Rendezvous 2022

Rendezvous 2022 is on! After no meeting in 2020 and only a virtual meeting in 2021, the LMNA state board is excited and delighted to invite Louisiana Master Naturalists to Rendezvous in person, April 1-3, 2022.

Our headquarters will be the Country Inn & Suites in Pineville, La., and our workshops and meetings in the Pineville Convention Center connected to the hotel. A bloc of rooms has been reserved for us at the convention rate of $89 per night.

From a fungi workshop, Rendezvous 2019, Fountainebleau State Park.

Our program is looking very good, with sessions on doing citizen science, the LDWF’s Wildlife Diversity program, the Native Plant Society’s Certified Habitat program, Louisiana’s whooping cranes, the wasting disease threat to our deer population, the Louisiana black bear conservation success story… and much, much more.

In addition to educational workshops, field trips are offered, with one lead by botanist Dr. Charles Allen and another by the state’s red-cockaded woodpecker expert. Our own Stephanie Herrmann is leading a “canoe and haiku” adventure. I will devote a future blog post to the program.

For now, LMNA Communications Officer Charles Paxton is constantly updating the Rendezvous 2022 website here. He us also running a Facebook group that serves as a communication hub for the event here and a Facebook photo contest here. Please be aware that you must be registered and paid for Rendezvous 2022 before you can join the Facebook groups.

Please give Rendezvous 2022 some serious consideration. I have gone to every Rendezvous since about 2015. My only regret/complaint is that it impossible to do and see everything on the program!

The most enourmous cross vine (Bignonia capreolata) I have ever seen, Rendezvous 2019, Fountainebleau State Park.

Litter Begone!

If you hate litter, as most of us Master Naturalist types do, here’s an opportunity to make a difference!

This Saturday, October 9, meet at the gazebo at the 700 Downing Pines Rd. entrance to Restoration Park in West Monroe at 7 a.m. That’s right in front of the Ouachita Green office.

Before: Fallen trees are perfect snares for trash coming downstream.

Wear work gloves and waterproof boots and bring a trash picker if you have one. We hope to have some extras borrowed from Friends of Black Bayou; however, a lot can be done with gloves. LMN-NE will provide trash bags.

A pocket knife or pen knife is also useful for cutting out trash entangled in roots or cutting plastic that is partly buried.

After: The trash is “in the bag.” What a gratifying difference!

LMN-NE has taken on the task of clearing litter from “Jungle River,” which runs through Restoration Park. The Paxtons have done the bulk of the work so far. This is an excellent opportunity for many more of us to get involved.

Jungle River is a delight. Willows and taro plants line its banks. It is home to native birds, amphibians and insects, and a variety of other critters leave their tracks in the soft banks.

Jungle River is perfect habitat for this Ebony Jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata).

The river has a natural gravel bed and, in fact, the park was once an industrially mined gravel pit. Then it became a garbage dump, so today the trash that mars its beauty is a mix of new and old–new brought into the park from it’s much larger drainage area and old that resurfaces after every heavy rain.

We’re planning to do another litter pick from kayaks at Black Bayou Lake later this month or in November. For those who are certified, these are great opportunities to do your required volunteer hours.

BTW, I will not be able to participate this time. The Paxtons are in charge of this event and will have a sign-in form that constitutes a liability waiver, as is our practice.

Note: Photos in the post are by Charles & Kim Paxton.

Explore Nature’s Role in Climate Mitigation and Adaptation. Nature For Life Hub Starts Tomorrow, Sept. 24 2020

Wild Open Eye - Natural Vision, News from Wild Open Eye

Nature For Life Hub Starts now, Sept. 24th, 2020 at 09.00 in New York, hosted by UNDP’s Learning For Nature website. Click this link to join the free The Nature for Life Hub – a virtual venue for a four-day program of multiple events “delving deep into specialist topics, practical solutions and ambitious actions” highlighting the role of Nature in climate mitigation and adaptation. It will be held in English, French and Spanish languages.

Watch Climate Mitigation Hub here on Facebook

Hub organizers will work with champions, mobilizers, leaders and speakers who inspire and engage global audiences! These events will provide new content that will be broadcast live on social media and through the official virtual platform, as well as available online after the Hub.

The virtual Hub will be an opportunity to hear from political and corporate leaders, the world’s youth, indigenous and community leaders, local authorities and cutting-edge…

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Spring Schedule

Need to complete your certification requirements? Need to begin accumulating continuing ed hours? LMN-NE has a lot to offer!

