Category: nanonaturalist meta

Regular

Dressing Appropriately for Networking Events

Or

My Time Has Come

Uh oh. Is this a costume contest? Is there… prize??? I must have… all the prize.

I have alerted them. They know to prepare themselves. But for what, they have no idea.

Behold, my wardrobe for a networking event next week. Taking inspiration from one of nature’s most elegant *cough* creatures

Photo credit: Melvin Jaison on ebird [link]

I bring to you:

The flamingo: is a hat. The body sits atop my head. It was a clearance Halloween item I purchased for $2 because… I mean, $2!

Anyways. Hopefully the flamingo hat will work magic because… uh yeah my unemployment benefits run out in a couple weeks, things are looking scary my friends 😞

August 22, 2019

Regular

finishing up edits to Audubon Article #2, this time about my yard (and also bugs + birbs) and want to actually come up with a headline for it myself this time and 

sigh

I’m trying to get intrusive thoughts of “my weeds bring all the birds to the yard” out of my head so I can actually think of a headline they might actually put on their website [link] and it’s not happening.

August 19, 2019, 12:45 am because of course my deadline was August 18

I’m a finalist in a photography contest (???) …

I’m a finalist in a photography contest (???) with these two babes, winners will be in a calendar, and it’s making me think maybe I should make a caterpillar calendar of my own anyway.

Top: Vine Sphinx
Bottom: Tiger moth (unknown species)

August 15, 2019

Regular

Book Plans (?!) and a Networking Pep Talk

I have been brainstorming and keeping notes for a book/book series idea I have had for a few years now. Other things have taken priority so I haven’t focused on it too much, plus there’s also the logistics of how do I actually get this thing I wrote to become an actual book?

That’s where the power of networking comes in.

I think it’s a huge misservice to people that nobody is taught what networking is or how to do it, especially now that social media and social NETWORKS are a thing that make us ALL CONNECTED to people that could essentially help us attain our goals.

Case in point: I know people who are published authors. And in fact… uh… over on facebook today, this happened:

(Alan is an artist friend of mine, super talented, check out his stuff!)

Anyways, I met Eric Eaton when he gave a talk at the Austin Butterfly Forum and his approach to outreach is 100% in line with mine, and I gave him my business card. So we follow each other on fb to keep in touch.

If you don’t recognize his name, he wrote this:

I told him I would love to collaborate with him! I was planning to get around to this eventually, but knowing that a connection is actively willing to help me now is a huge motivator!

Anyways, I know some of you younger folks may be lamenting your lack of connections or geographic isolation. This kind of thing could never work for you, right? “But I don’t attend club meetings! I don’t have the confidence to introduce myself! I don’t know anybody like you do!”

YES YOU DO! You know ME! That’s why it’s called a network! So you’re a lurker? Then introduce yourself and ask your question! I respond to DMs. Maybe I can’t help with everything, but I try! And I know lots of stuff, have worked lots of places, with lots of people, doing lots of things. I have some strange, random niche knowledge and contacts all over the place.

I know it sounds scary and hard, but trust me, a few years ago I never imagined more than ten people would ever read my posts about bugs, and I am still confused about where all you came from and why y’all think I’m any different than any of you. I’m just a little older, maybe a little crazier, and definitely have more moth pee on me.

July 13, 2019

Regular

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

My Sanctuary

Before:

This was the photo I took of my house from the backyard when I decided to buy it. Those windows downstairs? That’s the livingroom/kitchen. My house is a bird blind. I love it. Anyways. I just now attempted to retake this photo, which was impossible because (1) physically getting to the location where I had taken this photo would be an adventure in getting personal with some trees and maybe poison ivy (2) you cannot actually see the house… at all… from that spot. But anyways.

After 3 years:

Feels good to have a yard after 14 years in apartments!

Also! Me with my elderberry bush last June (2018):

Me with my elderberry bush now (July 2019):

My baby is SO TALL!!! 😀 You can see her in the left side of the photo of my jungle. I love her. She was a gift for giving an insect talk at a garden club. They gave me some other great plants, mostly groundcover. I didn’t expect the elderberry would grow so tall, so fast! And the groundcover plants are now deciding they want to teleport their decendants to other, random areas of the garden. Yes, please! Ruellia everywhere!

