By Melissa Larimore
You know how I love naming babies? Well, I may get the chance to name an animal. You have that chance too.
The Woodlands Nature Station at Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area has animal ambassadors. These animals are from the area and for whatever reason -- injury, confiscation or orphaned -- they can't be released into the wild because they may not make it out there.
In the past, staff has stayed away from naming the animals because they want people to know that the animals are wild and shouldn't be compared with pets.
But according to the Friends of LBL, the latest studies show that people feel more connected to the animals if the animals have a name.
The first naming campaign for an animal ambassador, a female bald eagle who is at least 37 years old, started on July 4. She came to the Nature Station in 1987 after federal officials confiscated her from someone who was raising bald eagles for release. She didn't have the skills to survive, the Friends said. Her name will be revealed on July 20, which is the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. I love corniness and the Friends tied in the famous phrase "the Eagle has landed" with their naming campaign. How cool.
The organizers ask that the names are "educational and appropriate," according to a Facebook post announcing the campaign.
More animals will be named. In October, it's the red wolf. In February, it's the groundhog's turn. March will be time for the bobcat naming. Snapping turtles will be named next July. Also, LBL will name other animals with help from school and other groups who come to the Nature Station for field trips. The Nature Station has 55 different species of wildlife.
To put in your name suggestion for the bald eagle and the other animals, go to the Facebook pages of the Woodlands Nature Station or Friends of Land Between the Lakes. Staff-selected favorites will be up for a vote closer to the campaign end date. Voting booths will be open at the Nature Station and the Golden Pond Visitor Center until the day before the announcement.
I attended the Dawson Springs Independence Day Celebration on Wednesday, July 3.
The weather turned out OK despite some fears of storms. In the shade with a breeze, it was actually quite nice.
The day started off with baseball and I was pleased to see the Tradewater team take on the Clarksville team. The local guys came out with a win. The uniforms were sharp and I thought it was pretty cool that Kevin Brooks, a college baseball player, played third base with his dad and former coach, Brady Brooks, in left field. Pretty neat.
I was working the Rotary Club's popcorn booth and I was surprised that there were only a few vendors on site. The crowd also seemed sparse.
The night continued with music despite a lengthy sound check. Clayton Quisenberry entertained the crowd with southern rock.
Fireworks followed after 9 p.m. The show lasted several minutes and the fireworks were phenomenal. I was impressed.
By the end of the night, a few hundred came to Riverside Park to see the fireworks.
Overall, the event was great. I wish many more people had attended. It was still fun though!
The office move to Madisonville is pretty much complete. I am splitting my time between the Madisonville office and the Dawson Springs Branch Library.
You can find me in Madisonville on Mondays and on Wednesday mornings. I will be at the Dawson Springs library on Tuesdays, Wednesday afternoons and Fridays. Remember though that set business hours doesn't always work at a newspaper, as I will often be out and about town, taking pictures and covering news.
You can always call 270-797-3271, email firstname.lastname@example.org and mail to P.O. Box 460, Dawson Springs, KY 42408. I promise to get back with you. Thanks, y'all!