Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday Madness

Today was a busy Monday. I had all of the usual Monday things to do, but I also needed to make a visit to Adams Tract, and finish up another project that I have been working on. The rest of my week is very full, so I needed to get things done today.
When I opened the park this morning, it was only about 60 degrees. It was cold enough to wear long pants, but just a little too warm for my heavy coat. It was too cold for frogs. The patriotic frogs were very disappointed when I removed the flags from the box. They quickly gathered together, maybe to share the warmth that they had left.
The frogs weren't the only ones hiding from the cold in the flag box. I found this big, Regal Jumping Spider also. I found another one as I put up the flags. It was hiding under the cleat that we secure the flag rope to. I really like these spiders because of their appearance. They can be found in several different colors, including a beautiful reddish-orange. I also noticed that the one on the flag pole had green fangs. Where were these two on Halloween? Jumping spiders can make silk structures, but they are used for shelter and for egg laying, not for catching food. Jumping spiders pounce on their prey.
The rest of my morning was spent in the office. I did the daily and end-of-the-week paperwork and finished up the monthly reports that I didn't complete yesterday. I finished my time sheet and sent out a few e-mails. By mid-morning, I was ready to leave the park. I headed over to Adams Tract to drop off some gas for the mowers and blowers, drop off the pressure washer so that the volunteers can clean up some concrete areas, and pick up some bags of garbage. When I left there, I headed to Ichetucknee. There, I dropped off paperwork, picked up glass cleaner from the supply room, and picked up the equipment for a program that I will be doing on Wednesday. Next, I headed back to Troy and tried to get all of my office work done so that I could move on to a more interesting task.
When I finally broke free of the office, I headed out with a clipboard and my GPS to walk around the spring. I was completing the last step to finalize my photo points around the spring. I had previously taken photos from different points around the spring. At each point, I also took a photo of where I was standing and took a GPS reading. I had noticed while I was taking photos that the GPS readings were varying quite a bit. I went back to get better readings today. I had the GPS average its results at each point so that the reading was more accurate. I took all of the new GPS coordinates for each point and finished up a guide for re-taking the same photos in the future. Over time, we will have a good record of the changes in the soil around the spring. The guide will make it easy for anyone to find the points that I used again.
When I started down to the spring, I saw a caterpillar on the sidewalk. It was a Bagworm who carries its house around with it. I have blogged about these caterpillars before, but they are just too cool to pass up when I see them.
This one was moving, slowly but surely, likely looking for something green to eat. After a quick video of its amazing struggle to move just a few inches, I gave it a little help. I didn't want it to get squished on the walkway. I put it at the base of a bush that I have seen Bagworms on before. (Sorry about the terrible video quality, the camera was inadvertently set to compressed video.)

When I returned after getting my GPS coordinates, I saw that it had made a lot of progress climbing up the bush. It had also found and Inchworm, or the Inchworm found the Bagworm, I don't know which. The Inchworm was very interested in the Bagworm and the Bagworm looked like it was trying to hide within its bag. I hope the Inchworm didn't think that the Bagworm's house looked tasty.

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