Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum: Pollinator database, thumbnail images, and other thoughts...

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Name: Beverly
Colima, Mexico (Zone 11a)
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vitrsna
Aug 17, 2015 12:50 PM CST
Super photos of the hummers and also the Monarch Dirt. We need one of these on the front page along with whatever that flower is. When i was new at ATP (about 6 months ago) i added a multi-plant photo that included Ruellia, Tithonia (Mexican Sunflower), and a beautiful and new Gulf Fritillary. The colors are so lovely together, but i didn't know how the GF would be accepted by the establishment so i made some comment about how i didn't know how the bfly got in there. As a newbie, i already had a feeling that there was some prejudice about showing pollenators on flowers. This feeling was confirmed when one of the moderators recently posted a comment that many people don't want to see bugs on the database flowers. Rolling my eyes. I think your thread here shows that many people do like to see pollenators on flowers, so this is a very good thing...not to mention the entertainment and educational value, of course :thumbsup:

I mean, really, if someone visits a plant on the database it will have maybe 10 beeless photos for every flower/bee photo (or whatever other pollenator...using bees here as an example). How can that be upsetting to someone? I think it enhances the database and also provides additional information.
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crittergarden
Aug 17, 2015 1:15 PM CST
I like it, myself, IF it isn't large enough to obscure the flower.
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
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mellielong
Aug 17, 2015 5:44 PM CST

Moderator

Hmm...I thought it was just hands and non-garden items they didn't want in photos. I agree with Critter, most of the butterfly pictures I take obscure the plant so I would never post them to the plant database. But if you're taking a picture of the entire plant and there happens to be a butterfly on it, then that just shows it's a butterfly attractor. Or if you're taking a flower shot and there's a bee or something on there, I don't see the big deal unless the bee is comprising most of the photo. I have added pictures of plant leaves with butterfly eggs on them because you can still see the leaf, and it shows people what the eggs look like in case they don't want to remove them or want to know what to look for.

Beverly, I remember that photo. I liked it! Thumbs up

I had to remind Jim over on the butterfly thread that hands were fine for photos in our thread. It's just the plant database they keep to those standards, as far as I know. It's really hard to photograph caterpillars or newly eclosed butterflies without using your hands sometimes! And I've still seen database photos with people's hands because sometimes you need something in the background to make the camera focus on a tiny flower. And don't get me started on windy days!
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Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
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flaflwrgrl
Aug 17, 2015 8:04 PM CST
I agree with the entire convo going on here and I especially like to see photos in the db where pollinators are on the plant as long as (as many of you have said) they don't obscure the bloom or leaf or whatever. And I don't think hands are bad either as long as it isn't a "regular" thing.


Thumb of 2015-08-18/flaflwrgrl/5ec1a5
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
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Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
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mellielong
Aug 17, 2015 8:27 PM CST

Moderator

Now that's the kind of frog I like! Native. Green.
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
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flaflwrgrl
Aug 17, 2015 8:33 PM CST
Me too! We have scads of them. Too many actually. At least when I have to go scrub the porches down from all their poo -- then I curse them or when they funk up the windows I *just* cleaned all sparkling.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
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mellielong
Aug 17, 2015 8:39 PM CST

Moderator

No such thing as too many! I have too many invasive Cuban frogs. Haven't seen a green one in years. And the Cuban frogs eat the native frogs! Crying
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Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Catmint20906
Aug 17, 2015 8:40 PM CST
That frog is great, Ann! Lovey dubby
"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Aug 17, 2015 8:46 PM CST
Thanks Robin. A little dirty there & you can see one of my hairs wrapped around him but that's life isn't it? Hilarious!
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Butterflies Forum moderator Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover Echinacea
Region: Maryland Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 The WITWIT Badge
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Catmint20906
Aug 17, 2015 8:48 PM CST
Hilarious! Is he a permanent resident in your home? Or just a visitor? Thumbs up
"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Aug 17, 2015 8:58 PM CST
Oh they are all over the place outside & they are great to have here. I just get annoyed when they trash the windows & front porch. The back porch is screened so they don't get on it. What you see is where he was sitting on the outside of the screen door to the back porch.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Butterflies Forum moderator Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover Echinacea
Region: Maryland Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 The WITWIT Badge
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Catmint20906
Aug 17, 2015 9:20 PM CST
That is too funny! Thumbs up wish we had frogs here!
"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso
Name: Beverly
Colima, Mexico (Zone 11a)
Butterflies Organic Gardener Tropicals Native Plants and Wildflowers Seed Starter
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vitrsna
Aug 17, 2015 9:46 PM CST
I agree Ann, that is one adorable frog. At first i wasn't sure if it was real or decor. I guess they eat flies? hopefully mosquitos? and what else?
Name: Jim D
East Central Indiana (Zone 5b)
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jimard8
Aug 17, 2015 9:58 PM CST
Hey I know that Frog's relatives ,,
Thumb of 2015-08-18/jimard8/72bd03

