GOLD GOLD GOLD GOLD
NAME: Gary (Uncle Bear) Eklund
LOCATION: Hickory, North Carolina, USA

FIRST AWARD DATE: September 2, 2008 (first 100)
SECOND 100 AWARD DATE: July 14, 2009
THIRD 100 AWARD DATE: October 4, 2011
FOURTH 100 AWARD DATE: April 4, 2016

ANIMALS

  1. Eastern Gray SquirrelSciurus carolinensis
  2. Eastern Cottontail RabbitSylvilagus floridanus
  3. Eastern ChipmunkTamias striatus striatus
  4. Big Brown BatEptesicus fuscus
  5. Norway (Brown/Sewer) RatRattus noregicus
  6. OpossumDidelpphis virginiana
  7. Woodchuck (Groundhog)Marmota monax
  8. House MouseMus musculus
  9. RaccoonProcyon lotor
  10. Gray FoxUrocyon cinereoargenteus
  11. Eastern MoleScalopus aquaticus
  12. Southern Flying SquirrelGlaucomys volans
  13. Short-tailed ShrewBlarina brevicauda
  14. White-footed MousePeromyscus leucopus
  15. Meadow Vole (field mouse) - Microtus pennsylvanicus
  16. Eastern Red BatLasiurus boreais
  1. Killdeer - Charadrius vociferus
  2. Red-tailed Hawk - Buteo jamaicensis
  3. Turkey Vulture - Cathartes aura
  4. Rock Dove - Columba livia
  5. Ruby-throated Hummingbird - Archilochus colubris
  6. Chimney Swift - Chaetrua pelagica
  7. Fish Crow - Corvus ossifragus
  8. American Crow - Corvus brachyrhynchos
  9. Blue Jay - Cyanocitta cristata
  10. Carolina Chickadee - Poecile carolinensis
  11. Tufted Titmouse - Parus bicolor
  12. White-breasted Nuthatch - Sitta carolinensis
  13. Northern Mockingbird - Mimus polyglttos
  14. Eastern Bluebird - Sialia sialis
  15. House Finch - Carpodacus mexicanus
  16. American Robin - Turdus migratonius
  17. Northern Cardinal - Cardinalis cardinalis
  18. Mourning Dove - Zenaida macrooura
  19. Gray Catbird - Dumetella caroliinensis
  20. European Starling - Sturnus vulgaris
  21. Black Vulture - Coragyps atratus
  22. Carolina Wren - Thryothorus ludovicianus
  23. Common Grackle - Quiscalus quiscaula
  24. Great Blue Heron - Ardea herodias
  25. Sharp-shinned Hawk - Accipiter striatis
  26. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - Sphyrapicus varius
  27. American Coot - Fulica americana
  28. Belted Kingfisher - Megaceryle alcyon
  29. Eastern Kingbird - Tyrannus tyrannus
  30. Barn Swallow - Hirundo rustic
  31. Rufous-sided Towhee - Pipilo erythrophthalmus
  32. Brown-headed Cowbird - Molothrus ater
  33. Brown Thrasher - Toxostoma rufus
  34. Pine Siskin - Carduelis pinus
  35. House WrenTroglodytes aedon
  36. American GoldfinchCarduelis tristis
  37. Harry Woodpecker Picoides villosus
  38. Cooper’s HawkAccipiter cooperii
  39. Eastern PhoebeSayornis phoebe
  40. White-throated Sparrow (tan-striped)Zonotrichia albicollis
  41. Purple FinchCarpodacus purppureu
  42. Chipping SparrowSpizella passerine
  43. Evening GrosbeakHesperiphona vespertin
  44. House SparrowPasser domesticus
  45. Bald Eagle (released) – Haliaeetus leucocephalus
  46. Downy WoodpeckerPicoides pubescens
  47. Ring-billed GullLarus thayeri
  48. Golden-crowned KingletRegulus satrapa
  49. Flicker “Yellow=shafted”Colaptes auratus
  50. Brown-headed NuthatchSitta pusilla
  51. Red-headed WoodpeckerMelanerpes erythrocephalus
  52. Northern Wheatear (A very rare sighting) – Oenanthe oenanthe
  53. Cedar Waxwing -Bombycilla cedrorurn
  54. White-throated Sparrow (white-striped) - Zonotrichia albicolllus
  55. Red-shouldered Hawk - Buteo lineatus
  56. Canada Goose - Branta Canadensis
  57. Eastern Wood-pewee - Contopus virens
  58. Northern Harrier Hawk - Circus cyaneus
  59. Rose-breasted Grosbeak (male) - Pheucticus ludovicanus
  60. Song Sparrow - Melospiza melodia melodia
  61. Barred Owl - Strix varia
  62. Varied Thrush - Ixoreus naevius
  63. Peregrine Falcon - Falco peregrinua
