Nov 132008
 

Ok, so things are still experimental (with a TZ glitch or two) but live for tinkering. Here is what we have.

To Send a WildObs to WildObs via Twitter:

Once you’ve Twitter enabled your account (and done the follow wildobs step) you can:

/d wildobs {Entity name or Category name} [at Where [at When]]

For example:

/d wildobs Fox at Coal Creek Canyon

or

/d wildobs Moose at Rocky Mountain National Park at 10:00am

or

/d wildobs Cougar @home 10:00am

… the location alias obviates the need for the ” at ” separators.
Twitter Enabling your WildObs account
Go to your “Services” tab on your “Mange Profile” section and enter your twitter username (so you can direct message wildobs) and if you’d like twitter status changes for each posting your twitter password. If you subsequently follow “wildobs” on Twitter it can direct mesage you back.

Again:

  • Just enter the username and you’ll be able to direct message WildObs.
  • Enter username and password and it’ll publish your encounters as tweets.

Why would you want to do this?

Why not tweet your encounter as you see it, and then upload a photo or add a fuller description later? Why not share your encounters with your Twitter followers?

Feedback Please
Please let us know how this works for you.

Nov 102008
 

Having spoken to both these car owners there is one salient detail that folks just *need* ;-) to know, that might really add to the incentive to lock those doors. Each car became a large container for “a clear sticky liquid” with the closest description being “bear snot”, and … “that bear snot is a persistent, putrid STINK!” Even after multiple detailings (cleanings) the smell won’t go away. Ugh…

http://wildobs.com/sean_kiz/2008/11/7/A-bear-ate-my-car

http://wildobs.com/kathykeating/2008/7/30/what-a-bear-can-do-while-searching-for-food

Nov 062008
 

I took the day off to go do some exploring in Colorado.

I decided to go to Rainbow Lakes to look for moose. A year or so ago my wife, daughter, dogs and I had come upon a mother moose with twins here and I wanted to see if I could encounter some more. I always enjoy the anticipation of believing a critter is there, and actively looking for them. I was not disappointed.

The dirt road was open all the way up to the campground (last time we’d snowshoed from down below) and despite a little snow it was an easy drive. Almost at the camp ground was a field of willows on the left, and up against the trees were two big moose sheltering from 21 degree weather; snow and bitterly cold wind. I watch them from the car without disturbing them, and proceeded on to my hike. Amazing how one brief encounter can really make a day.

I hiked the easy trail to the lakes seeing nobody else, and little but squirrel and other rodent tracks. I couldn’t quite stop myself heading up to the bowl above but I didn’t see any ptarmigan or other critters that I hoped I might. Frankly, I think “only mad dogs (Otto) and Englishmen (me) go out in the midday snowstorm.” (BTW: I had GPS and a lot of survival gear, and a big black dog for company, so I’d taken precautions.) Anyway, I am sure Rainbow Lakes is a crowded family/fishing spot in the summer, but today it was a wonderfully secluded winter wonderland. I’d recommend enjoying it before the gate is closed or the road gets too covered.

On the way home I saw some skittish elk [5] near Nederland, and I hope to see the large herd at the bottom of Coal Creek Canyon when I go down next.

A bit cold and blustery, but a beautiful day in Colorado. One to welcome in winter, and enjoy our wildlife neighbors.

Nov 032008
 

Today (on the parts of this beautiful fall day in colorado that I can spend inside/behind a keyboard, ok I couldn’t I moved outside) I am twitter-enabling WildObs. So far the API for Direct Messages has been easy enough, although I have submit this issue:

The goal is to allow an encounter to be created by (following http://twitter.com/wildobs) then directing a message via:

/d wildobs {Category} at {Location} at {date/time}

for wildobs observers who have registered their twitter url/id.

This basically works although there are issues with:

  • TZ. What timezone is the sender in? WildObs needs to get way more TZ aware.
  • What should be the default location? One’s current Twitter location, or their Wildobs default? Ought the encounter TZ come from the tweeted location?
  • Can I extend this to allow photos and/or descriptions? Maybe by parsing a trailing URL? (Maybe using http://Twitpic.com)

… any input on these welcomed.

The next steps will be to (assuming the observer has provided their Twitter password) echo the newly formed encounter to their twitter account’s stream.