Living in Massachusetts for over 30 years has given me the opportunity to learn from incredible naturalists. People whose passions involve learning about the natural world and sharing its wonders with everyone. Many I speak with were nature nerds from the time they were in elementary school. While their peers were reading comics, they were learning the Latin names of trees; while their friends were playing kickball, they were catching turtles and frogs at the creek. Others discovered their passion later in life, learning everything they can about butterflies, or vernal pools, or how to build a good hiking trail.
I have learned so much about nature from these Nature Nerds:
– Did you know that fairy shrimp eggs can remain viable for more than a hundred years, waiting for that one summer when the vernal pool fills and brings them a fleeting but momentous life?
– That monarchs in New England are probably the third generation from the ones that left Mexico in the spring but our butterflies can find their way to their congregation sites in the mountains of Mexico without ever having been there?
– That oystercatchers mate for life and will return to the same beach every year to breed for their lifetime.
Some of the Nature Nerds you will meet have committed their professional lives to the environment, making it their life’s work in non-profits, state and local agencies, and teaching classes in our public schools and colleges. Others, like myself, are amateurs in the true sense of the word: doing it simply for the love of nature.
What strikes me about all of them is their generosity in sharing Mother Nature’s wonders with us. I have been participated in trainings, workshops, hikes, even dune tours. By getting people out on the land, in the forests, fields, wetlands, and streams, they bring out the nature nerd in all of us. They have discovered the awe-inspiring splendor of the natural world and want to share that with others. They connect people to mother earth, her rhythms, her complexity, her beauty.
The goal of this website is to in some small way document these incredible naturalists, teachers, lovers of nature. I hope to share their knowledge but also to impart some of their wisdom they’ve found while following their passions as they have tried to learn about and protect the natural world. Hopefully their awe will inspire the nature nerd within you to get involved in protecting our earth and its wonders.
Get out into Nature and Go Wild!