|RETURN TO ARCHIVES|
Dear Fellow Master Naturalists:
February is the month of love. What do I love? I love birds. I love butterflies. I love hikes in the wilderness. I love Stella Rowan Prairie flowering in the spring. I love the migrations of Canadian Geese. I love the feeding patterns of White Pelicans on White Rock Lake. I love Big Bend. I could go on and on.
Now, the retailers tell us exactly how to tell others we love them - candy, flowers, jewelry, and a nice meal. How do we tell the natural world of our love? Let me count the ways.
- Get involved. There are projects galore through our chapter, National Audubon, the Nature Conservancy, Native Plant Society, Organic Gardeners, Fort Worth Nature Center. They all have one thing in common - they make the world better for nature, and by extension ourselves.
- If you love butterflies like I do, then create the environment to produce new generations. Have you planted dill or parsley for the swallowtails? How about passion vine for the Gulf Fritillary? Or Butterfly Weed (asclepias tuberosa) for Monarchs? If you don't know how to get started, just contact one of us to help you. Or visit a nursery specializing in native plants.
- Give a gift. Gifts come in all forms. It could be time. It could be money. It could be expertise. It could be educating young people about nature. It could be sharing your Master Naturalist experience with friends and acquaintances.
- Do your birds have seeds to eat and a place for a drink or a bath? Is there cover from the elements? Have you worked with your city council member or planning commissions to make sure there will be room for birds to nest and raise their young?
- Speak for earth's inhabitants who can't speak for themselves. Have you made your voice heard on issues facing our society (e.g., water issues, air pollution, fragmentation, endangered species).
Let me close by quoting from Baba Diourm, a Senegalese Poet, who wrote:
" In the end, we will conserve only what we love.
We will love only what we understand.
We will understand only what we have been taught."