Welcome to yet another new season, and thanks for continuing to visit and contribute to LepLog. I’m just now updating some of the content to get us ready for field work in 2019, and soon you’ll see fresh interfaces for a 2019 field calendar, new MD county records for 2018, and a slimmed-down menu of options on the right side as I consolidate a lot of our content that has grown rather unwieldy over the past decade. Think of this as LepLog’s chrysalis stage for the year.
Yes, that’s right — LepLog’s first posts date to 2010, so our official 10th birthday will actually be the 2020 field season, but I can hardly believe we’ve been at this this long. Over this time, butterfly organizations in the mid-Atlantic have come and gone (or gone dormant), peaked and waned to almost nothing, changed mission or focus entirely, or declined in popularity or use. In 2010, Facebook and Twitter were only five years old and had not yet dominated the naturalist culture. Digital cameras were just coming into widespread use. iNaturalist was just launching out of a masters’ student’s project at UC Berkeley.
LepLog has grown with the field of lep observation and research, and I hope you’ve found our work helpful as much as I’ve enjoyed providing and populating the site.
I think we can all agree that 2018 was a terrible year to be in the field — more than half of all the weekends featured measurable precipitation. Butterfly numbers (diversity and abundance) were well off normal tallies. But it had bright spots, too, like Brazilian Skippers and Northern Crescents. LepLog reported on it all, as it did for eight seasons before it.
Our regular viewership now numbers in the hundreds, and for that I’m very grateful (and not a little surprised!). But I want to keep LepLog responsive to new butterflies, and new way that we old(er) butterfliers work these days. So please think about what existing features of LepLog you value most, what you could honestly live without, and what you wish we would do (or do more of). You can leave your public comments below (I have a thick skin, trust me!), or email me directly at MDLepsOdes@gmail.com