de la Naturaleza. De estos árboles dependen tucanes, colibríes, tangaras y muchas más aves en Mindo. El área inventariada, una simple carretera rural que accede a varias atracciones populares de ecoturismo (canopy zipline, cascadas, senderos para caminatas) está amenazada por el uso excesivo y los planes para abrir el área para una mayor explotación, duplicando el tamaño de la carretera de acceso, nos preocupa.

Anotado en diciembre 01, martes 16:05 por rudygelis rudygelis | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Hybrids to be added

Please let me know of other hybrids so I can add them to the list. Thank you

Anotado en diciembre 01, martes 15:54 por shauns shauns | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Variation of the Main Alkaloid Content in Equisetum palustre L. in the Light of Its Ontogeny

Variation of the Main Alkaloid Content in Equisetum palustre L. in the Light of Its Ontogeny
https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6651/12/11/710/htm#

Anotado en diciembre 01, martes 13:26 por radekwalkowiak radekwalkowiak | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Using iNaturalist data for research

Things to be aware of

Identifications

Certainty of ID.
iNat does not have a reputation system. So it is impossible to know what "research grade" means. Basically if someone proposes an ID, and someone agrees, then it is research grade. But double IDs can come about for many reasons, despite the guidelines (https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/help#identification). for instance:

  • people may agree with someone they know (or trust), often just supporting a friend;
  • to get their own (or a friends, associates) observation to research grade;
  • to stop getting messages about identifications on observations they have contributed to.
  • to up their profile in identifications posted.

If you are interested in quality of observations here are some fields that you can use:
(in downloads)

  • num_identification_agreements
  • num_identification_disagreements

Another option is to see if any experts or acclaimed enthusiasts have contributed to the ID, if you know of any. You can do this by adding the &ident_user_id= phrase to your filter.
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=113055&subview=grid&taxon_id=563588&ident_user_id=383144
By similar token, you may want to use observations that are not research grade, but that have been identified by certain users (experts, enthusiasts). [Although why not just agree to these observations and make them research grade, if they are not too many?].
If you dont know who experts are, look at the identifications tab on a filter for the group. But beware that regular observers may be high up the list, even if they dont know the group, and that some identifiers may be interested in a group, but not particularly competent.

Alternatively, if you are knowledgeable in a group, and there are not too many observations, it is worthwhile using the curation tool to check any identifications before using the data (e.g. https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/identify?quality_grade=needs_id%2Cresearch%2Ccasual&verifiable=true&taxon_id=563588&place_id=any)
If you intend using data regularly, then it is worthwhile also adding to the DQA at the end of each observation (or the last tab on the curation tool).
If you have special data needs, you can always add an Observation Field and annotate the observations, and then include these fields with any downloads you make.

Location

Obscuration
Obscuration on iNaturalist is necessary, but the bane of research. Obtaining obscured data is virtually impossible. (note that private data is useless for most research as even the country is not accessible.) You can see obscured data with the following phrase

Note that the coordinates provided in any download are meaningless if the field coordinates_obscured=True if you require a locality resolution less than 30km radius. Make sure that you download the field " coordinates_obscured" and exclude any such data if you need to have accurate localities.
The best way to obtain taxon-obscured data (and all IUCN Red List species are obscured by default) is to requrest data from your community administrator (or California if you are not part of an iNaturalist Community). Note that this will not include any observations additionally obscured by users.
Obtaining user obscured data is nigh impossible. The problem is simply the volume of users that need to be contacted, and the number of dead, inactive or unresponsive users. These data are effectively forever lost. (users can manage their obscuration rights at https://www.inaturalist.org/relationships - but they cannot add new people there.
There are several ways to access user obscured data:

  • request the user to trust you. There are many ways of doing this, but the best is via a message to the user, explaining why you need access to their obscured localities.
  • create a traditional project and ask users to join the project and to trust you (and to allow you do add your project to their observations and see the coordinates: it is useless if users only trust you if they add the observation to the project themselves, because the amount of chasing up required is impossible - they need to allow anyone to add the project to the observation). This is the most efficient, and the only option if you want the data to be useful in the long term (just make sure that curation of project is passed on the next generation of researchers).

