Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Less Water, More Cold

Today was a pretty good day aside from a mix-up with the people who were supposed to cut down the trees at Adams Tract today.  I got several small projects knocked off of my list, and it went pretty smoothly.  I also saw the terrific news that the river level is on its way down!!  At 8am, the river was lower than it was two days ago.  Lets just hope the spring clears quickly.  We will have to get rid of 3-5 feet of water first, but hopefully it will go at least as quickly as it came.
On my journey through the park this morning, it seemed warmer.  There wasn't as much frost on the ground, but a frigid 13 degrees is in the forecast for tonight.  I didn't spend a lot of time taking pictures today, because I was expecting a very full day.  I did walk around to turn off faucets and look at the water.  I found a terrific ice sculpture under a faucet near the restrooms.  It was near a big pine tree and the needles had become ice needles.  It would really be neat to see be able to watch the gradual process of ice forming around each needle.

While I was out on my walk, I checked on the well that had chlorinator problems.  The problem was an easy fix, a compression fitting was loose and just needed to be adjusted and re-tightened.  I expected it to take more work than that.  This funny looking box is what pumps small doses of chlorine into the water line that comes from the well to make sure that no bacteria grows in the water system.

On my way back to the office, I passed an area with Japanese Honeysuckle.  It is an exotic plant that has been spreading in one area of the park.  I have been working with our biologist to plan a day to treat it with herbicide to try to get rid of it.  It is a beautiful and sweet-smelling plant when its in bloom, but it is also invasive.  Its vines are growing and coating all of the plants surrounding it.  It will be a tough battle when we do try to fight it, but this cold weather may help.  I noticed that its leaves are droopy and curling under.  Perhaps the cold will weaken it and make it easier to kill this spring.

When I was almost to the office, I noticed that the sun was shining through the Spanish Moss hanging from an Oak tree.  I love the way that the moss filters light.  It was a pretty view that I had to try to capture and share.

It was a relief to settle in to my warm office to take care of paperwork.  I handled the normal, daily paperwork quickly and then moved on to the reports on the purchases that I made yesterday.  When I was done, I called the tree people to find out what time they would be arriving.  They told me that they thought they were supposed to come on Wednesday.  Its a bit of a setback in my master plan for the week, but I think that things will still work out.  Our volunteer and I drove to another nearby park to borrow their log splitter.  We picked it up and got a quick walk through of which switches are broken and the kind words that you need to say to it to get it to work properly, a standard with most park equipment.  We took it over to Adams Tract and took care of a few other odds and ends over there.  I had briefly looked into a water pressure problem that they were having with the restroom sinks last week.  Today, after thinking on it for a day or two, I realized that the solution to the problem was likely a very simple and obvious one.  I wish I had thought of it sooner.  I unscrewed the aerator on the end of the faucet and rinsed out A LOT of sediment.  I replaced the aerator and the flow from the faucet was excellent.  I did the same for the other two sinks and scratched that issue off my list.

Next, I headed over to the well with the jug of chlorine that I picked up yesterday.  I poured it into the barrel and added the correct amount of water to it.  I primed the chlorinator pump and let the system run for a few minutes.  I took a chlorine reading to make sure that the levels were where they should be and they were!  I was beginning to get nervous that something was going to go terribly wrong because every repair was too easy today.  I don't mind though, its a nice change of pace.
When we returned to Troy, I wrapped up loose ends, talked to my co-workers, and then headed home to get ready for tomorrow.  After the tree guys drop the three dead pines at Adams Tract, my co-workers and I will chop the trees and split the wood for firewood at the river camp.  Because it is such a big job and it will be cold, I decided to make some big pots of chili.  I also cleaned up our big coffee pot so that we can have hot water for tea, cider, or hot chocolate.  We might even find some firewood for a campfire as well.

1 comment:

Linda said...

See, sometimes cold is good - a perfect excuse for chili and hot chocolate. And cutting firewood warms you twice! (momism)