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What is your “Qu’est Que C’est?”

As a naturalist from an early age, I have little trouble finding something in nature that piques my interest. Inspiration for my stories often comes from a walk outside and finding something cool that I can write about, especially the little things that often go unnoticed. I am also inspired by a photo that someone shares from nature. The pool of topics is bottomless, so for those of you that are thinking I will run out of things to write about, “fat chance” – give it up!

For the rest of you, here is your chance to tell me what you want to learn about nature. I chose the title of the series for a reason – I want to share what I know or what I can find out about the common and not so common organisms that share our world. And just so you know, I learn something new each and every time I write a story. No one knows all and if someone tells you that they do, walk away – fast!

One of my long-standing mottos is “try to learn something new every day.” Not that hard, really, so help me in my “maturing” age to learn something new and give my ole brain some exercise. Send me any ideas about some of the common or not so common bits of nature that you want to learn more about. A photo certainly helps, but they do not have to be the greatest. Suggestions can be as simple as “What is this creature?” or “What are roaches really good for?” or “What do these plants or creatures do in the world?”

In a way, I am trying to get you to pay attention! That has certainly been a thread throughout my stories. Plants and animals are right in front of us if we just take the time to look. You may already know something about what you suggest and simply want to learn more. In that way, you too are sharing your interest and passion for nature. In some cases, you may literally dig deeper in your adventures in nature and come across something new to you. Please share!

So, tell me what it is you want to know. Ask the question – “Qu’est Que C’est, Mark?” I will do my best to find out. I can be reached at [email protected]

Hope to see you in our great outdoors!


Written by Mark W. LaSalle, Ph.D.

Mark is a naturalist and wetland ecologist, providing expertise on wetlands, water quality and environmental impacts of humans. He has also developed and conducted a number of environmental education programs and workshops for youth, teachers, realtors, and the general public on a variety of subjects including wetlands, natural history, and environmental landscaping. Mark is a graduate of the University of Southwestern Louisiana (B.S. and M.S. degrees) and Mississippi State University (Ph.D.). Mark is the recipient of the Chevron Conservation Award, the Mississippi Wildlife Federation Conservation Educator Award, the Gulf Guardian Award, and the Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver Award.


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