- Author: Sarah Angulo
California Naturalists are getting ready to participate in and around their homes for the City Nature Challenge 2020, April 24-27! If you want to participate, find out if your city is on the list this year. They told us using the survey what they are looking forward to seeing in their city. We've put some of the submissions together in this post to share some fun recommendations that our Naturalists love for further learning and their favorite iNaturalist observation from the City Nature Challenge 2019.
Cliff Hawley, certified Effie Yeaw Nature Center 2019 naturalist, recommends Rat Island by William Stolzenburg. Cliff says, "It covers the effort to remove rats and predators from offshore islands around the world and protect the special species found on them."
Sharyn Lieth, certified Yolo Basin Foundation and Tuleyome naturalist, recommends 150 Frequently Seen Birds of California's Great Valley, Published by American River Natural History Association. Sharyn says it is a "great book for Sacramento Valley and beginners."
Irene Kurata, certified USC Sea Grant 2018 naturalist, recommends "Every Barbara Kingsolver book I've read." She also added this amazing iNaturalist observation of a Sunburst Anenome devouring a spiny lobster from the Los Angeles City Nature Challenge 2019. Irene adds, "The City Challenge got me out at the tidepools and the anemone with a lobster in its grasps amazed me! The Point Fermin tide pools are 'well-loved', but I'm constantly amazed at what you might see there."
John La Puma, certified Santa Barbara Botanic Garden 2017 naturalist, recommends watching the Our Planet series. John loves this iNaturalist observation he made of a Cornflower. He adds, "Centaurea cyanus, commonly known as cornflower or bachelor's button, is now endangered in its native habitat by agricultural intensification, particularly over-use of herbicides. I found it in my backyard! less than 2 miles from the ocean: it is a surprise, because it usually requires a lot of water, and there is very little here...but it also likes sandy soil and an alkaline pH, which is exactly what we have. Like most of what grows here, and what we've planted, it's edible--the flower itself is used in teas."
Lauren Glevanik, certified UC Davis Wild Davis 2019 naturalist, recommends The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling and California Bees and Blooms. Lauren made this iNaturalist observation during the Sacramento Region City Nature Challenge 2019 of a Bilobed Looper Moth. She adds, "This was one of my first research-grade observations. I found this in my vegetable garden and had no clue what it might be. iNaturalist's algorithm helped me narrow it down, and it was so satisfying to identify exactly what was hanging out in my garden with me." Check out Lauren's video of what she takes outside along with her when she's making more observations for the Challenge!
Thanks to all our naturalists for sharing and contributing observations during this year's City Nature Challenge. Before you head outside, Shannon Pierce (American River Conservancy 2018) reminds you to take "A field notebook, pen/pencils, camera, light paint brush, field guide, small first aid kit, binoculars, phone with iNaturalist ready!"