Sunday, 26 January 2014

Re-joining the BSBI. 

BSBI field meeting, Rutland water, 2012
Image: M. Crittenden
Good to hear from lapsed BSBI member Alan, who has just re-joined the society "because I wanted to learn more about plants but also because it seems to be a more accessible organisation than it was before. I think online presence plays an important part in this, with all the old newsletters and other resources such as the Plant Crib being available to download."

Alan has an excellent Blog called 'Learning About Plants' and now that he has re-joined, I have been able to add him to the list of Blogs by BSBI members (on the right). Do take a look at our 28th BSBI members' Blog for fascinating posts about plant ID with some great illustrations, from pressed specimens to pages from Alan's sketch-book. His drawings are really very good!

BSBI field meeting, Donegal 2013
Image: M. Long
Only one thing that worried me on Alan's Blog. He is obviously an accomplished botanist keen to improve his skills further, but refers to having "plucked up the courage" to book himself onto a few BSBI field meetings this year. I'm sure that after the first one, he will see for himself how friendly BSBI botanists are, and how much they want to help him learn. 

But here's a plea to any old hands attending meetings this year: think back to your first ever BSBI field meeting. I bet you were a bit daunted as you headed for the assembly point, not sure what would be expected of you. Would you be laughed at for not knowing your petiole from your peduncle? You've probably forgotten that brief nervousness, because as soon as you started botanising with your fellow members, you had a whale of a time and have never looked back! But this year, if you spot any new recruits at a field meeting, please remember to put them at ease straight away, so they can relax and enjoy every moment of their first BSBI field meeting. And then we can all get on with sharing field ID tips and honing our botanical skills together.