Sometimes I think it would be fun to have a side business as a nature guide. Here in Texas the only folks who really do much with "guiding' are fishing guides, but it would be more fun to be an outright nature hike guide. I suspect that in Dallas there are folks who either live in the city or visit the city who would enjoy being taken to cool nature spots.
A commercial driver's license, a spot of liability insurance, marketing via the local hotels and perhaps the yellow pages. I am not sure if it would work, but I think it would be fun. A fellow had just such a service for the Verdugo Hills area of LA County, and I always thought that was great,though in point of fact I never took the tours. I love, too,the movie about the Central Park birders in NYC whose guide leads bird walks of the park at 8 dollars a head. Here in TX, bird walks are usually free, but I'd pay 8 dollars in Central Park :).
I think it's great you're getting involved with the local plant group. It's funny how some folks are never very good with newbies. It's funny, also, how if a newbie shows a spark of knowledge that sometimes triggers an acceptance.
I am intrigued by all these little social interactions, and the way people "fit in" or "fail to fit in" or are at some place in between. In my high school, a fellow transferred in for one grade. He was a bright, capable fellow who seemed to me likely to have been a social misfit at his prior school. His wit and smarts, though, made him totally fit in at our school.
I still smile to think how this fellow seemed to be at home, perhaps for the first time in his life. He transferred out after 1 year. I wonder what his next year was like.
Your move towards right priorities/right work is impressive to watch.
I arrived in Texas the week that Big Thicket was being formally made a National Park, and they had arranged a week of expeditions and tours - I camped there and had an absolutely marvelous time. I still remember standing on a little bridge over a creek, looking at a big snake under me opening its mouth and thinking "Oh, that's why they're called cottonmouths!" And the night crowned heron, and the loblolly pines, huge flats of sundews,and the extraordinary diversity of habitats found almost around the corner from each of them. Our tour guide one day was a beautiful young man whose family had lived in the thicket for generations - he was a fascinating mix of deep knowledge of everything about the thicket (animals, plants, ecology - in an applied, not academic, way) and complete innocence about everything else.
If you want to do this, do it! start with free walks on weekends. Advertise on eventbrite (free if your event is free0. Build up a mailing list. Write a weekly column for some small, local newspaper (we have those in every community here in Silicon Valley and did in Seattle, too. They're usually eager for free writers. This starts up easily for free, but will take a couple of years before it can become a paying proposition. Sort of like starting a game museum, which I seem to have done . . .
Oh, and you should certainly call the column "Look Around You." People who will instantly be your friends. If you don't get it, look for it on you tube, plus "Birds of Britain." ;)
Oh my, i watched the first ten minutes of "Look Around You" this morning: what a scream!
There are several of these - if you haven't seen them before, you're in for a treat. and don't miss the related "Birds of Britain." There's a classic line on one of the "Look around you's" that goes "What are Birds? We just don't know." but I don't remember which episode. The best of science, in a British accent. (Really, is this what I taught all those years? !!!)
If my brain were wired slightly different i could imagine doing something like a tour guide: i know that i do a bit of explaining the landscape to visitors. Ages ago i imagined recording highway guides that would explain the landscape one passed while driving on the interstate. These days, that seems even more possible with digital recordings and the ease of distribution.
There's a great series of books called Roadside Geology that does exactly that, taking advantage of road cuts to explore the region's geology - each tour is nicely planned out on highways and byways. Of course, the nice thing about geology is that it's not seasonal - but if you created a website where people learned to look, you could record the flowers you're seeing on any given drive, mile by mile, or on a trail, then upload it for people to follow. Flowers can be pretty ephemeral, but some bloom periods are long enough to make this feasible. .