In the Butterfly garden if a plant is not chewed up I feel like a failure
Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
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dirtdorphins
Aug 17, 2015 10:30 PM CST
frogs--I miss 'em!
we don't have many out here in the high desert--serenaded by crickets nightly now though.
Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
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dirtdorphins
Aug 17, 2015 10:32 PM CST
Thanks Beverly!
As soon as I get around to checking out the 200 or so pics that I took of the Monarchs on the Liatris (that I have *finally* acquired and grown for them Hurray! ) and hopefully find a few decent ones and choose a favorite, I will submit it for a moment of spotlight on the front page Smiling

Interesting, this issue of database photos.
I found the thread

and apparently whatever Robin said is gone???

Well, we are all lovers of pollinators here, right? and photos of them doing their thing...so perhaps heavily biased audience in this thread, but I have opinions on the subject which I will share here.
Personally, I think that the thumbnail of any plant would ideally be something iconic of that particular plant, a bloom portrait for most flowers, foliage for foliage plants, a fruit portrait for fruits etc., but in many cases an entire plant photo is great, and even better than a single feature. Certainly, there are circumstances where a truly iconic photo of a butterfly- or bee-magnet type plant will feature one or more of the attracted guests and I think that is a fine thing myself.
This is currently the thumbnail for the Liatris

Great shot! Nothing wrong with it at all. Lots of other great plant pics featuring butterflies as well, and I hope to add one or two myself, soon.
But, what I will try not to do is choose one that is a fantastic portrait of the butterfly wherein the plant is essentially irrelevant in the photo...like this one
Thumb of 2015-08-18/dirtdorphins/c543e9
(but--I'll put it here because omg! look at that handsome fella would ya Lovey dubby )
(and please forgive me for the bee pic--that was just so darn cool I could not resist for echie week--I tried to atone with many other beeless pics)

Anyway--the database is an absolutely amazing monster of growing potential.
Imagine the resource fifteen years from now--
I think it would be wonderful if there was a way to capture the data of our insects, by geography, over time, on our plants, in our gardens. And I don't just mean the pretty, desirable ones. A bug database or concurrent bug pages ? is a wonderful idea, but without a few dedicated entomologists I don't know how the millions could be populated, identified, and managed. If we ever get the feature where we can include unnamed plants and bugs and whatever in our own plant lists, that could be a start to collecting the data--maybe someday it could be merged and managed, you never know.

Meanwhile, the prejudice against pics of pollinators -and other bugs- is a thing and usually the conversation revolves around the thumbnail photo.
I understand that unless there is an overide to select a specific photo, the most thumbed image is the thumbnail.
Having a category for insects and then excluding that category could alleviate the concern but it would also eliminate some great photos from thumbnail contention,
like this one

Arguably not the best photo of 'Mainacht', but that shot is lightening in a bottle right there I tell you! The bloom is not obscured Hilarious! and it represents the spring salvia bee party quite well, thank you Smiling
--and that was one that I almost didn't submit because I was afraid to put one in with bees.
Now I will admit that I went a little overboard after that and starting polluting the database with bees, and dragonflies, but for the most part I have knocked that off and I just pollute the thread Hilarious!

And this picture

Really, I don't think we want to deprive ourselves or our database of this level of wondrous art.
I hope we can collectively maintain tolerance for and appreciation of the less clinical submissions.

If the issue is really about the thumbnail, maybe folks could thumb the pictures they would rather see there?
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
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Calif_Sue
Aug 17, 2015 10:48 PM CST

Plants Admin

vitrsna said: As a newbie, i already had a feeling that there was some prejudice about showing pollenators on flowers. This feeling was confirmed when one of the moderators recently posted a comment that many people don't want to see bugs on the database flowers. Rolling my eyes.

