Abnosomally a Great Time

Today marks the beginning of Gishwhes 2013. May the Wooster look down upon you with kindness. It shan't be easy but I believe we will all try our damnedest to have a wonderful time.  Best of luck to all of you scalawags.

Stormageddon Loves Hellbenders for real.



I'm a happy person. I spend a lot of my time planning and preparing programs for the public. I take people on hikes, I teach them fishing skills, this weekend I'll teach three canoeing classes. I'm good at what I do. I care about people, I care about them getting outdoors and seeing the wonders that exist. I'm tough, I'm a hard worker, I'm not sure I'll stay where I am... I feel adventure coming on. Until then, I'll keep doing my best to enjoy all that surrounds me


New Job, New Life

March 7th I moved to Springfield, Missouri to begin a job with the Missouri Department of Conservation as a naturalist. I now work at the Springfield Conservation Nature Center. To put it very plainly, I love it. I love my job.

Every day I learn more and I get to interact with so many people and talk about something that I love, the outdoors.

The pivotal point was when I ran by the library on my way home from work. I had removed my name tag for a bit of anonymity. I walked into the library and took a seat at a computer, across from me a young girl looked up and said "Hi Ms. Jordi". I've been recognized. Her friend asked who I was and she said "oh she's the teacher lady at the Nature Center, she's cool". Yes, I am cool.

This isn't about my ego, this is about the fact that a young girl paid attention enough to recognize me. This means a young girl heard what I had to say, and hopefully took what I had to say to heart.

I wouldn't be where I am today or who I am today if I hadn't had an excellent middle school science teacher. Mrs. Butler showed me that it was okay to be inquisitive, something I fear most people avoid for fear of looking foolish. Mrs. Butler was excited about science and her excitement was contagious. I hope to be the same way. I hope that I am able to reach people by sharing my excitement for the outdoors, science, nature and life. I avoid saying things like: that's gross, that's boring/lame/stupid/ugly, or I don't like this thing/place/animal/idea. Yes of course I have my preferences but I believe people learn by example.

I want people to be comfortable with asking me questions. I think people often shy away from asking questions because they fear being wrong....BUT It is okay to be wrong! It is okay to make a mistake! If you don't ask how will you learn?

I hope to never be one of those people who thinks they know everything. I can always learn more. If you think I'm wrong I'll double check my information. No one is perfect and I don't want to misinform. I never want to be one of those who hears something once and writes it off as law, information is changing and needs to be kept up with.

But in short.
I love my job.


Things I like: Salamanders

Western slimy salamander (Plethodon albagula)

Well, it has been a while. I've been so busy living life that I really haven't had time to blog. So to start back up, I'll start with another Things I Like entry.soooo.

Things I like: Salamanders!!!!!

I've been fascinated with salamanders for quite some time. However, my obsession with salamanders didn't really start until around 2004 when I learned about Giant salamanders. Giant salamanders are members of the Cryptobranchidae family and include the Ozark and Eastern hellbenders (Cryptobranchus alleghaniensis spp.), as well as the Chinese and Japan
ese giant salamanders (Andrias davidianus/japonicus). I was fascinated with the hellbender and that fascination quickly moved on to a sincere love for the Japanese giant salamander which can reach 5 ft in length and can weigh up to 77 lbs. This interest in Japanese salamanders prompted me to take Japanese classes so that I could increase my chances of seeing one, in Japan.

I have now been to Japan and I did see a Japanese giant salamander (in an aquarium) but my love for salamanders still exists. Recently I went on a herpetology field trip where we caught, examined and released a variety of amphibians and reptiles.

Marbled salamander (Ambystoma opacum)

Right now I'm itching to get out of doors and to do some night time scouting for salamanders laying eggs. Unfortunately the weather has been so odd I'm not sure when exactly I should head out. Yesterday it was 70, today it snowed. Who knows. I might take a night hike and see if I hear Spring peepers and if I do then I'll look around for salamanders laying eggs, traveling to and from breeding ponds and for other night time creatures.

Spring peeper (Pseudacris crucifer)

Now don't get me wrong, I have an affection for all reptiles and amphibians, it's just that salamanders hold a special place in my heart.

Spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum)


Eddying as always

I'm married, I'm a graduate, I'm moving... to where I do not know, I'm blondish brunette or maybe neither. Things keep changing and will continue to do so. I'm glad to be alive and well and happy.




We're getting married :)


つつい家族のために (^v^)

グレッグと私はグレッグ\の兄を訪問するためにミシガンに行きました。 たくさん楽しかった。 そこにいた間に、大いに雪が降りました。最も大きい淡水の湖であるスペリオル湖に行きました。 兄の犬と遊んで、そして楽しい時を過ごしました。ひどい翻訳のためにすみません
video video




京都 Kyoto

Our program began in Kyoto ( where I found a new charger and was able to take photos again!).
My group had been in Japan for over a week and had traveled form Osaka to Nara where we saw most of the tourist sights.

A few of us were surprised at how much our traveling depended upon walking but I think honestly we were all glad of it. We also decided to visit Iga Ueno to visit a castle and a ninja house, the day was rainy but the best part was the train ride to and from Iga Ueno. The mountains where amazing and covered in mist and drifting clouds, it was so beautiful it nearly made me cry.

The walk back from Iga Ueno

A sign for the Ninja House

To get to Kyoto we had to take a very long ( and a little confusing for a beginner) train ride from Nara to Kyoto. We took a few wrong trains, milled about in confusion and finally hopped on the correct train.

A sign we saw while we were lost

We arrived at the main Kyoto station, we were surprised at how large it was. We had to find our way to the hostel but had no idea where it was. Taylor found a payphone and we called Andrew and Adam Procter who had already arrived. We met a few of the other program participants in a covered shopping area ( I found a shop selling sony camera battery chargers) and then we were on our way to the hostel. The hostel was the nicest we had been in yet. Despite the shared rooms I preferred this hostel to any of the higher end hotels I've stayed in. The attendants where nice and friendly as where the fellow guests.

The youth hostel and the "lucky" stone

When our professor arrived we all went back down to the main train depot and met the rest of the group. Our professor had planned several group outings to temples and shrines in Kyoto and the surrounding areas and off we went.

Me, A statue Stephanie and I ran across on a random walking adventure, Austin God of Thunder

Amanda and Cody at a Zen Buddhist temple we visited

The Giant Dai (大) on the side of the mountain, apparently they catch it on fire during Obon

Amanda, Taylor, Cody and I went down to the river where Amanda remembered playing when she was a child.
We played on the back of stone turtles and watched little kids and their families catch crayfish

Amanda and I went off to find her childhood home and we found it, we also found a train shop while searching for a candy shop she remembered

A nest of baby swallows, it's seen as a blessing to have swallows build a nest at your home or business.
Nests aren't removed but are instead tended after and the birds watched over.


More 大阪

One of the first things I noticed when I arrived in Japan was that I had forgotten my extra camera battery and charger at my Father's house....charging. So I began to conserve my battery life and looked for a place selling Sony battery chargers.

Unfortunately most of my Osaka experience is not documented with pictures but that didn't make it any less fabulous.

First we checked into our hotel/youth hostel ,ホテルチュオ. We had a little trouble explaining our reservations and figuring out how we were to pay ( up front). We were issued our keys even for the non-present individuals. Although we were allowed to wear our shoes in the hotel, there were mini-genkan in our rooms for us to remove our shoes and a pair of fresh disposable slippers to wear inside of our bedrooms. I changed my clothes and giggled like a nut as Amanda and I expressed our disbelief at where we were.
We all went out to explore Dotonbori and then back to bed. The next day we explored Osaka and made plans for the rest of the week.

We visited the aquarium, where we saw thousands of fish and other aquatic species. I took the longest to go through the aquarium as I took over 600 photos and examined every display.
After the aquarium we went to the shopping mall next door for lunch and for some shopping, in the mall we saw a ninja store and "spy house" and a pet shop/petting zoo where you could pay to pet the animals (everything from dogs, cats, and birds to goats and sheep).
Amanda & Cody in the food court, TOTORO!, Cody & the Colonel, The men and their bags

A giant ferris wheel was attached to the shopping mall so we all went for a ride and viewed the city of Osaka from the top.