  1. Bluegill - Lepomis macrohirus
  2. Rock Bass - Ambleplites rupestris
  3. Yellow Perch - Perca flavescens
  4. Channel Catfish - Ictalurus punctalus
  5. White CrappiePomoxis annularis
  1. Eastern Mud Turtle - Kinosternon subrubum
  2. Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix
  3. Rat Snake (Black)Elaphe obsoleta
  4. Worm SnakeCarphophis amoenus
  5. Six-lined RacerunnerCnemidophorus sexlineatus
  6. Snapping Turtle (female) - Chelydra serpentine
  7. Northern Redbelly Snake -Storeria occipitomatulata
    occipitomatulata
  1. Asiatic Clam - Corbicula fluminalis
  2. Gray Garden SlugDeroceras reticultatum
  1. Asian Lady Beetle - Harmonia axzridis
  2. Honeybee - Apis mellifera
  3. Tile-horned Prionus - Prionus impricornis
  4. Cabbage White Butterfly - Pieris rapae
  5. Rose Chafer - Macrodactylus subspinosus
  6. Firefly - Lampridae ssp.
  7. Eastern Tiger Swallowtail - Papilio glaucuc
  8. Wood Louse - Armadillidium vulgare
  9. Fall Webworm - Hyphantria cunea
  10. Hoverfly - Syrphidae ssp.
  11. Housefly - Musca domestica
  12. Camel Cricket - Ceuthophilus ssp.
  13. Golden-eye Lacewing - Cnrysopa aculata
  14. Common Eastern Sweatbee - Dialictus zephrum
  15. Corn Earworm - Helicoverpa zea
  16. Crane Fly - Tipulidae ssp.
  17. Small Milkweed Bug - Lygaeus kalmii
  18. Waved Sphinx - Ceratomia undulosa
  19. Ichneumons - Ichneumoidea ssp.
  20. Red Admiral - Vanessa atalanta
  21. Bumblebee - Bombus ssp.
  22. Green stink Bug - Chinavia hilaris
  23. Yellowjacket - Vespinae ssp.
  24. Monarch - Danaus plexippus
  25. Field Cricket (female) - Stagmomantis carolina
  26. American Copper - Lycaena hypophlaeas
  27. Dobsonfly - Corydalus cornutus
  28. Hummingbird Moth - Hemaris diffinis
  29. Mosquito - Aedes ssp.
  30. Acorn Weevil - Curculio glandium
  31. Red Carpenter Ant - Componotus chromaiodes
  32. Satin Moth - Stilpnotia salicis
  33. Large Tiger Moth - Apantesis arge
  34. Diana (male) - Speyeria diana
  35. Little Black Ant - Monomorium minimum
  36. Cottonwood Dagger - Acronicta lepusculina
  37. Cigara Case Bearer - Coleophra accidentis
  38. Cotton Leafworm - Alabama argillaacea
  39. Flying Ant - Formicidae ssp.
  40. Bluebottle Fly - Calliphora vomitoria
  41. Springtail - Orchesslla ainsiei
  42. Water Strider - Gerris conformis
  43. European Hornet - Vespa crabro
  44. Eastern Tailed Blue - Everes comyntas
  45. Micro Moth (Species) - Caloptillia stigmatella
  46. Green Darner Dragonfly - Anax junius
  47. Casemaking Clothes Moth - Tinea pellionella
  48. Peach Tree Borer (female) - Sanninoidea exiticea
  49. Silver-spotted Skipper - Epargyreus clarus
  50. Spotless Ladybug - Cycloneda munda
  51. Coccinellid Ladybug (succinea) - Harmonia axyridis
  52. Dreamy Duskywing - Erynnis icelus
  53. False Spot ladybug - Tytthapis 16-punctata
  54. False Click Beetle - Isarthrus rufipes
  55. June Bug - Phyllophaga ssp
  56. Green June BeetleCotinis nitida
  57. Eyed Click BeetleAlaus oculatus
  58. Buckeye ButterflyPrecis lavinia
  59. Dog FleaCtenocephalides canis
  60. American GrasshopperSchistocerca americana
  61. Southern Cornstalk BorerDiatraea crambidoies
  62. American Painted LadyVanessa virginiensis
  63. American CockroachPeriplaneta americana
  64. Zebra MothConchylodes ovulalis
  65. Mexican Bean Beetle (larva) – Epilachna varivestis
  66. Polyphemus MothAntheraea polyphemus
  67. Spotted-sided CutwormAmathes badinodis
  68. Mourning CloakNymphalis antiopa
  69. Hickory Tiger MonthHalisidota caryae
  70. Dark-sided CutwormEuxoa messoria
  71. Hag Moth (F) – Phobetron pithecium
  72. Shield BugEurygaster alternata
  73. Imperial MothEacles imperialis
