Bloom Clock/Project Discussion

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This page is intended as a place to discuss the Bloom Clock, as there is much to discuss.

Instruction manuals[edit]

I've come up with some instructions for how to use the {{bcp3}} template and how to use DPL to create the keys... currently in my userspace but I'll be moving them now to Bloom Clock/Using Bcp3 and Bloom Clock/Making Keys. I think the rest of the clock is pretty much self-explanatory, though {{Bcp2}} (the one used for unidentified plants) could probably use some improvements as well. If anyone would be willing to improve those instructions a bit, that would be helpful for future contributors. --SB_Johnny | talk 10:48, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Disambiguation templates[edit]

I'd like to come up with some disambiguation templates for genera where the individual species are hard to tell apart. For example, here in PA the goldenrods (Solidago) and many of the Asters (Aster) are almost impossible to tell apart. What the dab template should do is notify users of the issues, and eventually lead to a special key for the genus in question. I might try doing one of these keys for Rudbeckia first, since it's a smaller genus and easier to do. --SB_Johnny | talk 10:59, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

I was actually thinking about some similar issues recently. The dab templates sound like a good idea. What I was wondering was whether we could have multiple pictures of some flowers, showing variants of the same species, on their log pages. For example, the Torenia in my garden doesn't resemble the picture on the Torenia log page very closely at all, but I know it is the same species. Particularly with plants they're not familiar with, this kind of thing could confuse some users. --Luai lashire 12:33, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
That's part of the reason why the signatures are no longer on the log pages as well in the newer versions of the BCP pages. The idea is to have separate pages for different colors, but send the signatures to the same page. --SB_Johnny | talk 18:14, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Categories for family and morphology[edit]

In order to improve the "Keys" aspect of the clock, I've been thinking we could add some more categories so that more specific DPL pages can be created. The three easiest ones to create would be by family, leaf arrangement, and leaf type. So, for example, you could make a key page for "yellow, daisy-like flowers with simple, alternate leaves that bloom during this time in this region". More categories could be added later as well, to make the searches ever-more accurate. --SB_Johnny | talk 11:33, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

If we do that, we should probably have them as sub-pages of the generic keys we already have, or the keys directory pages will clutter up too quickly. --Luai lashire 12:36, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
Oh, these would be completely different, in that they'd be smaller, more specific keys (I'll try to make an example later today). For the "disambiguation" keys, I was thinking more of a notification message on the BCP pages that things can get confusing, with a link to the genus key. --SB_Johnny | talk 18:12, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
Hmmm... I'm having trouble picturing what you're talking about. I guess I'll wait for the example, that should make it easier for me to understand. --Luai lashire 21:49, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

Well, I can't make a morphology one without adding the categories first, but here's an example of a key that's broken down a bit:

It would be just as easy to make similar lists for "Herbaceous plants with alternate leaves and white flowers...", etc. --SB_Johnny | talk 10:34, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

I think I see. What I was saying before still aplies, then. What I meant was that the list of keys would clutter up quickly, so the basic lists should probably still stay "White flowers seen in September in Southeastern PA"; then, when you go to that page, it gives you a breakdown of the catagory- a list of keys like "Vines with white flowers...ect.". That way navigating is easier, and the list of keys doesn't get too cluttered. Do you see what I'm saying? --Luai lashire 22:02, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
Yup, definitely with you. The "by color only" keys aren't so huge yet that they need to be broken up anyway, but linking to narrower searches would be good too. I'd like to see it evolve so that you can start with any one reature and then go through the key (i.e., start with "white flower", "herbaceous", "palmate leaves", or "alternate leaves", and it won't matter what order you'll do it in). Ideally we should also be logging fruits by color too, so that a plant could be identified through fruits as well... the bigger it gets the bigger it gets, I suppose. --SB_Johnny | talk 11:41, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
BTW: I've started adding family categories (Category:Bloom Clock Plants by Family), thinking about the leaf-related ones now. So far I've thought of these ones:
It's probably a "more's the better" thing, though we can always add more categories later. This might take a few years :). --SB_Johnny | talk 11:46, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
Well, then, it's good to get started now, isn't it? :) They look good so far.
As far as logging berries goes, how would that work? Would we have a seperate log page for each plant- one log page for when it's blooming, one for when it's got berries? --Luai lashire 14:08, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
It's so nice to have you around, Luai :). I think we could probably just add a new section on the /Logs pages for fruits, sort of the same way we have been for the bloom logs. New profile pages could then be made for the fruits (assuming we're going to do fruit-specific keys), and have them include both the bloom and fruit logs.
OK, that sounds confusing... I'll try just making one for BCP/Cornus amomum (fruiting right now here), to show you what I mean. --SB_Johnny | talk 15:21, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
Well, I think I get what you're saying, but that page looks just like a regular bloom page to me. I'm not sure what the difference is. (sorry I haven't been around, I've been really busy! :) --Luai lashire 17:58, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Ah, hadn't gotten to it yet, but the fruit data is on there now (as well as a few others). Probably easier to just manually add that in for now, rather then redoing the template or creating a separate log (though a separate log could be handy as well for transcluding to fruit-specific pages). --SB_Johnny | talk 21:54, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
Looks good! I think I'll start logging berries myself. --Luai lashire 20:13, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I saw a few more today I need to log (will get to it on the weekend). It would be nice if people using the keys could find out what the berry they saw today was, whether it's edible, etc. --SB_Johnny | talk 23:07, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

switching from categories to templates[edit]

