11 de marzo de 2021

Cryptomarasmius corbariensis hunt 2021 aka #CryptoHunt2021

We need your help documenting this rarely observed mushroom that you've already documented the host tree in iNaturalist (Olive trees)

Cryptomarasmius corbariensis (the Olive Leaf Crypto) is rarely documented likely because its small and ephemeral, but it is suspected to be in every county in California and as of now has only been documented from a handful. Right now is the time to look for them. They are popping this week and will likely start to fade as the temperatures warm and moisture goes away.

How to help:
Find your local olive tree, dig in the leaves until you either hit moisture or dirt, sort the leaves for black filaments (rhizomorphs), then look for tiny mushrooms, photograph and upload to iNaturalist. A lot of counties to cover to get an observation in all 58 of CA's counties, but it’s easy since olive trees tend to be where people live.

Video of finding them. You an also find them under Olive trees with much dries surroundings as long as their is a place for leaves to pile up.

What they look like up close:

What they look like up close:

A little expectation setting for how small they are:

Example of the rhizomorphs (black threads):


Observers of Olive Trees in Counties with no observations of Crytpomarasmius:

Ingresado el 11 de marzo de 2021 por damontighe damontighe | 11 comentarios | Deja un comentario

29 de diciembre de 2019

Voucher Label making from Observation data


I've been handwriting voucher labels for a while now and realized that if I ever want to do any collecting in volumes that this has to stop because 1) it takes a lot of time since I like to have a fair amount of info on my voucher labels 2) My penmanship is poor so cursed is the person that inherits my vouchers.

Below are two approaches for making labels. Both start with making a download of data from your observations.


I usually select






1) Microsoft Office Approach

Open up Microsoft word and select "Mailings" from the option bar. Select "Step by step Mail Merge Wizard."
Step 1 - Select labels as you document type.
Step 2 - Select label options and click "New Label" my labels are the following dimensions:
Top margin 0.1"
Label Height 2"
Side margin 0.1"
label width 2.8"
vertical pitch 2.1"
Number across 3
Horizontal pitch 2.8"
Number down 5
paper size Letter (8 1/2 x 11 in)
Step 3 - Click "Browse" and select your CSV file or Excel workbook.
Step 4 - Click "More Items" and arrange your labels how you desire by selecting on the fields you want in the label. You can type in front of the data to be merged. Then click "Update all Labels" Mine look like
iNat# «id»
Date «observed_on»
Colletor «user_login»
Place «place_guess»
«latitude», «longitude»
Species «scientific_name»
Notes «description»
Step 5 - Click "Preview Your Labels"
Step 6 - Click "Print"

Labels look like this:


1) 2) Avery Design and Print Online Approach

I really wanted to do this in google sheets but the only label / mail merge apps want access to my gmail etc., which I'm not comfortable with, so the Avery Label platform feels less intrusive. You can upload a CSV tell it the label you want to use and then modify how they look and easily print to pdf or to your printer
a) Go to https://www.avery.com/software/design-and-print/
b) make an account
c) Select Label Template 5871 - its not perfect, but its the best fit for the size of voucher labels I want
d) Click "customize" at the next screen
d) From Left side bar click " Import Data Mail Merge" and select your exported CSV from iNat
e) Use the prompts to layout your label. When moving fields in I type the following in front of the fields
iNat# «id»
Date «observed_on»
Colletor «user_login»
Place «place_guess»
«latitude», «longitude»
Species «scientific_name»
Notes «description»


f) Avery will display a single label and if you click on it you can make adjustmetns. I like to center and left justify my labels, so I do so there. I also change the font to 7. Since the iNaturalist Place guess can sometimes be long I will also take the text box and slide it so that the text is only filling 2/3 of the space.
d) Click Preview and Print


Ingresado el 29 de diciembre de 2019 por damontighe damontighe | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

25 de mayo de 2018

Acer macrophyllum Citizen Science Project needs help!

Hi, you observe a lot of Acer macrophyllum and this project could potentially benefit from your help

A friend of mine works for a group that is collecting Acer macrophyllum material to make a DNA database so that illegal logging of A. macrophyllum can be traced. They are hoping to complete sample collection this summer from diverse locations across the western US.

All it takes to be involved is signing up here:

An hour or so online training and then the team can get you collection packages. They are looking to collect samples as widely dispersed across each zone as possible to make their library as diverse as possible, since this should make tracing back illegal harvested material to the harvest site easier.

in the comments I'm going to @ the top 100 Acer macrophyllum observers in hopes that you might participate or can get the word out. Thanks!