  74. Black CutwormAgrotis ipsilon
  75. Cicada AnnualTibicen ssp.
  76. Walnut SphinxCressonia juglandis
  77. Japanese Hornet / WaspVespa mandarinia japonica
  78. Spotted Cucumber BeetleDiabrotica undecimpunctata
  79. Small Milkweed BugLygaeus kalmii
  80. Southern Hawker DragonflyAeshua cyanea
  81. Angle Wings ButterflyPolygonia comma
  82. Phantom Crane FlyBittacomorpha clavipes
  83. Common Gray Robber FlyErax apicalis
  84. Redheaded Ash BorerNeoclytus acuminatus
  85. Locust UnderwingEuparthenas nubilis
  86. Snowy Tree Cricket Oceanthus fultoni
  87. Grapevine BeetlePelidnota punctata
  88. Giant Ichneumon WaspMegarhyssa macruos
  89. Greater Wax MothGalleria mellonella
  90. Implicit Arches MothLacinipolia implica
  91. Greenhouse Stone CricketTachycines asynomorous
  92. Parthenice Tiger MothGrammia parthenice parthenice
  93. Currant Fruitworm MothCarposina fernaldana
  94. Porcelain Gray MothProtoboarmia porcelaria
  95. Golden Tortoise BeetleMetriona bicolor
  96. Crane FlyTipula rossmani
  97. Saddleback CaterpillarSibine stimulea
  98. Unicorn Beetle (M&F) – Dynastes tityus
  99. Peach Tree Borer (female) – Sanninoidea exiticea
  100. Saddleback CaterpillarSibine stimulea
  101. Walnut Shoot Moth (larva) - Acrobasis demotella
  102. Common Looper Moth - Autographa precationis
  103. Esteemed Ladybug (female) - Hyperaspis proba
  104. Great Black Wasp - Sphex pensylvanicus
  105. Twice-stabbed Ladybug - Chilocorus stigma
  106. Azalea Caterpillar - Datana major
  107. Hickory Tussock Moth (caterpillar) - Lophocampa caryae
  108. Ailanthus Webworm Moth - Atteva aurea
  109. German or European Wasp - Vespula germanica
  110. Katydid - Tettigonnidae ssp.
  111. Lunate Zale MothZale lunate
  112. Leucospidae (wasp) - Leucospis affinis
  113. Tachinidane (fly) - Tachina ssp.
  114. Patent-leather Beetle (larva) - Odontotaeius disjuntcus
  115. House Centipede - Scutigera coleoptrata
  116. Gulf FritillaryAgraulis vanilla
  117. Brown Marmorated Stink Bug - Halyomorpha halys
  118. Common Green Bottle Fly - Lucilia sericata
  119. Red Pavement Ant - Tetramorium caespitum
  120. Green Lacewing - Chrysoperia rufilabris
  121. Large Cabbage White Butterfly - Pieris brassicae
  122. Celery Leaftier Moth - Udea rubigalis
  123. Spined Oak Borer - Elaphidion mucronatum
  124. Eastern Cicada Killer - Sphecius speciosus
  125. Eastern Carpenter Bee - Xylocopa virginica
  126. Morning-glory Plume MothEmmelina monodactyla
  127. Common Checkered SkipperPyrgus communis
  128. Bicolored SallowSunira bicolorago
  129. Orange-spotted IdiaIdia diminuendos
  130. Dimorphic Macalla MothEpipaschia superatalis
  1. Common House Spider - Achearanea tepidariorum
  2. Grass Spider - Agelenopsis naevia
  3. Dotted Wolf Spider - Rabidosa punctulata
  4. Jumping Spider - Metophidippus galathea
  5. Cobweb Weaver - Dipoena nigra
  6. Ghost Spider - cf. Anyphaena celer
  7. Yellow Crab SpiderMisumenopes formosipes
  8. Southern Black Widow (M & F) – Latrodectus mactans
  9. Crab SpiderBassaniana versicolor
  10. Dark Fishing Spider (F) – Dolomedes tenebrosus
  11. Arrowhead SpiderVerrucosa arenata
  12. Purseweb Spider - Sphodros rufipes
  13. Lance Wolf Spider (male) - Schizocosa avida
  14. Longbodied Cellar Spider - Pholcus phalangioides
  15. Common Spitting Spider - Scytodes thoracica
  16. Strawcolored Longjawed Orbweaver - Tetragnatha straminea
  17. Bronze Jumper - Eris militaris
  18. Seven -angled Orbweaver - Gea heptagon
  19. Ant Mimic SpiderCastianeira longipalpa
  20. Leafy Cobweb WeaverTheridion frondeum
  21. Green Lynx SpiderPeucetia viridans
  22. Carolina Wolf SpiderHogna carolinensis
  1. Earthworm - Lumbricus terrestris

