Invitation to Get Connected
The energy pulsed through me like I was the lightening emerging from the mauve-colored Monsoon thunderheads above. The wind swirled about my body. I wasn’t going to resist. I spread my arms out towards the sky and spun around and around. I giggled as the season’s first fat raindrops wetted my upturned face.
I breathed a sigh of relief. These rains will help support the restoration efforts of Borderlands Habitat Restoration Initiative (BHRI). Hundreds of our new restoration plantings will begin their cycle of reproduction that is only possible with these seasonal rains. The flowers and seeds of these native plants will support a variety of creatures, including bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, moths, birds, and bats.
This week I will walk around one of our restoration sites at The Nature Conservancy in Patagonia. As a restoration ecologist at BHRI, I’ll measure the growth on the Desert Honeysuckle, Bearded Penstemon, and Desert Willow. I will observe pollinators of all kinds flittering and buzzing around the flowers. This thriving site is in part the result of the work of volunteers.
Volunteers help us collect seeds, grow plants, monitor restoration sites, build infrastructure, and perform many other tasks. Private land owners graciously give us permission to collect seeds on their property. Heavy-duty equipment owners lend us the tools it takes to do large-scale projects. People come to us as individuals and with larger groups. We host folks of all ages, skills, and interests in active learning about the ecology of this diverse region. This work is only possible because of volunteers. We are truly fortunate to work within this community.
However, we need more folks to come get connected, and I invite you to join in the fun. If this sounds attractive to you, I give you a warning. My journey in restoration began as a volunteer. This work opened up my perspective to the interconnectedness that links all living things, and to my pivotal role within this ecology. Beware that this understanding can lead to moments of pure ecstasy like the kind I felt during this year’s first Monsoon storm.
Thanks and here’s to the growth of Monsoon season!
Monitoring restoration plantings at The Nature Conservancy preserve in Patagonia.