At this time of year, we have plants popping up all over the place, our chickens are great at spreading seeds around. Although we do recognize some, we don’t recognize all of them, or we have forgotten what they are, so we use this app called Seek created by the iNaturalist team. Seek is a joint initiative of the California Academy of Science and National Geographic.

One of the things I love about this app is it’s rather good at recognizing species, which is very helpful around our place as there always seems to be new plants popping up or we may not recall if a plant is a friend or foe.

Also within the app are several challenges that you can join in on. I’m currently participating in several challenges such as the Conservation Challenge, Healthy Ecosystems, Scavenger Challenge, and Backyard Challenge, to name a few.

What’s involved in a challenge? Well, let’s look at the Backyard Challenge. For this one, I needed to find five plants, two insects, one arachnid (eek), and two birds – all I must do is take a photo of each. Seek will identify and apply the photo to a challenge.

So, download the app and next time you are sitting outside in the yard see if you can finish the Backyard Challenge.

Now there are other apps on the market for plant identification and I haven’t tried them all, but I have tried the following apps: PictureThis and PlantSnap. PictureThis however is not free; there is a free seven-day trial available but to continue beyond the trial you need a subscription.

Although PlantSnap can be used for free, it does limit its features such as the number of photos you can use daily for identification. As with PictureThis, there is a yearly subscription for premium features. Don’t let this discourage you though if all you need is an app to identify a plant and it does have a lot to offer with a subscription.

Brad and Susan Emery are members of the Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS). Members can obtain a DHS membership by sending a cheque or money order ($10 single, $15 couple) to Dunnville Horticultural Society, P.O. Box 274, Dunnville, Ontario N1A 2X5. Your membership card will be mailed directly to you. Although DHS monthly Program Nights are on hiatus, the DHS Board continues to work behind the scenes planning for this year. In the meantime, you can keep up with them online at                                   or contact President Deb Zynomirski at for more information. Think green thoughts!

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