PLANTS

  1. Sourwood (Sorrel) – Oxydendrum arboretum
  2. White OakQuercus alba
  3. Southern Red OakQuercus falcate
  4. Black WalnutJuglans nigra
  5. Yellow-PoplarLiriodendron tulipifera
  6. Eastern White PinePinus strobus
  7. Carolina HemlockTsuga carolinana
  8. Eastern HemlockTsuga canadensis
  9. Southern MagnoliaMagnolia grandiflora
  10. American SycamorePlatanus occidentalis
  11. Flowering DogwoodCormus florida
  12. Sugar MapleAcer saccharum
  13. Crape MyrtleLagerstroemia indica
  14. PecanCarya illinoinsis
  15. Willow OakQuercus phellos
  16. American Holly Treellex opaca
  17. River Birch (Water Birch) – Betula nigra
  18. Lacebark Elm (note 2) – Ulmus parvifolia
  19. Black Willow (Swamp Willow) – Salix nigra
  20. Box elderAcer negundo
  21. Red MapleAcer rubrum
  22. American SweetgumLiquidamar styraciflua
  23. KudzuPueraia Montana var. Lobata
  24. Smooth SumacRhus glabra
  25. American (Elderberry) ElderSambucus canadensis
  26. Multiflora RoseRosa multiflora
  27. Eastern RedbudCercis candensis
  28. Deodar CedarCedrus deodara
  29. Tree-of-HeavenAilanthus altissima
  30. SassafrasSassafras albidum
  31. Mountain LaurelKalmia latifolia
  32. Easter Red CedarJuniperus virginiana
  33. American PersimmonDiospyros virginiana
  34. American MistletoePhoradendon flavescens
  35. Poison IvyRhus radicans
  36. Fox GrapeVitis labrusca
  37. Paper Mulberry (male) - Broussonetia papyrifera
  38. Southern Shagbark Hickory - Carya ovata
  39. White Mulberry - Morus alba
  40. Field Bindweed - Convolvulus arvensis
  41. Lily Turf (Monkey Grass) - Liriope muscari
  42. Common Mullein - Verbascum Thapsus
  43. Mockernut Hickory - Carya alba
  44. American Elm - Ulmuss americana
  45. Southern Hackberry - Celtis laevigata
  46. Blackjack Oak - Quercus marilandica
  47. American Beech - Fagus grandifolia
  48. Green Ash - Fraxinus pennselvanica
  49. Black Gum - Nyssa sylvatica
  50. American Hornbeam - Carpinus carolinana
  51. Post Oak - Quercus stellata
  52. Chestnut Oak - Quercus montana
  53. White Ash - Fraxinus americana
  54. Red Oak - Quercus rubra
  1. Globe SedgeCyperus globulosus
  2. Bermuda GrassCynodon dactylon
  3. Lance-leafed Coreopsis - Coreopsis lanceolata
  4. Queen Anne’s LaceDaucus carota
  5. Cat’s Ear (False Dandelion) – Hypochoeris radicata
  6. Purple Passion FlowerPassiflora icarnata
  7. Tickseed SunflowerBidens coronate
  8. GoldenrodSolidago ssp.
  9. Sweet-scented Joe-Pye WeedEupatorium purpureum
  10. Strawberry BushEunoymus americanus
  11. PokeweedPhytolacca americana
  12. Common DandelionTaraxacum officinalis
  13. DallisgrassPaspalum dilatatum
  14. Common BlackberryRubus alleghenensis
  15. Carpet MossMnium ssp.
  16. Red Crest Lichen (British Soldier Moss) – Cladonia cristella
  17. WitchgrassPanicum capillare
  18. Wild OnionAllium ssp.
  19. Perennial RyegrassLolium perenne
  20. Ground Ivy (Gil-over-the-Ground) – Glechoma hederacea
  21. Sweet Fennel – Foeniculum vulgare
  22. Frost’s dirinaria lichenDirinaria frostii
  23. Old-Man-In-The-SpringSenecio vulgaris
