Second Wind: LMN-NE

A couple weeks ago, a friend asked me to speak to our local Kiwanis and “show some of your beautiful photographs.” It was kind of short notice, but I jumped at the chance. I saw it as an opportunity to share a passion.

So… I quickly pulled together a presentation I call “Second Wind: A Lifelong Passion Realized,” and used that title to talk about three major projects that drive me. And now, dear reader, I will share each of them with you in a series of blog posts!

“LMN-NE” stands for Louisiana Master Naturalists – Northeast. It is a chapter of Louisiana Master Naturalists Association, and our shared mission is “to develop a corps of well-informed citizen naturalists who promote, through education and service, stewardship of Louisiana’s natural resources within their communities.”

The LMN-NE website banner photo is a Louisiana black bear (Ursus americanus luteolus) I encountered one Sunday afternoon on the edge of Tensas National Wildlife Refuge.

I like to tell people that Master Naturalists are like Master Gardeners, except we think the entire universe is our “garden” and our goal is to appreciate and conserve all of it.

My photography–specifically my “creation photography”–got me here. I have long been an outdoorswoman; I grew up hunting and fishing. I have have long been a wannabee biologist and might have majored in it in college, but for the math!

But my passion for interacting with creation through a camera lens is what drove me to actually found an organization that would become a vehicle for me to learn and thereby see. Aldoux Huxley said, “The more you know the more you see,” and the truth of that has struck me countless times.

Do you see what I see? I see an assassin bug (Family Reduviidae) lurking behind a golden eye (aster, Family Asteraceae).

It is simply not okay with me to point my camera at things I don’t know anything about. The pictures that result might be “pretty” or formally interesting, but to me they lack essence and spirit. They just sit there; they don’t communicate!

LMN-NE has become a wonderful community of like-minded folks. We have a great time at our certification workshops and our quarterly meetings, all of which always have an educational component and an opportunity to get outdoors and interact with creation.

Find out more about us on our website. And tune in for “Second Wind: Creation Considered,” which will get written as soon as I can get to it!

Note: If any organization you are associated with (church, civic group, etc.) would like a talk on this topic, by all means contact me. Have PowerPoint, will travel.

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