Sunday, March 21, 2010

Rain Check

Today was such a contrast from yesterday.  The morning did not go as smoothly and the weather did not cooperate either.  When I opened the ranger station, I was stumped by a void that needed to be processed.  I had to push all of the same keys that the ranger pushed while in void mode to get rid of the transaction.  The ranger had voided the transaction because he didn't know what button he pushed.  We couldn't figure it out and we ran out of time.  So the void didn't get processed and I'm sure that the person who processes the ranger station paperwork is going to have a headache to deal with tomorrow.  In addition to that, I forgot to finalize the credit card machine... more work for the office person.  To top it all off, tomorrow is the first time I will meet her and I have to ruin her morning with paperwork mistakes.  I re-wrote a checklist for myself to make sure that I get it right next time.  I also need to find out what all of the keys on the register do.  In time, I'm sure I will learn it all.
When I went to see the painting volunteers today, there were very few arriving.  I'm sure that the rain in the weather forcast scared some people away.  The rain in the afternoon got rid of the rest of the people later.  The park was pretty quiet today aside from a couple of groups that were in the covered picnic pavilions.  I spent some time in the ranger station, trying to absorb the procedures there.  I also spent a little time in the office gathing information for the Operation and Maintenance Manual for our newest well.  I didn't use my camera in the rain, so here are some more shots from yesterday.  I finally captured some of the turkeys that hang around the administrative offices (hey now, no jokes about my co-workers).  This group of turkeys regularly makes a trip through the parking lot.

Another critter that I saw yesterday was an Armadillo.  They are not native to Florida, but they seem to have established residency.  They are a bit of a nuisance because they dig holes everywhere looking for grubs and things.  They can also be a little alarming when you are in the woods at dusk.  One tiny Armadillo can convince you that something as big as an elephant is about to jump out of the woods at you.  They are noisy hikers!  They don't have very good hearing, so they don't usually startle at people noises.  They also don't need to be very stealthy because of their tough armor.  They are pretty well protected.

It was a quiet day.  Tomorrow should be busier for me, but I don't know if it will be any better for photos.  Monday is meeting day.

Thought of the Day #95
The difference in size and visitation between Troy Springs and Wekiwa Springs means that there are different user groups as well.  For the most part, park visitors are happy to be recreating and are pleasant to be around.  Sometimes though, there are problems that are tougher to deal with.  Especially in large crowds, people can get out of hand.  In addition to park rangers who attempt to acheive voluntary compliance (approaching visitors in a friendly manner and asking them to follow the rules) the Florida Department of Environmental Protection also employs Law Enforcement Officers.  At Wekiwa, the visitation is so great that there is usually a Law Enforcement Officer onsite to help us maintain order.  I never had a situation where I needed more help at Troy, but I am glad that they are here at Wekiwa.


Anonymous said...

Has Dozer met an armadillo yet!? The new park looks great, I wish plane tickets grew on trees!!!Cathy

idyllicchick said...

Armadillos aren't native?! Who the heck brought them here? And what was s/he thinking?!

Ranger Amy said...

Dozer has met an armadillo before. It was a couple of years ago. He heard something moving through the woods and went after it. He pounced on the armadillo and then was apparently dissappointed that nothing happened and he came right back to me. (Maybe I can find a plane ticket tree in my new park... I'll keep looking).

Armadillos are not native, but their arrival in Florida is a bit of a debate. Some people blame some zoo keepers 50+ years ago who allowed a mating pair to escape and some blame the little armored ones themselves. They are well protected, their food is readily available almost anywhere and they can swim... there is no stopping them. They will go where they want to and its possible that they came to Florida on their own.