April 24

Apps for Spring Discoveries: PlantSnap and Merlin Bird ID

Nerds like me don’t get out much (really not kidding about this one), but when I do enjoy the great outdoors, I take my tech with me. Here are some super-techy tools for outdoor activities.

PlantSnap: AI Plant Identification App


Our home in Tennessee has about 2 acres, and when we first moved in, we had no idea what kinds of plants we had. Thank goodness for PlantSnap, an app that uses artificial intelligence to recognize leaves and blooms of hundreds of thousands of growing things.

The hubby and I walked every inch of our huge yard identifying dozens and dozens of local plants we had never seen in San Diego. But apparently we didn’t identify ALL the plants because I failed to recognize all the new foliage. Boy was I embarrassed when I went to the dermatologist with a mystery rash, and she pronounced it poison ivy. I learned “leaves of three, let it be” in grade school, but I guess I forgot. [Scratch, scratch.]

Merlin Bird ID: Wizard-Style Bird Identification App


Merlin Bird ID asks a series of questions about a bird you want to identify. As you answer, the app narrows the database of options and customizes your list to the species you’re more likely to see in your area. Once you ID your bird, you can read all about it and listen to the audio.


just plain fun

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