Monday, November 23, 2009

Some members of the 2009 Class of Master Naturalists hit the ground (or creek) running by forming a stream team to adopt 5 miles of upper Swan Creek in Christian County.  On November 11, 2009, they started with a cleanup. 

Merrill Dubach organized the team and reports the following:

"The creek itself is pristine.  It is nestled in a primarily gravel riparian zone in a forested and pasture flood plain.  One tributary was trashed and we cleaned it by collecting about 40 large trash bags, 14 tires, and about 200 pounds of fence, car body parts, and other metal objects.  We also walked about a mile of Swan Creek and picked up a trash.  In addition to meeting some fine folks who own the adjacent property, we have recruited a new stream team member.  Her name is  Mary Wigton and she wants to get into the next class of Master Naturalists."

The team included Jennifer Ailor, Rose and Dwayne Atchley, Merrill Dubach, Caryn Fox and Jim Trotter, Larry Maggard,Vicki Sears, Marlyss Simmons, Gala Solari, and Sherryl Walker.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Quail Count

A bleary eyed group of Master Naturalists headed out of Springfield at 5 AM on four different days to complete quail covey counts for MDC.  They surveyed Sloan, Stoney Point, Niawathe and Shelton prairies, counting quail calls before sunrise.  Each of the ten count points heard one or more coveys.

They were rewarded by seeing three prairie chickens fly out of one prairie.  On another prairie they watched as more than 30 Northern Harriers flushed out of their communal roosting site. (Click for more on Northern Harriers)   More potentially shocking, they had to lay low on a wet prairie once as a lightening storm passed over. 

The intrepid band was led by Charley Burwick and included Kristen Riggs, Bob Ranney, Joe Kleiber, Dave Sturdevant, Charles Stewart, Richard Stiefvater, Carl Haworth and Dan Liles from Audubon.  They ended up at Cookies in Golden City where Charley bought their breakfast!

This just in from Dan Crane.  What can get hit by a car going 75 miles an hour and be found alive and well in the grill 600 miles later?   Click here.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Springfield Plateau is Expanding

New and Improved

We will literally double the Springfield Plateau Chapter with the addition of the talented and enthusiastic new class. There are occupations from A (Attorney and Architects) to Z (Zoo Keeper). We have trained biologists, writers and Artist/Designers. We even a guy who bangs rocks. I am known for my napping, but my wife Barb points out that when Larry Maggard knaps he produces flint points- a very subtle difference in my mind.

The "old guys" and the new graduates need to get to know each other. Sharing interests and working together is what MN is all about. There are a lot of great capstones underway. Look over the Photo Directory and find who has an interest that fits with yours and contact them.

Staying in contact

Monthly meetings are the main way we get to know each other. Another new way is through the Blog. Email or call me or Bob Ranney with capstone progress, volunteer projects you have done, or any other news you want to convey. Photographs are particularly welcome.

Need help with a project? The Blog is a good way to get the word around the Chapter. Send it in and we will send it out.