Saturday, August 1, 2009

Drippy Day

When I went to work this morning, it was still very drippy outside. The air was heavy with humidity and leftover raindrops were sliding off the tree leaves. The ground was still wet from the rain last night and there were heavy raindrops sitting on every leafy surface. I knew it was going to be a busy day when I got to the front gate about 15 minutes early and there was already a car waiting to come in. My work day ended right after 3 buses carrying 100 football players pulled out of the parking lot.
The first people in were divers. They managed to beat the crowd and had a nice quiet dive while there were still turtles in the spring. I had enough time to get the paperwork done and take a walk around the park. I also added honor envelopes to the entrance station and applied some graphite to the lock at the iron ranger (the metal pipe where people put their payment). The lock was getting hard to close, but the graphite made it just like new. I took the majority of my photos today on the walkway throughout the morning. The drips stayed on the plants until the afternoon heat and crowds took effect. The first photo was one of the many spiderwebs that stood out because of the water sitting on it, reflecting the sunlight. Next is just water on a blade of grass, followed by another Leather Flower and some good friends, Frog and Toad. The frog is a Leopard Frog and the other... is a toad. Even after finding my field guide, I have decided not to try to guess what kind of toad. They are too hard to identify and can be extremely variable in appearance. The photo after Frog and Toad is a beetle hiding from the rain under a leaf. It was happily feeding on the leaf. I took several photos of this beetle to make sure that I had it in focus. It wasn't until I got home and viewed my photos on the computer that I saw that the best photo, the one that was perfectly in focus, well composed and softly lit crisply showed that beetle pooping. It really was the best photo, but I had already made the decision earlier in the day to not show photos of poop on this web page. The photo of the beetle that I posted is second-best, but there is no poop involved.
So you may wonder why I had already thought about poop and this web page earlier in the day. Well, its because someone was finger painting on the restroom wall and I had to clean it up when I added toilet paper to the restrooms. It crossed my mind to photograph what I was doing to help demonstrate some of the dirty jobs in the park, but I chose to leave poop photos out. I did take one photo on the way to get cleaning supplies for the mess. I found an Oak Snake in the storage closet. I was going to encourage the snake to leave when I noticed that there were mouse droppings (yes, more poop) on the ground. I decided to let the snake continue what it was doing... I probably won't have mice in the storage closet tomorrow.
A part of my day that did NOT involve poop was when I set up the new project in the activity room. I used one that I used a couple of years ago. We use buttons and pipe cleaners to make spiders. Spiders and webs are very visible in the park lately so its a relevant topic. Its also a project that kids can get creative with. No one's spider looks the same. The photo shows one spider that I made (the one with googly eyes!) and a couple that were left behind last time this project was out.
Near the end of my shift, the darker clouds were starting to roll in and a few buses rolled in as well. A group of 100 football players filed down to the spring for a cool dip between practices and there was even a belly flop contest. Between the large crowd and the menacing clouds, the majority of the people that had been in the park left. Just about the time that the buses left and I was pulling away to head home, the afternoon rain finally started.

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