Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day Weekend Part III

It was not a typical Monday. I still had my normal end of the week paperwork to do, but I had to juggle taking care of that in between leaf blowing, cleaning out grills, checking in divers, and answering visitor questions. Because today is a bank holiday, I can't pick up deposit receipts so I don't have to go to Ichetucknee to deliver paperwork until tomorrow. I left a few things to take care of tomorrow so that I could focus on the crowd at hand. When I checked the rain gauge this morning, there was still no rain in it, and no lizard today, but there was a grasshopper or cricket. I'm just not sure why its been such a popular place this week.
The beginning of the day was even cloudier than Saturday and Sunday. I had to laugh when I looked at the weather report though. Saturday and Sunday's predictions were for a 50% chance of rain and we never saw any. Today, the clouds were thicker and darker, but the prediction was only a 1% chance. I really didn't know what to expect, but fortunately, the sun finally made an appearance in the late afternoon. The cloudy morning made taking quick photos more difficult. It was just gray enough that with a flash the photo was washed out, and without it was too dark. If I had more time, I could have adjusted the intensity of the flash, but the park was just too busy for me to take the time to chase bugs. I did get a few photos though. The water level is going down again. It looks a lot better at the buoy line today than it did on Saturday.
I also finally caught some of the bugs responsible for the fun designs in the Morning Glories. I find this type of grasshopper in my garden often, I am going to have to try to find out more about them. It looks like these guys just devour the whole flower. I think that the little inchworm is a likely candidate for putting the neat patterns in the flowers before they open. The holes that it made here are similar to the holes that I found here and here.
We had very few divers today, but many more families picnicking. We stayed pretty busy with swimmers, picnickers, and boaters all afternoon. I noticed though that even as busy as we were, it was quiet. Everyone was enjoying the peacefulness of the park today. I stayed busy keeping up with toilet paper in the restroom and keeping a watch on all areas of the park. At one point in the afternoon, I was on the spring dock and saw a large group of children playing on the buoys. I started back up the walkway to head to the river to caution them that they could get hurt on the metal parts of the buoys. As I made my way past the cabin, I got into a conversation with some other people. Soon, someone came up the hill to tell me that the buoy line had broken. I wen to the office to get some rope and considered running home to get my swim suit. I decided to go check it out first. When I got down there, people were trying their best to secure the buoys and a man confessed to me that he had been trying to run across the buoys when the cable snapped. He took the rope from me and with another companion, they secured the buoys until I can get in and make a more secure fix. I thanked them for their help and the man apologized profusely. I insisted that it was not their fault because I knew that the cable had been fraying a bit. The kids jumped in though and didn't want me to let the adult off the hook. They told me that they would punish him for me... poor guy.
Near the end of my shift, I took the Gator out to the honor box to add more envelopes and collect the payments that were out there. When I got back and parked the Gator in front of the office, it didn't take long for the butterflies to make themselves comfortable. It almost looks like these Red-Spotted Purples were trying to steal my Gator.

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