Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Wash, Rinse, Repeat

Today felt a lot like yesterday. Yesterday I had end of the week paperwork, today I had end of the month paperwork. I had to compile rainfall, water level, wildlife, and water clarity reports and e-mail them to all of the right people. I had some help with these reports yesterday evening from another park worker, I was very grateful. I also had to update tracking forms for things like passes and inventory and fuel.
I took a break from paperwork mid-morning to walk around the park and open the cabin. It was a pretty quiet, overcast morning. I did find some life on the walkway though, always a happening place. I spotted this giant fly. It is a Black Horse Fly. I always get nervous when I see these from the back of a horse. Their bite is painful because its mouth actually slices at the skin and the fly drinks the blood. Horses usually get very antsy when they feel one of these flies on their back, they are also too big to smash with your hand to get them off of the horse. This is the first time I have ever stopped to really take a look at one. I learned today that its only the females that drink blood, the males feed on nectar. This one is a male and it probably had been feasting on some wildflowers.
On the dock I spotted this little Skink. This one still has its beautiful blue tail... most of it anyway. The tail is usually a bit longer and comes to a sharp point. There is a downside to being a small Skink living on a dock at the bottom of a walkway... people feet!
On the way back up the walkway, I spotted a few more insects. I thought that this grasshopper was interesting because of its bright red head. I haven't seen one like that before. The butterfly is Florida's state butterfly. It is a Zebra Longwing. They have a very unique shape, and I would have liked to show you the full spread of their wings, but Zebra Longwings are quick. They don't stay at each flower for long, especially when there is a camera after them. They are said to be one of the smartest butterflies because they will return to the same spot each night to roost with a large group of others. I read that the older butterflies (up to 6 months) get the first choice on their individual roosting spot. They are also the first ones to wake in the morning and their fluttering wings waken the younger butterflies. I think it would be really cool to see a group of Zebra Longwings roosting.
After my walk, I finished up my paperwork, ate an early lunch, and got on the road to Ichetucknee. I didn't stay long when I dropped off my paperwork, I was just there yesterday. I was in and out again after a few quick photocopies. On the way back into Troy, I spotted these very vibrant fungi. I was surprised by color, it looks a lot like leather.
Back at the office, I was determined to get out and find a project outside. I had a few potential ideas in mind. Things just didn't go my way though... for the rest of the day. I remembered that I had to take another look at an e-mail and respond with comments. I was finishing that up when my evening relief came in, I chatted with her for a few minutes and more e-mails popped up. Before long, my day was over. I really wanted some time outside though, so I decided to ride the mower home and cut the grass around my house. I got about 1/3 of the way through the yard and an alarm on the mower went off. I think it was over heating. I checked the oil and everything else I could think of to check and it seemed fine. I let it cool down for a few minutes and opened up the fence to the back yard. I picked up all of the dog's toys and went back to check the mower. It wouldn't start. I left it to puzzle over in the morning and went back to the office to get my truck and the weed eater. At least I got the edges of the yard and the trimming around the house done. I really hope the mower is OK.

No comments: