Steve Waller

Unido: 18.sep.2017 Última actividad: 29.feb.2024 iNaturalist

I’m a natural history and science geek, formerly a naturalist and wilderness guide (1980s) in the Quetico Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, eventually moving to a technology doing/teaching career. Being a Naturalist became a side job. I retired from tech in 2016. My wife and I live four miles off the blacktop in a solar powered home on 80 wooded acres in the foothills of the Huron Mountains north of Marquette, MI. It's a mixed Oak, Maple, Pine jumble of rugged igneous rock outcropping split by a clear trout stream in a 5 acre meadow being overtaken by Alders. We are as far into the woods as we can get without getting closer to the opposite side.

We are creating a personal biological field guide by photographically documenting as many species as possible within our 80 acre property lines. We've named our acreage the Waller Research Area (

I started in April, 2017 with species easy to photograph and identify. I surprised myself, developed special photography skills and learned a lot. I photographed over 250 species, mostly flowering plants with a few fungi and some larger showy insects. My wife tracks birds. I finally got a super-duper camera lens to photograph birds in 2018.

Creating a field guide for a specific tract is an amazing way to learn. Instead of merely noticing interesting things to photograph, I deliberately seek out new species, finding what I otherwise would have overlooked. I am more in tune with our acreage’s species and phenological calendar than ever.

I bumped into by accident while trying to identify a mushroom. iNaturalist is a perfect forum to make good use of my observations and images by contributing to science, to other naturalists and is a great way to organize, display and access my field guide. The phone app is like having a personal field guide app already developed because all my images are organized at my fingertips.

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