Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fog Lifting

The fog was thick this morning, but it broke by mid-morning, into a beautiful day. You know that my camera and I love a foggy morning. I went walking as soon as I got to the office. I started at the cabin porch, I always enjoy this view.

I headed down to the river next and I noticed that our new wood-chip covered path had caught the attention of some spiders. There where several areas where the wood chips were just covered in a thin film of spiderweb. I also found one little hole, likely dug by a squirrel, that a spider had made use of. It built its funnel shaped web in the hole.

By the time I reached the bottom of the hill, I saw that there were many more active spiders. The morning dew covered every single spiderweb in the area and made each one stand out. There were beautiful views everywhere I looked though. The fog makes everything look so different.

When I got to the top of the hill, my coworkers had arrived and were chatting with each other. They told me that the river had come up while I was gone yesterday. It is still coming back up again. I walked to the spring to take a look at it. The rock in front of the dock is covered again and the water that was getting so much more clear on Monday, was muddy brown again. How disappointing. On the way back up to the office, I enjoyed several more spider webs. There were a lot of very tiny orb shaped webs. Maybe some of the egg sacs that I was seeing in the fall have hatched. Its neat to see such an intricate web in such a tiny form. The minuscule dot in the middle is the spider! I wish that I had taken my macro lens with me.

When I got back to the office, I took a look at the water levels up river and the rain forecast. It might just rise a little more and start to recede again or there might be some rain up north that will continue the upward slope. It could go either way. I wrestled with the decision to wait it out and leave the spring open or to close it again while I did the paperwork. I had two days of paperwork to do because I was not there yesterday. While I worked, I noticed a big group of Turkeys walking right by my window. I snapped one photo that focused on things in the foreground rather than the Turkeys. I started to move to another window for a more clear shot, but there was a screen in that window. The Turkey were also able to see my movement through the window. By the time I made my way to the door and quietly walked outside, the Turkeys had headed back through the woods. I will still share my photo of blurry Turkeys though. Blurry Turkeys are better than no Turkeys at all, right?

When I had finished my paperwork, I decided that I would take a Secchi Disk reading and let that be my deciding vote on weather to close the spring or not. It was bad news. We didn't even have four feet of visibility anymore and I had to close the spring. It was a lovely two days, but we are back to muddy water again. I am still hoping for a clear spring for my birthday though. My co-workers switched the signs around again. They replaced the 'caution' signs with 'closed' signs. I changed the message on our answering machine again and called my Assistant Manager to let her know.
Before lunchtime, the Park Manager and new Ranger for the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail (the river-long park that includes Adams Tract) arrived at Troy. They were in the process of visiting all of the parks and river camps along the Suwannee to familiarize the new Ranger. I showed them around Troy and then met them at Adams Tract. There was some trouble with a locked door that I needed to attend to there as well.  After the tour of the river camp, they set to work changing out the kiosk and replacing maps, and I got the stubborn door unlocked.  I will be replacing the door knobs soon!  While they were moving things around in the kiosk, they uncovered a Regal Jumping Spider.

After visiting with the volunteers, I headed back to Troy, but I wasn't there long.  My coworkers and I piled into my truck.  We made a quick stop near the barn to hook up the trailer and then we were off to Ichetucknee.  We used their tractor to load up another heap of wood chips.  This load will be used to fill some holes that have formed in our service road.  When we returned, I headed home for the day, ready to start my weekend.  This week went by fast!

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