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Wildflowers everywhere! (well...soon)

Has anyone been out on the hunt yet?! You may have noticed that there are really only a few out just yet...several varieties of violets, and dandelions to name a few. May is when things really get rolling and that is around the corner. We wanted to make a few additional announcements regarding our wild flower contest. First of all, there will be many winners! Here's what we mean:

  1. EACH FORM (really! All forms 1-6) will have a WINNER! This will seriously increase everyone's chances to be a champion.

  2. EACH FORM will have 2 chances to WIN! This is because it only makes sense to divide each form into a "BEGINNER" and an "ADVANCED" category. Some of you have been familiar with using field guides and spotting and identifying wildflowers practically your whole lives. For others of you, this is your first time! We want to honor these differences by dividing into these groups, so when you turn in your sheets, please note on the top if you intend to be judged as a beginner or a more advanced wildflower hunter.

  3. There will be a GRAND CHAMPION announced based on the student out of all the forms and categories who finds and identifies the greatest variety of wildflowers.

We suspect the question of using smartphones (and the AI they use) to identify might come up, so here are our thoughts on that. It is true that part of the point of this contest is to familiarize yourselves (as whole families!) with observing closely and using field guides, so there is a way in which ONLY using smart phones to identify things is sort of outside of the goal. THESE TECHNOLOGIES CAN ALSO BE WRONG! I've had the experience several times where a screen has totally misidentified something I've found. That being said, these technologies are powerful tools and can really help spur us on in our field work.

Our best advice is to try to start with your guides, and then use phones and the like to further confirm your guesses. OR, if you start with a phone to identify something, be sure to cross-reference the sample in a guide. Make sure what you read in a guide about all aspects of the plant and its location and the timing match the ID that your phone suggested. Another tool which is somewhere in between is this website:

YOUR SUBMISSIONS OF FLOWER LISTS WE BE ON OUR FINAL TUESDAY TOGETHER. Our winners will be announced on the final Friday.

Good luck and happy hunting!

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