The heat of summer is here, but lots of cool things are happening! Here’s a few for you to consider:

1. Summer Solstice Paddle – Thursday, June 21, Black Bayou Lake, 7:30-9 p.m. It’s an annual event and I hope this year to break my record of never having gone! That will depend on the availability of a canoe or kayak to rent, as I don’t have my own. Call the Visitor Center at 387-1114 to see if any are available.

IMGP5295 72-15
Boy Scouts head out onto Black Bayou Lake to participate in last year’s Ouachita Water Sweep.     (photo by Bette J. Kauffman)

2. Louisiana Peach Festival – Things have been happening all week, but the serious fun begins Friday the 22nd at 8:30 a.m. with a kid’s fishing tournament and continues all day Saturday and into the night. Here’s a link to the full schedule. I will be there Friday afternoon and you can probably get me to pose again next to my Honorable Mention photo in the NCLAC Peach Exhibit at the Civic Center. My favorite snake photo of all time will be at Ruston Artisans, along with several other pieces. Did I mention peach ice cream? It all happens in Ruston.

Broadbanded Water Snake (Nerodia fasciata confluens)
“Endless Forms Most Beautiful” at Rustin Artisans, by Bette J. Kauffman

3. Aquatic Life: It’s the Little Things – Saturday, June 23, Black Bayou Lake. Three seats are still available. See earlier posts and the flyer on the Certification tab for details.

4. FOBB’S Fall Celebration – Saturday October 13, Black Bayou Lake NWR, and this is where the Great Idea comes in. I hope you candidates for Master Naturalist Certification are still reading!

Fall Celebration is a wonderful family day put on by Friends of Black Bayou, with lots of activities and exhibits that are fun and educational, and showcase our fabulous refuge. Last year, LMN-NE was there with a table. We were brand new and had little to show, but Roselie and I shared our enthusiasm and signed up members.

This year… what if one or two or three of you who are working on certification created your interpretive project for us to showcase at Fall Celebration this year? That was Anne Bloxom Smith’s idea and I think it is a GREAT IDEA. Indeed, I am motivated to figure out what MY interpretive project is going to be and get working on it!

So start thinking about that, and I will devote a future blog post to some guidelines and requirements for interpretive projects for certification purposes.

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