by Jackie Thornton
We will be celebrating Valentine’s Day soon and at my age that doesn’t mean a dozen roses or a box of candy from a six-foot good-looking guy! It is a time that gives me pause to think about the appreciation I feel for a group of people.
I appreciate the value system of our Master Naturalist group. There has been due diligence in protecting us and still providing opportunities. On the state level, the Virtual Volunteer Fair was awesome, but the event impacting me the most is joining the Winter BioBlitz. Linda Jo has been such a supporter for all of us in participating in iNaturalist, but I always found an excuse.
Excuses including: I need a new iPhone, more books, more expertise…
First time out I came back with my photographs and spent hours pouring over plant identification references. I don’t regret the time spent, but it was overkill when you have Linda Jo checking your work! I ended up with three research-quality entries (my yaupon holly is shown below), and you would have thought I had just gotten a gold star on my research paper. ( Please do not ask me about lichens or mosses though.) I encourage anyone hesitating to take the big step, take it!
So, to all of you that have worked so hard to keep us active, safe and appreciated, thank you and Happy Valentine’s Day!