Upcoming Workshops

March 23, 9 – 3: Geology with Gerry Click

Folks, this one had to be moved. It was originally scheduled March 2, but that is the Saturday before Mardi Gras. Gerry Click is a really, really nice guy, but, hey! The committee did not notice or we would never have scheduled it that day.

Gerry Click

So it’s now rescheduled March 23. Sure hope y’all can accommodate the change. And… Gerry says we’ll do our field work at the J. C. “Sonny” Gilbert WMA near Sicily Island. Yay! Now I just have to find a place near there where we can do our classroom work. On it!

April 13, 9 – 3: Bugs with Dr. Natalie Clay

This is a new one, just added to our calendar a week or so ago.

Dr. Clay is a faculty member at LaTech. Last April she received the prestigious Elton Prize awarded annually by the British Ecological Society for the best paper in the Journal of Animal Ecology written by an early career author at the start of their research career.

Dr. Natalie Clay

No details on this one yet, but I’m sure we’ll convene in a LaTech classroom then go somewhere out that way for field work. Dr. Clay’s response to my suggested timing: “Yes, should be lots of bugs around then.”

BTW, this is the first of a new cycle of workshops. Of course, the way we have set up our certification process, it really doesn’t matter. All are welcome up to 20 people.

May 4, 9 – 3: Plants with Dr. Charles Allen

Again, Dr. Allen will meet us somewhere south of here. We are hoping the ULM Biological Station, Charles Allen Nature Preserve does NOT flood this year.

Y’all know a bit about Dr. Allen by now. He will introduce us to basic plant identification terminology using specimens he brings with him, then get us into the field identifying plants ASAP.

Wild Lettuce (Lactuca ludoviciana)
Dr. Charles Allen

Since parking at the Biological Station is pretty limited, I’ll be looking for a place in Columbia for us to convene, then car pool the few minutes it takes to get to the field. There are no permanent toilet facilities out there, so I just might rent a port-a-pottie for us so we don’t have to drive back to Columbia for lunch.

This is our first “repeat” workshop. As usual, all are welcome, but I will give registration priority to people who did not do the plants workshop last year and need it to complete their certification process.

It’s a busy, busy time of year. Look for another post soon about a photo contest opportunity and the LMNA silent auction fundraiser.

And just for good measure…. after everyone else had driven off Saturday, I was still poking around the edges of Russell Sage, and found the moss below. Yesterday, I posted this on iNaturalist, and within minutes had received an email inviting me to participate in a citizen science project around this moss. How cool is that?!

Common Bladder Moss (Physcomitrium pyriforme)
Common Bladder Moss (Physcomitrium pyriforme)     (photo by BJK)



Mammals of Louisiana

I almost titled this post “Mammals Wearing T-shirts,” but decided that was too clever by half. Nevertheless…..

sizanneTime to register for our 8th certification workshop, Mammals of Louisiana, scheduled Feb. 9, 9 am – 3 pm. The registration link is now ready on the Certification page of this website.

Reminder to Kalem Dartez, David Hoover, Susan Hoover & Frances Rogers: This is your 7th workshop. You do not need to pay, but you do need to let me know if you will attend.

The Workshop 8 Flyer link is also ready for you to click and download/print. We will meet on the ULM campus; I’ll send out the room # and building via email as soon as I get that form Dr. Kim Tolson, our workshop leader.

We will go to Russell Sage Wildlife Management Area for field work. That means everyone will need a Louisiana hunting or fishing license. It’s easy and cheap. I just renewed mine in about 5 minutes. If you’ve never had one, it’ll take you a bit longer but…. no biggie.

Go here: Buy A License I recommend the basic “hook and line” license, commonly called the cane pole license. It’s $2.50 with a $2 convenience fee, and and I donated an extra $2 to “Hunters for the Hungry.” For $6.50, I’m set and the license is now waiting on my desktop to be printed.


What else? Dr. Tolson says she doesn’t mind us “getting distracted by other taxa” while we are out looking for mammal sign. He he! That would be us. And she’s game for helping us make connections between other taxa and mammals. We should have a rich species list at the end of this workshop!!


BTW, I have an extra pair of boots that I’ll have in my car in case someone needs them.

And the t-shirts, in case you’re wondering, are $20@. You can pay for one on the “Gift Shop” tab above and get it at the workshop or pay for shipping and Kim Paxton will mail it to you.

I’m sure Kim and Charles will also bring t-shirts to the workshop to sell, but let us please remember, they are also Master Naturalists in training. Let us not turn our workshops into “shameless commerce,” as Click and Clack like to say, and distract our fellow Master Naturalists from their own enjoyment of the experience. Please come early or stay a few minutes late to do business at a workshop.

And away we go… on another workshop adventure.


Looking ahead…!

