Gloomy Weather, Great Fun

We were all so glad we stayed the course and conducted our quarterly meeting at Poverty Point today! Yes, it was a tad cold, but it didn’t rain. A little muddy, but we were wearing boots. And the grey skies did not dampen our spirits.

The staff at Poverty Point was awesome. Eric in the museum demonstrated  the technique whereby the ancient people of Poverty Point drilled holes in all kinds of things–including rocks to be tied to fishing nets to facilitate casting.

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About to lead us to the top of the biggest mound, Ranger Mark explains that we really don’t know why the people worked so hard to move all that dirt in such a short period of time to build the mound.     (photo by Bette J. Kauffman)

Ranger Mark taught us to throw a spear using an adle-adle, then took us on a hike around the mounds, explaining what we think we know about the people, what they did and why they might have done it.

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Terri Maness’ great arm action makes good use of the adle-adle and her spear soars toward but falls a bit short of the target.     (photo by Bette J. Kauffman)

Here are a few highlights from our meetings:

!. We will join the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations. This will enable us to get a discount on liability insurance to protect our officers and board members in the event of a lawsuit.

2. We decided to keep the logo given us by the statewide association and put it on the front of our t-shirt in the breast pocket position. We chose two back designs, the Louisiana waterthrush and the bear sniffing fire pinks. Kim Paxton and Suzanne Laird-Dartez will now research t-shirt printing options.

3. We agreed that the same officers should continue for another year for the sake of continuity, given we are such a young organization. However, Stephanie Herrmann asked to be replaced as Treasurer due to time pressures and Charles Paxton agreed to take that position.

4. We formed a Certification Committee consisting of Bette Kauffman, Charles Paxton and Suzanne Laird-Dartez. This committee will address the issue of interpretive project requirements/guidelines and will plan the next cycle of certification workshops.

5. We would like to form a Program Committee to help plan our quarterly meetings and family fun outings–anything else we want to do. One person was nominated to work with the president but has not been asked yet. Anyone interested in working on this committee, please respond to the president ASAP!

Good meeting! I’ll be working on updating the calendar with a host of upcoming events. Look also for a blog post soon on a 1st Day Hike opportunity.

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Standing near the top of the largest mound, I suddenly realized that the heavy rains of the last few days had done us a huge favor. The shallow ridges constructed in concentric arcs oriented toward the mound were made visible because the lower areas between them held several inches of standing water. The people lived on these shallow ridges.     (photo by Bette J. Kauffman)`


Agenda, etc.

Y’all! Hope you haven’t forgotten our 3rd Quarter Meeting this coming Sunday at 1:30 p.m. at Poverty Point World Heritage Site. I hope I’ve provided an accurate map this time!

I will be hightailing it to PP from Grace Episcopal in Monroe, but should get there by about 1 p.m. If anyone can’t make it by 1:30, don’t worry. Come. We’ll be on the premises somewhere and you can join us. Our meeting will not begin until about 4 or 4:15 p.m.

Here–in somewhat random order–is what’s on our agenda:

1. The usual organizational business: brief reports from treasurer and membership chair. If you haven’t already renewed for next year, you can do so at the meeting.

2. T-shirts: Hope you’ve looked at Kim Paxton’s designs and considered the questions I put forth below. We need to make a decision that will enable our t-shirt committee to proceed. I want an LMN-NE t-shirt! Yesterday!

3. Certification: A brief review of what I posted below, plus a little discussion of our interpretive project requirement.

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4. Camp Hardtner project: The news is good, but brief.

5. 1st Day Hike: I want to do this but none, NONE, are offered in the State of Louisiana. What can/should we do about this?

6. Plans for next year: Besides finishing our first certification round, what do you want to do? And what do you want to do to help make it happen?

See you Sunday. Don’t forget to bring you own water and snacks, and dress to walk. Remember that we need to leave PP by 5 p.m. sharp.

T-shirt Time

T-shirts! They are on our agenda for the December 9 meeting at Poverty Point. By the time t-shirt weather rolls around once again, I hope we will have t-shirts of our very own.

