July: Kayak!

In July, I did a thing. After several years of thinking about it, I bought myself a kayak. The challenge in making the decision was that I knew it had to be a kayak I could handle by myself. That is, if taking out the kayak meant I had to have help loading, unloading, etc., it would rarely happen. I’m the kind of person who picks up and goes when I find a little time to do so. Happily, my local outfitter had the answer! So… July 17 I took my new kayak to Black Bayou Lake NWR for our…

June: Tensas NWR

I am fortunate to have multiple natural areas within relatively easy driving distance of my home. Each has its own character, and Tensas NWR is know for Louisiana black bears. But in June of this year, what captured my eye were the patterns created by the ubiquitous dwarf palmetto. Palmetto is not an easy plant to love. It’s spikey and kind of mean looking. Indeed, the points and edges of the leaflets when dry are quite sharp. The fans of leaflets jut out of the ground on short petioles and at odd angles to each other. I have spooked deer…

May: More BBLNWR

“More,” in more ways than one. As I said in yesterday’s post, Black Bayou Lake NWR became my escape from the house early in the pandemic. Of course, I have been an outdoor person most of my life and an enthusiastic naturalist for many years, but… this year was different. Don’t we know! The Refuge became my refuge from the stress of uncertainty, economic strain and concern for the well-being of humankind. But something else happened as I increasingly realized that city travel was out for awhile, maybe a long while. I had long relied on city travel to do…

April: BBLNWR

It didn’t take us long to figure out that outside and alone was a good way to avoid Covid-19. I do not in any way mean to make light of the plight of those folks who crave company and for whom an “outdoor experience” is a cigarette on the balcony. But I must say that outside and alone works well for me, very well. BBLNWR stands for Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge. It is 4,200 acres of biodiversity and beauty, and I am beyond grateful that I live just a 20-minute drive away. Facilities like the Environmental Education Center…

March: Jacksonville

As Covid-19 bore down on us, and not yet being fully cognizant of all that meant, an organization to which I belong went ahead with our planned annual conference in Jacksonville, FL. I had not considered not going, but as I headed to the airport, I wondered… It was a good conference. No one got sick. But after I got home, I learned that the woman I had lunch with on the last day learned after she got home that she had been exposed before going to the conference. She never got sick, nor did I. But I needed no…