Monday, May 13, 2019
I’m a nearly lifelong city gal who never went camping, rarely hiked, didn’t much get into sports, and slightly feared the wild outdoors. This began to change after I retired to Central Oregon, and especially after acquiring a couple of horses. Horseback riding in the mountains offers great opportunities to see and focus on learning, real-time, about wild nature. Only recently though, have I begun pausing to look around even more closely at nearly invisible natural elements, and there’s quick and easy help to learn and in as much detail as desired.
Egged on by a plant identification app that I recently downloaded, I’ve obsessively been photographing little greens in my pathways, wanting to learn if they have true names and somehow are worthwhile. To my great surprise, my small acreage is host to many interesting sprouts, among which are Horseweed, Field marigold, Common sunflower, Burrobrushes, and Wild Spinach. Some of these are useful as animal fodder, some are medicinal. Who knew!
That began my growing involvement with available apps designed to identify and explain. I’m discovering myself more curious than I realized about elements of nature that I previously ignored. The other day, upon spotting an unusual critter solidly perched on the door screen, I searched for and found an app for identifying insects.
These identifier apps include photos of possible variations of whatever one sees and show geographically where species commonly abound. My app illustrated many variations of subfamily Plume Moths. A search of the internet revealed more variations, and related moths among the species much fancier than the one on my screen door.
Just so you’ll know, the Plume Moth has 162 known and described species in North America, north of the Mexican Border. From now on, upon spotting a little T-shaped resting insect with lobbed or divided wings, you might recognize the Plume Moth.
Another chapter is ahead on this journey taking me into a larger world. I’ve downloaded another app, designed to help explore the universe and capable of identifying stars and constellations. I’m eager to journey into the sky and play, but interacting with what’s overhead means being awake nights. I’ll have to await a restless night, which shouldn’t take long. Meanwhile, I have the option of listening to soft music and gazing at this app’s screen, and letting the Hubble Telescope transport me into a star-studded sky.
Dear Friends, the enormous universe offers much, beyond wildest imagination. Diana