This is why I’m so stressed out about not being able to find a job in Austin. I can’t move. This yard is my connection to nature. I discovered insects here. I have entomologists commenting on things I find in my yard, saying they are rare or out of range. The trees I have nurtured are my children! If I move, how can I trust they won’t be neglected, or worse, cut down?

Who would want a lawn when they could have paradise?

July 8, 2019

@magnulia lol they sure do!! I keep track on iNaturalist with a project for my yard. So far, 860 different species of bugs!

There are more, I’m a year behind uploading photos because… life happens!

July 8, 2019

Also! Those sad little dinky bushes? They’re crape myrtles. Here they are now:

Hard to see, but a 4th one (purple!) popped up to make the arrangement symmetrical. Perfect. I was told you’re “supposed” to prune them down every winter (essentially back down to nothing), but every winter, I see birds go nuts eating the seeds off of them! Why would I prune them and remove all that bird food?!

They are non-native, but they are big and bushy, and provide great shelter for the birds in my yard. A lady cardinal had beed injured by a hawk, but was able to get away from him in the white one, and the hawk was unable to get her. She lived! Also, some native insects do eat the leaves, plus, the leaves are the favorites for the leaf-cutter bees in my yard:

Those perfect circles were cut from the leaves by leaf-cutter bees who use the material to build their nests! I’ve seen holes in pokeweed and other native plants a couple times, but as soon as spring hits, the crape myrtles start looking like Swiss cheese.

Native plants are best, but if you already have non-natives, they can still play an important role in supporting the habitat you create with native species—you don’t need to worry about removing them in most cases!

July 8, 2019

@snepwig *nervous laughter* I live in an HOA…

July 9, 2019

Regular

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

My Sanctuary

Before:

This was the photo I took of my house from the backyard when I decided to buy it. Those windows downstairs? That’s the livingroom/kitchen. My house is a bird blind. I love it. Anyways. I just now attempted to retake this photo, which was impossible because (1) physically getting to the location where I had taken this photo would be an adventure in getting personal with some trees and maybe poison ivy (2) you cannot actually see the house… at all… from that spot. But anyways.

After 3 years:

Feels good to have a yard after 14 years in apartments!

Also! Me with my elderberry bush last June (2018):

Me with my elderberry bush now (July 2019):

My baby is SO TALL!!! 😀 You can see her in the left side of the photo of my jungle. I love her. She was a gift for giving an insect talk at a garden club. They gave me some other great plants, mostly groundcover. I didn’t expect the elderberry would grow so tall, so fast! And the groundcover plants are now deciding they want to teleport their decendants to other, random areas of the garden. Yes, please! Ruellia everywhere!

This is why I’m so stressed out about not being able to find a job in Austin. I can’t move. This yard is my connection to nature. I discovered insects here. I have entomologists commenting on things I find in my yard, saying they are rare or out of range. The trees I have nurtured are my children! If I move, how can I trust they won’t be neglected, or worse, cut down?

Who would want a lawn when they could have paradise?

July 8, 2019

@magnulia lol they sure do!! I keep track on iNaturalist with a project for my yard. So far, 860 different species of bugs!

There are more, I’m a year behind uploading photos because… life happens!

July 8, 2019

Also! Those sad little dinky bushes? They’re crape myrtles. Here they are now:

Hard to see, but a 4th one (purple!) popped up to make the arrangement symmetrical. Perfect. I was told you’re “supposed” to prune them down every winter (essentially back down to nothing), but every winter, I see birds go nuts eating the seeds off of them! Why would I prune them and remove all that bird food?!

They are non-native, but they are big and bushy, and provide great shelter for the birds in my yard. A lady cardinal had beed injured by a hawk, but was able to get away from him in the white one, and the hawk was unable to get her. She lived! Also, some native insects do eat the leaves, plus, the leaves are the favorites for the leaf-cutter bees in my yard:

Those perfect circles were cut from the leaves by leaf-cutter bees who use the material to build their nests! I’ve seen holes in pokeweed and other native plants a couple times, but as soon as spring hits, the crape myrtles start looking like Swiss cheese.

Native plants are best, but if you already have non-natives, they can still play an important role in supporting the habitat you create with native species—you don’t need to worry about removing them in most cases!