I mean, really, if someone visits a plant on the database it will have maybe 10 beeless photos for every flower/bee photo (or whatever other pollenator...using bees here as an example). How can that be upsetting to someone? I think it enhances the database and also provides additional information.


There has never been any prejudice about showing pollinators on flowers nor would it upset someone. I never said "that many people don't want to see bugs on the database flowers".
What I said was, and I am quoting my post, "The only thing I don't like about the idea of adding bug shots to an entry is members tend to give new photos or interesting photos lots of thumbs-ups and I don't think a critter photo should become the main representative thumbnail photo for any given plant."
I like bug shots in entries, others do too and people tend to give them many thumbs up without ever even opening up the plant entry and they can then becomes the main thumbnail, the main image one sees when scrolling though the database. And if they are bugs that are largely obscuring the actual bloom or leaf etc. of that plant, that would not exactly be the best representation of that plant. So I never said I don't like bug shots in entries, just what happens when they do get added, so adding another gallery specific for pollinators could then create an entirely different representation of that plant entry, with the potential of bugs dominating the entry. I am sure that if and when Dave does implement something for pollinators, he will take that info consideration and program it to keep the plant as the primary representation so that those pollinators can be, as you said, something that "enhances the database and also provides additional information."
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Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
Region: California Plant Database Moderator Roses Irises Clematis Garden Photography
Cottage Gardener Keeper of Poultry Hummingbirder Bee Lover Butterflies Birds
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Calif_Sue
Aug 17, 2015 11:07 PM CST

Plants Admin

We cross posted dirt and you gave excellent examples! I love love love Lovey dubby all those shots and all but the large butterfly would be, in my opinion, perfectly fine as main thumbnails because they still represent the plants.
But say 10 members over the next few years now each add their butterfly photos as part of a potential pollinator gallery, maybe adding more than one shot. people see these new photos on the home page, give them multiple thumbs-up. Now it's not so much about the plant anymore, well it still is, but it could seem more like a bug database entry.

We do have that option to overide and select a specific photo so maybe that's the the direction Dave may go.
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Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Catmint20906
Aug 18, 2015 5:16 AM CST
thanks for your thoughtful comments, Dirt and @Calif_Sue.

Dirt, I can see what you mean about the large photo of the Monarch where we see only a glimpse of the Liatris. I would agree with you and Sue and others that this would not be a good photo for the plant database as the plant is barely visible! nodding I also agree that some of the gorgeous thumbnails you've featured that contain both pollinators and clear shots of the blooms are beautiful. I agree that if the primary resistance to pollinator photos in the plant database revolves around the thumbnail, then we need a separate workaround for that, and I would trust Dave and the plant database admins to figure that out.

Sue, thanks for the further explanation and clarification. I don't know much about databases etc and so I have been confused about the term 'gallery' versus 'database' but I think flashes of understanding are coming to me now. Blinking Maybe there would be some way of linking two separate databases-- one focused on pollinators (caveat: pollinator must be on an identifiable plant), and one on plants? Shrug! I can see Dirt's point of not wanting to completely separate out the gorgeous pollinator shots he features above, so if the 2 databases were linked somehow, that issue could be addressed? Shrug!

This past weekend I was preparing an article for submission to the ATP 'idea and article' box. I was actually focusing on pollinator photos and it was *very* time consuming to locate them in the database, because there was no way to pull them up separately. In fact, I think I spent more time trying to locate the best photos as I did writing the actual article!! Hilarious! Even so, I know I missed some excellent shots simply because of the nature of the task--like trying to find needles in multiple hay stacks. I ended up searching by the names of plants known to be popular with pollinators and then doing my best to identify photos that worked best--and this included features like direction the pollinator was facing, overall colors in the photo, and so on. If I'd been able to search by pollinator ('photos of tiger swallowtails'), it would have made my life so much easier.

In terms of why I deleted all my comments from that thread--to be honest, I struggle with significant bouts of depression and feelings of worthlessness, and I guess I felt 'shot down', which provoked my depression and negative self-feelings, and so in essence I removed myself from the conversation and the situation by deleting my comments, as a way to help myself let it go and move on.

However, I'm glad we are having a thoughtful conversation here... Thumbs up I am not sure how much I have to add that's constructive, given that I know nothing technically about constructing databases, but I enjoy listening to others' constructive comments, and offering my own thoughts in return.

Thank You!

"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
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lovemyhouse
Aug 18, 2015 5:34 AM CST
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