When you see something new, do you have the compulsion to identify it? I do, especially if it's an animal, a butterfly, a bird, a new flower, a snake, a cool building … actually most everything and anything. If it has a specific name, I want to know it. For some reason, it's inherent in my nature to label things.

There's no such thing as a yellow bushy flower or a small red-breasted bird. No, it's got to have a name. It's rubber rabbitbrush or a flame robin. The boat is loaded with bird and butterfly books, rocks and mineral identification references, plastic shell identification fold-outs, easy-to-identify fish photos, and marine animal (vertebrate and invertebrate) field guides. I've got so many reference books, it makes it hard to complain to David about all his tools and fishing gear.


ID-Sky pilot - palemonium viscosum Nutt.


Whenever we're in a new port, I head directly to the local tourist info office to get information about the local flora and fauna. I get bird lists, plant lists and animals lists. But it never stops there. I'm interested in identifying historic buildings, local building materials (bluestone, sandstone, granite) and architectural styles (Georgian, Gothic, Spanish colonial) if they're unique to the area. I want to know the names of types of fences and barns and trees and shrubs. You name it and I've got to attach a name wherever I can. I even feel compelled to figure out insect names and spiders … iridescent blister beetles and yellow orbs?


ID-Red cracker-hamadryas amphinome


When I'm posting to the blog or website, it seems to take forever because of the time expended to pore through all the reference books and come up with a proper name. When I can't identify things, it drives me crazy. I recently got an email from Tim in Wisconsin. He found the website because he was looking for sailing info, but migrated to the butterfly page because that's a hobby of his. He identified several butterflies that I'd been unable to figure out. What a relief. I couldn't wait to update the web page.

This inherent need of mine to identify things … do you suppose there's a name for it? maybe obsessive-compulsive??


Days and Ways to Celebrate
A daily list of mostly obscure holidays and fun ways to celebrate them.
Johann Sebastian Bach's Birthday
He was born this day in 1685. Celebrate by listening to one of his most famous pieces Toccata and Fugue in D minor for the organ. Don't know it? Oh, I bet you do...give it a listen.