I spent most of my life very disconnected from the natural world. But something happened when I was almost 40 years old that changed everything for me. What was this momentous event, you ask? I’ll tell you: I put up a bird feeder.
As the birds started showing up in my yard, I wanted to know what they were. So I bought a pocket-sized “feeder bird identification” book. And then I thought, well, why not add another feeder? And soon, another? I’ve always loved to learn new things, so this blossoming interest was a treasure trove that provided endless opportunities to discover more about the world.
I had no idea that the simple act of putting seeds in a feeder would open my eyes as it eventually did.
My thirsty brain led me to subscribe to bird-related magazines and continue adding to my library of bird field guides. Then I started going to birding festivals and taking workshops and my interests quickly expanded to anything and everything related to birds: their habitats, their food sources, their behaviors, you name it.
In 2017 I moved to Toledo, Ohio, where I discovered a group called Wild Ones. The mission of Wild Ones is “to promote environmentally sound landscaping practices to preserve biodiversity through the preservation, restoration and establishment of native plant communities.” I was intrigued, and quickly learned the connection between native plants and the birds I already loved. I was instantly hooked, and I now serve on the board of the Oak Openings Region chapter of Wild Ones. I’ve begun a multi-year transformation of my garden, adding as many native plants as I can possibly fit into it. It’s incredibly rewarding already, as I can see the increased numbers and variety of insects who are using the plants in my yard for survival. Check the top menu for a link to my series of articles about my native garden project.
I also serve on the board of Toledo Naturalists’ Association, another organization dedicated to helping connect people with nature. I’ve just been elected President of TNA and will serve my two-year term in 2022-2023. I’m looking forward to celebrating TNA’s 90th year of education and conservation in 2023. Both of these fine nonprofits offer educational programs and field trips around northwest Ohio all year long. My involvement with them greatly enriches my life.
I love to share what I learn, and that’s what I try to do on this website. I also lead dragonfly field trips and am happy to take friends out in the field to find all sorts of insects. In 2021 I presented a beginner dragonfly program for Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, and you can watch the recording on their YouTube channel.
Thanks for reading this far, and please feel free to write to me using the “Contact Me” link at the top of each page. Now, that’s enough computer time for today…why not step outside and see what’s happening in the natural world? 🙂
P.S. I’ve recently republished some posts I wrote about my sensory processing sensitivity, so if you’re interested in that, start here with this secondary “About” page.