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Good technology

In between my struggles downloading the elusive French electricity app, I discovered a whole suite of really good apps (all free) for identifying plants and trees, courtesy of a a site called backgarden.org. Maybe at last I will begin to know the names of trees and shrubs.

I have downloaded three: PlantNet, PlantSnap and LeafSnap. On this morning’s walk I took pleasure in identifying the various flowers (weeds) growing beside the road, using PlantNet. And yesterday I used LeafSnap to prove to someone that a tree was indeed a holm oak, or chêne vert as they are called here.

Things get even better. Long before I became obsessed by watching the birds on my feeder, I have enjoyed trying to identify birds by their song. It is very frustrating and not helped by other birds interrupting when I tried to record a birdsong. Now I have found one which really seems to work well: BirdNet, an app being developed by Cornell University. This morning I was able to identify a blackcap’s song, despite the competition from doves and finches.

Miss Griffiths (our school biology teacher who had to put up with my persistent efforts to try to drop the subject), you would be laughing to hear me go on about flowers and birds!

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