Monday, May 24, 2010

Milkweed Monday

Today was a typical Monday.  I spent the morning in meetings.  We had our daily staff meeting at the shop and then the Monday Morning meeting with the administrative staff.  We looked at the week ahead and spent a lot of time talking about money.  The end of June is the end of our fiscal year.  We are working hard to effectively utilize every bit of money available to us before it is gone and the new budget is upon us.
When the meetings were over, I went back to my office, where I stayed for the majority of my day.  I worked on getting organized for the week, and made progress on a few projects.  The floor cleaning estimate that was scheduled for today was rescheduled for tomorrow, my co-worker will have to take care of it.  I don't like leaving my projects for someone else to finish, but we need to get the estimates in and the work done on this budget year.  I also got prices and purchased a new box blade, which is a tractor attachment that smooths our dirt roads.  I processed honor fees for three park entrances and did the associated paperwork.  I also spoke to someone about one possibility for replacing the bridge over the spring area.
It was a busy paper-pushing day, but I did steal a few glimpses of the beautiful outdoors.  The Milkweed Plant outside of my front door had burst into bloom by the time I got home for lunch.  The yellow color was a surprise to me!  I had seen the tight, crimson buds and had expected flowers the same color.  This is a Scarlet Milkweed and though it isn't a native Florida plant, it has established here.  It fits in well with our Florida habitats.  It does have predators and it grows well here, but doesn't overgrow.  It is also a favorite plant of the Monarch Butterfly.  I will have to keep an eye out for more butterflies.  I will definitely be revisiting this flower with my macro lens tomorrow.

I also had the opportunity to walk down to the spring area, late this afternoon.  I was initially surprised by how many vehicles were in the parking lot on a Monday afternoon and shocked at all of the people around the spring.  It was a pretty busy day!  As I walked toward the water though, I noticed the sky getting darker and darker.  By the time I was at the water, the thunder began to rumble in the distance and the crowds were quickly dispersing.  The weather was absolutely perfect at that moment.  The air was warm but there was a cool breeze.  I took a few seconds to enjoy the view from the bridge over the spring, looking out onto the lagoon which leads to the river.  I just love to watch an incoming storm.

There was a little bit of rain, but not much at all.  The storm left just as quickly as it came.  It led to a nice, quiet evening at the park.

Thought of the Day #31
Tomorrow is another day off.  It almost seems silly to have two days off, one day on, and one day off again.  I think I like the new schedule though.  When I return on Wednesday, I will have to work six days in a row, but that beats the eight days in a row that I worked with the other schedule.  Strange and rotating schedules are something common to Park Rangers.  We work when other people recreate.  We have to be here on weekends and holidays, because that is when people most want to come to the parks.  There are different rotations at all of the state parks in Florida.  Each park finds what works best for their crowds, and their Rangers.  I think that my favorite schedule was to work four 10-hour days and have three days off in a row.  It was also nice when I had a set schedule at Troy, and didn't have to keep track of rotations.  One thing that I like about my schedule these days is that I rarely have to work into the evening.

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