  24. Wild LettuceLactuca canadensis
  25. English IvyHedera helix
  26. Harry CrabgrassDigitaria sanguinalis
  27. Christmas FernPolystichum aerostichoides
  28. Oak Leaf HydrangeaHydrangea quercifolia
  29. Trumpet (Coral) HoneysuckleLonicera sempervirens
  30. Confederate VioletViola sororia f. priceana
  31. Green and GoldChrysogonum virgininanum
  32. Common MilkweedAsciepias syriaca
  33. Labrador VioletViola labradorica
  34. Marsh MarigoldCaltha palustris
  35. Pickerel-weedPontederia cordata
  36. Tall Fescue GrassFestuca arundinacea
  37. Smooth CrabgrassDigitaria ishaemum
  38. Red Fescue GrassFestuca rubra
  39. Red Clover Trifolium pretense
  40. Virginia CreeperParthenocissus quinquefolia
  41. Chinese WisteriaWisteria sinensis
  42. Hay Scented FernDennstaedtia punctioba
  43. Black-eyed SusanRudbeckia hirta
  44. White CloverTrifolium repens
  45. Small White AsterAster vimineus
  46. Yellow Wood SorrelOxalis europaea
  47. Yellow Foxtail- Setaria glauca
  48. Green FoxtailSetaria viridis
  49. Corn SpeedwellVeronica serpyllifolia
  50. Dog FennelEupatorium capillifolium
  51. Virgin’s Bower (Devil’s Hair) – Clematis virginiana
  52. Japanese KnotweedFallopia japonica
  53. Buckhorn PlantainPlantago lanceolata
  54. Asiatic DayflowerCummelina communis
  55. Evening primroseOenothera biennis
  56. Narrow Leaf Plantain (English Plantain) – Plantago laceolata
  57. Carolina Allspice Calycanthus floridus
  58. Grayleaf Red RaspberryRubus strigosus
  59. Trumpet (Coral) Honeysuckle Lonicera sempervirens
  60. Spear or Bull Thistle - Cirsium vulgare
  61. Prickly Lettuce - Lactuca serriola
  62. Oyster Plant (salsify) - Tragopogon porrifolius
  63. Hedge Bindwood - Calystegia sepium
  64. Virgina Buttonweed - Diodia virginiana
  65. Sharp-winged Monkeyfllower - Minulus alatus
  66. Sneezeweed - Helenium amarum
  67. Broomsedge - Andropogon virginicus
  68. Graygreen Reindeer Lichen - Cladonia rangifernia
  69. Azure Bluet (Quaker ladies) - Houstonia caerulea
  70. Broadleaf Plantain - Plantago major
  71. Cheat Grass - Bromus tectorum
  72. Blue Star Creeper - Laurentia fluviatilis
  73. Tiny Bluet - Houstonia pusilla
  74. Common Blue Violet - Viola papilionacea
  1. Puffball - Lycoperdon pusillum
  2. False Parasol - Chlorophyllum molybdites
  3. Honey Mushroom - Armillariella mellea
  4. Yellow Slime Mold - Plysarum polycephalum
  5. Jack-o’-lantern - Omphalotus olearius
  6. Russula - Hygrophorus russula
  7. Delicious Lactarius - Lactarius deliciosus
  8. Turkey Tail - Trametes versicolor
  9. Blusher -Amanita rubescens
  10. Soap-scented toadstool - Tricholoma saponaceum
  11. Shingled Hedgehog - Hydnum imbricatum
  12. Fly Agaric - Amanita muscaria
  13. Hen of the Woods - Polyporus frondosus
  14. Health Waxcap - Hygrophorus laetus
  15. Purple-spored Puff Ball - Calvatia cyathiformis
  16. Giant Puffball - Calvayia gigantean
  17. Candlesnuff Fungus - Xylaria hypoxylon
  18. Golden Chanterelle - Cantharellus cibarius
  19. Milk-white Brittlegill - Russula delica
  1. Alternaria - Alternaria altermata

