|A Friend of Dragon Run (from Window on the Chesapeake)|
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|This story is an excerpt from Window on the Chesapeake by Wendy Mitman Clarke. To order this book, visit the Mariner's Museum.|
Now sixty-five, her list of volunteer work for groups including the Friends of Dragon Run, the Virginia Society of Ornithology and the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Reserve is three times as long as most CEOs’ resumes. Petite and compact, she bubbles with energy and excitement, salting it with a quintessentially Yankee bluntness delivered in the flattest of Maine accents. The license plate on her red Chevy Blazer—the one with the red kayak strapped to the roof—reads “PQULYA.”
She wasn’t here long before she heard about a place called Dragon Run. “When people hear the name, they never forget it,” she says. Situated in the middle of Virginia’s Middle Peninsula—deep in farming and timbering country—most of the Dragon is so remote that large swaths of it are barely touched by humans.
This is what Teta Kain wants people to know when she takes them on kayak trips down the Dragon, or spends night after night hunched in her little kayak, prowling through the darkness listening to the owls and peepers and racoons, photographing frogs and spiders, turtles and minks, and other shy denizens of the marshy forest. …“I’m not a real shoutin’ conservationist. Never have been,” she says. …..[But] if I can show them though my slides and programs that something is beautiful and worthy, then maybe I’ll start a fire somewhere.”