July 8, 2019

Regular

nanonaturalist:

My Sanctuary

Before:

This was the photo I took of my house from the backyard when I decided to buy it. Those windows downstairs? That’s the livingroom/kitchen. My house is a bird blind. I love it. Anyways. I just now attempted to retake this photo, which was impossible because (1) physically getting to the location where I had taken this photo would be an adventure in getting personal with some trees and maybe poison ivy (2) you cannot actually see the house… at all… from that spot. But anyways.

After 3 years:

Feels good to have a yard after 14 years in apartments!

Also! Me with my elderberry bush last June (2018):

Me with my elderberry bush now (July 2019):

My baby is SO TALL!!! 😀 You can see her in the left side of the photo of my jungle. I love her. She was a gift for giving an insect talk at a garden club. They gave me some other great plants, mostly groundcover. I didn’t expect the elderberry would grow so tall, so fast! And the groundcover plants are now deciding they want to teleport their decendants to other, random areas of the garden. Yes, please! Ruellia everywhere!

This is why I’m so stressed out about not being able to find a job in Austin. I can’t move. This yard is my connection to nature. I discovered insects here. I have entomologists commenting on things I find in my yard, saying they are rare or out of range. The trees I have nurtured are my children! If I move, how can I trust they won’t be neglected, or worse, cut down?

Who would want a lawn when they could have paradise?

July 8, 2019

@magnulia lol they sure do!! I keep track on iNaturalist with a project for my yard. So far, 860 different species of bugs!

There are more, I’m a year behind uploading photos because… life happens!

July 8, 2019

Regular

My Sanctuary

Before:

This was the photo I took of my house from the backyard when I decided to buy it. Those windows downstairs? That’s the livingroom/kitchen. My house is a bird blind. I love it. Anyways. I just now attempted to retake this photo, which was impossible because (1) physically getting to the location where I had taken this photo would be an adventure in getting personal with some trees and maybe poison ivy (2) you cannot actually see the house… at all… from that spot. But anyways.

After 3 years:

Feels good to have a yard after 14 years in apartments!

Also! Me with my elderberry bush last June (2018):

Me with my elderberry bush now (July 2019):

My baby is SO TALL!!! 😀 You can see her in the left side of the photo of my jungle. I love her. She was a gift for giving an insect talk at a garden club. They gave me some other great plants, mostly groundcover. I didn’t expect the elderberry would grow so tall, so fast! And the groundcover plants are now deciding they want to teleport their decendants to other, random areas of the garden. Yes, please! Ruellia everywhere!

This is why I’m so stressed out about not being able to find a job in Austin. I can’t move. This yard is my connection to nature. I discovered insects here. I have entomologists commenting on things I find in my yard, saying they are rare or out of range. The trees I have nurtured are my children! If I move, how can I trust they won’t be neglected, or worse, cut down?

Who would want a lawn when they could have paradise?

July 8, 2019

Regular

nanonaturalist:

Taking notes from an audio recording of an interview I had with a retired wildlife biologist/naturalist friend of mine for an article I’m writing, and it’s absolutely ridiculous how frequently one or both of us interrupted the entire interview to start baby talking at a bird who showed up to one of his feeders and/or we just up and left the house to check out a moth that started flapping at his sliding glass door.

Seriously, I ruined what would have been an excellent quote to call a cardinal a Handsome Man then we both got distracted when a baby titmouse showed up.

July 3, 2019, 3:22 am

This article has been haunting me for weeks, and even though I missed the deadline by an entire freaking week, it’s not even a big deal and I submitted my first draft and I’m FREE*

*for now

July 5, 2019

Regular

glumshoe:

If you saw me at the tea shop today and I acted like I recognized you, I’m sorry—I assumed we worked together and I had met you before because I am dreadfully faceblind.

^ me af

In case this ever comes up, yes I am hella faceblind. I can’t even recognize my family if I run into them randomly (it’s happened before). So if somebody comes up to me in public and starts talking to me, I have absolutely no idea who it could be. Former classmate? Colleague? Someone I talk to every day online but have never met in person before? 

So anyways, on the off chance I ever crawl out of my hole and one of y’all runs into me and wants to say hi (and yes, say hi! that’s fine!), just say you follow my tumblr. If you want, I’ll show you pictures of bugs on my phone, identify pictures of bugs on your phone

July 5, 2019