Orion Grassroots Network Southeast Regional Conference
Columbia, North Carolina
November 7 - 9, 2008
A MELDING OF MINDS
A group of Southern writers and activists concerned with preserving wetlands, forests and wildlife gathered on this weekend to share ideas. Bob, Lyle, Matt and Jan DeBlieu walk the long way around to breakfast with their binoculars in hopes of spotting some new birds. Click on the photo for closer look. One of the best things Jan said in the course of the weekend was, "The opposite of love is not hate, it's fear."
Camille, Janice, Ernie, Eric, Matt and three State Park employees gaze up at one of a few "Champion" trees in the park.
There were about twenty-five of us and we split into two groups Saturday after a morning in conference. One group went kayaking in the Albemarle Sound and our group went for a hike in Pettigrew State Park. Click on the photos of Bob and Camille for the full-sized file.
We walked through the forest with many cypress trees to the edge of a lake. Matt stands beside some large cypress "knees" in the grove of trees.
When we walked out of the woods to the edge of the lake, the sun lit up the Spanish Moss on the cypress trees.
TREES, INSIDE AND OUT
Ranger Doug led the hike and we learned a lot about trees from him. He and his wife live in the State Park and she is able to join him at work as a volunteer. The large cypress tree they are standing in front of is hollow inside. We took turns standing inside to see how it felt.
FROM JANICE'S CAMERA
The bridge, Camille with the monster cypress and Janice herself.
CYPRESS KNEES, AND DEVILS WALKING STICKS
The cypress knees look like gnomes. Janice, Eric and Warren enjoyed the walk. Click on the photo to view a larger file. Ranger Doug took us into a grove of Devil's Walking Stick trees and showed us their spikes.
During the drive to the coast, Lyle suggested we do some bird watching. We decided to keep track of how many separate species of birds the we saw over the weekend and tally them up. Matt, the novice bird watcher guessed we'd see 47 different kinds of birds, and we seasoned bird watchers howled at the thought. At the end of the weekend, our list was 43 species long and Matt had been vindicated.
On our way home, we made a detour to Lake Mattamuskeet Wildlife Refuge, famed home to migrating Snow Geese and Tundra Swans. Janice and Lyle scope out the birds on the way to Lake where we went on to see the massive migration. The day before, Matt looked for water birds on Phelps Lake from the dock on the edge of the lake.
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