Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Scenery, Sprayers, and Stingers

Today was pretty much a mirror image of yesterday.  It was cold and foggy.  I performed the usual morning rituals and headed out for a walk.  I opened the cabin and walked towards the river.  Its nice to see this view in the winter.  The vegetation is not as dense as it is in the summer, and you can see so much of the frosty flood plain and the foggy river.  The trail is hard to see, but it is still holding up nicely.  Not a single wood chip has strayed from the path.

I enjoyed the mist over the water from every angle.

The birds were active this morning.  I caught this Red-shouldered Hawk trying to get warm in the rising sun.  Its feathers are so ruffled and fluffed up to keep a thick layer of warm air near its body.  The next photo was a Red-bellied Woodpecker who flew right over my head.  I watched it land on the tree above me and zoomed my camera in.  It was only there for a brief moment.  It pecked the tree a couple of times and then found what it was looking for.  If you look closely, you can see its prize, a grub or something in its beak.

When I got back to the office, I had some new things to add to my desk.  My mom sent me some fun new accessories.  I love my frog stapler!  The little bird holds paperclips and scolds anyone who tries to take them.  It cheeps when it is bumped.  I put them to use right away as I took care of the daily paperwork.  I also had to process paperwork for a package that I received yesterday.  I had ordered supplies for the water testing at Adams Tract.

Once I had warmed up and accomplished all that I had to do in the office, I decided to get to work on the remaining items that the well inspector had pointed out.  I headed over there with the tools that I expected to need and then had to return to the shop for the tools that I really needed.  I returned by walking in front of the restrooms and I found a new problem that needed attention first.  The water fountains were leaking water all over the place.  I turned off the water supply and continued on my way to the shop for even more tools.  I returned with a coworker who was there for moral support.  She cheered me on while I was grumpy towards the water fountains.  After removing the front covers, I didn't see any major problems.  It was very wet, but nothing had gaping holes or anything.  I was also glad to see that most of the internal workings were well insulated.  We turned the water back on and I found the leaks.  A thick but intricate PVC piece had split at its seems sending fine sprays of water in every direction.

I removed the piece and headed to the office.  With the help of the manual and the internet, I was able to isolate that I needed a valve-solenoid and even found its part numbers.  I called a plumbing supplier who went to great lengths to locate the part for me, but while we were doing that, I remembered that I could get the parts from another set of fountains that were not being used at another park.  I thanked her profusely and saved the park $88.  I will retrieve the parts tomorrow.  With that task handled, I went back to my issue at the well.  I tightened the bolts on the well cap, as requested.

Once my projects were cleaned up and tools put away, I started my evening relief on a filing project and headed home.  My day outside wasn't over yet though.  My boyfriend and I went out to throw our discs around a little bit.  We stumbled upon something neat at the end of the driveway, just into the woods.  Likely a  raccoon, had dug up a Yellow Jacket nest.  It would have removed each layer of the nest and scooped out the Yellow Jackets to eat them.  It either got full or was scared off because there were still a few frozen and defenseless Yellow Jackets at the bottom of the hole.  I am glad that we discovered this nest in the winter and not with a stray disc in the summer time.

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