Monday, April 12, 2010

Marvelous Monday

Today started out in the usual Monday way.  It began with the morning meeting at the shop.  Once everyone knew what they were doing for the day, we moved on to the administrative Monday morning meeting.  When that was through, I moved on to e-mails and paperwork.  I went to the district office for a little tutorial on another step in the hiring process and before I knew it, it was lunch time.  Mondays really fly by quickly.
I did find time to swing through the picnic area after I went to the campground to put out fresh WiFi survey fliers.  The picnic area is today's stop on the tour of Wekiwa Springs.  This particular area is on the right side of the map near the last zone of the parking lot.  There are two large pavilions and a playground which are pictured below.  The pavilions can be rented and reserved for family get-togethers, parties or group functions.

In addition to the pavilions and the playground equipment, there is also a restroom in this area and several picnic tables with grills.  The picnic area is nicely contoured and landscaped to give definition to each picnic table area.  The whole picnic area is out of sight of the busy spring area but it is within easy walking distance.

Across the parking lot from the picnic area is more recreation space.  There is a sand volleyball court and horseshoe pits.  The park has horseshoes that can be borrowed from the ranger station.  There is also an additional grill and some picnic tables for this area.

When I headed back into the office after lunch, I spotted a caterpillar on the fence railing near the parking lot.  It is a Tussock Moth caterpillar.  There are several different Tussock Moths and their caterpillars are similar in the arrangement of their hair, but not in the colors or patterns.  If you do a Google Image Search for "Tussock Moth Caterpillar," you will see a colorful selection of the amazing creatures.

In the afternoon, I headed to the more distant park properties to do our weekly Assistant Manager check of the areas.  I started at Katie's Landing.  It was peaceful and beautiful, as always.  When I checked the iron ranger, I found my friend the frog.  There were two frogs there the last time I checked it.  When my coworker checked it last week, I asked him if he saw the frogs.  He told me that he saw one of them.  Later, when he was going through the envelopes collected, I heard laughter from his office. He announced that he had found the other frog.  Today, the now lonely, remaining frog was still there.  When I started to put the lid back on the box, the frog leapt out and clung to my shirt.  It was as if it wanted me to take it to join its friend.  I thought the frog was better off where it had been living and I carefully put it back in its hiding place.

When I made it back to the office, I started the paperwork for the two properties that I visited.   I also got a few phone calls and had to go out to the campground to reboot the router.  The Wifi had stopped working, but it was a quick and easy fix.  It was a busy day but it went by quickly.

Thought of the Day #73
I am interested by the idea of a WiFi internet connection in the campground permanently.  In some ways, I am surprised that this has not been the norm in Florida State Parks for years.  Hotels and public spaces and even whole cities are offering WiFi hotspots, so why wouldn't a campground?  On the other hand, I understand the sense of alarm when some people do not think of getting back to nature with their laptop in hand.  What do you think?  Does technology have a place in the campground or do we need to get back to the days of tents and the light of a campfire?  I don't think that there is a right answer, but I'm interested to hear the different opinions and viewpoints.


Lorena said...

Wow, what a great place for Sharon's birthday party this year! I can already see the horseshoe game that's going to ensue.

Re: technology in the parks... I think you're right, there is not right/wrong side to this. My feeling is that the people who don't want it, aren't going to use it (may never even know it's there); and the people who really desperately want it are going to love it, even if they do wind up getting nature on their hands in the process. ;p For me personally, say if a miracle occurred and I had a three-day weekend to come stay in the park... I might not wind up using it, but if I did decide that I wanted to blog, or check email, it would be a little bonus that I didn't have to work too hard to get it.

Anonymous said...

I know there are folks who just cannot fathom life without non-edible blackberries, cell phones, laptops and the like, but for me, if I want to run away for some time of peaceful unwinding, I am not taking all the techno-gizmos with me. Of course, I have spent most of my life in a time warp that had no remotes, hip riding phones or other such essential things.


idyllicchick said...

Lorena, as soon as I saw these photos I thought the same thing about a birthday party! Hee!

As for the wifi issue, I wouldn't take my laptop to a campground, but my phone is constantly at my side. I can check my email and post photos to Facebook and Flickr from it. So if there was no cell phone signal in the area, I'd definitely use the wi-fi to make all of my virtual friends jealous of the fun that I was having in this beautiful park. Plus, you gotta have the wi-fi for your offices. Why not open it up to campers who want it?

Ranger Amy said...

Excellent points, ladies. Anyone else want to add their 2 cents? Another idea that was expressed to me was that the web could replace field guides. If you brought your laptop and had internet access, you wouldn't need a library of field guides in your pack.

(Sharon, there are a lot of birthday turkeys abound in this park).

Linda said...

Amy, I agree. My friend loves her ability to identify birds electronically by sight and sound. I'll also say that sometimes a quick check-in with work or family can assure you that everything's ok, or just knowing that you can be contacted if there's an emergency; otherwise: relax!

idyllicchick said...

Linda, there is an iPhone app that will identify a song that is playing. You make a short recording of what you are hearing, and the software identifies the music. I wonder if someone has developed one for birdsong?! Because that would be very cool.