I can’t remember how I met Dave Bonta. It was electronically, for sure. Maybe I stumbled across his Morning Porch blog and made a comment, or maybe he stumbled across my blog. Or did we first encounter each other at Flickr.com? In any case, over the years we have visited each other’s work now and again and exchanged a few emails. Last year we collaborated on a Spring Wildflower project.
I recently learned that among the many things he does, Dave is president of the Juniata Valley Audubon Society. I found this out when he invited me to speak at the JVAS annual dinner this week. I turned the opportunity into a mini-vacation (very mini) by going down hours early to walk the property where Dave lives and see what wildflowers might be blooming 140 miles south of my home. What a little piece of heaven!
I also got to meet Dave’s mom and dad, Marcia and Bruce. I have been reading Marcia’s blog for quite some time, too, so it was fun to meet the writer in person. I learned a great deal about the Bonta family, each of whom seems to be making a difference in his own way. Bruce’s passion is peaceful societies and he, too, maintains a website.
It is always interesting to visit homes and see how people live. I am always fascinated by the books and artwork, the games and toys, the “stuff” of living. My favorite thing in the Bonta house was the paper on the front of the refrigerator that lists natural happenings – the blooming of various flowers, the arrival of various birds. Marcia has columns for the last several years on this sheet where she records first-of-the-year sightings – and she claims to have similar data going back into the 1970s. From this data she can confidently say that the flowers are fully three weeks early this year.
I learned some new flowers on my walk, and something new about a familiar flower (there is a yellow variant of Trillium erectum!). Here are a few of the photos I took: