Sunday, November 30, 2014

iNaturalist is expensive

One of the nicest things about making Calflora submissions is that it was cheap. A little gas money, occasional parking money, it was about the cheapest hobby I was likely to get.

It is becoming increasingly clear that making iNaturalist submissions is not cheap. Sure, it starts out cheap. Taking pictures of insects in the back yard. But to really take pictures of insects which can be identified I am going to need a dissecting scope. Then if I am going to be able to catch pictures of birds in the yard and any mammals which wander in at night I am going to need to get a game camera. Then if I want to take photos underwater, I will need a camera for that. Then I need a big vacation to somewhere far enough away to have interesting things to photograph.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Costa Rica iNaturalist Submissions

I realized that I have a huge number of pictures from Costa Rica which show what in many cases are identifiable species. So I decided to submit the pictures to iNaturalist. What surprised me is just how many I recorded considering that I didn't spend all that long looking. I ended up with over 50 species! Virtually all of these are insects. I saw a ton of birds and a few mammals, amphibians, and reptiles. However most of those were too fast for me. Despite being in one of the best birding places in the world, I only was able to get one photo of a bird I considered good enough to identify.

Monday, November 24, 2014

36 species and counting

So far on my tiny lot I have identified 36 species of animal. I don't think I am even close to getting all of them. There are several species of birds which regularly show up in my yard, but I have yet to photograph. I also seem to be able to find at least one new species of insect whenever I go through my yard looking hard for one.

A few of them are easy to identify, but a great many are like this insect. I know it is some sort of insect, but actually figuring out the species may be beyond me. A good dissecting scope would probably be necessary to be certain.

Searching the nearby area shows that I have found a very obscure hobby. Very few identifications have been made near me. Including four adjacent towns in a search of all identifications showed a total of 54 submissions. Of those 36 are by me. I knew there would be few people sending in all the insect identifications, but I really expected that at least the birds would have good records. Even a search in and around Laguna Beach only showed 85 submissions. It seems like it should be easy to see that many species of life in even a short walk.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Moved up to March 2043

I decided to start making extra mortgage payments. This is a somewhat controversial thing to do, there is a real chance that inflation will eat my entire mortgage meaning that I should have just waited to pay it. Also, money in a mortgage is not very liquid, if something goes wrong it is very difficult to get it out.

Still, most people pay most of their money to housing and transportation. If I can get to the point I don't have a mortgage that frees up quite a lot of money for more interesting uses.

This year the couple of extra payments I made pushed the last date from July 2043, up to March 2043. I am not sure if that is impressive or depressing.

Here is a graph comparing what my balance verses time would be with and without my extra payments. It appears I will need quite a lot more extra payments to make the blue line significantly diverge from the pink line.