• cynthiamorissette

Truly a rare find

Good Morning Watershed Explorers,

Today's blog post was written by my husband. It did take me a few days to decide that I would let him write one! In response to his post, I want to say that I am blessed to have an amazing family that allows me to be the total nature geek that I am. They indulge my need to get out and explore, sometimes even on days that they really don't feel like it. I am the lucky one!

Here's Mr. Morissette's post!

After many days of thought, she said "yes".

What was the question? Could I, Mrs. Morissette's husband, author today's blog?

She said "yes", and I'm grateful she did. It gives me a chance to be a voice of appreciation.

If you've been following along or just catching up with Mrs. Morissette's blogs during this worldwide crisis, then you are aware that as a family we spend most days outdoors on nature hikes. The weather has yet to stop us. Yesterday, for instance, right after we packed up the children to head out for our daily walk, the rain was driving down with such force we could hardly hear each other speak!

In the garage, I shouted, "Even the animals are staying in their shelters right now!"

"Ready?! Let's go!" she laughed as she ran into the rain to get to the car. (Note from Mrs. M.: it was pouring, but we did wait until the thunderstorm had stopped before proceeding out, please don't ever explore with thunder or lightning out, always make sure it's safe.)

When we arrived at the nature trails, we decided on one that began right next to a small pond. Of course, Mrs. Morissette and watersheds are a quick recipe for adventure! With the rain now falling softly, there she was with her nets and buckets, exploring with as much wonder and excitement as her two children. Every crayfish and beetle was met with love and interest, joy and admiration.

We were there about twenty minutes when Mrs. Morissette shouted out like a kid in a candy store and came speed walking towards the rest of us! She had found a thick salamander that was brown. Or so I thought.

Of course, Mrs. Morissette recognized it to be a Red Spotted Newt. A what? It was a Red Spotted Newt, which for this time of year, is a very rare find. Apparently, its a species more likely found in October.

All I know is that I've been an outdoor person my whole life, growing up here in Rhode Island. I've explored ponds, streams, rivers and vernal pools. I've lifted logs and rocks. I've found frogs, salamanders, turtles, and snakes. In my life, I've never found a Red Spotted Newt. I'm not saying that it was like finding an undiscovered species, but it was truly a rare find.

So there we were, on a rainy day where we seemed to be the only people crazy enough to be outside, digging in the mud. Had we not been there, we may never have found the rare newt. I found myself thinking about how my wife, Mrs. Morissette, has changed so many lives including my own, with her love of nature and pure child-like enthusiasm for discovery. Watching her cradle this fragile little creature in her hands, a smile so big that it seemed to touch each side of her raincoat's hood, I felt compelled to ask permission to contribute to the daily blog.

I want to officially say "Thank you, Mrs. Morissette." It is because of her connection with the natural world that so many students have discovered how amazing the outdoors can be! It is because she is genuine that so many people can feed off of her energy, allowing her message of kindness and love to grow through us. I believe that I echo the feelings of all those that have been touched by Mrs. Morissette's program when I say this.

Mrs. Morissette, you're truly a rare find.