Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Hint of Summer Remains

Today was a pretty busy day. We had several larger dive groups today and many of them made multiple dives. We had quite a few swimmers today too. It was a beautiful, hot sunny day with just enough of a breeze to keep you comfortable.
I thought we might be busy today because yesterday was busy, so I held off on paperwork and walked the park first thing this morning. I saw that my evening staff last night had trimmed back the plants along the walkway to the spring and I was really happy to see it looking so much nicer. I used the small leaf blower to clear the leaves from the walkway. I will be so glad to be able to use the backpack blower again once my cast is off, it does a much more efficient job. There weren't many frogs on the ground on the walkway, maybe the snake yesterday cleaned up. I did see a few tree frogs though. They were climbing the walls of the walkway, so they didn't get in my way at all.
When I was on the spring dock, I took a moment to enjoy the view. I spotted some Morning Glories that were growing out of the mud, rocks, and Cypress knees. I thought they were especially pretty against the dark background.
I spent the majority of the day checking in divers and talking with park visitors. I took occasional breaks to cool down in the office and finish up the paperwork. On one walk through the picnic area, a group flagged me over to identify a caterpillar that they found. It was exciting to see it, it was a Puss Caterpillar. I have read about them but I have never seen one. Hidden beneath their soft and furry facade are venomous spines that can give a person a painful sting. One person told me that they had picked it up, they really were lucky to have not been stung. The people had more questions, so I quickly did a little research for them and was able to show them an image of the beautiful Flannel Moth that this mean little caterpillar will become.
The day continued to be steadily busy and visitors were coming into the park from all directions, it seemed. There was quite a bit of boat traffic on the river and a few boaters stopped to enjoy the spring, including a canoe group that had camped at Adams Tract last night on their paddle down the river. They stopped for a swim and to find out a football score before heading down river.
When my evening relief came in, the park was beginning to quiet down. After chatting for a little while about the day, I headed home. I didn't get too far before I had to stop because a Gopher Tortoise was in the middle of the service road. I got out to take a picture and the tortoise was really funny. It pulled slightly into its shell and then stretched back out again. It began walking slowly past me as if it was trying to tip-toe by without being noticed. Once it got to the edge of the road and close to taller grass, it broke out in the fastest little tortoise run that it was capable of. I returned to my truck and went home.

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