Kim Paxton has been busy generating designs, while Suzanne Laird and I have egged her on with ideas. Here are the four best results of her labors:



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So… I’m not going to say much about these. I do have a fave, but I think they are all really great. The group needs to decide which one(s) to use and how. Here are some options I think we have:

  • Keep our current logo of the Anhinga inside our name that was provided to us by the statewide Association, print it small on the front of a t-shirt, and choose one these designs to print large on the back.
  • Toss the logo provided by the state, choose one of these, and make it our new logo for everything. Print it large on the back of a t-shirt and small on the front or leave the front blank.
  • Keep the state-provided logo for the website and make a series of t-shirts, using two or more of the designs – and, over time, a few more! In fact, the Arkansas Native Plant Society has a whole bunch of great t-shirt designs. They are a larger organization than we are, but, hey, we’re growing. We could add to the series. I’m sure all of you could suggest some additions.
  • Make this our logo, put it on the front of a t-shirt, and go for something completely different, perhaps that doesn’t include our name, for the back of a t-shirt.

Please be thinking about these options and your preferences, and come Dec. 9 prepared to discuss.

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Time to renew!

LMN–NE has been one of the best things about 2018 for me. I have learned a lot and had great fun at every meeting and workshop. Several of our workshop leaders have commented to me how much they appreciated our intense interest and thoughtful questions. Folks, we are a pleasure to teach!

Just as important, we all share freely whatever knowledge and skill each of us has. As a teacher myself, I truly appreciate the value of groups who enter fully into teaching and learning from each other.

Of course, I wish we had done more: More workshops, more fun hikes, more service projects. I hope you will come to our December meeting with ideas for next year and a willingness to jump in and help make it happen!

And now it is time to renew our memberships for another year. Dues have not changed. Everything on the Membership tab of this website has been updated. Like last year, you have two main options: Paying via PayPal online, or submitting cash, check or money order.

To renew your membership online via PayPal, just click the “Buy Now” button associated with the appropriate membership category. You will see that the buttons now specify “2019,” and the receipt PayPal generates for you will indicate 2019 membership dues.

Please note also that you can use any credit card to pay via PayPal. You do not need a PayPal account. And if you pay via PayPal, I will email you a brief form to complete and send back, as PayPal does not give us quite all the info we need for our member records (e.g., your phone & and mailing address).

If you don’t like paying online, no problem. Click on the Membership Form, print and complete it, and mail it to me along with your personal check or money order made payable to LMN–NE. My address is on the bottom of the form. Alternatively, you can hand it to me at our December meeting, along with a check, M.O. or cash.

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Watershed Dynamics: The white blur in front of our instructor, Bill Patterson, is the casting net he has just flung. Kalem Dartez stands to his right, ready to collect what comes up in the net. Bette Kauffman is behind Patterson, pulling dragonfly and damselfly naiads out from under the vegetation with a long-handled dip net. Terri Maness is poking around for critters in the rocks on the opposite bank.     (photo by Charles Paxton)



A few items to follow up on yesterday’s Workshop Update post:

1. Don’t forget that you also must submit an interpretive project for your certification. It is my recollection a couple people might be working on fungi. Here’s a link to the Mycological Society’s Winter Foray blog post. I’m bummed that I cannot go.

2. We have three people who have done 6 workshops. If they can make one of the three in early 2019, they will be ready to present interpretive projects and graduate. They are: Bette Kauffman, Kimberly Paxton, and Charles Paxton.

3. Five people have done five workshops and need two of the next three to present and graduate. They are: Kalem Dartez, David Hoover, Susan Hoover, Suzanne Laird, Frances Rogers.

4. Two people have done four workshops and need all three of the next three to present and graduate in the first round. They are: Jeff Barnhill, Arthur Liles.

So… we could have a first graduating class of 10! Get those dates on your calendars!

And just for the fun of it, here’s Kim Paxton focused on the mission. (Sorry the photo is a little blurry, Kim. I still thought it too good to pass up!)

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Master Naturalist at Work     (photo by Bette J. Kauffman)

Finally, I have updated the “Certification Progress” and “1st Cycle” Curriculum documents on the Certification tab of this website.