Daviess County Audubon Society's Newsletter March 2002
Meetings September thru June at First Christian Church 7th & J.R. Miller Blvd.
John MacGregor is March Speaker  by Rob Rold

Next Monday our club will have the good fortune to hear Mr. John MacGregor talk about Kentucky's herpetofauna (a.k.a. reptiles and amphibians).  John is a biologist with the US Forest Service specializing in threatened and endangered species, and is currently on sabbatical while he completes his new book "The Reptiles and Amphibians of Kentucky".  John has been busy the last two years collecting historical records for each county and has spent considerable time in the field collecting specimens where good records did not exist.

John has presented many programs during his career, and not only is he one of the sharpest biologists I have ever met, he is extremely entertaining.  He is widely know for his contributions to herpetology and is also an excellent photographer.

Inside This Issue

1  The Great Backyard Bird Count How to Participate

What's Happening in Frankfort

3  Recycling Tips for Christmas Cards and Postage Stamps

4  Indispensable Products for Lovers of the Outdoors

Thanks to Carpets Unlimited 130 Salem Drive for donating leaf patterned doormats to the Joe Ford Nature Center.  Let's remember the generosity of local businesses such as Carpets Unlimited when we shop.  It takes a village for an Audubon chapter.
If We Build It, Will they Come?  Shafting Warren County  by Kentucky Audubon Council President, G. Wm. "Bill" Little, Jr.

Local candidates for political office, current officials, and business people who are gung ho for building a new airport and a series of warehouses on 4000 acres near Bowling Green were invited to a meeting week before last in the west Kentucky city.  Local opponents planned the meeting to inform the taxpayers of Warren County about their reasons for seeing the entire idea as a bad one.

I attended the meeting as a representative of the state's Audubon chapters.  Two similar endeavors, in Missouri and North Carolina, that have been abysmal failures, were used to make the point that it is almost certain that Kentucky will see the same end result.  Citizens for Managed Growth is a grassroots organizations that sees no demand for the facility.  At this time there are no known prospects lined up for setting up shop in the proposed Transpark.  No industries have located in either of the boondoggles that were used to illustrate the folly of the local idea.

It is not surprising that the group expects a study being done by Western Kentucky University to give the idea a big environmental thumbs-down because of the unsuitable nature of the underlying karst with sinkholes and drainage into Mammoth Cave and the Barren River.  There is no way to clean up a spill that makes its way into the honeycomb of karst.

Being funded by government bonds, the taxpayers of Warren County will have to carry this burden if it becomes a money pit amidst the region's geological sink holes.  The project appears to be something that no reasonable investor would touch with a ten-foot pole.  And that is not a gargantuan East European.

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Girls!  Girls!  Girls!  an editorial by Brenda Bailey Little

As you drive along I-65 near Elizabethtown, the purple and pink neon radiates its intended come-on to thousands of travelers across the evening skies.  The Negro College Fund's slogan A Mind is a terrible thing to waste comes to mind as I think of the people, the buyers and sellers, of raunchy entertainment.  Keep reading, because eventually I will get to the point of this far afield tie-in with Women's History Month.

Women have played a major role in the history of environmental activism and indeed the Audubon Society itself.  Women made up the demand side of the shortsighted business of killing birds for the millinery trade early in the last century.  The Audubon Society's origin came about because it was realized that eradication of species was taking place for their prized feathers then seen atop the heads of women who were just as much slaves to fashion as are young women today who try to look like Britney Spears.

The very name of our Society comes, not from John James Audubon, but instead from his long-suffering wife, Lucy.  Lucy was widowed in poverty and supported herself by teaching school.  One of her adoring students founded The Audubon Society and out of respect for Lucy chose the name.  In fact, when Don Boarman spoke to our club, he was asked for the title of a good book about Ole J. J. and he answered that probably the best read about the artist was to read Lucy's biography.

Another woman whose name is known and revered in the history of environmental awareness is Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring.  Along the lines of Ms. Carson's warnings, a new term came from my reading of an editorial last week, envirocide.  As the first to sound a printed alarm, Ms. Carson suffered all the slings and arrows that to this day are hurled at people who speak out in defense of a healthy environment and are kindly called Tree Huggers and Bird Nerds and not so kindly, Environazis.

On the West Coast, the name of recently deceased Hazel Wolfe is held in esteem and admiration.  This lady lived a life of love for the natural world and has left a changed world that continues with the education programs and projects that she served all her life.

There are many other women who have made a great and lasting impact on the natural world in the past.  A good book for reading about them can be found at our Public Library, Women Pioneers for he Environment by Mary Joy Breton.  Just looking at our chapter's Web site and program roster for the past few years points out the dynamic impact that women like the Copperbelly researcher and Laura Burford are currently having on the world we're trying to make cleaner and healthier.

At the same time as the historic efforts of women for the environment is discussed, it must also be realized that society has lost the talents of countless women as a result of social stereotypes and keeping women 'in their place'.  It has recently been realized that up until puberty, girls score as well as boys in science and math.  However, as girls enter their early teens, many drop drastically in subjects referred to as 'the sciences'.  As educators study ways to build girls' confidence and develop their natural talents, the future will benefit with hundreds of thousands of researchers, biologists, environmental lawyers and such.

