Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Lists Lists Lists

Today featured another beautifully foggy morning and several to do list items being scratched off the list.  It was really a pretty good day.  I even saw some park visitors!
I started my day in the usual fashion with a drive around the park, opening the gate, and putting up the flags.  I headed to the office next and took care of the paperwork.  It went pretty quickly, there was no one in the park yesterday, so no revenue to report.  Next, I headed out for a walk to take a look at the spring.  The view from the cabin porch was awesome because of the fog.  The water is still on the rise, unfortunately.   Compare it to the last photo I posted of this spot, on Sunday.

On the way down the spring walkway, I spotted another spiderweb full of dew from the fog.  This one had evidently been abandoned, but it was still performing its duty.  It had collected quite a few little gnats.  Who knew that dead bugs could be so pretty?

I really could have stood on the spring dock just watching the fog until it lifted.  It was a good thing that our volunteer was with me to keep me focused.  The fog was so thick that I could just make out the outline of the trees across the river.  There were a lot of turtles enjoying the warm water and the tranquility of the spring this morning as well.

I decided to use the Secchi Disk again today to see what the visibility was now that the water has risen some more and it is looking more tannic and murky.  There is still 8-10 feet of visibility, but if you compare this photo to the one from Sunday, you can really see a difference in the clarity of the water.  The disk is sitting on the very same ledge.

I spent the rest of the morning walking the park with our volunteer and a notebook.  I have been given access to some work project funds in the park budget so I am taking the opportunity to tackle several of the smaller "some day" projects around the park.  We are going to improve the exhaust fans in the restroom and re-paint the interior to freshen it up.  A compliment that we get almost weekly from visitors is regarding the cleanliness of the restrooms.  We definitely want to continue that trend, restrooms are very important to people.  We are also going to replace some toilet workings to stop some little leaks.  In the old log cabin, our visitor center, we are going to sand and refinish all of the exterior doors as well as seal them a little better.  We will replace damaged interior doors and a ceiling fan.  We are going to switch thermostats in our buildings to programmable ones so that we will be more energy efficient.  We are even going to repair the 'toilet of frustration' that has been haunting me for more than a year.  I am looking forward to our shopping expedition tomorrow and more-so, getting all of these minor repairs done.  It will really be nice to have so many projects taken off of the wish list.  While inspecting a warped board that we are going to replace on our entrance sign, I spotted a little lizard.  It had leaped off of the sign and into the grass to avoid us, but I was intrigued by the green spots on its back.  This Green Anole can change from green to brown, but its usually its whole body that changes.

Before lunch, we decided to go to town to fill up our gas cans and to exchange some things at the hardware store.  When I went to the gas can storage, I found a lovely little frog who was seemingly the keeper of the gas cans today.  It watched over what I was doing and, fortunately, hopped away before I had to close the lid to the storage box.  The lid sits on the post where the frog was resting.

After lunch, I settled into the office for some paperwork, phone calls, and e-mails.  Our volunteer was finishing up a project that he has been working on, a new gas storage box.  I took care of the paperwork for the purchases that I had made in the last couple of days.  I also tried calling to get some estimates on getting some giant dead trees, dangerously close to buildings, removed at Adams Tract.  Unfortunately, I didn't make much progress with that last one.  Maybe I will have better luck tomorrow.  I did a little research on the computer about erosion control on downhill trails and started working on a plan for our trail to the river.  By then, I had spent quite enough time in the office and I was at a good stopping point.  I saw some visitors approaching, so I went out to greet them.  I had a nice talk with them and showed them around the visitor center.  Next, I headed down to the river bank to talk to some of our regular fishermen who where in for the day.  On the way down to the river, I encountered another visitor!  He was reading a sign and I said hello to him and answered some questions for him.  Near the river, I spotted several turtles sunning themselves.  They were enjoying this warm day as much as I was.

The fishermen had been doing pretty well.  Normally, they fish for Mullet, but its not a good time for them.  The majority of the adult Mullet have headed to the Gulf to spawn.  Its also hard to fish for Mullet when the river is flooding the spring because they usually sit on the line where the clear spring water and dark tannic water meet.  They are just all over the place when the water is mixing like this.  Today, the fishermen were after Catfish and they had caught quite a few.
When I headed back up the hill, our volunteer had finished his project and was ready to put the box in place.  He did a great job with it, it looks so much better than our old box.  Its also raised off of the ground so we don't have to strain our backs every time we move a gas can.  His sense of humor is evident in this project.  After the box was almost complete, he realized that it looked like an outhouse.  To complete the picture, he even cut out a moon and a star.  I thought it was a great touch.  We moved the box with the help of the tractor and got it in place.  Then we moved the gas cans into their new home.  It was so nice to just slide the freshly filled cans from the tailgate of my truck into the new box without lifting and bending.  Tomorrow, we can take apart the old box and say goodbye to it forever!


Anonymous said...

Thumbs up on the ergo. design from the ocuupational therapy department!

Ranger Amy said...

LOL, I'll pass that along.