AMN is off to a good start. We have completed 4 of our 10 workshops. We had an introduction to welcome our new members and explain how the program works. Our first workshop was at the Nature Station. Billy covered hydrology of the state in the past and present, Mike covered how soils were formed and soils types across our state and Kyle covered fungi and their relationship to soil. We had a nice hike to get soil samples, identify fungi, and search for zombie ants.
Our second workshop took place in Iberia Parish, first at Wildlife and Fisheries facility then over to Matt’s restoration property. Larry gave us a wonderful introduction to prairie ecology, Billy introduced frog identification by sight and sound, and Paul covered black biology and restoration. We then took a drive to see Matt’s property that has been restored into prairie and wetland. It was a wonderful way to learn about hands on restoration techniques and a great place to identify flora and fauna.
The third workshop took place at Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge for an overnight adventure. One of our members came with me on a birding trip to Lacassine NWR, Cameron Prairie NWR and Rutherford Beach before arriving at Rockefeller at 4pm. Our best birds of the day were a male vermilion flycatcher, 12 sandhill crane, a crested caracara and 2 merlin. Once members arrived for the evening, Marty presented history of Rockefeller, I presented intro to birding, and Kyle presented marine mammals. We had a wonderful potluck dinner and headed out for a night hike where we identified night sounds and discussed impoundments and other things at Rockefeller. The next morning, Alice and I headed out by truck before daybreak to Rockefeller marshes so we could take a sunrise walk before breakfast. Morning talks included Leigh Ann discussing coastal restoration, Marty gave alligator history and research information before heading out to the beach. We had lunch at the beach, Marty and Leigh Anne talked some more about restoration and beaches before heading over to the overlook where we saw dozens of white pelican and a whole host of other birdlife.
Unfortunately I did not make it to the fourth workshop but I heard it was wonderful. Kim Hollier led a tree ID talk then the group spent much time on the trails identifying plants and animals. Kyle presented Louisiana bats and they watched the Caroline Dorman video.
We have six more awesome workshops with a wonderful group of naturalists. We look forward to sharing more information with great group and spending more time in nature.