Shami Morse, all packed up and ready to take off! Photo by Val Bowman.
A retirement adventure
Our friend Shami Morse recently retired, rented her Prairie Hill home, and set off on an adventure. She's taken a biology internship at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge near Des Moines. It’s a large-scale prairie reconstruction project established in 1990 to protect, restore and manage native ecosystems of tallgrass prairie, oak savanna and sedge meadow. These treasured landscapes that once covered nearly 85 percent of our state have now been reduced to less than 1 percent of the land. Saving that tiny tidbit is so important to our ecosystem and our history. Here's an excerpt from her letter to us written about a week into the internship:
It’s been fun, tiring, satisfying, educational, and everything I imagined. I’ve spent my first week learning how to drive various vehicles and how to operate the pesticide applicator. (Sadly this is still needed to control some of the invasive species). But much of the time has been spent out in the field with my fellow interns, three recent college graduates who are very knowledgeable and kind.