A Valentine to Our Chapter

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.

Here’s a Valentine from Sue Ann, saw greenbrier hearts in my woods.

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!

Pollution and Corona Virus

by Ann Collins

These images are some Ann clipped from her reading.

I’ve been seeing that some areas of pollution have cleared up somewhat since people have been restricted in travel. Can this be true? The canals of Venice are clear, and dolphins have returned. Satellite images of northern Italy show a huge reduction in fouled air.

Small bits of good news.

Is this Mother Nature’s way of saying, “Hey people! Stop destroying this wonderful world I’ve provided for you?” If we can’t be responsible caretakers, we get a wake-up call in the guise of a pandemic and mandatory quarantines, huh?

Factories have shut down, travel is curtained, people are socked up at home (not so much running up and down the road at any and every impulse).

Just a reprieve

Sadly, the reports indicate that all will return to normal. Factories will belch poison into the air again, cars will spew brown smoke again, planes will dart about like flies in the sky. Here we go again! Didn’t we learn anything? Probably not. We have become so self centered that we won’t make even the smallest sactifice, even to save ourselves.

Mother nature has sent us to our rooms.


PS from the webmaster: We have learned that dolphins really were not swimming in the canals of Venice, though it’s certainly a lovely image. Let us know if anything else we share is not verified!