Sunday, February 7, 2010

Lights, Camera, Mud

I was expecting another quiet day.  The river is still trying to make up its mind as to whether it will start to go down or not.  It was colder, windier, and Super Bowl Sunday.  I was planning another day of just me and the squirrels.  After my drive through the park, I ended up at the office.  When I tried to turn on the light, I saw that the bulbs were out.  My first task of the day was to climb on top of my desk to replace the fluorescent light bulbs.  With them in place and the dead bugs cleaned from the light cover and replaced, I realized that two of the bulbs must have been out for a while because it was BRIGHT in my office.  I powered on the computer and headed out for a walk, it wasn't quite as bright outside yet.  After opening the cabin, I decided to do a little leaf blowing.  I realized that it has been a long time since I got to do this, one of my favorite things.  I didn't bother with the walkway to the spring because half of it is underwater.  I did spruce up the cabin area though.

I noticed an outdoor faucet at the cabin that was leaky.  I don't like the water running on the already deteriorating bricks, so I temporarily stopped the leak and will purchase a new faucet tomorrow.  Near the faucet, I found a little caterpillar.  The orange and black Woolly Bear that some people think can predict the severity of winter, becomes a Tiger Moth.  This all black caterpillar is similar and is also commonly called a Woolly Bear.  It will become a stunning, black and white Leopard Moth.

While I was at the cabin, I snapped a picture of the view from the porch.  It hasn't changed much in the last week, but I hadn't shown it in a little while.  I love the way the sky looks in the water when its browned out.  I think that is the only thing that I like about the spring being flooded.

Some people did actually come to the park today.  Two separate groups came in today.  Both were just out exploring and had never been to Troy before.  Both were pleasantly surprised with the park and decided they would be back to see the spring when it was clear.  One group even stayed to make bird masks in the cabin.  I didn't change the activity from last month because I don't think anyone did the project in January.  They left with some pretty amazing bird masks!  When our visitors left, I headed out to take a look at the nature trail.  My coworkers had done a great job removing the tree that was blocking the trail. They cut only what was necessary and used what they could move to line the trail.  Something that I have noticed throughout working with the nature center, teaching outdoor ed in Delaware, and from talking to our visitors is that some people get very uneasy on a trail through the woods if they aren't reassured of where the path is.  Our nature trail is a nice, curvy path through the woods and some turns aren't as obvious as they could be.  Quite often when scout groups camp at the park and ask for a service project, I ask them to work on lining the trail with logs and sticks.  It makes the trail more obvious and comforts people who are a little unsure about the woods.

The trail has seen a lot of moisture in the last month.  Most of it has dried up now, but the moss is flourishing.  A large amount of the trail is covered in a soft green carpet of moss.  Its nice to see something green out there in the woods.

There wasn't any standing water, but I was glad that I was wearing hiking boots and not white tennis shoes.  There was plenty of mud!  The mud told the story of who else had been down the trail though.  A raccoon walked much of the nature trail sometime before me.

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