Saturday, September 26, 2009

Scouts at Troy!

This morning was another beautiful, foggy morning. I got to the park a little early and found it to be in spectacular shape after my days off. My crew worked hard this week! Everything was mowed, blown off, trimmed and looking great. Shortly after I got to the office this morning, the phone rang and I got some good news. The boy scout troop that had planned to come install interpretive signs on the nature trail over Labor Day Weekend was on their way. Their plans fell through for the Labor Day Weekend, but they made it today! I had an hour before they were due to arrive so I got my paperwork done and took a walk around the park.
When the scouts arrived, we loaded the sign posts onto a wagon along with other supplies and headed out to the trail. I worked with them while they got started and then left them to work while I kept up with the visitors in the park.
With each hole that was dug, the boys sifted through the soil that was in the hole to check for the presence of any artifacts. That is a requirement within the state park system when any soil disturbing activities occur.
We didn't turn up any archaeological treasures, but we did find a neat spider. This bright yellow triangle is a Triangle Orbweaver. It is very appropriately named! The picture didn't turn out well, but it was too cool to just skip over.
After all of the posts were set on the nature trail, the scouts went back to attach the interpretive panels. I am so pleased with how they turned out and absolutely thrilled to have this project completed. A lot of time and patience and planning went into this project, both here at the park and with the scouts. It is just awesome to say now that Troy Springs State Park has an interpretive trail, not just a nature trail. Thanks again, Troop 406!!
The rest of the park had a small crowd today. There were about equal numbers of divers and fishermen and even a couple of families just swimming. One of the first groups into the park this morning walked down the walkway to the spring and then came right back. I started talking to them and realized that they had not yet seen the spring. A snake was sitting on the walkway and they came back up to try to find a different way to the spring. I walked down the walkway and they followed cautiously behind me. I guessed that it was probably an Oak Snake or a Black Racer. Both are harmless and frequent the walkway. It was something a little different though, a Red-bellied Watersnake. The snake slithered away from me down the walkway, so we just continued to follow it. When it got to the last corner before the spring dock, it decided that it didn't want to run anymore. It coiled up in the corner and tried its best defenses. I stood in front of the snake so that the people felt comfortable walking by and after a photo, I encouraged the snake the rest of the way down the walkway with a stick. I like the Red-bellied Watersnakes because they are good actors. They are not venomous, but they will make you think that they are. They have a thicker body, like a cottonmouth, and they will puff out their cheeks to make their head look more triangular. Its fun to watch them once they relax and their head returns to its normal shape.


Jen said...

thats a pretty neat sifter design. Is it a Scout design or a park design?
With all the rain Georgia is having, do you expect the spring to get browned out? how are the aquifers levels? Your water levels kind of confuse me as I hear and watch the weather channel. Where does the rainfall effect the area springs and then where is the rain that effects the swanee river and brown out situations? Will the level of the spring ever actually raise or is it just the Swanee that changes levels?

Ranger Amy said...

The sifter was one that we had at the park for archaeological monitoring.
The rest of your question is a good one and the answer is rather detailed, so I think that I will make it Thursday or Friday's blog entry. To tide you over until then, the rain in Atlanta probably won't give us much trouble here... To be continued...