Saturday, October 3, 2009

Just Another Day

A visitor asked me today if my job ever got boring. He remembered me from his last visit to Troy more than a year ago. I'm sure I was probably doing the same thing when he talked to me then, standing on the spring dock talking to visitors. I told him that my job is never just the same old thing, everything is always changing. Today was just the same as most Saturdays in the park. I did all of the same things, opened the gate, unlocked the cabin, checked the restrooms, walked the park, probably even took some of the same pictures, I did the same paperwork, I checked in divers, I told the same story about the Madison wreckage to at least three groups of people, I politely listened while people told the same story I hear daily about what Troy was like when they came here before it was a park, I paced my normal route around the park several times, and I answered the same phone calls. However, just like all of those other days, this one was new, different, and special. I noticed spiderwebs in new places, I watched squirrels perform different stunts to get to the appropriate place to eat a snack, I watched the light through the day hit the water in a million different ways, I saw at least a dozen people see or learn something brand new to them and enjoyed the excitement in their eyes. If my job ever becomes boring, I will certainly move along because these experiences shouldn't be wasted.
Here are a few of the new sights that I saw today.
The way that the sunlight came through the trees this morning, illuminated this otherwise unspectacular plant. This False Nettle bears a resemblance to the irritating Stinging Nettle, but it is much friendlier. The 'fuzz' around the stem are clusters of tiny green flowers.
The water level has dropped enough now for two rocks to peak out above the water! It was just last Tuesday when I noticed the first rock. The turtles are loving these new sunning spots, I'm sure.
I set up the craft project for October in the activity room. This month, visitors can make and take an Origami bat and learn a little bit while they have fun. Did you know that one bat can eat 3,000 insects in a night? Would you rather have one bat or 3,000 mosquitoes?
I see Red-shouldered Hawks often. I do not often see a hawk fly through a busy picnic area to land on a branch in full view of everyone, where it then feasts publicly on its small catch of a possibly lizard variety. I suppose everyone is welcome to picnic in the picnic area. While we all watched and cautiously inched around to take advantage of the photo-op, the proud hawk seemed to be showing off for us. I watched for some time, answered questions as they walked by, and eventually walked off to check dive cards or show someone where to find the Madison wreckage or something. When I passed through again, the other people that watched the hawk told me that it eventually flew off and swooped to the ground to pick up another tasty morsel of some sort.
It was just another day at the park.

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