Just Another Nature Enthusiast

JANE’s Images & Thoughts 🌲 Inspired by the Pacific Northwest & places I wander

UNLESS…Earth-friendly Chroniclers: Challenge 10 ~ “Biodiversity… I Spy”

UNLESS…Earth-friendly Chroniclers: Challenge 10 ~ “Biodiversity… I Spy”

It’s May-

Click on image for UNLESS… Earth-friendly Chroniclers Challenge Guidelines 🙂

We are continuing to think about Biodiversity.

You are invited to participate in

UNLESS… Earth-friendly Chroniclers Challenge 10: “Biodiversity… I Spy”

What is biodiversity?

Biodiversity is the variety of all life forms on earth – the different plants, animals and micro-organisms and the ecosystems of which they are a part.

Commonwealth of Australia 


UNLESS… Earth-friendly Chroniclers’ Challenge 10: Go outside for some “I Spy” time.

Slow down this week… plan a stress-free outing to a favorite place in your ecoregion. It could be as close as your own yard or neighborhood park; or to a natural area further away. Where ever you go, plan to stay for a while. Take a camera and something for making a list of observations. Then play a naturalist version of “I Spy!”

Your mission is to take the time to look closely; notice as many life forms as possible from a variety of perspectives. Record what you see in a way that is meaningful to you.

Then create a post to share your thoughts/ photos and create a ping back to the challenge. UNLESS: Challenge 10 .

~ or ~

If writing a post is not possible, share your experience in the comments section.

However you participate, please be sure to identify what ecoregion/ system you were in. Any details/ anecdotes you include will help other Chroniclers to appreciate the biodiversity in your area.

Interested in a new tool to identify biodiversity where you live?  Look at: MAP of LIFE

Check out this new app that was just released for Android and iPhone smartphones!


On my mobile phone screen,  Map of Life instantly tells me about Expected Species for my ecoregion. The lists include: 21 Amphibians, 210 Birds, 37 Fishes, 77 Mammals, 11 Reptiles, 2 Turtles, 26 Bumblebees, 83 Butterflies, 62 Dragonflies, 46 Trees! How awesome is that? When I click on a species, the Map of Life shows me a photograph, common name, scientific name, range, and a description if one is available.

CLICK on image for link

Geographic information about biodiversity is vital for understanding the many services nature provides and their potential changes, yet remains unreliable and often insufficient. Built on a scalable web platform geared for large biodiversity and environmental data, Map of Life endeavors to provide ‘best-possible’ species range information and species lists for any geographic area. Map of Life aims to support effective and global biodiversity education, monitoring, research and decision-making by assembling and integrating a wide range of knowledge about species distributions and their dynamics over time.

The Map of Life assembles and integrates different sources of data describing species distributions worldwide. These data include expert species range maps, species occurrence points, ecoregions, and protected areas from providers like IUCN, WWF, GBIF, and more. All data assets are stored, managed, backed up, and accessed using a hosted cloud instance. (Cut from source, 05-13-15)

For more information about Map of Life application: click image for link
For more information about biodiversity:  Click image for link

26 comments on “UNLESS…Earth-friendly Chroniclers: Challenge 10 ~ “Biodiversity… I Spy””

  1. This is exactly the assignment I used to give my 7th grade biology students 😉 We went to a wooded area across the athletic fields behind our school armed with pencils and notebooks- great fun- long before every student carried a smartphone with camera 😉 Then we came back inside the next day to draw a landscape picture with all of the creatures, actually drawing in and labeling the great “web of life,” from sun, to plants, onwards to the decomposers. I’ve never seen such an idea posted as a blogging challenge, and will be keenly interested to see the response. A very good one, Jane!

