Sunday, March 13, 2011

First Season Nostalgia - Part 3

So I was looking at my facebook page and decided I should delete some of the old "notes" I wrote. I trashed a bunch of them without even thinking twice before I considered actually reading them. It turns out I'm kind of funny sometimes.

This one is about a dream I had that I wrote about (slightly edited).

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

So I wake up at 7 this morning, and curse at myself for not still being asleep... and after a few minutes of arguing with myself, I laid back down and slept some more...
and this is what happened in Dreamland:

I was at work and Larry (the boss) was gone and so was Brian (the field supervisor... or whatever his title is), and it was basically just the new seasonals working... by ourselves... I'm not really sure what the assignment was, but we decided that the best way to do whatever job we were supposed to be doing would be by using dynamite.
The area where we were working... it looked like two lakes near each other... maybe a little bit like that spot at Murphy-Hanrahan where we burned the other day.
So, you know, we set the dynamite and stepped back and KA-POW, a job well done. But then I noticed that the lakes were filling very quickly and starting to over flow onto the trails, so we started setting sand bags down... and luckily for me that they were self rising sand bags... that way I could grab a large stack of them, and lay them down so that when the water hit them they would expand and block the water (what a great idea! I should invent that!). And apparently I was doing it wrong (because I'm totally paranoid that I do everything wrong, even in my dreams) and Larry and Brian showed up and showed me the right way to do it... apparently there are better ways to lay down sand bags than to... you know, lay them next to and on top of each other to higher than the water level. And I looked, and about 30 seconds after they arrived, they both had giant sand bag walls.. gee, I'm an inefficient worker.
Then Larry told us that we had to have a meeting the next morning, "This is serious."
So we showed up the next day and Larry sat us down, asked us about our decision to use dynamite, then gave us all points... more like demerits... complete with charts telling us the effective punishments for the number of demerits received. Mike went first and had the most demerits (because he had so many from that time he lost the van). Nate had less than Mike, but I think they had added up because of that whole almost dying in a gasoline fire in the back of the truck. And surprisingly I had the fewest. I think I got less because it was expected that I would do things wrong since Larry thinks I'm so dumb. Then Larry looks at me and says to me very slowly, "Do you understand what I'm saying?" To which I nodded, but really I was so upset and worried by the whole situation that my hearing seemed muffled and I had a hard time listening.
Oh, and Mike add so many demerits that he had a forced week suspension. Nate and I were pretty close to being laid off, but surprisingly, we weren't fired immediately.

That's about all I remember of that dream, but at least I have been fully warned by my sub-conscience... No matter how good an idea it seems, I will resist the urge to use dynamite.

First Season Nostalgia - Part 2

So I was looking at my facebook page and decided I should delete some of the old "notes" I wrote. I trashed a bunch of them without even thinking twice before I considered actually reading them. It turns out I'm kind of funny sometimes.

Thursday, April 17th 2008

So, I've finally found something bad about my job.

Now that I've been working outdoors all the time... my feet are kind of smelly.
I never had this problem previously. But now, as I have just come home and taken off my shoes, there is this stench around me... following me throughout the house... and it's my feet.
I sicken myself. But I suppose a little shower and all will be fine again. I'm just not used to having stinky feet.

In other work related news... I had to deal with two dead animals. Actually, the first one was optional... actually, so was the second one.
OK... make that I dealt with two dead animals today.
We were working in a woodlot, preparing for the upcoming burn season (again)... Seriously... raking and kicking around the base of small oaks and large snags... it's getting a little old.

But then... Steven found a dead owl. A Great Horned Owl, to be precise.
So we had a little break from raking and stood around it... tried to figure out what killed it... wondered aloud why it hadn't been scavenged yet. I voted that we bring it in so that the skin might be salvaged. Brian said it was already decomposing... sure it was missing it's eyeballs already and was a little maggot-y.. but it was still intact, and was hardly missing any of its feathers... but you know... I have no say in what goes on, so we left it... but not before taking more pictures...

Why I look so happy to be holding a dead bird, I'm not sure. Because I assure you, it did NOT make me happy.

Then we did more woodlot raking... blah blah blah.. get back to the FOC, and Brian suddenly remembers that we forgot to pick up the dead beaver... so Nate (another seasonal worker) and I went to pick up the beaver... the 50 pound beaver.. This thing was HUGE!!! But I forgot to take a picture, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

Did I ever tell you I love my job?

First Season Nostalgia - Part 1

So I was looking at my facebook page and decided I should delete some of the old "notes" I wrote. I trashed a bunch of them without even thinking twice before I considered actually reading them. It turns out I'm kind of funny sometimes.

Monday, April 14th 2008

Have I ever told you that I love my job? I do. My job is awesome.
And today, I had a small victory.

I successfully started a cold chainsaw. That's right. I didn't need anyone else to start it for me and run for a while so it could warm up. This time, I started myself.
Maybe it doesn't sound like a big deal to you, but believe me, it is. OK. Well, to me it is. I STILL can't start the lawn mower.

I love this dirty, outdoorsy stuff. But being the only female in the crew, I am totally paranoid that everyone will think I suck. I feel like I have to push myself twice as hard, not just because I'm "the girl," but because I am also the smallest person.

And I feel like a big, dumb goober-head having to have one of the guys start the chainsaw for me. So yes. I did it! I'm so bad-ass.

In other chainsaw related news... my first day of using the chainsaw, I get home from work and tell my mom, "Guess what I did today.... I have officially added chainsaw operation to my resume!"
"You went to college for that?!?!"

Well, thanks mom. That makes me feel great... but at least right now, those crabby comments really don't bother me... because this job is awesome.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Beatrice Chronicles - Part 4: Hibernation

Madeleine and I have been trying to figure out a good time to get together to check on Beatrice. September was the last time I was able to check on her, and Madeleine checked on her in late October. Since it's fairly cool in October, we were reasonable sure that Beatrice would be in the same location. And since it's freezing now, we thought it would be a good opportunity to pinpoint her exact wintering location.

(I suppose this is the point where I should mention that in the winter Blanding's Turtles find a nice mucky wetland, dig themselves in the mud, and hibernate. )

So Caleb and I met up with Madeleine and with the radio telemetry gear in tow we trudged across the ice. I was a little concerned at first as I mostly hear static and radio interference, but we starting walking toward the spot where Madeleine thought she was in October. As we neared her supposed location Beatrice's radio signal got louder... kind of. She was in the same general direction, but she had still moved quite a bit. At least this time her movement was limited to the wetland (thank goodness because I don't know there's any way we'd find her if she went too far).

We followed the signal until the beeps were loud even with the tracking gear on the lowest setting. This means she was pretty close. I even unplugged the antennae and we could still hear the beeps with the transmitter. Definitely close.
I'm a little sad that we didn't actually see her, but at least we know pretty much where she is. Caleb even poked a stick in a bit of water that wasn't frozen... until Madeleine worried about waking her up. But we feel pretty good about this.

Here's her approximate location (hope this link works), which looks like this up close.

The field season is starting up soon. Here's to hoping my boss will let me stay on top of tracking her before she disappears again. That tricksy turtle.