Saturday, October 24, 2009

Now We're Busy, Now We're Not

I arrived at the main park area early this morning. My closer last night was not able to come in, so I closed the park but decided to tackle the restroom clean-up in the morning. When mud is tracked in on the floor, its much easier to clean when its dry in the morning. I swept out the dirt, filled toilet paper, and mopped. I have been very lucky in the last few months to have so much help around the park. It has been a while since I have really had to clean the restrooms, but this is very much a large part of being a park ranger. I don't want to disillusion you all to make you believe that all I do is chase butterflies with my camera.
As I cleaned, it started to drizzle a little. There was also an amazing sunrise forming. I took a quick photo of the beautiful sky, thinking that I was fast enough to keep any rain drops from landing on the lens. When I looked at the photo at home though, I realized that the flash had fired and reflected off of some of the falling drips. Its kind of a neat effect though and it almost looks like there are stars in the sky.
When I headed out to the gate at ten minutes to 8:00, there were already four cars lined up to come in. I opened the gate and was told that there would be many more people. He was not kidding. By the time I finished the rest of my opening rituals, our little parking lot was nearly full with 24 vehicles which brought 50 divers to the park. That sounds like a lot, but they were all together and very organized. Their instructors come regularly and were ready with the appropriate pass, payment, and knowledge of the park. They went to the water in organized, much smaller groups, and were gone by early afternoon. I watched the restrooms that I had just cleaned gradually get muddier and muddier, which is just inevitable with that many people and a morning rain. I wanted to take a photo, but I didn't want to do it while the group was there. They were a very conscientious group and I didn't want them to feel like they had done anything wrong. After they left, I forgot to take the photo.
It turned out to be a beautiful day after the rain stopped mid-morning. The sun was shining and a cool breeze took away all of the humidity from the rain. I spent the day walking around, talking with the visitors, and picking up the few pieces of litter that I found along the way. The park was really quiet aside from the big dive group. There was one fisherman who didn't stay long, a few people passing through, and two more divers in the late afternoon who could not believe that 50 people had been there earlier. They were the only visitors in the park at that point.
Here are the sights that I enjoyed today. The first is of a tree frog. I found it perched near the walkway on one of my first walks down to the spring this morning. Later in the afternoon when I was passing by again, I looked for it. It was still there, but had shifted positions a bit. Maybe it had moved to be in the sun or maybe it had moved to catch some lunch.
This is one of my favorite vantage points to the spring. I like to watch the columns of bubbles from the divers work their way to the surface.
At the river, the Mullet were everywhere. They haven't been biting this weekend for the fishermen though. Last week was the peak fishing time for the month according to the Farmer's Almanac. Its really impressive how accurate those fishing calendars are.
I saw this Yellow Garden Orb Weaver wrapping silk around a tasty morsel. Wouldn't it be nice to generate your own Tupperware or cling wrap? It would make after-dinner clean-up a breeze! At first, I thought that this may be her egg sac, but I changed my mind after reading a little online. The egg sac would be a darker color and would be hung somewhere a little more protected. It also wouldn't be in the center of her web, but in its own protective structure.

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