Mt. City – A great place to quarantine

Mountain City, what a beautiful place to be confined during Covid 19 (for those of us who are not essential workers)!

For those of you who are working, thank you.

Nature abounds!

While you’re in and around observing, contribute to science and have a record kept for yourself by reporting any “organism” (plant, animal, insect, etc.) to iNaturalist, either online or with the app. Once you’re signed up, take a photo with your smartphone, opt for “Observe” on iNaturalist, and either identify what you saw yourself or wait
for naturalists to provide the identity.

Patricia Porterfield on Maple has dozens of observations on iNaturalists. On the iNaturalist map, you can zoom in to Mountain City and then to midway on Maple. Patricia’s observations run the gamut from lichen to Salt Marsh Moth caterpillar.

On over at the end of Live Oak Drive, see my quite-a-few observations over the past two years. I tend to post when I do not know the identity of a plant or insect. Usually,within a few hours, I get a notification from iNaturalist and learn the species’ name.

For instance, on a rotten banana I placed outside, I was seeing a brown butterfly with some white markings and a red streak just over two weeks ago. I posted onto iNaturalist a fuzzy photo. The identity came back as Red Admiral.

So, when Ed Hite posted video on his FaceBook this past week of flocks of these gorgeous butterflies in and around his ripe loquat trees (to the point of landing on him while he filmed the spectacular sight,) I knew the identity.

Records on eBird prove helpful when I wonder when to expect a particular species. Always, the arrival of a Painted Bunting prompts me to report. April 15 this year shows as 10 days earlier than 2015.

NestWatch does the same thing with records of avian nestings, keeping an easily accessible record for me while providing records for scientists and creating maps for others to explore. At one point a couple weeks back I had at the same time in nestboxes in our yard Bewick’s Wren, Eastern Bluebird, Carolina Chickadee, and Black-crested Titmouse.

How have you spent your time? For me, the most time-consuming task was removing bushels of burr clover before the seeds could dry and stick in between KissMe’s toes. Dwight Littleton, who is helping with our
landscaping, taught me that any annual weed does not need to be pulled by the roots because they
grow each year from seed. So, I sliced the burr clover at the ground with a serrated steak knife.

Many have been cleaning house. Some asked the City Council to move Dumpster Days to 2020, rather than having the scheduled Limb Days in 2020. The City scheduled Dumpster Days for September 19 – 20.

Please send tidbits anytime. Ptom5678@gmail.com, subject “Tidbit.” Thanks! Love to you, Pauline

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