I created Dedham Natural Wonders in 2011 because I wanted to learn more about nature. At the time, I was working in the Blue Hills and met some fantastic people whose job descriptions included serious physical labor in not-so-hospitable environments trying to control invasive species (imagine Sisyphus on a 90° day in a tick-infested swamp loaded with poison ivy and greenbrier).
I had found my calling! This was my super power. I was never a green thumb, but I was really, REALLY good at finding and killing bad plants, and I found it relaxing, satisfying, almost like a form of meditation. Below, I am looking at another year’s growth of mile-a-minute vine (Persicaria perfoliata) in Fowl Meadow, in the Manor neighborhood in Dedham.
I soon learned that to really have street cred in the field, one needs to know their plants and bugs. A friend suggested I check out the courses at the New England Wild Flower Society, which I did. I am now just a few core courses and a volunteer project away from getting my certificate in Field Botany. Back in 2011, I was impatient and I wanted to know everything so I took the bait when the same friend suggested I plan a BioBlitz. She gave me Peter Alden’s home phone number so I called him and the ball started rolling; the rest is history.
The 2011 BioBlitz was such a great success, there was a Second Annual Dedham BioBlitz in 2012. Lots of people have asked about a third one, but it would take a lot of planning and there needs to be some thought about where we will look and what time of year it should happen. Maybe it would be a great learning/citizen science experience for students.