I love spring. Sure, my allergies “reappear” after a winter of hibernation, but it’s worth it. There is nothing like opening my windows to let in some fresh air!
I started spring cleaning in my office, too. As our business has grown, my office space gets more and more cramped. It’s fun to reorganize my photography gear, though… I always find props I’ve forgotten I own and, inevitably, a few spare memory cards. 🙂
Abbie has loved the warmer weather, too- we’ve been out running a bunch!
I’ve taken her along a lot lately, because I won’t be running as much after the marathon. 🙂
I spent my last taper week busy with both work and play, and a little of “doing my civic duty.”
Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters hosts an annual Conservation Lobby Day, where they gather conservation-minded citizens together, teach us how to lobby our legislators, and let us loose on the capital. Actually, “let us loose” doesn’t exactly describe it- they made appointments for all of us with our respective senators and representatives, and gave us our personalized schedule when we checked in. Thanks for being awesome, WLCV!
My friend, Jen, spent some time behind the podium…
…and Matt joined her to show us how to demonstrate effective lobbying.
There were a lot of people who came to the event, which was held at Monona Terrace. I love that facility, though I think I’ve only been there for music conventions and weddings, so this was a nice change of pace! Trout Unlimited had a good showing, too! The WLCV staff gave presentations on the main topics that we were going to share our passion about with our legislators. It always helps to have some facts in your back pocket when going into a meeting. The topic that resonated the most with me was from Helen.
I’ve see Helen at many different water events, and I love her approach. This issue also really matters to me… as most of you know, my degrees are in music and education. I don’t have a background in science or natural resources- no hydrology, geology, soils, fisheries, or anything related to conservation. I heavily rely on our DNR scientists to tell me what is needed and necessary regarding having a sustainable and healthy ecosystem here in Wisconsin. Sure, I know how to catch a trout, and I have a few ideas regarding how to make things better environmentally, but I don’t know enough to make big decisions on my own. I’m continually surprised when some politicians think that they can make big decisions in other fields while knowing minimally the subject at hand. In that case, maybe I should be the head of the fisheries department? I’ve seen a few deer on the side of the road, does that make me qualified to make decisions about deer hunting licenses? I love that Wisconsin has lots of opportunities for people to make their opinions heard, and gives experienced anglers and hunters a chance to weigh in on issues (like though the Conservation Congress), but we still need professionals to help us make educated decisions and set guidelines. I don’t think there is weakness in asking for help from experts- I think that is a sign of an intelligent leader, and it is definitely a better fiscal idea to have your own staff than to contract out to other scientists.
Anyway, we reviewed the main issues, ate lunch, then I ran rampant all over Madison. 😉 Our Capitol is a beautiful place!
My first stop was at Rep. Katrina Shankland’s office.
The assembly was in session…
…but Katrina’s staff met with us. I was excited to meet Annika, since I’d emailed back and forth with her many times! Annika took us down to see if Katrina could pop out to check in with us, and she did!
Thanks for taking time out of your busy day to see us, Katrina (and thanks for taking our picture, Annika)!
I had a short break before my next meeting, which was filled with an interview for a new organization called Love Wisconsin. I’ll share more about that collaboration when I have it! It was fun to be on the other side of the lens. I was taking pictures inside of the Capitol building and had a couple TU photobombers…
…and before I knew it, it was time for my meeting with Sen. Julie Lassa.
We crammed a whole lot of water-lovers into her office, and she was very kind and receptive to our concerns. Thank you, Julie! Thank you for organizing such a great event, WLCV! I hung out with my conservation friends for the night, then stopped at my accountant (my Aunt Tina!), and made a quick stop at Bloom Bakery on the way home. Bloom is in Middleton, and they specialize in gluten-free and vegan pastries. Gorgeous and delicious.
On Friday afternoon, I took my boat out for the first paddle of the year, and it was every bit as fabulous as I remembered. I spent Friday night shooting the awards banquet for the School of Business and Economics here at the University.
I love shooting this event. Those SBE people sure know how to put on a beautiful banquet and an efficient awards ceremony. Congratulations to all the award winners!
Saturday morning was a haircut and blowout… …and final prep for Sunday’s race.
Up next? My ninth marathon recap. Thanks for reading, friends!
Miles this year: 232.65