Aside from either work or home, where do you like to go to get away from it all?
Often, when I am not working with technology, or at home with my kids, I can be found in Nature somewhere. When I decided to bring all of my interests and efforts together into this single communications channel, I knew my explorations and studies in Nature would be a part of it. This post is another in my small introductory series to introduce you to myself, my site and my interests and to start the discussion of what needs this place and I can help meet.
Although born in Houston and raised in New Orleans, I grew up spending quite a bit of time in the piny woods, swamps and marshes of Louisiana and Mississippi from my time as a Boy Scout. Nowadays, it may be because of the Brazos Bend photowalks taught by Dr. Lazlo Perlaky, or my own volunteer work at the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center, or just setting time aside for the Texas State Parks and even occasional wanderings into Oklahoma and Kansas as I explore the Great Plains. I am also working towards certification as a Texas Master Naturalist.
There is something essential for me about spending time outside and in nature. In the city I feel wrapped up in my comfortable cocoon and polished veneer, but I don’t get to stretch my senses. The horizon is too close in a building or in the city. If I pay attention to what I hear, I realize I can hear traffic from the nearby highway. And don’t get me started on what I smell in the city.
But in nature I can unfurl all of my senses and stretch them as far as I can. I may listen and count the number of birds I can hear and see if I can identify them. Smelling the color green when I am in the Texas Coastal Swamps always gives my spirit room to stretch its wings. When hiking the Wichita Mountains I love to stop and just look around every so often and become still and just observe the bison on a nearby ridge or watch the prairie dogs play. Nature is a part of me.
In this section of James Crossman dot com, I hope to share some of this world with you. Friends tell me they have become more aware of the nature in their own back yard from spending time with me, and I hope I can share something similar here. But what do you want to see here? If you are in Texas, would you like to know more about the beauty of our home state? If you are distant, what would you like to see? How important is conservation of our natural resources to you?
More importantly, what questions do you have as we set out on this trail together?
I love the idea of enjoying nature in my own backyard. I’ve even started photographing various trees and flowers there. I become frustrated however when I realize that I have no idea what any of the trees and/or flowering shrubs are. Do you have any ideas for this “beginner” nature lover regarding identification?