Valerie Dalton

Joined: Sep 17, 2015 Last Active: May 28, 2024 iNaturalist

I am a retired mechanical engineer who has also dabbled in the arts - photography, pottery, painting. I am passionate about the environment and love creating a garden that attracts birds, butterflies, bees and other insects. I am a 5th generation Texan, born and raised in north Texas. In 2018, I was finally able to fulfill a dream of several years by becoming a Texas Master Naturalist of the Blackland Prairie Chapter. I have also become more involved with Collin County Chapter of The Native Plant Society of Texas. I have enjoyed learning more about the natural resources of Texas and how to be a better conservation educator and citizen scientist. I have met so many amazing people from diverse backgrounds who share my passion for caring about our Earth. As a volunteer, I can contribute to projects ranging from prairie restoration to wildlife census to community outreach and much more.
I really don't know much about the different species, but I am in awe at the diversity found in nature. Living in a suburban neighborhood, I buck the trend by refusing to use chemicals on our lawn. One neighbor suggested that I use a pre-emergent to control poa annua grass that is abundant in our Bermuda grass lawn. When I responded that I didn't use chemicals on our yard because I didn't want to harm our "critters", he responded, "OH, you are one of those DREAMERS." Yes, I am. And I'm proud of it. When we moved into our home in 2014, the back yard was nothing but Bermuda grass. I have been steadily ripping out grass and building flower beds. We also had no trees except a crepe myrtle in the front. We have added a yaupon holly, a possum haw holly, a Mexican plum, a Texas redbud, a Texas persimmon and a fig tree. Almost every day, I enjoy a surprise from nature - butterflies, a robin building a nest, a Carolina wren feeding babies, garden snakes, spiders, bees, wasps, green anoles, and more. I believe this diversity results from the variety of plants I have - over a hundred - ferns, lilies, irises, succulents, herbs, vines, grasses, vegetables, host plants for butterflies, and many natives. I am currently focusing my gardening efforts on showcasing native prairie plants.

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