Monday, September 14, 2009

Ranger On The Go

I made sure to take plenty of photos this morning while I opened the park because I knew that I wouldn't find many great, natural images throughout my afternoon. It was a typical Monday with a little extra driving thrown in.
I decided to walk through the park, and do some leaf blowing before I started paperwork this morning. I gassed up the leaf blower and loaded it into the Gator. I also grabbed some honor envelopes and brochures to add to the river and main entrance stations. I unlocked the cabin and walked to the river first. It was a really beautiful morning. The sun was still rising, there was the slightest bit of fog, and it was quiet. I was amazed at the difference in the river. It is really dropping fast now. Compare this image to last Monday's picture. The dark, tannic water is almost completely outside of the buoys.
The lower water is great news for the fishermen. The Mullet are always along the line where the tannic river water and the clear spring water meet. Lately, that line has been within the swimming area which is out of bounds for fishermen. Now that the river is dropping and that line has moved back out to the river, the fishermen won't have to be looking over their shoulders for when I come to tell them AGAIN that they can't fish in the swimming area. Maybe its better news to me than the fishermen. I added envelopes and brochures to the honor box at the river and took one more moment to enjoy the amazing view down river.
Next, I drove the Gator out to the main entrance station to add envelopes to the honor box. I took it nice and slow because the cooling fan on the radiator for the Gator stopped working last week. While I drove I made a terrific discovery! Yet another color of Morning Glory is in bloom in the park. I found blue ones! That makes three with the dark purple ones at the gate and the light purple ones everywhere else. I have seen white ones in someone else's yard nearby, and I think I have seen white ones near the river before. I will have to watch for them.
Once I had sufficiently captures several of the blue Morning Glories, I moved along towards the entrance. As I came around a corner, I saw three deer. I'm not sure if they are the same ones from yesterday, these three look bigger to me. I was glad that I was going slow because I didn't scare them and I was able to snap a few pictures before they went into the woods.
After I got back from the entrance, I set to work leaf blowing the walkway and the parking lot. Leaves are falling like crazy and I was literally turning around to see leaves falling behind me as I worked. The walkway was still damp from the rain Saturday night and the humidity since then. There were several frogs and toads enjoying the moisture. I was able to work around most of them without sending them flying. These two are my favorite because they are really good at getting out of the way of the blower. They are both Green Tree Frogs, but the lightest and darkest that I have ever seen. The pale one was sitting on the hand rail along the walkway and the dark one was trying to blend in between the wall boards.
That was just about the end of the fun part of my day and it wasn't even 10:00 yet. I retreated to my office where I completed my end of the week paperwork and jotted down my to do list for the rest of the afternoon. Next I headed outside to hook the trailer to the truck and load the Gator onto the trailer. I left the park to head to the bank and to Ichetucknee. When I left Ichetucknee, I drove to Live Oak to drop the Gator off to be repaired. While I was in town, I picked up some supplies for Adams Tract and Troy. When I was leaving the store, I started to realize that I was getting tired. Once I was back at the park, I was really worn out. Its amazing how a day of just driving around can really drain me. I finished up some paperwork, organized myself for tomorrow, and headed home.

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