Heads up!

Thanks to the work of the events committee, we have events to put on our calendars. Some good ones. So pull up your calendar and let’s go!

July 25:

  • 4:45-5:30 p.m.: David Hoover certification project. BBL Education Center. Details forthcoming.
  • 5:30-6 p.m.: LMN-NE Board of Directors meeting. (Members welcome to stay & observe.)

August 29, 7 p.m.: LMN-NE B of D meeting on zoom. Your Board of Directors has decided to meet on last Sundays of the month on zoom. Members are always welcome to attend, provide feedback and observe, so if you are NOT a Board member but want to receive the zoom invite, notify me (bjk).

September 25: So sorry to report that Bats & Rats must be rescheduled. Will keep you posted.

September 26, 7 p.m.: 3rd Quarter Members meeting on zoom. (Board will not meet in Sept.)

Roselie and me at our first Fall Celebration. We have come a long way!

October 10, 2-3:30 p.m.: Roselie Overby certification project presentation at Tensas River NWR. Roselie is going to do our first ever experiential certification project. We will meet at Tensas. This is an amazing NWR about which I know little. Can’t wait!

October 16, 10 am – 2 pm: Fall Celebration at BBLNWR. Yippee! So glad to have this fun, educational event back. We will need volunteers to staff our table, hand out our brochures, sell t-shirts, sign up new members, etc.

October 31, 7 p.m.: LMN-NE Board of Directors meeting on zoom.

November 14?: Field trip to Molicy Unit with Kelby Ouchley? This one is not yet set for sure, but Kelby has offered and we are eager to take him up on his offer. Pencil it in.

November 28, 7 p.m.: LMN-NE Board of Directors meeting on zoom.

December 12, time??: Graduation, 4Q meeting and Christmas Party! Yay!

A word about safety: The pandemic is not behind us! Things have improved and it is great to be able to make plans, but we must continue to be vigilant. If you are fully vaccinated, wearing a mask–or not–is up to you. It’s not required, indoors or out, but you are certainly free to wear one if you wish and no one will care. If you are not fully vaccinated, please do wear a mask. And we all should continue to practice physical distancing.

Tidbits

Tidbit #1. The beautiful organizational business cards Kim Paxton designed are in. Our website URL, email address, and Facebook page handle are on one side and our mission statement is on the other. Those who attend Saturday’s herps workshop will receive some to hand out to people who might be interested in us and/or leave places where such people might congregate.

If you want some personalized with your name and contact info instead of the mission statement on them, contact Kim. You will be asked to pay for those, but the price is very reasonable. Well done, Kim!

Tidbit #2. Reserve Sunday afternoon, May 16, on your calendar. Amy Ouchley will present her certification project. Yay!

One other person, whom I will not yet name since it might not work out, might also be ready. Regardless of whether for one or two presentations, we will meet that afternoon.

I’m waiting to hear from the events planning committee for details, but please reserve the afternoon.

From my most recent hike at Black Bayou Lake NWR, a prothonotary warbler who came out of the thick stuff and posed for me for a split second!

Tidbit #3. Certification going forward: I am working on rescheduling the astronomy workshop that got canceled last fall. Terri Maness has agreed to another birds workshop in the fall. Also, Kim Tolson will do a mammals workshop with us in the fall called “Bats and Rats.”

These workshops are just waiting for me to work on details, which I will as soon as my spring semester of part-time teaching ends in a few short weeks!

Rendezvous 2021

Rendezvous 2021 begins this weekend! And, in light of pandemic, it is an experiment in having fun and doing naturalist things while maintaining physical distance. If you’ve been avoiding those overnight stays in cabins in a state park, here’s an opportunity for you to check out Rendezvous virtually!

First, I direct your attention to the Rendezvous 2021 Facebook page, here. It’s a private group, so you must request admission and answer a few questions–the most important one being, “Are you a member of a chapter of LMNA?”

LMNA Rendezvous 2021 on Facebook is a private group open only to paid-up members of Louisiana Master Naturalist chapters.

The FB Rendezvous group is only open to members of chapters. If you can say yes to that question, you will be promptly admitted. This is the place to track Rendezvous activities, see images that are submitted to the photo and video contests, see reminders of upcoming events, and so forth.

If you want to actually participate in Rendezvous activities, rather than merely follow along on Facebook, you must register for Rendezvous and make a $20 donation to the Louisiana Master Naturalist Association. You can do both here.

