Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Today I felt like I was climbing uphill in sand. I was working hard all day, but didn't feel that I accomplished as much. I did make some progress, but I did an awful lot of backsliding in the mean time. None of the work that I did today was physically demanding in any way, but I am mentally exhausted. My only photos today came from the best part of the day, the morning.
When I put up the flags, I looked for my friends. There was only one Tree Frog left. I wonder if the others will return.
I went to the office and took care of paperwork next. I chatted with our volunteer for a bit and we made a plan for the day. When my paperwork was done, I went for a walk. I opened up the cabin and then headed down to the river. From the dock, I could see a lot of Mullet. Most of them are pretty small. It looks as though the majority of the mature adult Mullet have left to spawn in the Gulf. The mature adults will spend the fall and winter in the gulf spawning before they return to fresh water. The young will spend some time in the gulf before working their way into freshwater rivers to start the cycle over again.
When I headed back up the hill towards the picnic area, I was struck by this view. I love the color of the dying grass in the morning sun. The pale squiggle in the middle of the shot is a piece of Spanish Moss. It looked like it was dancing there in mid-air.
I made my way to the picnic area and saw that there were people at the spring dock and another vehicle was just pulling in. I talked to the new arrivals first. They were divers so I checked them in and answered their questions before I headed down to the dock. The couple that I met were retirees who wandered around the US, enjoying their free time and discovering new places. They had lots of questions for me and I had a great time talking to them. They told me that they were from Chicago and I shared with them that I grew up two hours away in South Bend, IN. We talked for a long time and I walked with them to the cabin and then let them explore the river area on their own. Later when I was in the cabin again, I saw that they had signed the guest book. I saw that they were from Joliet, IL which is a suburb of Chicago. I have family in Joliet and I was amazed at the connection.
Next I made my weekly stop at Adams Tract. I picked up some bags of garbage and talked with the volunteers for a while. They impressed me, as always with the cleaning that they have done, above and beyond normal maintenance. They had also completely disassembled, cleaned, and fully repaired an old washer and dryer that I had assumed would never work.
The day went down hill from there. I returned to my office to spend the rest of the day waiting for phone calls. I have been waiting for a call about a water test kit that I ordered last week for a yearly water test that I have to do at Adams Tract. I called today to see if it had come in because I thought it would have arrived by now. I was scolded that if I had not gotten a call, then it was not there. I was frustrated because I have several errands to run in Lake City including picking up the water test when it comes in. I would like to get it all done, but I'm waiting on that phone call. I was also still waiting for an estimate on buoys that I requested yesterday by e-mail. I decided to call and speak to someone but I was told that everyone was busy and I would have to wait for a call back within the hour. I sat at the computer for that whole hour trying to research buoy vendors that are registered vendors with the state of Florida. I got absolutely no where in that whole hour. I didn't even get the call back. I needed to get away from my desk for a little while before I pulled my hair out. I left the information for the estimate with another worker at the park and left with our volunteer to run some errands in town. We dropped off a hydraulic arm from the tractor to be repaired and bought some lumber for a project at Adams Tract.
While we were gone, the call that I had been waiting on had finally been received and we had a promise of an estimate by fax or e-mail. I went ahead and requested one more estimate from another company so that we would have three to choose from. I left the office a little late and a little frustrated that I still had no more estimates in hand than I did this morning. All the work will be justified when we have our new, safe, effective, durable buoy line in place.

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