    I’m headed out to dig ferns from a friend’s garden this morning and will be starting the observations there 😉 Best wishes, WG

  2. WG- Do you suppose we had similar teaching styles? I had modified forms of this activity for various grade levels I taught in elementary school. I hesitated a little when creating this challenge, because of that. Want to keep the challenges up to speed for the adult audience I presume most bloggers are. But… that was a silly thought, because it’s all ages that need to nurture curiosity and spend time appreciating and gaining understanding about NATURE. In a perfect world, children would be raised with a growing ability to appreciate and understand Nature’s cycles and importance. So, maybe the adults who do this challenge and have children will also do it again with their kids… often!

  3. Jane, likely we did…. especially if you also trained in the late 70s/early 80s. I read a lot of Maria Montessori and Sylvia Ashton-Warner back then. And I don’t believe that age matters that much … The same principles and concepts apply. We can do the same activity again and again, gaining deeper insights each time. And even in the same locations, different creatures reveal themselves to us. Plants change with the seasons, and the interactions change based on time of day. It is endlessly fascinating, isn’t it? I haven’t had time to check back to your page for links yet, Jane. I hope you’re getting some good responses. Best wishes, WG

  4. This is a nice challenge, Jane. Thinking of venturing further afield- either to a wetlands area or an urban space close to the city centre set up as a biodiversity garden. Btw, I downloaded the App, and am surprised at the list. Interestingly the University of Cape Town runs a virtual museum project, where citizen scientists can log various species.

  5. I smile as I read your note, WG… the beauty of repetition in deep learning activities, and the depth of understanding/ insight… I loved those over-arching, big-world themes and concepts. They have a way of inspiring impacting realizations. We agree- that is endlessly fascinating.
    I think the success in the challenges will be quality of the connections we build with each other… quantity is not necessarily the measure I’m concerned about. If we build a large learning community, of course, that will be fantastic. I hope keeping this open-ended will be a positive factor. I appreciate this opportunity to hear about environment/ecology perspectives from all over the world.

    Join in as you can <3


  6. Liz- I can hardly wait to see where you take us!
    Awesome that you have the app. It appeared to be global in scope; very cool that the University of Cape Town has the citizen scientist project.

  7. I agree with you that success should be measured more in depth than breadth. If you are interested in making the international connections, I urge you to join the “Vase on Monday” meme as you are able. About half of the regular participants seem to be based in Europe, and it is a good place to forge connections with serious gardeners! I hope to join in with a post this week- this past week has been extremely busy for me away from the computer 😉 Hope you are well- E

  8. The App is a great idea in logging what’s out there. Though the content for our area needs some refining. The UCT Virtual Museum has been running for some time and they have amazing data banks now. I checked the link, and yes that’s correct it takes you to the home page. I’m surprised though that the blog date is not current!

  9. Liz,
    Thank you for the fascinating interpretive walk through the nature reserves in the False Bay ecology park: Rondevlei. It’s wonderful you were able to share this adventure with your neighbors and your blogging buddies <3

  10. Yes, the Animal demographic unit is an active department – they have produced some excellent atlases on data on distribution of species from birds, reptiles, butterflies And their most recent MammalMap project. Suspect there has been a change in staffing, and students moving on. It’s a great space for citizen scientists to get involved 🙂

  11. Your post is a fascinating story about sharing nature with children. <3

    Happy to see you join the UNLESS Challenge! Looking forward to your series of posts and some more terrific nature slideshows.

  12. I do get concerned about this one, Lola Jane, that is true. There is a plant in our wetland that I hesitate each year when it blooms- Pacific Water Parsley… another look-alike.

    I’ll write a companion post to go with your article 😉


  13. I’m not familiar with the Pacific Water Parsley, thought it sounds like the same family as the poison hemlock and wild carrot (Queen Anne’s lace) — Apiales.

    I look forward to reading your post,Jane —- more look-alikes!

  14. The insects and plants in your post are splendid. Your keen observation and slowing down to observe the path you followed are two skills that come to life in your photos.
    <3 this contribution to the challenge, Textileranger!

  15. Texas and Oregon share some species: Barn Swallow, Belted Kingfisher, Great Blue Heron. This surprised me! I’m happy you are sharing your observations and helping others to appreciated the biodiversity in your ecoregion of Texas <3
    Thank you,

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