Author Topic: Achievements & failures in Covid-19 times  (Read 1479 times)

Offline Forfarian

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Re: Achievements & failures in Covid-19 times
« Reply #18 on: Tuesday 25 August 20 17:10 BST (UK) »
I am lucky enough to live in a village within 250 metres' walk of open fields, 500 metres' walk of forests, and 1000 metres from a major river, and within cycling distance of the sea.

Deciding that I would enjoy my solitary long walks better if I had some sort of purpose to them, I took up botanical recording for the database maintained by the Botanical Society of the British Isles. I had done a bit in previous years but all sorts of other commitments always curtailed my plant-hunting.

With the patient help and guidance (all by e-mail) of the County Recorder, I have added thousands of records to the database. It wasn't too hard to do so, because there are so many map squares within just 5 miles of here that had never been properly surveyed, and I can expect to find 100 or more species in any one of them.

There are many plants that I just don't know (I am not at all good at telling the different types of grasses, sedges and rushes apart), but I just send a photograph to the County Recorder, and he normally knows and tells me what it is. It doesn't really matter if I miss something, because maybe another surveyor will find it, or I might find it on a return visit. And any information is better than none in the database.

I've found all sorts of interesting things, including pure white Melancholy Thistles, Alpine Lady's Mantle on two places on the (lowland) river bank, a South American beech in woods in the north of Scotland, and plants that have not previously been recorded in this area. I've also seen Creeping Lady's Tresses at long last, and learned to recognise hundreds of species of plant.

I'm planning to keep going until I have submitted at least 10,000 records, but I won't stop even then as there are still plenty of opportunities to record plants even in the winter now that I have learned to recognise leaves without flowers. And I suspect that I may still be doing quite a lot in 2021.

So it's been a real win-win-win-win, and I am still enjoying it immensely. I have had lots of exercise and plenty of sunshine; I've explored places within 5 miles of here far more thoroughly than I ever did before, and learned to appreciate my home area even more than I used to; I've learned a vast amount about the local plant life; and I hope I've made a small but useful contribution to science.

And since lockdown was eased a little, allowing travel by car, I have undertaken some longer walks with friends (no botanising on those of course as it's impossible to walk at a comfortable pace and record plants at the same time) on low- or medium-level paths and rights of way within about 30 miles. I have online photo-journals of those at http://www.geograph.org.uk/geotrips/ if anyone wants to see them.

And the failures. Plenty of those. The garden remains a wilderness full of interesting wild plants, and the house is still in chaos, full of piles of things I was preparing to get rid of when the pandemic struck. The kayak remains unpainted, the slides remain unscanned, the boxes of papers and bags of mending are as full as ever they were, the knitting wool remains in balls, and the tax return is still untouched. Ach, it's almost autumn, and it will soon be winter, and there's time enough for all that indoor stuff when the weather gets worse.

Researching

AITKENHEAD, Lanarkshire; BINNY, Forfar; BLACK, New Monkland; BRYSON, Cumbernauld; BURGESS, North-East Scotland; CRUICKSHANK, Rothes; DALLAS, Botriphnie; DAVIDSON, Oyne; GUTHRIE, Angus; HOGG, Larbert; LESLIE, Rothes/Mortlach; MENDUM, England; MOLLISON, Lethnot; PATERSON, Larbert; RHIND, Forfar; SANG, Scotland; SCOTT, East Kilbride; STOR(R)I/E/Y, Shotts; THORNTON, Shotts; WADDELL, New Monkland; WILKIE, New Monkland; WILKIE, Tannadice; WYLLIE, Angus; YOUNG, Keith

Offline roopat

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Re: Achievements & failures in Covid-19 times
« Reply #19 on: Tuesday 25 August 20 18:16 BST (UK) »
I am lucky enough to live in a village within 250 metres' walk of open fields, 500 metres' walk of forests, and 1000 metres from a major river, and within cycling distance of the sea.

