Yes, it’s cold–but you don’t have to be

It’s here, the cold, the crisp, the invigorating single digit weather that is a Maine trademark. The projected temperatures for this weekend indicate a big chill, and you can hunker down with warm slippers and a good book, or get out there and embrace the cold. Reveling in it is my choice, and I grab […]

Foraging for maitake mushrooms–the time is now.

Maitake season is upon us. I was mourning that we had not gotten any this year, and that my supply was getting rather slim, and that it was pretty late, and whine after whine. Then, a burst of rain, and they were popping up all over. Now I have to scramble to freeze or cook […]

The learning will never stop–naturalists graduate

The last installment of my progress as a Maine Master Naturalist, Tier 1.   Fireworks end with a grand finale of ear-aching noise and blinding flashes. That is nothing compared to the Maine Master Naturalist finale, Tier One. We followed in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark through field and forest, and then put on […]

Science and Art: A group of naturalists make beautiful bugs

Another installment in my progress as a Maine Master Naturalist Tier 1 student.   We are in the home stretch, final assignments are due, and there is some scrambling to finish projects. Nineteen never-say-die aspiring naturalists, who might just possibly all be called over achievers, were given the assignment of building an insect model. We […]

Life behind a nametag: Do you wear your name on your shirt?

In decades of being gainfully employed I have never* had to wear a badge with my name on it. I never really thought much about them. The bag girl at the local supermarket has one, flight attendants wear them, my daughter had polo shirts with her name when she drove a team of horses, and […]

Fun with owl pellets, and a motley crew develops naturalist’s wings.

Another installment in my progress as a Maine Master Naturalist Tier 1 student.   “Dissect an owl pellet, separate and identify bones, and build and label a skeleton,” was one of the assignments due this week. “Piece of cake,” I thought, remembering seventh grade biology and all the dissections we had done. Earthworms, starfish, some […]

Being a Maine naturalist is risky business.

Another installment in my progress as a Maine Master Naturalist tier 1 student.   One thing we were not told when applying for the Maine Master Naturalist program were the risks involved. Yes, sun block and insect repellent were mentioned, but vicious flying toe biters and aggressive as-only-a-mother-can-be goshawks were not. Our first field trip […]

A naturalist and mother-of-the-bride collide

Herbarium binder

The intensity of the Maine Master Naturalist program allows for no interruptions and no absences. The application is quite clear: if you cannot attend all classes and workshops, do not apply. My best and wisest and most beautiful daughter was getting married, here in our backyard, about three weeks after the course began. I was […]

Ferns, feathers and the Maine Master Naturalist program

Natuturalist tools

Ferns, trees, wildflowers, dissecting kits, owl pellets, field guides–how could I not be in? The Maine Master Naturalist Program offers intense, wide-ranging study of, well, all things natural, and in Maine. I applied the day applications opened, and was fortunate enough to be one of nineteen adventurers accepted into the Mount Desert Island Program. Oh, […]