Friday, May 11, 2012

vernal pool bent grass ~ 05/11/12 ~ Fort Ord

vernal pool bent grass
Agrostis lacuna-vernalis

I'd offer additional ID links to this newly described species, but it has yet to show up on or the CNPS Inventory of Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Plants of California, which I suspect will be included at some point. As you can tell by the several boots in the background, everyone and their brother were taking pictures of this diminutive grass. Apparently, very few pics have found their way to online search engines. I've been contacted by a SLO CNPS rare plant coordinator to have my pictures of the vernal pool bent grass added to CalPhotos. Phooey, you know I really do not like joining things, but I'm finally giving in after several encouragements from various contacts and will become a CalPhotos contributor... if only I can figure out how to shrink my photos to the size they require.


Cindy said...

Thanks for adding to Calphotos. We all use it so much, it is great to have something rare added. I'be been doing rare plant surveys for weeks and although we use keys to confirm, photos help us be alert to plants we have never seen before, ya' know, the rare ones.

Neil Kelley said...

I'm not sure what operating system you are using, but it is relatively simple to set up an app in Mac OS that can batch resize photos to a set dimension. I use it all the time. Here are instructions:

I would guess that Windows has something comparable.

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Cindy, I'm still in the process of being approved as a CalPhotos contributor. I'm not allowed to use my blog name as my surname. Have you seen my links to fed, state, and CNPS ranked rare, threatened, and endangered spp. (under 'other links of interest' page)? I also denote special status in my labels if I get decent pictures of something rare or new. Let me know if you'd like me to e-mail you the specific links.

Hi, Neil. It's always nice to hear from you. My old PC came with all the picture accoutrements I could possibly want, but my relatively new Mac didn't come with anything very useful for picture manipulation. iPhoto is great for organization, but limited otherwise. I used Sumo Paint for free to reduce the size of a couple pics for CalPhotos. It's good to know about the Mac automator. I wonder if after resizing smaller, I can retrieve the larger file from the newly created smaller file. Do you know? Thanks.

Neil Kelley said...

Hi Katie,

Yes I pretty much hate iPhoto. I much prefer Picasa although it has some rough edges. Picasa does allow you to quickly and easily resize photos to a certain pixel dimension using the "export to folder" option under the File menu. This creates a copy so you don't have to worry about losing the original.

I really like Automator for handling large batches of images at once, and it is also useful for converting a large batch to a different format (e.g jpg to tiff) but if you are resizing a handful of images intermittently it is probably not worth the trouble.

With Automator you can specify whether the resized file overwrites the original or not (the default is not to). The most straight-forward (and safest) way is to set up is to create a folder with copies of the photos that you would like to resize, then selecting all of them and passing them through the automator and replacing the copies with resized files.

I have used the online editors like sumopaint, but it's nice to have something stand alone that doesn't require internet access.

For more sophisticated photo editing people swear by GIMP, though I am lucky enough to have the Adobe Suite so I've never experimented with it.

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Neil, isn't Picasa google's online photo site that stores blogspot/blogger photos? I'm at 67% of my free capacity and don't really want to take the time to resize all my already posted pics. I'll have to ask Andy which freeware he uses with his students. The Suite would be total overkill for my needs. Why do you have it, may I ask? I'll look into GIMP. However, if that doesn't work well, I may splurge and get Photoshop. I still miss the programs I used to have on my old PC.

Katie (Nature ID) said...

ps Neil - CalPhotos let me know they automatically resize to their max allowable size upon upload, just like blogspot/blogger. No worries, but it's still good to know how. And, I hope new fatherdom is treating you well.

randomtruth said...

Picasa is Google's free desktop photo software, and Picasa Web is their online service ala flickr that it complements. Like Neil, I don't like iPhoto, so I use Picasa on Mac as a basic tool for photo file management (triage) and sometimes simple editing. Once I've subsetted down to the 'best' pics that I wanna post on flickr, I suck those into Aperture and use its more advanced editing tools. It also has a plug-in for uploading directly to flickr that works great. I then embed the photos from flickr into my blog instead of uploading them to Blogger.

Btw - asked my friends your question about the diff between CNPS and the CA Botanical Society. The latter is all botanists, and isn't focused specifically on native plants. CNPS is open to all, and is focused on CA natives and their conservation.

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Ken, thanks for the information about Picasa and Aperture (and CNPS vs. CBS). I hardly use Flickr anymore, b/c I've maxed out on my free non-pro usage a couple of times and have had to delete several photos in order to add more. As for google, I'm fully aware I'm part of their product and not necessarily solely a free consumer.