Deciding that I would enjoy my solitary long walks better if I had some sort of purpose to them, I took up botanical recording for the database maintained by the Botanical Society of the British Isles. I had done a bit in previous years but all sorts of other commitments always curtailed my plant-hunting.

With the patient help and guidance (all by e-mail) of the County Recorder, I have added thousands of records to the database. It wasn't too hard to do so, because there are so many map squares within just 5 miles of here that had never been properly surveyed, and I can expect to find 100 or more species in any one of them.

There are many plants that I just don't know (I am not at all good at telling the different types of grasses, sedges and rushes apart), but I just send a photograph to the County Recorder, and he normally knows and tells me what it is. It doesn't really matter if I miss something, because maybe another surveyor will find it, or I might find it on a return visit. And any information is better than none in the database.

I've found all sorts of interesting things, including pure white Melancholy Thistles, Alpine Lady's Mantle on two places on the (lowland) river bank, a South American beech in woods in the north of Scotland, and plants that have not previously been recorded in this area. I've also seen Creeping Lady's Tresses at long last, and learned to recognise hundreds of species of plant.

I'm planning to keep going until I have submitted at least 10,000 records, but I won't stop even then as there are still plenty of opportunities to record plants even in the winter now that I have learned to recognise leaves without flowers. And I suspect that I may still be doing quite a lot in 2021.

So it's been a real win-win-win-win, and I am still enjoying it immensely. I have had lots of exercise and plenty of sunshine; I've explored places within 5 miles of here far more thoroughly than I ever did before, and learned to appreciate my home area even more than I used to; I've learned a vast amount about the local plant life; and I hope I've made a small but useful contribution to science.

And since lockdown was eased a little, allowing travel by car, I have undertaken some longer walks with friends (no botanising on those of course as it's impossible to walk at a comfortable pace and record plants at the same time) on low- or medium-level paths and rights of way within about 30 miles. I have online photo-journals of those at http://www.geograph.org.uk/geotrips/ if anyone wants to see them.






That's a wonderful achievement, Forfarian! Something I would love to have done in my younger fitter days. I shall enjoy looking at your photo-journals, thank you.


Pat
King, Richardson, Hathaway, Sweeney, Young - Chelsea, London
Richardson - Rayne Essex
Steward, Hindry, Hewitt - Norfolk, North Walsham area

Offline Forfarian

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Re: Achievements & failures in Covid-19 times
« Reply #20 on: Tuesday 25 August 20 18:50 BST (UK) »
Thank you, Pat.
Researching

AITKENHEAD, Lanarkshire; BINNY, Forfar; BLACK, New Monkland; BRYSON, Cumbernauld; BURGESS, North-East Scotland; CRUICKSHANK, Rothes; DALLAS, Botriphnie; DAVIDSON, Oyne; GUTHRIE, Angus; HOGG, Larbert; LESLIE, Rothes/Mortlach; MENDUM, England; MOLLISON, Lethnot; PATERSON, Larbert; RHIND, Forfar; SANG, Scotland; SCOTT, East Kilbride; STOR(R)I/E/Y, Shotts; THORNTON, Shotts; WADDELL, New Monkland; WILKIE, New Monkland; WILKIE, Tannadice; WYLLIE, Angus; YOUNG, Keith


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Re: Achievements & failures in Covid-19 times
« Reply #21 on: Tuesday 25 August 20 20:59 BST (UK) »

And since lockdown was eased a little, allowing travel by car, I have undertaken some longer walks with friends (no botanising on those of course as it's impossible to walk at a comfortable pace and record plants at the same time) on low- or medium-level paths and rights of way within about 30 miles. I have online photo-journals of those at http://www.geograph.org.uk/geotrips/ if anyone wants to see them.