NOTES:

1. The Black Paper Wasp is a dark color variation of the Golden or Northern Paper Wasp.
2. There are only three Lacebark Elms within the Hickory, NC, city limits. One of them is in the Hickory Arboretum, the second on private property, and the third in the front yard of the house I live in.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS:

Bruce P. Beerbower, Lead Naturalist, Catawba Science Center, Hickory, North Carolina. Bruce is a mentor and a friend who played a key role helping with the technical aspects of making the list. With over 32 year’s employment with the Catawba Science Center and an encyclopedic knowledge of the natural world, his expertise was invaluable.

Lainie, my niece, a very special gal. Due to her insomnia and desire to add to the list, I would occasionally arise in the morning to discover she had a new species to show me.

Samantha, a young friend. In addition to her encouragement, she used her computer skills to compile the final list.

Adam, Daniel & Kenneth, some special friends. Their interest in all aspects of the list continually buoyed my spirits.

REMARKS ON THE FIVE SPECIES
OF MOST INTEREST TO UNCLE BEAR:

When my children were young, (they're in their forties now), I taught them to call all squirrels, "Charlie." Where the name came from is lost in a fleeting memory, but if I'm talking about a gray-coated, cousin to the rat, s/he is a Charlie.  As I've always enjoyed watching this animal, please allow me to hold him up as one of my favorietes.

This spring, (2008), I enjoyed watching three fish crows work to build a nest. I discovered that juvenile fish crows will sometimes help their parents with the raising of a new brood. I have no idea what happened, but one day, close to the northern equinox, all three simply disappeared. I never saw or heard of them again, However their stay was both enjoyable to watch, and quite noisy to listen to.

The small butterfly/moth I.D. book I own shows a drawing of a "satin moth." This was no big deal, until I look at one under a 20X microscope lens. "Satin" is truly the word to describe this moth's wings. Looking soft, silky, and sexy, I ended up showing this insect off to more than one person who visited the Bear's Lair.

North Carolina's State tree is the Flowering Dogwood. In the spring it makes all of us Tar Heels proud, and if you'll give us a chance we'll tell you the story that goes with the cross found in the blossom, its diminutive height and tiny branches. 

