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Earth Day Saturday

Join us this Saturday, April 21, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Black Bayou Lake NWR to celebrate Earth Day! This is a free event for the entire family.

Earth Day

Ouachita Green and BBLNWR have teamed up to plan this special day. Louisiana Master Naturalists – Northeast will be on hand to share information, sign up new members and join in the fun.

Current members, if you can drop by and spend a little time at our LMN-NE table, that would be a great help.

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Lake Martin

And here, just for good measure: I arrived at Lake Martin in south Louisiana Monday night just as the sun was setting. What a gorgeous reminder of #EarthDayEveryday and our need to #CreatABetterEarth by protecting Louisiana’s extraordinary beauty!

Aquatic Life with Dr. Anna Hill

I am super excited to announce that our Aquatic Life workshop is scheduled June 16, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. I can’t give you all of the details yet, but put it on your calendar!

What I can tell you is that Dr. Anna Hill will be the workshop leader. She is a retired professor and former department head of biology at ULM, and has long been active in Friends of Black Bayou Lake NWR.

We will use Black Bayou Lake to make field observations and collect specimens. Where we will take those specimens to examine them and do lab/classroom work is yet to be decided. For now, reserve the date!

Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicolis)
Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicolis) (male)     (photo by Bette Kauffman)

And.., why an eyeball to eyeball shot of an Easter Pondhawk with this post? Because dragonflies are one of the many critters that lay their eggs in water. Not this particular one, actually, because… a) it’s a male, and b) it’s too far from the water to be ovipositing. But, as a dragonfly stalker, I’ll be hoping to see dragonfly eggs and/or nymphs in our workshop.

Plants of Louisiana

Our second certification workshop will be Plants of Louisiana, with Dr. Charles Allen, who has literally written the books on Louisiana plants!

We will meet at the Chevron gas station and Excel Mart on Hwy 165 in Georgetown at 9 a.m. April 28, have class under their canopy, then caravan into the Kisatchie to look at plants. We’ll come back to the station for lunch and a pit stop, go back into the Forest for more plants, then wrap up back at the station no later than 3 p.m.

Here is a link to the agenda for the day (also uploaded to Certification page):

Workshop 2 Flyer

Folks, please read the agenda/flyer carefully. It contains important instructions. Everything you need to know to be prepared for the day is there.

The link to pay for this workshop is on the certification page. If you want to pay on site, please be sure to make arrangements with me in advance via email.

It would be extremely helpful if you would print the registration form that is linked to the Certification page, fill it out, and bring it with you. (It cannot be completed online.) I will have some blank forms with me, but the more that can be done in advance, the more time we’ll get to spend in the field looking at plants!

Now for good measure, here’s a plant we saw at Rendezvous:

Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium fistulosum)

This plant is in a distinct minority of plants with this type of leaf attachment to the stem. You will learn about this, as well as terminology for describing everything you can see in the photo–plus the name of the plant. So I’m not going to spill the beans now!

See you the 28th.

Rendezvous 2018

Yes, it was cold and rainy, but…. what a blast! It would take much more than 37 degrees F and drizzle to ruin Rendezvous for me!

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In fact, rain makes beauty, not only like that above, but in terms of what requires wet conditions to grow. This year’s Rendezvous was at Camp Hardtner near Pollock, La., a place I have been many times. But I have never seen sundews all over the place as we did this weekend.

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Sundew (Drosera)     (photo by Bette Kauffman)

Sundew is a tiny omnivorous plant of bogs and seeps. The red basal leaves are about the size of a quarter. They are hairy and at the tip of each hair is a drop of sticky liquid that catches ants and other small crawlers for the plant to eat. The plants had flower spikes this weekend, with tiny pink buds about to open.

Because of the weather, we did not spend as much time in the field as is typical for Rendezvous. The Board meeting Saturday afternoon also kept some of us in. However, Sunday dawned cool and beautiful, so the remaining diehards went out for about two hours. Kim Paxton and a person from another chapter are both working on species lists, which will ultimately be integrated and put on iNaturalist.

The speakers were excellent, but probably the highlight of the entire weekend for me was the return of the calico pennant dragonflies. I have only seen and photographed this species here at Camp Hardtner. They are a small dragonfly with wings that look like gold filigree in the sun. We saw two, both females. I was ecstatic!

Calico Pennant (Celithemis elisa)
Calico Pennant (Celithemis elisa) (female)     (photo by Bette J. Kauffman)

Update: Certification

I wouldn’t want you to go too long without hearing from me! And I want you to know what I’m working on so you can be thinking ahead and getting excited.

Certification Workshop #2 is scheduled: April 28, 9 – 3, with Dr. Charles Allen, “Plants of Northeast Louisiana.” Location: Kisatchie National Forest in the Georgetown vicinity. Registration is open on the Certification tab of this website and registrations are rolling in. Make sure you have a seat! Dr. Allen and I are working out details.

Wild Lettuce (Lactuca virosa)
Dr. Charles Allen with wild lettuce (Lactuca virosa) of a field trip at Bundick Lake.     (photo by Bette J. Kauffman)

Certification Workshop #3: tentatively a Saturday in early June, 9 – 3, with Dr. John Carr, herpetologist. The classroom portion will be done in a lab on the ULM campus. The field site is yet to be decided.

Certification Workshop #4: tentatively a Saturday in late June, 9 – 3, aquatic life with Dr. Anna Hill. This one will involve field observing and collecting specimens at Black Bayou Lake, then going to a lab on the ULM campus to examine what we have and learn more.

Certification Workshop #5: tentatively a Saturday in July, 9 – 3, with Dr. Joydeep Bhattacharjee, plant and restoration ecologist. This one will begin at Kiroli Park in West Monroe, then caravan to Restoration Park in West Monroe for more field observation.

No certification workshop in August, but we will have our 3rd quarter meeting at the Union Parish Library in Sterlington. I plan to invite a couple of people who do wildlife rescues and rehabilitation.

Sept, Oct., Nov.: very tentative plans: Watershed Dynamics (hoping for Kelby Ouchley); Birds (Dr. Terri Maness, La Tech); Mammals (perhaps Dr. Kim Tolson, I hope at Tensas NWR); Bugs (????); wrap-up session.

December: Graduation for those who made it to at least 8 of these 10 workshops!!

Carolina Woolly White (Hymenopappus scabiosaeus)
Carolina woolly white (Hymenopappus scabiosaeus) from the same field trip at Bundick Lake.     (photo by Bette J. Kauffman)