January 25, Basic Field Skills – Nova Clark, Amy Ouchley and Bette Kauffman will reprise their basic field skills workshop but with some important differences. Amy will present a draft of her certification project on observing, writing and sketching. Bette will demonstrate how photography and iNaturalist can enhance your knowledge. Nova will present on interpretation, which is what we all must do for our certification projects.

Although this workshop will contain some new material, if you used the first one we offered in early 2018 toward certification, this one will count as continuing ed credit.

March 14, PhenologyDr. Joydeep Bhattacharjee has developed a new specialty and is anxious to present it to us! This is an entirely new topic, thus will count for certification credit even if you took one of Dr. Joydeep’s ecology workshops. If you are already certified, it will count as continuing ed.

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Dr. Joydeep

As some of you recall, Dr. Joydeep is a big fan of citizen science. When I asked him to pick a date for this workshop, he picked early March because he wants to get us started collecting data ASAP.

April 11, BugsWe are going to make this happen. Yay! When the Trammells were here to participate in our graduation, they gave me a new lead and I am happy to report that Stacy Blomquist eagerly accepted my invitation. She works for the National Forest Service, developed her workshop for the CENLA chapter, and–icing on the cake–has a relative living in our corner of the state. We win!

Judging by the photo she sent me, she’s going to fit right in with our chapter! 🙂

Again, this is a brand new one for us, so…. if you’re working toward certification, be there! And if you’re already certified, continuing ed, of course.

Stacy Blomquist is attacked by the Orkin roach.

April 25, Mammals Back by popular demand, Dr. Kim Tolson is looking forward to repeating her workshop with us, but she too is thinking about some new ways to create a learning experience for us. Whatever she comes up with, I’m sure it will be fun and informative.

Soooo….. there you have it, folks! Get these dates into your planner now. It’s going to be a great spring series, and I hope to continue it into May and June. A few general reminders:

1. Details will be forthcoming on all of these. Stay tuned!

2. Our workshops cost $25 each. They are for adults only. Although non-members can attend, members seeking certification will get priority.

3. Your 7th workshop is free, so if I forget to let you know that it’s your 7th, please remind me.

Celebrate Fall!

Louisiana Master Naturalists – Northeast will have its biggest presence ever at Fall Celebration this coming Saturday, Oct. 12, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

This is our third year to be at Friends of Black Bayou’s annual event. But this year, instead of one table, we will have two, plus not only displays and information, but t-shirts to sell and coloring pages for the kids.


Kim Paxton’s tri-fold of her certification project, Healing Nature, along with a tri-fold brochure we had made of the key content, will share a table with our long-sleeved blue Louisiana water thrush t-shirts. I can’t wait for weather cool enough to wear mine again!

bear back 1

The other table will feature our organizational tri-fold and our organizational brochure, plus the yellow black bear t-shirts. This is the t-shirt I’ll be wearing Saturday, and I love it, too.

Along the front of both tables, we’ll have assorted crayons and color pencils, plus individual coloring pages. Kids of all ages will be welcome to color a page and either take it with them or let us tape it to the edges of our tables for others to see.

And now I must share the saga of the coloring pages. Would you believe purchasing a coloring book of nature-themed images of good quality but easy enough for kids of all ages is currently impossible in Monroe and West Monroe, La.? I couldn’t even find anything online except “free” pages that you had to download someone’s app to get! No, thank you.

Now, you want unicorns or mermaids? Or cartoon characters? Pile them in your cart! But what are we teaching our kids? That a fake creature is more interesting than the wonderland we live in? I was soooo disgusted and have concluded that we need to create a “Master Naturalist Coloring Book.” We’ll be talking about it….

Coloring Pages
Multiple copies of these coloring pages will be available for kids Saturday.

In the meantime, I found ONE very nice coloring book for adults that had quality, but way too complicated images. So I bought it and traced selected pages, leaving out the excess complexity, and ending up a lovely set of drawings suitable for kids. This will do for this time, but it is probably questionable under copyright law. Again, in the long run, we need our own coloring book!

I, Suzanne, Kalem and at least one of the Paxton’s will be on duty at our tables, but it would be wonderful if others would come by and help out from time to time. And if you’re not yet a Master Naturalist, we’ll sign you up on the spot!

See you Saturday.