I occasionally wonder if anyone follows this blog any more. I rather fell off the radar while in Michigan - no computer/internet access except at work, and we all know that one isn't supposed to do personal stuff on the work computer.
To catch you all up, if there are any "you alls" out there, just about a year ago I lost my job in MI. It was on my birthday that we were all summoned in for an important meeting, and we were told that as of 12/31 (less than two weeks notice), we would all be unemployed (the director, the admin person, and the preschool teachers all kept their jobs). Happy Birthday.
For the first time in my life, I was on unemployment. It was a scary time.
But the stars were all aligned and within three months I was on my way to a new job...in northern Illinois! (I keep getting further and further away from my beloved Adirondack Mountains.)
On March 10th, I moved to Rockford, and on the 13th I started my new job at Severson Dells Nature Center. It's very much like my last place - a small non-profit nature center. Grand total of four employees. Part of the Winnebago County Forest Preserve system, but oddly we are not paid by them. That would be the non-profit part - we are paid by the SD Education Foundation. It's all rather strange, but hey, as long as it works, and donations keep coming in to support us, then it is all good!
Northern Illinois is quite a new thing for me, naturalist-wise. The six years I was in MI sort of prepped me for this, but I have a LOT to learn. This is the Prairie State, and even though almost all of the prairie is now gone, I have been able to see some good restoration areas. Oak-hickory forests dominate where there are forests...although invasive species dominate those. There are some interesting geologic features (the dells), and lots of rivers to paddle (five in this county alone: Sugar, Pecatonica, Kishwaukee, Rock, and ...dang, can't remember the fifth; maybe there are only four). We have red-headed woodpeckers in the forest where I work, and I've already seen a badger! Okay, it was a road-killed badger, but hey, it's a start!
If I ever get around to getting internet hooked up at my house, you should start to see more posts. The whole Net Neutrality thing will probably be a big factor in whether or not that happens.
In the meantime, I will post when I can...