Monday, April 5, 2010

Bring on The Weekend!

Today was my last workday this week.  It was Friday for me!  Today was mostly meetings and office work and a little time out in the field.  It wasn't busy or stressful and it was a nice way to wind down and head into my weekend.  The day started with the morning meeting.  The rangers work on a rotating schedule and I had worked with the same group of people all weekend.  There were all fresh faces at the morning meeting today, back from their weekend off.  We all discussed the past weekend, the current week, and I filled everyone in on the new Wi-Fi test in the campground.  When we broke for the day, I headed to our offices for the Monday morning meeting with our Park Manager.  I helped to return chairs and floor mats and things to where they belonged now that the carpet cleaning was complete.
When there were enough chairs for all of us, we started the Monday meeting and got our Manger up to date on our projects and happenings in the park.  He had some information and direction for us and then we broke for a little office work.  Around lunchtime, my coworker and I headed out to visit some of our newer properties with our Park Manager.  Because they are newer properties, many of them need work done to clean them up from their last use or to remove unsafe facilities or to restore them to a more natural condition.  It was nice to have all the background information on these properties from the Park Manager.
Near one property, we saw a sign posted at the road.  It cautioned drivers to "Drive carefully, our squirrels can't tell one nut from another."  We had a laugh over that one.
One area that we visited was really a neat place.  It was a cabin in the woods that had fallen into disrepair, but the land around it was beautiful.  There were so many huge, trees that surrounded the cabin beautifully.  I especially love the Oaks with their gnarly limbs that give them so much character.

The poor old cabin didn't appreciate the trees as much as I did.  There were places in the roof where tree branches had obviously fallen to cause damage.  One corner of the house had a giant pine that was trying to replace the corner post of the house, I think.  It was growing against the house and had even pushed into the roof.  It is the pine in the left of the photo below.

The removal of this cabin and the site clean-up are an upcoming priority for us.  I am looking forward to seeing this amazing site when the work is complete.  Our Park Manager has some very cool ideas for the area.
Our next stop was at Katie's Landing, along the river.  We were looking at the construction of the bulkhead in progress.  The bulkhead holds the river bank in place, and while the construction is going on, there is a barrier to keep silt in place.  There was water caught in these areas and I'm sure it was being warmed by the sun more-so than the rest of the river water.  I noticed that there were minnows swimming in these shallow, protected, warm waters.  I also noticed someone else watching the minnows.  This Heron looked like it was hunting for some lunch until it became bothered by our presence and left.

When we returned from our excursion, I finished up what I wanted to do in the office and then headed home to make up some of the late days I worked this weekend.  I walked my dog behind our house when I got home.  I was frustrated to find that the mosquitoes have finally come out to dine on me.  I did stumble across something cool though.  There was a Bromilead in bloom right there in front of me.  I didn't get a great shot of it because the mosquitoes were biting and biting!  I had to share it with you though.  Bromeileads are a family that includes plants like Pineapple and even Spanish Moss (which is neither Spanish nor Moss).  This one in particular is called Bartram's Airplant.  It was named for a naturalist, William Bartram, who documented his journey through Florida in the late 1700's.  This Airplant is on the ground, but they do not need to be growing from the soil.  Airplants or Epiphytes take their nutrients from the air.  This one probably started growing on a branch high in a tree until the branch fell.  Its still happy though.  It has everything it needs.

Thought of the Day #80
You may remember Thought #93, when I mentioned the different types of parks that are out there.  Differences in the parks mean that the jobs of Park Rangers vary between the parks as well.  I wanted to share another blog with you that I stumbled upon through a reader of this page.  A man who spent 32 years serving in the National Parks as a Ranger has written a book and blogs about his job.  Bruce Bytnar tells some great stories that only 32 years of rangering could produce.  I was interested that he has faced some of the same frustrations and rewards that I have with the state park service, but he has also had some experiences that are more unique.  I hope you will enjoy his blog as much as I have.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yikes!!! The first post on Bruces site is about two people who got shot with a shot gun...I hope you don't have any of those experiences. Glad you are settling into the Wekiwa life. Take Care, Sherry