From the time I was around eight years old until I was twenty-nine, I was immersed in nature. As a young boy, I spent almost all my time outside and was often in the woods exploring and catching everything I could get my hands on. Somewhere around the 6th grade, it became a little more organized as my interest in snakes grew and I turned to books to learn more about them. As I have said elsewhere, my interests grew to include all animals. It was not a surprise that I became a biologist. But at twenty-nine, I left my job as a biologist so I could provide better for my family. (Being a biologist was great fun until payday). Sadly, I immersed myself so deeply in my new occupation that I completely left all my interests in the outdoors behind. I occasionally took a short venture in the woods or desert and I did do a little nature photography when the chance presented itself. There are a lot of sad parts about this but the worst is that I quit adding to my nature education. The years have shaved off some of the knowledge that I had and I find myself having to refresh myself with facts and information on broad areas of biology. Luckily, I have retained a great deal as well. I still feel I have a good base. I just think about how much more awareness and enjoyment I would have now if I had continued my education in the outdoors and kept adding to it through the years.
Well, all I can do now is pick it back up and immerse myself in it once again. The training with the Texas Master Naturalist (TMN) program has helped with that. It has also been enlightening in many ways.
This past weekend was the final weekend of the basic training for the new class of the Cypress Basin Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists. Instead of our usual location at the Wildlife Management Area at Caddo Lake, we were on a private lake at the Wilkes Power Plant in Marion county. It is a beautiful location and was such a great place for our excursions.