by Scott Hudson, Class of 2018
“I like spring, but it is too young. I like summer, but it is too proud. So I like best of all autumn, because its tone is mellower, its colors are richer, and it is tinged with a little sorrow. Its golden richness speaks not of the innocence of spring, nor the power of summer, but of the mellowness and kindly wisdom of approaching age. It knows the limitations of life and is content.” — Lin Yutang in My People and My Country
Fall – I feel sure I was made for this time of year. With nature preparing to take some rest and with the seeds for the next year well in progress, autumn gives me a growing sense of hope.
TMN Annual Meeting Notes
Late October brought the hybrid annual meeting to DFW. We were treated to three days of fine educational programs and plenty of opportunities to spend time together. With some 110 sessions to choose from, it was easy to find sessions to meet one’s interests. We had two outstanding keynote messages, Drew Lanham on “Coloring the Conservation Conversation” and our own Amy Martin on “The Wonders of North Texas Nature.”
Recovering America’s Wildlife Act In-person registration provided each attendee information about this proposed legislation, making its way through committee at this writing. The bill was also discussed in some conference sessions. In that same Master Naturalist spirit of informing without advocating, you can learn more about the act from TPWD’s report and recommendations in “Sustaining Our State’s Diverse Fish and Wildlife Resources.”
Advanced Training All the sessions that were recorded are available for registrants to view for 90 days after the conference through the Cvent website. Recorded conference sessions can be watched through April 2022 for AT hours.
Thanks to all of you who participated. Almost every chapter in the state was represented, either in person or online. Of the 600+ registered, 95 were from NTMN – way to go! It was a little look behind the curtains for me to realize that registrations (and a few sponsorships) completely fund the annual meeting. So your support is really significant. And a special thanks to all who volunteered at the conference, move-in, registration, sessions, move out. Nicely done.
In addition two NTMNers came away with prizes in the Photo, Art & Media Contest. Susan Walters took third place in the sculpture category for her “Eastern Amberwing Radiant Dragonfly” and Chrissy Cortez-Mathis won first place in the photo group for her “Datura.” Congratulations to both of you artists!
Big Announcements for 2022 The annual meeting will be in Houston, October 20-23, 2022 hosted by the Coastal Prairies Chapter. Plenty to look forward to in ecoregions very different from North Texas. And the new recertification pin is the Lightning Whelk, Busycon perversum pulleyi, our official state shell and one of the few left-handed whelks. Several specimens of this lovely but tough predator were on display at the meeting.
Many thanks to Michelle Haggerty, Mary Pearl Meuth, Addison Preston, and Cameron Kelly for pulling together such an excellent meeting.
Hybrid Chapter Meetings
Thanks to your fun-loving Programs Committee, our new hybrid format is rolling right along. We’re working to protect health and safety – requiring masks and having plenty of room for social distancing. Door prizes at the November meeting were a welcome addition. As with our first virtual meetings, tech challenges take some patience. I hope you’re enjoying the freedom to take part in person or online. Nice seeing more questions come in from the virtual audience. And as always, please participate at the level you’re comfortable with.
Be on the Lookout
For a new project with the recently formed North Texas Mycological Association. The critical role of fungi in ecosystems has been gaining more attention. Eagerly anticipating opportunities to participate/volunteer with them in coming months. Our own Eva Gordon serves as their vice president.
As we head toward the end of 2021 there is so much I’m thankful for – right there are all of you with NTMN.
Keep staying safe. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with concerns or suggestions.