Tom's Blog

Friday, July 30, 2010

Visit from the Thomsons

Kathie and I were delighted to have the Thomson family as visitors on Wednesday (July 28, 2010).

Olive and John Thomson have been long-time supporters of the Nature Conservancy and the Prairie Enthusiasts in the Dane/Iowa County areas. John died in 20 Feb 2009 at the age of 95. John's popular course in plant taxonomy at UW-Madison influenced generations of botanists and plant ecologists. John was a student of the great Norman Fassett and did the first research on prairie remnants in Wisconsin (Ecological Monographs, 1940, Relic prairie areas in Central Wisconsin, Vol. 10, pp 685-717.) Olive was also a student of Fassett and authored the revised edition of Fassett's "Spring Flora of Wisconsin."

The Thomsons have been strong supporters of prairie restoration in southern Wisconsin. The Nature Conservancy site "Thomson Memorial Prairie" is one of the premier sites for grassland bird habitat in Dane County. It is named in memory of the Thomson's deceased son Douglas. The Schurch-Thomson Preserve, one of the prime Prairie Enthusiasts sites in its Mounds View Grassland, was generously donated by the Joan Schurch/Dennis Thomson family. The Thomson's have also set up a substantial maintenance fund for this site. In addition, the John W. Thomson Memorial Fund has been set up to further the educational mission of the Prairie Enthusiasts.

Since Kathie and I have begun restoration work, we have been honored to become friends with Olive and the Thomson family. This week, due to a fortuitous set of circumstances, all three of Olive's sons visited the Madison area at the same time and she arranged for them to visit Pleasant Valley Conservancy. After a relaxed lunch at Luckenbooth's Cafe in Black Earth, we spent the afternoon on a delightfully sunny day touring the Preserve.

The photo shows Olive (seated) and (from L to R) Dennis, Kathie Brock, Norm, and Rod.

Things don't get any better than this!


Blogger Norm Thomson said...

Hi Tom and Kathie, Talked with my Mother this evening who said I should check out your blog on the prairie and there we are! Thank you for a wonderful day both in friendship and visiting one of the botanical wonders of the world - the prairie. It was a delightful afternoon enjoyed by all and etched into all of our memories. Regards to you both - from Georgia, Norm

July 31, 2010 at 5:02 PM  

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