It reminds me of when I was in a field counting caterpillars one summer and a man walking his dog asked me if I'd lost something. I explained what I was doing. A few minutes later he shouted from the far side of the field that he'd seen loads of them. Same field on another occasion, a dog-walker remarked on a buzzard overhead; I'd not noticed it as my focus was near ground level.
I went to the field next to my caterpillar field in July to look at orchids. That a positive: the fields still exist; orchids still there; I'm still here; I was able to walk there & back. I saw through the long grass what I took to be a fox coming along a path parallel to mine; turned out to be a large cat which halted and stared at me :-[ (a great nature spotter I am, should have gone to Spec...) After it continued on its' journey 2 rabbits appeared on the path where I'd first spotted it. The farm to which the fields belonged has been gone a long time and they haven't been cultivated for decades. May be built on one day. It's "edgeland" territory. Fields are surrounded by old hedges containing ash and oak trees with multiple trunks, evidence that they were coppiced long ago as well as hawthorn, rose and bramble.
I've bookmarked the geo site. 
Cowban

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Re: Achievements & failures in Covid-19 times
« Reply #22 on: Tuesday 25 August 20 21:16 BST (UK) »
Yes, I've been asked several times if I've lost something when people have seen me wandering about staring into the undergrowth. When I explain what I am doing they always express interest, and often ask me about something they have seen nearby.
Researching

AITKENHEAD, Lanarkshire; BINNY, Forfar; BLACK, New Monkland; BRYSON, Cumbernauld; BURGESS, North-East Scotland; CRUICKSHANK, Rothes; DALLAS, Botriphnie; DAVIDSON, Oyne; GUTHRIE, Angus; HOGG, Larbert; LESLIE, Rothes/Mortlach; MENDUM, England; MOLLISON, Lethnot; PATERSON, Larbert; RHIND, Forfar; SANG, Scotland; SCOTT, East Kilbride; STOR(R)I/E/Y, Shotts; THORNTON, Shotts; WADDELL, New Monkland; WILKIE, New Monkland; WILKIE, Tannadice; WYLLIE, Angus; YOUNG, Keith

Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: Achievements & failures in Covid-19 times
« Reply #23 on: Tuesday 25 August 20 21:24 BST (UK) »
Several people have asked me to ID a butterfly, sometimes from a description, others have photo on phone. I told 2 that the pretty butterflies they'd seen were a day-flying moths.
Cowban

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Re: Achievements & failures in Covid-19 times
« Reply #24 on: Monday 07 September 20 22:43 BST (UK) »
The only thing I have achieved is to feel more tired than I did before.
Campbell, Dunn, Dickson, Fell, Forest, Norie, Pratt, Somerville, Thompson, Tyler among others

Offline Caw1

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Re: Achievements & failures in Covid-19 times
« Reply #25 on: Monday 07 September 20 23:48 BST (UK) »
At the very beginning of lockdown we seemed to achieve a great deal...
First week putting up pictures that have been lying around after decorating and never decided where to put them..
The garden was dug over, mulched, trimmed,clipped and tided up... compost bins refilled, bags of non compost stuff ready to go to recycle centre once re opened, patio, paths pressure washed...
Vegs planted...
Fence and shed painted...
Started sewing duvet scrubs, proper hospital scrubs, face coverings... over 500 of those up to date...
Lots of games of scrabble...
Once able to meet others outside weekly coffee with three other neighbours... we've kept each other going..
Keeping up with Yogalates using teachers YouTube videos..

Failures.
Not tidying the loft or the garage...
Not doing family history...

Can't think of much else... more positives than negatives though...

Caroline
Guy - UK,USA
Bangerter -UK,Australia,Switzerland
Harriss - UK, Australia
Merrall - UK
Swinnock - UK
Lloyd - UK

Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: Achievements & failures in Covid-19 times
« Reply #26 on: Tuesday 08 September 20 14:43 BST (UK) »
The only thing I have achieved is to feel more tired than I did before.

Being tired is a result of what you've been doing - working, home-schooling &c.
Cowban