When you click the link above, you will go directly to the Rendezvous 2021 page on the LMNA website. It is a world of information, beautifully put together by our own Charles Paxton.

The Rendezvous 2021 page on the LMNA website is packed with information.

There you will find a yellow PayPal “Donate” button for your $20 contribution, but you also can write a check and mail it to our statewide treasurer, Janie Braud. Her address is on the officer page of the state website.

You will also find a red box with links to everything you could possibly want: the registration flyer, not to be confused with the registration form, and information about the various activities.

Yours truly in the one member of the planning committee who is behind. The very next item on MY agenda is to create a document with the rules and guidelines for participating in the Rendezvous 2021 Scavenger Hunt and get it to Charles so he can put it on the website.

Until I get that done, note the screenshot above. The Rendezvous 2021 Scavenger Hunt will be conducted via an iNaturalist collection project. You must be manually added to the project as a user for your observations to be counted. And that will happen as soon as you register for Rendezvous 2021, as directed above.

So far, the Paxtons and I are the only members of the Northeast Chapter to register for Rendezvous 2021. It would be great to see that change! It’s going to be fun and educational. Please go to the Rendezvous 2021 page on the LMNA website and check it out.

Zoom In Sunday

LMN-NE’s 1st Quarter meeting is this coming Sunday, March 7, beginning at 2 p.m. on zoom. A link to register in advance for the meeting is here: LMN-NE 1st Q Mtg

Our guest speaker is Erin Cox, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Refuge Coordinator. Erin is over Black Bay Lake NWR, Tensas NWR and a couple of other refuges in our area. She will give us an illustrated overview of the USFWS, then zero in on the refuges she manages and what we can do to help in fulfilling our mission as conservationists and educators on conservation.

Tensas River NWR is one of the refuges Erin Cox will talk about Sunday.

Following Erin’s presentation and an opportunity to ask her questions, we will conduct a business meeting. Items on our agenda include approval of two new board members, consideration of a request for associate membership, and lots of information about the upcoming, statewide virtual Rendezvous.

Non-members are welcome to hear Erin’s presentation, observe our meeting, ask questions, make suggestions, etc. (Non-members may not vote, of course.) We do, however, require advance registration. That is for security purposes. See link above!

Hope to see you BOTH Saturday on the Trillium Hike and Sunday for our 1st Quarter meeting on zoom.

Perfect Weather!

The 10-day forecast says 66 degrees and sunny for this coming Saturday, March 6. Perfect for a hike! The Trillium Walk will finally happen.

All systems are go. Dr. Charles Allen, retired botanist and the man after whom this nature preserve is named, plans to be there, along with his wife Susan and daughter Dawn. Scott Meredith of the city of Columbia, which owns the property, plans to join us AND has provided a port-a-john for our comfort! Our birder Roselie Overby is back on tap.

Again, the site is the Charles Allen Nature Preserve in the Copenhagen Hills near Columbia. Don’t bother with your GPS; it will not find this site. The map below will get you through Columbia, and once you’re on Fisher Rd. headed out of town, just keep coming until you see my black Honda CRV parked on the left side of the road.

This map will get you through Columbia. If you are coming from the south, there’s another more direct route. Email me at bjkauffman@gmail.com for those directions.

I plan to be there shortly past 9:30 and hope to head off on our hike at 10 sharp. If you would like my cell # just in case you have trouble, please email me at bjkauffman@gmail.com. BTW, CenLa Master Naturalists, there’s another way to get in if you are coming from the south. Email me if you want those directions.

I cannot be absolutely certain that the trillium will still be blooming. I’m hoping the cold weather set them back but didn’t kill them! The red buckeye should be starting to bloom. Here at home, the freeze turned some of the leaves black on my red buckeye, but the bloom spikes are forming anyway.

I’ll be looking for crane fly orchid leaves to mark the sites for a visit in August when they’re blooming. There’s also a cucumber magnolia–a tree you do not see very often–plus a green ash–and plenty of other wonderful sights, not the least of which is the Ouachita River from the overlook.

Red Buckeye with bloom spikes in formation, on the Charles Allen Nature Preserve near Columbia, La.

Be sure to bring water and snacks if you need them. We will most likely be on the trail for 2 hours. Hiking boots or sturdy sneakers recommended as a short portion of the trail is somewhat steep and the trillium we are seeking grow on the slope of the ridge.

See you Saturday. This hike will be all the more delicious for having been twice delayed!