Location Accuracy
(An unfortunate term, as higher values are more inaccurate; think of it as Location Error or Location Uncertainty. On iNaturalist it is measured as the radius (in m) in which the given location point is likely to occur).
Some useful filters:

There are two issues here:

  1. What resolution of location do your require?
    If your work requires resolution to m or km accuracy, then add in a filter to exclude values of less certainty. For instance, modelling distributions using a climate model at minute scale is about 2000m in South Africa. Discard courser data.

  2. Are you working with smaller nature reserves?
    The place filters exclude data that are too course. Conceptually, one does not want a locality to be considered inside a reserve if the possibility that it is outside the reserve exceeds 50%. So iNaturalist excludes observations were the uncertainty is too large (details here: ).

    This means that for very small reserves, lots of good data can be discarded where users are not aware of the implications. Many naive observers assume that making the circle of uncertainty just larger than the reserve will indicate that the data are from (somewhere in) the reserve. In reality, if the area outside of the actual reserve is too large while doing this, then the point will be considered probably outside.
    This requires educating users, and especially educating users as to the significance and importance of Locality Accuracy. For app users, it is merely an awareness that they need to let the app find their locality to a reasonable accuracy, as the app is quite precise thereafter. But for users adding in data and doing their own mapwork, need to be aware of the significance of not recording the Location Accuracy, or making it too precise or too imprecise.

Dont forget the DQA: mark up any localities that have dubious localities, especially if you plan to download the data in the future for further research

Anotado en diciembre 01, martes 11:35 por tonyrebelo tonyrebelo | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Rena Ann Peck: Save the Okefenokee Swamp

CALHOUN TIMES, NOVEMBER 26, 2020
GUEST COLUMNIST | RENA PECK
https://www.northwestgeorgianews.com/calhoun_times/rena-ann-peck-save-the-okefenokee-swamp/article_8fa68e0c-3003-11eb-adcc-539a44229d02.html

Okefenokee Hooded Pitcher Plant and Bidens gold wildflowers on peat hammock
Okefenokee's Hooded Pitcher Plant, Sarracenia minor var. okefenokeensis © Photographer: William Wise | iNat Observation: 65080214

Since 2018 when Twin Pines Minerals, LLC, first proposed mining for titanium along Trail Ridge adjacent to the Okefenokee Swamp, advocates from across the nation called on science to inform federal and state decisions about the proposal.

Of course, mining next to one of Georgia’s seven natural wonders, a 438,000-acre expanse of wilderness, is inherently a bad idea, especially when the sought after mineral is neither rare nor hard to obtain. It is a common mineral that is readily available elsewhere, but the Okefenokee Swamp is uncommon — the largest blackwater wetland in North America and one that has been named a Wetland of International Importance.

If you are going to dig 50-foot pits in the ridge next to the swamp that regulates water levels in this natural treasure, you should understand how that activity might impact it. You gain that understanding through scientific study and inquiry.

Since 1972, the federal Clean Water Act has allowed us to use science to guide such decisions, but earlier this year, the Trump Administration knee-capped that federal law. It implemented a new rule that greatly reduced the kinds of streams and wetlands that are protected. The rule changed tossed science to the dumpster.

And at the proposed Twin Pines mining site, it did so with potentially devastating effects.

Roughly 400 acres that were previously protected under the Clean Water Act were suddenly removed from protection.

When Twin Pines discovered this, the company that for the past two years has continuously attempted to dodge any serious scientific studies of the mine’s impacts they were, no doubt, ecstatic. The feds granted a pass; no federal oversight would be required, nor would any scientific studies to inform decisions. The company has gone straight to acquiring the final necessary state permits.

Rightfully, the citizens responsible for sending some 60,000 letters and emails to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in opposition to this mine are indignant. So too are the scientists at federal agencies like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that expressed concerns about the mine’s impact on the swamp.

The rule change effectively silenced science and these thousands of voices. Now Georgia’s leaders are all that stand in the way of potentially devastating and irreversible impacts to the swamp.

Gov. Brian Kemp, state leaders, and the state’s Environmental Protection Division must demand the science that the federal government has abandoned. While the feds might treat one of our seven natural wonders cavalierly, the state shouldn’t.

Georgians can let the governor know they want him to save the swamp by sending him a message through Georgia River Network’s online action alert at www.protectgeorgia.org/#/244.

Rena Ann Peck is the executive director of Georgia River Network and founder of Watershed Sustainability LLC.