Ingresado el 25 de mayo de 2018 por damontighe damontighe | 14 comentarios | Deja un comentario

28 de septiembre de 2017

DIY Moth Light

Due to the slippery slope of curiosity that iNaturalist has made for me around organisms I never even knew I could care about I've put a fair amount of time this summer into trying to build a cheap and effective moth light that could easily fit into a backpack and weigh a pound or less. The below link gets you to the blog of what I've learned and how to make your own for about $50 that you can also use to charge your cell phone with in the backcountry.


Thanks to @catchang for all of your encouragement and testing of demo units, including those that just melted and fell apart. Electronics is just as new to me as moths. Also thanks to @robberfly for all the lepidopterist stories and general enthusiasm around beautiful winged creatures. Thanks to @kueda @finatic @leftcoastnaturalist @leptonia @tiwane @seakangaroo for letting me hang around moth lights with you. Big thanks to all of the identifiers that have been brave enough to take those moth pictures closer to species level calls: @jimjohnson @k8thegr8 @hkmoths @gwark @cedarleaf @cedarleaf @ericwilliams @treegrow @loarie @leannewallisbiologist @sambiology

Ingresado el 28 de septiembre de 2017 por damontighe damontighe | 54 comentarios | Deja un comentario

31 de diciembre de 2016

Pushing Performance - a reflection on 2016

I started the year with a little challenge to myself based upon looking at a number of other iNaturalist users; make one observation for everyday of January. It wasn't easy, but it was rewarding as it caused me to see things I don't usually look for since in an average workday the "natural" space I may have a chance to interact with is very low.
I wasn't able to keep the pace for the entire year, but as the year finishes out, I've some how compiled 7,000+ observations!

The challenge pushed me to be more curious about what was right around me, so I started a project on just the apartment complex I manage to see how many organisms I and maybe some of my tenants could document on this little slice of urbania.
This project got me at some level to recognize the potential humans have to transform their own living areas/ecosystems as through this project I documented a fungal parasite (Entomophthora muscae) that I intentionally brought home a year previously and saw it emerge time and time again.


I also sped down the slippery slope of aided observations using clip on macro lenses for my cell phone, Foldscopes, and all sorts of other microscopes, which did nothing but get me excited to no ends about all that can be found even in an urban landscape. I attempted to share that fascination with others by hosting workshops and Bioblitzs focused on the use of these tools
Here are the tools for learning to use a cell phone macro lens:
and here are some notes from one our our Bioblitzes using Foldscopes:

The scientific value of iNaturalist became more and more apparent to me as the platform became not only a place for me to learn by documenting, but also a place researchers could find things I had seen and ask for them. One of my favorite interactions in this realm for the year was hunting down various forms of Laboulbeniaceae and sending them off to Harvard for @dhaelewa. An entire class of fungi I hadn't even been aware of!
I started using a tag "collaborationDT" so I could easily find these instances of observations that became useful for someones research.

The social value of iNaturalist also became more apparent to me as I found myself on trips with people I met through iNaturalist and even one fateful afternoon I was identifying mushrooms on iNaturalist and realized @catchang and @robberfly were out exploring nearby in the East Bay Hills in real time and was able to message them and go join in the adventure. http://www.inaturalist.org/calendar/damontighe/2016/11/23
and on another occasion I was invited out to Mineral King to help researcher with a survey for mycoviruses which ended up being an epic backpacking trip

The educational potential of iNaturalist also became more apparent as @leptonia and I used it as part of a 1 week high school course in fungi with @lgottlieb where students surveyed a local watershed and did sequencing of fungi they found.
I'm looking forward to seeing the next version of this in 2017 building upon the last years lessons learned.

Partly inspired from the Marin Academy course as it gets me thinking what makes a good fungal observation I've started in the background to gear up for what I hope to launch in 2017 and call "Barcoding the Lake" which will be an attempt to make observations, collections of, and DNA Barcode organisms from Lake Merritt in Oakland, California. I've started a collection of all of the fungi that have come up this year, with relatively good images for the observations, spore prints and when time permits I'll get to imaging the microscopic features and ultimately DNA sequencing ITS for all of them.
After fungi I hope to move into the water and start with the mollusks, pollychaetes and eventually all of the other wonderful organisms I've been photographing there: https://flic.kr/s/aHskeL4LFD. I find the prospect of sequencing a bunch of organisms that have already been sequenced really exciting, because science is a process of repetition and for a lot of these organisms these conserved regions have only been sequenced a handful of times at best, so to get more looks at all of them on this level will hopefully be useful. Repetition is the "boring" part of science, but its what really makes it solid. Its the confirming that past experiments or observations holds true that tethers knowledge to something enduring.

I'm looking forward to all that 2017 has in store!