To make keystroking and progress tracking easier, I've started switching the leaf morphology categories to templates instead. The templates so far are:

For leaf complexity:

  1. {{bcp/simple leaves}}
  2. {{bcp/palmately compound leaves}}
  3. {{bcp/pinnately compound leaves}}
  4. {{bcp/trifoliate leaves}}

For leaf arrangement:

  1. {{bcp/alternate leaves}}
  2. {{bcp/opposite leaves}}
  3. {{bcp/whorled leaves}}
  4. {{bcp/basal leaves only}}

The replacements are being made by a bot. Over the winter I'd like to add more of these for number of petals, leaf shape, etc... using the easier-to-type templates rather than the long-hand category+SUBPAGENAME style that tends to slow down the work. Do you think we should do this for the regional categories as well? --SB_Johnny | talk 12:54, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Changing subpage form for the keys[edit]

To take advantage of the suto-navigation, it would be good to do this, and would also make it easier to move through the keys. For example: moving Bloom Clock/White flowers seen in September in Southeastern Pennsylvania to Bloom Clock/Keys/Southeastern Pennsylvania/September/White Flowers. The page title looks a bit unattractive, but it can be over-ridden using a template. The advantage will work downstream too: for example Bloom Clock/Keys/Southeastern Pennsylvania/October/White Flowers/Herbaceous/Alternate Leaves, etc. --SB_Johnny | talk 11:57, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Aesthetically I guess the new titles don't look great, but they make sense, so I think they're fine. And they do make a lot of sense- much more sense than the old way, especially now that we are adding in the subpages for leaves, ect. --Luai lashire 20:44, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Large template change[edit]

Hi all. I'll leave messages on everyone's talks later, but with some help from User:Darklama, I've finally made an easy-to-update version of the much-feared {{bcp3}} template. The BCP pages will now just use 3 main embedded templates (+ log pages and smaller templates), rather than the confusing-to-edit substituted version we've been using up until now. The main advantages are that it doesn't use any substituted text, and it is easily updatable by bots running AWB, so we won't have to do things manually any more.

The template is designed to be fairly self-explanatory, but I'll make an instruction manual at Bloom Clock/Creating and editing plant pages. --SB_Johnny | talk 12:45, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

Global warming & urban climates[edit]

Is the data of the bloom clock affected by the global warming or urban climates? I not quite sure how to ask the global warming bits, yet I know in urban climates the random and artificial dew schedules may affect bloom times. In the valley I live in, most of the vegetation gets to much hot sun and low humidity to grow. Urban cultures that have planted more trees for shade and installed water sprinklers obviously allows for vegetation to grow even in the hottest summer. In the winter, the artificial dew affects the chill rate on the plants. It's an epic time to find snow in the valley, even when it goes below freezing temp. The dew crystallization kills plants, The lawns gets slight tundra look to them on the top soil, which probably wouldn't happen without artificial dew. Urban climates affects the growth and spread of plants. I don't know if it matters overall if the bloom clock data should show an urban or rural climate for each log entry. Dzonatas 16:02, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Well, the only large data set we have for an urban environment at the moment is from Prague but in general I think people in urban heat islands (or perhaps in the case you describe they would be "shade islands"?) should use a different region tag. Not quite sure though whether your climate would be considered temperate? There was discussion early on about the need for a different kind of keying for regions where the dominant factor is wet/dry rather than warm/cold.
I think we'd need a much larger data set to catch global warming data (both in terms of years logged and of regions logged from), and we'd likely need a finer-grained data set as well (I imagine it would take a considerable amount of warming before we saw changes that would show up by month). The problem with trying to get a finer grain is that it would require people to log a lot more often, which might make a chore out of a hobby :-). --SB_Johnny talk 18:21, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
I understand now. I missed any emphasis on the hobby aspect. It was kinda funny how much I thought about this. I'm not an expert here, but I have some basic horticulture knowledge. I thought yesterday about somehow to classify plants as if they are on a sun, moon, star, or wild schedule as a way to avoid climate details. Now I read it more and I see you are doing something likewise. Dzonatas 18:48, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Oh definitely, the fun part of the clock is having fun engaging with it... I'm a professional horticulturist but never enjoyed taking note of the first or last flower as much as I have since working on this. Have a look at Jomegat's page for an example of it's "life changing potential". I've also been much more motivated learn the names and life cycles of weeds and wildflowers, which has proven to be rather fruitful professionally. --SB_Johnny talk 23:42, 7 November 2008 (UTC)