Anotado en diciembre 01, martes 10:49 por williamwisephoto williamwisephoto | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Зима: новая фотография обложки

Обновлена фотография обложки во всех проектах сообщества "Флора России", которое включает:

  1. Собственно проект "Флора России" (состоит из 85 региональных порталов и потеряшек).
  2. Антипроект (бэклог), который включает неопределённые и неразобранные наблюдения.
  3. "Серая зона", благодаря которой формируются две базы: культурных растений и неточных данных.

Автор Георгий Виноградов (@prokhozhyj ). В коллаже использован оригинальный рисунок авторства Roman Poulvas (лицензия CC BY-SA 4.0). Источник: https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50991207

Anotado en diciembre 01, martes 07:51 por apseregin apseregin | 2 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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13.2 points to Ryan

for Joshua Tree (best U2 album, btw)

Anotado en diciembre 01, martes 05:32 por crothfels crothfels | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario
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11.11 points to isabellaruiz

for best salad (bittercress AND carrots!)

Anotado en diciembre 01, martes 05:31 por crothfels crothfels | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Budawang Coast iNat Transition workshop

Your Budawang Coast committee hosted a meeting of members on 17 Nov. to discuss transition from Naturemapr to iNat. Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness (the sister project to our south) also shared their experiences with the transition.

Basically, the comments from those who are using iNat were overwhelmingly positive. To summarise some of the main comments: our moderators are enjoying being part of a global community and exchanging identification of various taxa; the App is reliable and website is easy to use; some of the features in iNat are really clever, such as the identification suggestions; the copying of data from Naturemapr is fast, and the response from iNat team to queries is rapid and supportive.

So dear members, please encourage your Budawang Coast NatureMapr colleagues to make the move to iNat and join the Budawang Coast Atlas of Life project to keep up with news and events.

Anotado en diciembre 01, martes 05:09 por annielane annielane | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario
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Local Tide Resource

For the best Tide Pooling check when the low tides are in your area:

California Coast Low tides: Fall/Winter 2020
Check your local tides at https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/tide_predictions.html?gid=1393

Anotado en diciembre 01, martes 05:00 por oceansanctuaries oceansanctuaries | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Journal 4: Final Journal

Over the last two months, I participated in the Citizen Science Program. This involved me taking photos of plants and trying to complete a couple of Ecoquest challenges. The Ecoquest challenges were posted by New York Botanical Garden and had a species of plant we were supposed to find. On the iNaturalist app I was able to see different plants that people posted about in my neighborhood.

This was a very enjoyable experience. I have lived in Manhattan for a majority of my life, and never really paid attention to all of the beautiful greenery and animals that exist in Manhattan. I also really enjoyed the scavenger hunt aspect because it made it very exciting. Instead of just taking pictures of different trees, flowers, and animals near my house I ventured to different parks, and green spaces. I allowed myself to wander to new areas of Central Park and Riverside Park, and I also visited a new park right off of York Avenue! Even though I have walked through Riverside and Central Park countless times, I was shocked to see how many different species existed within a small radius of my house.

One thing I would have changed about the Ecoquest, is for it to give a description of places they can normally be found. While it was fun to explore, it was a little overwhelming to not have any guidance as to where the plant could be found. I also think it could have been really fun if the app was more like a social media app, and had a main feed so we could browse through people’s observations.

I think that the Ecoquest challenges taught me how to pay attention to detail. Specifically, when I was searching for the Common Mugwort, I stumbled upon many plants that looked like it, but I was able to identify it by the shape of the leaves. Additionally, I photographed a plant in the middle of October and then again in November thinking they were different plants, however they were the same. I would have known if I looked at the actual plant and leaf structure.

An interesting anecdote from my experience, is that I misidentified one of the plants I found, the begonias as Busy Lizzy, and someone from the iNaturalist community was able to correctly identify the plant. This encouraged me to, again, pay close attention to characteristics of the plant.

Overall, I think that the Ecoquest challenges were very rewarding, and also the ability to have access to various different types of wildlife around me in the iNaturalist app is amazing. I would definitely participate in the challenge again. I loved exploring Manhattan and gained a true appreciation for all of the nature around me. I also think that this app made me more curious about other living things in my area. For example, I saw an owl in Riverside park!! This was a very cool experience and there were many people standing around with binoculars and taking photos. I have realized since downloading the app that many people, myself included, do not acknowledge all of the natural beauty that a large city can have, and this app can help change that.

Anotado en diciembre 01, martes 04:01 por mt3263 mt3263 | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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