Wednesday, 12 February 2014

My 'mystery' folder

Being an incompetent pan-lister means that, on a more regular basis than I care to admit, I take photographs of living forms that I cannot identify in the field. These are mostly fungi, or beetles, or mosses, or flies, or lichens, or... you get the picture.

On my return home, I load these images onto the computer and place them in a desktop folder called 'Mystery'. And here they live until I get around to looking at them, by then armed with reference material. Once identified, (and if the photo is good enough), it will then be filed. But the mystery images in the 'mystery' folder are always being topped up - and it is never empty.

At the end of 2013 I decided to empty the 'mystery' folder. There were mosses and flies from 2010 that had taunted me for too long. I realise that even a cracking photo might not be enough for a positive identification anyhow. You cannot take a spore print from pixels. I surrendered. I deleted them. A great sense of calm came over me.

I currently have one image in this folder - a fungi that is most probably too far gone to identify anyway. But as spring stirs, so will thousands of species, including many that will have their picture taken, destined to fill, once more, the 'mystery' folder...


  1. I know that feeling! Are you sure you don't have those moss photos...

  2. No longer, Ali... but by the end of 2014 there will be!

  3. You could bung the older photos on iSpot and see if someone else can ID it for you. You may at least produce something useful for the record schemes with it.

    1. If I still had them Rob, I would. Maybe the 'class of 2014' will end up there!