Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Noisemaker Morning

When I went to the park to close last night I was amazed at the effect of the afternoon rain. From about 5 pm to 7 pm we were pummeled with 3.05 inches of rain. That is A LOT of rain in a very short amount of time. There were rivers running every which way through the park. A flood plain area near the spring that had been dry earlier in the day was suddenly filled with a raging current of muddy water flowing into the spring. There was a pile of yellow and green leaves on the spring dock at the bottom of the walkway. The violent storm had made the leaves fall and filled the walkway with a sheet of water that washed the leaves to the dock.
Needless to say, there was a lot of cleaning up to do this morning. My co-worker and I made a plan and got to work right after the paperwork was done. He went to weed-eat an area and I got to work with the blower. After all the rain, I had to scoop up a lot of frogs in order to blow off the walkway. Once I had finished the walkway and the parking lot, I loaded the blower and the weed eater into the Gator and drove out to the entrance. My co-worker had started mowing so I trimmed the edges of the area around the entrance that he mowed and blew all of the pine needles off of the road. The first photo is the before picture and I guess it slipped my mind to take an after picture. While my co-worker continued on the mower, I went back to the office to cool down and tie up some loose ends before my work week ended.
When that was done, I grabbed the cordless drill, some screws, and a pry bar and headed out to the spring walkway. Some minor repairs have been nagging at me since the flooding. The wooden walls of the walkway were submerged for several months and we had almost 9 inches of rain last month. All of the moisture makes the wood soft and the railing on top of it floats when its submerged. In some places the railing is pulling up away from the wood. I had to work to get the old screws out. Many of them rusted and either were broken in half already or they broke when I started unscrewing them. In most cases I had to remove the whole section of railing, break off or pull out all of the screws and replace the railing with screws that don't rust. People started rolling in to the park while I was working on this project. I was in the right spot, everyone walked past me to get to the spring. I answered questions and greeted people as they went by. I also got cheers from other women for my use of a drill and lots of offers to help from men. It was starting to get hot out by the time I was getting to the end of the walkway. Several people asked me when I was going to go swimming and that sounded like a great idea. My co-worker caught up to me around that time and I was glad to have his help. Not only did I need to change the battery in the drill, I was running low on energy myself. We finished up the last few spots in no time at all and even finished up a more permanent fix for the latch on the gate that had a malfunction a week or two ago.
After that project was done, I was definitely ready for a swim. I have had some concerns about the Madison wreckage lately and decided that it would be a good idea to photograph it as much as I could to make sure that we have a recent record of what remains of it. I had a great swim and was very happy to see that even with all of the rain run-off flowing into the spring yesterday, the spring was really much clearer than the last time I swam with my camera right after the flood. Compare these photos to these and these and you will see the difference. There were a lot of Mullet swimming near the Madison. They didn't seem to care about me being there, they were happily sifting through the sand for some algae to eat. I also spotted a carp or two and one very large turtle. I must have snapped the photo just as it realized that I was there. In the picture, it is in the process of spinning around to swim away. The last photo I took when I was almost back at the dock. There is fresh green algae growing on the rock and air bubbles all over the place. I just thought it looked neat.
I made sure that I had finished everything that I needed to this week and relayed all of the information that I needed to among our staff, and headed home. I'm ready to enjoy a couple of days off. I have one question from earlier this week to answer on one of my days off. If anyone has any other ideas, I would love to hear them.

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