After seeing Dallas County Conservation Board's announcement of a NOTT (Naturalist On The Trail) ride today I set out on the trail hoping to meet them.
Each month between April and October, a naturalist from the county rides a portion of the Raccoon River Valley Trail. The goal: to meet folks along the trail, answer questions, and spread the word of their conservation work.
About halfway between Minburn and Perry I met Cindy Blobaum. Stopping our bikes we took a pause from our ride and had a great conversation. She was on her way to visit Dallas County's recent environmental project. It is a strip of restored farmland just outside of Minburn and west of the bike trail. Trumpeter Swans had been spotted on the wetlands and she was going to see if they were still there. Cindy explained how her ride for the day also included monitoring the trails' newly installed Bluebird houses.
Showing her a picture of wildflowers I had seen on an earlier ride, Cindy identified them as Sweet William. She explained how when these flowers are blooming it's a sign Morrel mushrooms can be found.
It was a treat chatting with Cindy and I learned several things from our conversation. Plus, it was great making a new friend! If you frequently ride the Raccoon River Valley trail be sure to Like their Facebook Page. They frequently post updates on environmental efforts, Iowa wildlife, and conservation events.