Thursday, March 18, 2010

Solo Day

My job is getting better everyday.  Today, I was on my own for the most part and it felt good.  I met with park staff this morning and my other half, the other Assistant Park Manager gave out assignments for the day.  The group that was doing a prescribed burn today needed some more assistance and asked for one of the APMs.  My coworker has been here for two weeks longer than I have.  He has been doing the job of two people as a newbie like me for two weeks.  I thought he deserved a fun day, so I suggested that I stay behind to learn a little more and he could burn today.
After opening the ranger station and taking care of everything that needed to be done this morning, I headed out to take care of an assignment that I really enjoyed.  I had been tasked with getting a photo of two of our park volunteers with the product of their labor.  They had been removing miles and miles of old fencing this season and had some impressive piles to show for it.  This assignment meant that I had to venture out alone to one of the more distant park properties, Rock Springs Run.  I was glad that I was able to find my way out there, and I feel like I actually know where I was!  Once the photos were taken and I said goodbye to the volunteers, I headed to another nearby property, Katie's Landing.
Katie's Landing is an area that is being newly developed as a river access point.  There is a newer well onsite and when I started, I heard that there where some issues that needed to be addressed with the well to make sure that it is in compliance.  I am glad to have a project to work on that I am familiar with.  I feel like I learned all of the ins and outs of well maintenance at Troy and Adams Tract.

I couldn't pass up a chance to look at the river for a moment and I took some photos of an Egret (the white bird) and a Heron (the greyish-blue bird).  Can you find them?

I headed back to the office and then home for lunch when I returned to the main park.  When I came back to the office, I started working on some documentation for the well.  I was interrupted when one of the Rangers called to let me know that he had arrived with a tractor that we had wanted moved from one property to another.  I met up with him and took him back to get his vehicle from yet another property that I had visited on Monday, Pine Plantation.  The Pine Plantation is a newer piece of property to the park and it is still currently covered in planted pines.  I am used to seeing planted pines.  The long, straight rows of pines were common around Troy.  The planted pines across the road from the Pine Plantation property seem a little strange to me though.  There are citrus trees growing there also, between the pines.  Its such an odd thing to see because I am accustomed to seeing absolutely nothing growing in the planted pines aside from... pines.

When I got back from that mission, I went back to the office to work on the well stuff some more.  I was able to make some progress with only a few interruptions to orchestrate the delivery of some more road fill material and to get change for the ranger station.  Yet another day, flew right past me.  I might grow old at this job if time keeps flying the way it has been.
While I was in the office, some exciting mail came for me.  My new badges arrived.  I guess I should have been more patient and waited to tell you about them today.  Here is what my old, silver badges and new, gold badges look like.   Its official now!

Thought of the Day #98
I still haven't seen a bear, but bear accomodations are interesting to me as I drive around the areas outside of the park.  The busier roads have tall fences on each side to keep bears away from the road.  There is even one area where there is a tunnel under the road for the bears.  I am used to seeing consideration for deer on the roadways, but its such a larger scale for bears.  There are bear crossing signs everywhere!  I will have to stop to take a photo of one someday when I have time.


Paula said...

I am so happy to read that you are settling in and liking your new position. The park looks beautiful. Thanks for the picture of the planted pines with citrus trees nestled down under them. That was a treat to see.

Anonymous said...

Amy, you need to find one of these bears, and take a photo of him/her reading the sign to know where to go , Smart bears. Wow.


Ranger Amy said...

Thanks Paula!

I still need to find a bear, I don't know if I will get lucky enough to find one reading a sign... LOL!

Linda B said...

Do you remember what they do with the signs in DNP? Hammer nails into the signs, sharp side out to keep the bears from destroying them!! Bears love signage up here :-).

Ranger Amy said...

Linda, I never noticed that while I was there. I think that Alaska must have much tougher bears than we do in Florida. I wonder why they are interested in signs?!

Linda B said...

I don't know that anyone really knows, or if they do, none of the bus drivers had the answer...the scratch and chew them up if they can. Maybe it's what the signs are treated with. I'll post a photo on Facebook of one that's been replaced already...even with the nails it was destroyed. I'd love to know why!

Ranger Amy said...

I think I have found an answer that seems to make sense to me. An article found here gives some good thoughts. There is some observation that says that bears are curious about new things. A sign in the middle of a wilderness area could very well be a strange thing if you are a bear. They might bite it or paw at it just like a baby learns about things in its surroundings. That would also explain why, in this urban area that I am currently in, the bears aren't interested in signs... they are a normal sighting here.
The sign chewing may continue if another bear happens along and sees or smells that the first bear has been chewing this spot. They might think they are missing out on a tasty treat.

Linda B said...

That's a cool explanation. I like it!