de Soto & Me

The collected forces of Hernando de Soto crossed the Mississippi in June of 1541.  A kingdom of gold rivaling that of the Aztec’s in Mexico was the motivation required to traverse across lush, untrammeled lands, that is presently known as Arkansas.  de Soto’s efforts fell short; no such cache was discovered.  Well, if we bend the definition of gold, I believe I have uncovered that reserve approximately 477 years later.

Sparing everyone from further subjection to this kitschy writing, I do believe I’ve gained indispensable knowledge and experiences which challenge the value of physical gold. Aside from furthering my comprehension of ecology, and conservation, I’ve reflected quite. Yadda, yadda, I’ve grown quite a bit, yadda, yadda. We’ve all heard it, and we’ve all grown to expect to hear just that, but it’s true. I’m content. Only thing I’m sorry about is recognizing that this endeavor is stretching its arms out towards the end.

Thoroughly, I’ve reflecting on this in early commutes to and from various field offices, often before the sun has had a chance to make its morning appearance. Each drive is accompanied with watery gas station coffee, a haphazardly thrown together lunch, and eagerness to begin the day. I have not seen one yet where I am reluctantly embracing it.

Lately, to describe one endeavor that I’m grateful for: assisting in the development of interpretive pollinator signs for the Mid American Science Museum in Hot Springs, Arkansas. These signs are intended to inform the public on the importance of our native pollinators, as well as the dynamic relationship between flowers and their preferred pollinators.

Located in the front of the museum are native plant beds. Although a bit disheveled upon our arrival, receiving proper maintenance, an improvement of irrigation, as well as an addition of more native plants from a local nursery will truly breath life right back into it.

Luckily, and this is all thanks to Rachel, the Hot Springs intern, I was informed that illustrations would be necessary for the signs themselves. Given how she is aware of my hobby, she put in a good word for me, which allowed the opportunity to present itself! I will be contributing hand-drawn sketches of butterflies, moths, caterpillars and bees! I hold thin confidence in my abilities, but signage erected before the entrance of a science museum has caused a few arrhythmias to say the least. Regardless of any ailments experienced, I’m thankful to be apart of the process.

(So, to return to my previous, seemingly out of place, remarks on de Soto – I’d like to consider an opportunity like this a golden one).

Here are a few of the illustrations I’ve been working on.


Ozark-St.Francis National forest

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