And so I've come full circle, back to the pink and purple neon that tries to entice people to spend money for watching women cling to poles and writhe sans clothes.  Whether a girls falls prey to the idea that it is not cool to be brainy or that girls aren't suited for some occupations, a mind really is a terrible thing to waste.

Girls, past, present, and future have been, are, and will be precious for the world's well-being.  Thank heaven for little girls.

April's program features Pam Flowers who in 1993 soloed with a sled and a team of dogs across 2500 Artic miles.  You go, girl!
Bring your Checkbook Monday Night
It's Girl Scout Cookie Time
Outside the door of the meeting room you will see stacked boxes and smiling faces as Dianne Bowers and her Girl Scout troop give you an opportunity to stock your pantry and freezer by supporting their annual fundraiser.  You might want to speak to co-workers, friends and neighbors about picking up a few boxes for them as well.  How sweet it is to be charitable and good to yourself at the same time, everybody wins when you buy Girl Scout cookies.

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Sunday the 10th
Greenbelt Park Bluebird Nestbox Work Project.  Meet at the Dairy Queen on U.S. 231 at 1 PM.  For more information phone Mike Henshaw 275-4250

Monday the 11th
Regular Monthly Meeting 7 PM at First Christian Church 7th and J.R. Miller Boulevard.  This will be an excellent program for the kids so round-up your children, grandchildren, neighbors' children, etc and bring 'em along

Sunday the 17th
Bird count and 2 hour campus walk at 2 PM.  Meet at the south parking lot at Owensboro Community College.

Wednesday the 20th
The day we've been waiting for, it's officially SPRING!

Saturday the 23rd
Kentucky Audubon Council Spring Meeting at Buckley Sanctuary near Versailles.  Delegates from each chapter will plan fundraising for a state office and hiring a state director.  11 AM to 3 PM EST.  Lunch will be provided.

Sunday the 31st
Easter Sunday

February's Field Trip

About a dozen of our members visited the Radzelovage Forest for a morning of hiking and birding last month.  Rob Rold had worked for a few weeks prior to the outing setting up feeders in order to bribe our feathered friends into making a Saturday morning appearance.  The trip to 'Rose Ann's Place' was the first in several years for our club and it was a welcomed homecoming.

The highlight of the morning was the excitement of watching three wild turkeys that took flight ahead on the path.  The extreme wind cut short the early spring hike, but lunch overlooking the Ohio River was, as usual, a fun way to party hearty after birding.

Stop to Smell the Wildflowers
One of the features of spring wildflowers is their short life.  It would be a good idea to take this list from our Web site with you out into Ben Hawes or Audubon Park or Bernheim Forest as a reward for having completed an onerous task such as income Tax Filing or spring house cleaning.  Grab your Wildflower Field Guide and see how many of these beauties you can find...

_____ White Trout-Lily
_____ Dwarf White Trillium, Snow Trillium
_____ Dwarf Cinquefoil, Early Cinquefoil
_____ Hepatica
_____ Twinleaf
_____ Bloodroot
_____ Cut-leaf Toothwort
_____ Crinkleroot, Two-leaved Toothwort
_____ Spring Beauty
_____ Purple Cress
_____ Trailing Arbutus
_____ Harbinger-of-spring
_____ Early Saxifrage
_____ Henbit
_____ Pussy-toes

March Field Trip
No fibbin', we're going Phibin.  Amphibians and early migrants will be our targeted critters this month and anything we find at L.B. Davidson Wildlife Management Area in Ohio County will be gravy.  Details of the outing were not finalized at press time.  For more information phone Rob Rold at 684-3209 or check out our web site.

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Some Things to Think About

I would like to remind all of you about our chapter's Endowment Fund.  Nobody likes to think about death, but when it occurs, people need to choose memorial expressions of sympathy and condolence.  A gift to this fund will help our chapter to have long-term fiscal health.  We do not use the Endowment Fund for ordinary operating expenses.  Rather, it is like a family's nest egg, children's college fund, or savings for a major construction project.  Audubon is here to stay and an Endowment Fund is necessary for longevity.  Please remember us when the time comes time to pay tribute to a life you love.

It is time for you to begin gathering suggestions for next year's programs and field trips.  A committee meets in June to go through ideas from our members.  All you need do is clip an aritcle or write a short description of your interest and give it to Brenda Little.  She types up each idea for committee review.

Get outside and play!  Mike Henshaw, DCAS Pres.

Does your local school know about us?

The Daviess County Audubon Society is perhaps the most active organization in the region when it comes to environmental education.  We have volunteers who teach Beginning Birding, explain the importance of forest stewardship, lead study hikes, present Earth Day programs, and other fun and meaningful topics for groups of all ages.  However, we have a soft spot in our hearts for kids.  We sponsor a half dozen classes subscriptions to Audubon Adventures, a nature newsletter for grades 3-6.  You can talk-up our activities if you have contact with an educator.  Tell them about April's program.

Here's a Tip for Science Teachers (and others with a child's curiosity).  Journey North has a web site that engages school age children in the study of global migrations.  Don't go there unless you have an hour or so!!
The Daviess County Audubon Society
306 Hoover Hill Road
Hartford, KY 42347-9522

The Goldfinch February 2002

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