Ingresado el 31 de diciembre de 2016 por damontighe damontighe | 8 comentarios | Deja un comentario

05 de septiembre de 2016

Amador Canal Bioblitz - Thank you!

Thank you for participating in the Amador Canal Bioblitz on Paloma Pollinator's Manzanita Ridge Farm.

Through your efforts in observing and identifying we now have 900+ observations of organisms in the Amador Canal Direct Impact Zone:

With over 100+ confirmed species:

If you'd like to flip through all of the observations you can do so with the following link. Anything without a green banner beneath the image that says "Research Grade" still needs help being identified/confirmed. I think with some more effort we could get our confirmed species list above 200.

If you still have observations to upload and need help, please feel free to reach out to me and I can assist. If you used a camera and are trying to navigate how to upload them to iNaturalist.org use the Add Observations button in your dashboard screen when you log in.

Thank you for all of your time, expertise, and curiosity. It is amazing what a community of interested and motivated people can do!

We will work towards having another Bioblitz along the Amador Canal Direct Impact zone in another season and will share dates with you as soon as we have them.

Damon Tighe
California Center for Natural History
@damontighe on iNaturalist

p.s. - if you have any photographs of the Bioblitz in action; people taking pictures of organisms or other parts of the day you would be willing to share, I'd love to have them to write a blog with, please add them to this folder: https://www.dropbox.com/request/dIQerBNGb3NhC1ksGXEr
You don't need Dropbox to add photos to the folder.

@damontighe @kueda @catchang @robberfly @tomv @bettyblue @constance @sea-kangaroo @palomapollinators @ang @suzannecarter180 @metsa @jowilliams @loloscheiner @benitaasher @christinawilliams @miles @lawman @midcau @julie94601 @michelle127 @pleewest @crystalwest @heathersullivan @sunearthenergy @dianek @mangle @rkmines

Ingresado el 05 de septiembre de 2016 por damontighe damontighe | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

19 de agosto de 2016

September 3rd Bioblitz of EBMUD watershed and endangered canal ecosystem

@leptonia @robberfly @sea-kangaroo @hfabian @kevinhintsa @kueda

Come Bioblitz the historical and threatened Amador Canal just a few miles outside of Jackson, California. This 130+ year old unlined canal runs 8 miles from Lake Tabeaud to Tanner Reservoir and an entire diverse middle Sierra Foothills ecosystem has developed around it which is in jeopardy as water authorities look to close the canal. This is also the watershed that feeds into EBMUD, so if you're from the East Bay and always wondered where your water comes from, this is your chance!

I was approached by Sean Kriletich, a high school friend (I grew up in the foothills) that runs a farm next to the canal and he is worried about how the closing the canal will effect the local ecosystem and wants to get a document of what is there now, before it changes. I was up there a few weeks ago and the water board is holding off on a decision for a year, which at least gives a good amount of time to document the different organisms over the year. Sean is by training is a geologist and also thinks AWA and EBMUD making big mistakes by not sinking some of the water into the geology and ecology as it feeds springs that ultimately feed into the EBMUD reservoirs, which provide extra long drip storage. So that you have an idea of what might be up there, here are observations around the canal:

It is bound to be a good time! Camping is available and a few beds are also possible, if you don't want to camp out. We'll run some moth lights Friday night as well. Stone fruit and figs are falling off the trees on the farm and Sean is quite a character/big player in the local community so anything you want to know about this section of the foothills you could get form him.

Sign up here if you are interested:

I'll facilitate car pooling from the bay area for anyone that wants it off the sign up list.

Ingresado el 19 de agosto de 2016 por damontighe damontighe | 13 comentarios | Deja un comentario

03 de febrero de 2016

1 Observation a day for 1 month. My January 2016 challenge

After following @sambiology and @jmaughn and seeing the amazing variety of life they recorded in 2015 I felt that I had learned something very important in using iNaturalist as a tool to be more conscious about exploring the living world around me. For January 2016 I gave myself the goal of making at least one observation a day to focus the conscious effort of looking for life. It was a great experience, especially on the days that I was only able to make one or two observations. It is easy to be delighted by the wonders of the natural world when you go for a hike outside or explore a new area, but those days where I barely escaped airports, conference rooms or office spaces I found it amazing that with a little more conscious effort the number of really amazing organisms that live everywhere, even in "un-exciting" spaces.

I ended up with 771 observations for the month, a little over 200 species, 117 new life list additions and 1 big appreciation for iNaturalist community and platform.

I urge everyone to try the 1 observation a day for 1 month challenge. You'll be surprised at what it helps you see in the world around you.

Ingresado el 03 de febrero de 2016 por damontighe damontighe | 6 comentarios | Deja un comentario