I wish I had more time or more internet (no wifi at the house) so I could write y’all better posts that really give you the full circle effect of my job here. Alas, you’ll have to bear with my attempts now because it’s 9:20 and past my bedtime. This week has been EXHAUSTING.
We continued on our mapping adventures. This time it was endangered beach mouse habitat. Walk the dunes for an hour, switch out. Walk the dunes, switch out. Forget to put sunscreen on neck and get crispy burnt. Fantasize about diving into ocean in work clothes, continue walking dunes. We then moved on to the fire breaks which if you ask me, isn’t much of one considering I can’t see over some of the bush that has grown up in it. Spider web attack is imminent. Never thought I was that bad of a sweater until I took off my hip waders and could have wrung out the bottom half of my pants. Good times, though. Guards are let down when one’s pants and shirt are a different color from perspiration and you’re so tired anything is humorous.
This was USGS’ last week here tagging turtles and I got to go out with them a few nights to see them take blood and tags on the turtles that came up to nest. All very interesting stuff. All very interesting people. They’ve got some high tech on those turtles. And they actually can take a sample of the shell and tell what the turtle has been eating by analyzing isotopes, which I thought was insanely cool. I didn’t get to see one nest, which I was hoping, but maybe someday. Me and Ashley probably looked like grade A goofball’s because I’d get a text at 12 or 2 or 3 and go into a frenzy trying to get out of the house and make it down to the beach. Random socks, hair doing who knows what, tripping over ourselves cause we were still half asleep. I’m glad I got the experience though, because it was amazing to see those huge turtles, to touch their carapace and their fuzzy nose and think about the thousands of miles they have probably swam in their lifetime.
On my two days off I spent one of them sitting in a doctors office for the majority of my day getting a physical. And the other I spent taking the pack test, a 3 mile walk in 45 minutes with a 45 lb pack. It’s one portion of certification required to allow me to participate in prescribed fire burns. Thank the Lord, I passed. With 3 minutes to spare. However, today I hobbled, waddled, staggered, stumbled, limped and groaned my way through activities requiring the use of the lower half of my body. It was especially painful transitioning my foot from the gas to the break. Probably not the most comforting thing to tell. Might should’ve kept that to myself. I did however get to meet and talk to a lot of the fire crew and refuge members (the test was taken at Mississippi Sandhill Crane NWR.) I still have to take some online courses and a formal training of the tools used to burn before they’ll let me light anything on fire, but it won’t be too long. So watch out.
Not many pictures this week, unfortunately. I was lookin through and found these though.
10:15 PM. The things I do for y’all.