Tuesday, 01 July 2008
But I'm ready to talk about the 100-Species Challenge now. As you may remember, I was inspired to begin this challenge by the words of a now-forgotten author, something to the effect that "few people these days can name a hundred plant species growing in their own neighborhood."
So, I'm going to try to do that. You can do it with me, as formally or as informally as you like. If you want to go informal, just take a notebook with you the next time you walk around outside. Start listing the plants you recognize, and try to learn something you don't already know. That's it!
If you want to do the formal challenge with me, and you intend to blog about it, here are the Official Rules:
The 100-Species Challenge
1. Participants should include a copy of these rules and a link to this entry in their initial blog post about the challenge. I will make a sidebar list of anyone who notifies me that they are participating in the Challenge.
2. Participants should keep a list of all plant species they can name, either by common or scientific name, that are living within walking distance of the participant's home. The list should be numbered, and should appear in every blog entry about the challenge, or in a sidebar.
3. Participants are encouraged to give detailed information about the plants they can name in the first post in which that plant appears. My format will be as follows: the numbered list, with plants making their first appearance on the list in bold; each plant making its first appearance will then have a photograph taken by me, where possible, a list of information I already knew about the plant, and a list of information I learned subsequent to starting this challenge, and a list of information I'd like to know. (See below for an example.) This format is not obligatory, however, and participants can adapt this portion of the challenge to their needs and desires.
4. Participants are encouraged to make it possible for visitors to their blog to find easily all 100-Species-Challenge blog posts. This can be done either by tagging these posts, by ending every post on the challenge with a link to your previous post on the challenge, or by some method which surpasses my technological ability and creativity.
5. Participants may post pictures of plants they are unable to identify, or are unable to identify with precision. They should not include these plants in the numbered list until they are able to identify it with relative precision. Each participant shall determine the level of precision that is acceptable to her; however, being able to distinguish between plants that have different common names should be a bare minimum.
6. Different varieties of the same species shall not count as different entries (e.g., Celebrity Tomato and Roma Tomato should not be separate entries); however, different species which share a common name be separate if the participant is able to distinguish between them (e.g., camillia japonica and camillia sassanqua if the participant can distinguish the two--"camillia" if not).
7. Participants may take as long as they like to complete the challenge. You can make it as quick or as detailed a project as you like. I'm planning to blog a minimum of two plants per week, complete with pictures and descriptions as below, which could take me up to a year. But you can do it in whatever level of detail you like.
Good luck to all, and I am looking forward to reading all your blog entries!! I will be posting mine on Saturdays, to go along with my usual (*cough*) updates on my garden.
Even if you're only doing it informally, do leave a comment and tell me about it, or link to any of your informal blog posts on the subject. I want to hear about it!!
(Sample entry using the format I will be using follows. In this example, the last two plants are the "new" plants for this entry, while the first is presumably one I had already listed and blogged about before.)
100 Species Challenge
2. Bearded Iris
3. Flowering Dogwood
Name: Bearded Iris
Things I already knew: Perennial, grows by rhizomes, flowers in the spring with attractive leaves all summer, grows very well in my area without much help from me.
Things I recently learned: Some varieties rebloom in the fall. (I don't think any of mine do that.)
Name: Flowering Dogwood
Things I already knew: deciduous tree, four-petaled blooms in spring, prefers some shade, red berries in the fall, stays relatively small.
Things I learned recently: there are other kinds of dogwoods, some of which are bushes and shrubs, and some of which are more known for their berries than their flowers. There is a blight that is spreading across the US that affects dogwoods, but it is not yet devastating (and my trees don't seem to have it yet).