There are two fun projects you can do right now.
- #Invertefest begins today! All you need to do is wander around your home or parks or wherever and take photographs of any invertebrates (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish do not count) and post them. Any invertebrates! It doesn’t have to be spiders! You’ve got bumblebees in your yard, cockroaches in your kitchen, lice in your hair, those are all good.
- Eight-Eyed Expedition is a new one. They want you to get out and observe California tetragnathids, a kind of orb-weaving spider. They’re easy to recognize with their long skinny bodies. You can also photograph them and post them, but there’s an additional request: they want you to write to them and request a collecting kit. They’ll send you vials of alcohol and more instructions, and in this case what they want you to do is find them, photograph them, record their exact location, and then kill them humanely and send their little preserved bodies back to Berkely. This does seem to be a California-exclusive project, which breaks my heart because one of the things they’ll give you is a “Certified Arachnologist” sticker, and I ache for the validation.
At least I’m going to get out and take photos of Minnesota invertebrates today, even though my wife snuck around and erected another bird feeder right outside my office window.
This vertebrate does not count.