After a cool spell, and with a little rain, if the temperaures will climb into the 70 degree range some of the yards will feature, yellow wood sorrel. This plant offers four leafed flowers, 1/4 inchs in diameter, and as bright yellow as bright yellow can be. But, you have to look carefully for the yellow wood sorrel. It normally hides its head in the cut blades of grass that surround it. It's a wonderful flower to spot, and even more fun to discover just how many are adjacent to the first spotted yellow wood sorrel.

Uncle Bear's Essay:

When I started to discover my 100 life forms, it seemed pretty much like an impossibe task, especially if I stuck to the restriction I had placed on myself. First, I would start fresh in recording the species I found. Next, I would define "my neighborhood," (a six block area), and not stray from it. To that end, with the exception of four plants and two birds, every species has been found within a three block area of my home. Also, of the 37 species of insect logged in, 35 were found on or within 10 feet of my porch. If anyone wishes to check they will find I removed the clam I had logged in on my Silver list, as I felt it didn't belong in my neighborhood.

Another self-imposed rule I placed upon myself was to read at least one page about every species I logged in. Wow! What a wealth of information the internet contains, and for me, the Wikipeadia Encyclopedia. Of course the net and Wikipedia can cross a person up. What happens when your trying to identify a particular insect, and you find there are 24 variations of the same bug? Thank goodness, that's where ssp. comes in.

The first 33 came easy, and the second 37 came a bit harder. (I wanted to submit 70 for my Silver Leaf). The last 30 were logged in one at a time, however, it seemed things slowed down to a snail's pace when I reached number 94, and only had a half dozen to go. When I did pen in a century mark of life forms, I felt a let down. I was done. I had accomplished my goal. Then, in talking to a naturalist friend, Bruce Beerbower, who had supported me, he asked why I was quitting? Had I identified every species of (native) animal or plant in my neighborhood? Why didn't I try for a second 100? I had no answer other than to start recording "The Second 100." This may take awhile, as in the three weeks, I only logged in five life forms.

All in all, earning my Gold Leaf has been a positive, rewarding experience. I would recommend it to anyone who loves nature, and wants a fun challange. 

ESSAY FOR 300 SPECIES:

Trying to identify species and having a degree of colorblindness has its drawbacks. As an example, the Catawba Science Center’s Lead Naturalist Bruce Beerbower was fielding a call from me to narrow down the type of bird I’d spotted. I answered his questions as to size, beak, wing bars, eye rings, everything except color. Knowing what was coming next; Bruce asked what color was the bird. Hesitating only for a second I replied, “It was -- brown, no -- gray, perhaps -- green, no, wait -- it might have been tan --- well -- I’m not exactly sure, but I do know it wasn’t blue.” At this point Bruce gently replied, “Until we can be a little more accurate, let’s label it “Ursa penna.”

It seems anyone who knows you’re closing in on a goal will do all they can to help. As the list neared the coveted 300 mark, my niece rushed into the house to proudly announce that Nibbles, our cat, had brought home something that would be a great addition. On the porch, standing tall and proud, Nibbles presented me an oak leaf with a gall. After much petting, praise, and a special treat, while Nibbles took a nap, I tried to determine where a Wooly Oak Leaf Gall should be placed on the list. Finding the answer, I’ve never had the heart to explain to him that a gall is not a living organism but an incubator for insects, mites, bacteria, etc.

What’s next? After I presented my original 100 species list to Bruce Beerbower, he said, “It looks good! I bet you can find another hundred.” When I presented my next list containing an additional 100 species he spoke the same words. This time when I presented my list of 300 species to Bruce, I stated, “Right now I’m one down and ninety-nine to go.”

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT & ESSAY FOR 400 SPECIES:

This list couldn’t have been completed without help from Bruce Beerbower, my friend and mentor, and Kenneth Taylor, another friend and my “eyes” due to vision problems and colorblindness. By using a camera, plus hours of research, and the willingness to admit being stumped, I can proudly state there was no loss of life used to determine species identification.

Essay:
Having been born in 1940, I realize my body has aged; my eyesight diminished, and my mind becoming forgetful. These natural aging factors have caused me to contemplate: “Do I honesty want to try and compile another list of 100 species? As I pen this question I’m aware that I already know my answer; however I’ll let those who look at my species compilations decide it for themselves.