Saturday, May 8, 2010

Oh Deer, Its Saturday

I worked last weekend, but I had some extra weekdays off when my sister visited.  I am working again this weekend to make up my time off and to give my co-worker time off that he requested.  After opening the ranger station this morning, and getting everyone started on their tasks for the day, I went out to the burn zone from yesterday to check on it.  Everything was just fine.  One tree that we were concerned about had fallen overnight in just the place that I wanted it to.  As I made my way around the zone, I saw some deer.  There were two bucks enjoying the openness of the freshly burned zone.  One was resting peacefully near fire break road and the other decided it would be better to cross the road and hide in the bushes.  They both have shed their antlers, but you can see the velvety nubs that will produce antlers this fall.

When I headed back to the main area of the park, I saw two does near the edge of the park drive.  I drove slowly and watched them.  When I got close, I realized that one of them had the tiniest fawn that I have ever seen.  It must still be so young.  The mother was comfortable with my truck being nearby.  She wasn't going to let me stop her from a tasty meal of greens.  The fawn wasn't sure what to think.  I am glad that it was nervous around my vehicle.  It needs to remain cautious if it is to stay safe.  It was hard to get a good photo of it though.  Fortunately, I had to drive by that spot a few more times today and they were there every time.  Here is the best photo I got of mother and fawn.

The rest of the day was a normal Saturday.  We reached our capacity in the early afternoon and remained closed until 3:30 or 4:00.  We opened a few times throughout that time period, but I sent a lot of people away.  It is a bad situation to be in.  I had to give so many people the bad news that they couldn't come into the park and so many people had good reasons to be there.  They had a daughter/sister/friend having a birthday party, they had the food for the company picnic, they came all the way from (insert distant state), there were people inside waiting for them, etc.  Everyone had a good reason, but that didn't give us any extra parking spaces.
The day was pretty uneventful in all.  There was one lost bicycler out on the trail who had to be retrieved, one person slipped and fell, but was OK, and a lost child who thought her family had left without her (they didn't).  There was nothing serious, which we appreciate so much!

Thought of the Day #47
Our trail system is expansive.  The main area of the park has a hiking trail that is 13 miles long.  There are also horseback riding trails and bike trails that crisscross through that area.  To add another degree of difficulty, there are also unmarked service roads that serve as through transport or fire breaks for us.  There are nice, color blazes along each trail, but its too easy to get off of the trail.  Something that I would like to focus on throughout my time at Wekiwa is improving our trail labels and maps.

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