We have completed seven of our first cycle of nine certification workshops. Numbers 8 and 9 are right around the corner, but I am already working on the next cycle and have dates for you to reserve. Here’s the low down:

>>No. 8 Mammals Workshop – This one is scheduled February 9, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. I just email workshop leader Dr. Kim Tolson for information for the flyer. You might recall that I have been rooting for Tensas NWR for field work, but we might need to go elsewhere due to the federal shut-down. Kim will decide.

bear head shot
Louisiana Black Bear (Ursus americanus luteolus)      (photo by Bette J. Kauffman taken on the edge of Tensas NWR)

>>No. 9 Geology Workshop – Gerry Click will be our workshop leader. It’s scheduled March 2, 9 am – 3 pm. No other details at this moment.

Bugs?? Workshop – I have invited Dr. Natalie Clay of LaTech to do a bugs workshop for us April 13. This one is tentative, but hold the date and I’ll let you know asap. BTW, this is the first of our second cycle of workshops.

>>Plants Workshop – Dr. Charles Allen will repeat his popular Plants of Louisiana workshop. This one is scheduled May 4, 9 am – 3 pm. We are hoping again for the ULM Biological Station, Charles Allen Nature Preserve to be the site. I will be monitoring water levels near Columbia and keep you posted. If it floods again, we will have Plans B and C like we did last year. If you missed last year’s, you won’t want to miss again.

Wild Lettuce (Lactuca ludoviciana)
Dr. Charles Allen with wild lettuce on a roadside near Bundick Late.     (photo by Bette J. Kauffman)

The committee and I also chose June 8 for a workshop, but I have not yet approached a workshop leader. Nevertheless, pencil it in on your calendar.

In case you are wondering: LMN-NE members may repeat workshops, but not for credit toward certification. You must have 7 workshops on completely different topics for certification. I will give space priority to people who need a workshop for certification.

And, in case you are wondering… Bette Kauffman, Kim Paxton and Charles Paxton have completed 7 workshops and are working on interpretive projects. The committee also discussed standards for interpretive projects, and I’ll do the next blog post about that.

For the following people, No. 8 Mammals is your 7th workshop: Kalem Dartez, Suzanne Laird-Dartez, David Hoover, Susan Hoover, Francis Rogers. That means a) you do not pay for this workshop, but you must let me know you if you are coming, and b) you are one workshop away from certifiable! 🙂

Birds Saturday!

All systems are go for the Birds Workshop this Saturday, January 12. Here’s the flyer:

workshop 7 flyer

Please print as needed. I won’t repeat everything below, but here are the highlights:

We convene on the LaTech Campus at 9 a.m. for classroom instruction.

Over the lunch hour, we will travel to Lake D’Arbonne Spillway for field work, and if we want to see more birds, we’ll go to nearby Lake D’Arbonne State Park for more birding. It costs $3 to get into the park. Be prepared!

You can register online through PayPal by clicking on the “Certification” tab above then on the PayPal button provided. If you want to pay on site, please come 15 minutes early and please let me know your plan.

And here’s a gorgeous cardinal from the 1st Day Hike at D’Arbonne State Park. He just wouldn’t come out of the thick stuff for me!

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

See you Saturday!


Workshop 7: Birds

Workshop 7 Birds with Dr. Terri Maness is scheduled January 12, 9 am – 3 pm. The link to sign up via PayPal is now active on the Certification page of this website. I am running a bit late getting this done, so please do not delay. Register now!

As a reminder, we decided in the beginning that the 7th workshop each member attends would be free to that member. The three people for whom this is the 7th workshop are Kim and Charles Paxton and Bette Kauffman. I will definitely be there. Kim and Charles, even though you need not pay, please do let me if you will attend.

For a few more people, Workshop 8 Mammals in February will be their 7th. I will publish those names when I post that link.

Please note that the flyer link on the certification page is not yet active. Terri and I have a draft of a flyer close to ready. I’ll let you know when it is up.

The drill will be familiar. The workshop commences at 9 a.m. We’ll spend the morning in a classroom and the afternoon “birding” in the great outdoors.

You might be wondering where. You might be remembering that we had hoped to go to the Upper Ouachita NWR for the field work, but it is under water. So…

Plan B is that we will meet at Black Bayou Lake NWR in the education center for the indoor part and stay at BBL for the field work. We already know from experience that a good variety of birds is usually available at BBL.

However, that might be stymied by the stalemate in Washington D.C. Indeed, I have a Plan C, but Terri has not approved it as of this writing. I will announce that if/when we must.

In any case, I will do everything possible to avoid postponing this workshop. Our first cycle of workshops really needs to wrap up. It should not take more than a year to complete a cycle, and people are waiting for the next cycle to begin. Postponing now just creates greater scheduling problems in the future.

Moreover, I have gotten in trouble with at least several people every time I have changed the date of something, and many have pleaded for more advance notice. You are busy, involved people. I totally get that, and my own calendar is a big headache. SO… please plan to do a birds workshop January 12, one way or another!

And… speaking of birds, I had this wonderful encounter with a red-shouldered hawk on my way to D’Arbonne State Park January 1 for the 1st Day Hike. I love this shot!

Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)
Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)     (photo by Bette J. Kauffman)