Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Park tools can be tricky. They tend to have a way about them where they develop their own personalities. The Gator doesn't like cold mornings; the blower can't be given too much gas or it floods and you can't start it, don't even try; you have to choke the chainsaw to turn it on or off. The leaf blower likes me best, and apparently, the mower likes my co-worker best. He went to check on the mower after I failed again this morning to start it. Before I new it, he was coming around the corner, riding the mower. The aggravating-even-when-its-working cable that causes the mower to turn off when you get out of the seat had become disconnected. I'm really glad that it was something simple. I don't think our budget would like another repair expense.
I took care of the paperwork quickly this morning and had a good, outdoor job planned. It really looked like it might rain, but it was cool, there was a nice breeze, and it was a great day for a job that was not in the shade of trees. My co-worker did some leaf blowing before joining me, but together, we scrubbed all of the blue railing boards on the full length of the walkway to the spring. We each toted a bucket of water, a scrub brush, and some Simple Green in a yellow wagon that we keep available for divers to carry their heavy gear with. He scrubbed one side and I did the other while we made our way all the way down the walkway and reminisced about playing with little red Radio Flyer Wagons. We were hoping for a nice soaking rain right after we finished so that it would rinse what we were scrubbing. We gave it a light rinse, but a good soaking would be ideal... it still hasn't rained though. The top part of the railing was covered in a weird red fungus-like growth. It makes the before and after look very drastic. The whole length was not that bad though.
Spending all that time on the walkway, we did find some things. I was too busy scrubbing to catch everything, but I did get a few photos. We saw an Assassin Bug nymph, or baby. I like its flashy black and red colors. It looks like it will one day be an intimidating bug, doesn't it? I saw more than one Green June Beetle clinging to plant stalks. I also saw another Pink-Striped Oakworm Moth Caterpillar. I have blogged about these caterpillars and their adult, moth form before. The next, smooth brown caterpillar is as yet, a mystery. It was too pretty to pass though and I hope with more searching I can find out what it is.
Along with the cleaning supplies, I also brought along the drill, some screws, and a shovel in my little yellow wagon. I scooped up some sand that stays in one corner of the walkway even after leaf blowing. We also pulled up and reattached a railing board on the spring dock that had worked loose. We had to pull the whole board off to remove rusted and broken screws underneath before reattaching it. When we flipped the board, we found a chrysalis, a pupating butterfly. I removed it from the board so that we didn't squish it and I decided to relocate it somewhere near the office so that we can keep an eye on it. I wasn't sure what type of butterfly it was going to become, but I took a guess based on what butterfly I have been seeing the most recently. I looked it up and was pleased to have guessed right on the first try! It will be a Question Mark butterfly. I hope the move didn't disturb it. I will update you all on any changes.
When our project was complete, we took some time to eat lunch and then ventured out of the park, still hoping for rain to help us with a final rinse of the railing. First we went to town and fill all of the gas cans. It is such a better job with two people. Then we headed to Adams Tract to check on things there. On our way back to Troy, I decided that we should check out another spring that is on stat land between Adams Tract and Troy. A new entrance had just opened and I haven't seen the spring since we were in a drought. It was a beautiful spring now that it was full of water. It was a really nice, quiet place in the middle of the woods. My co-worker and I both decided that it was a good place to come back to sometime. It is called Owens Spring, which I like because I have a nephew named Owen. I think of him every time I drive by.

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