We had a live stranding this week. Sort of. Well, actually, by the time we got there it was dead. Which was unfortunate, for both the turtle and us cause we were pretty excited and the turtle, I’m sure, would have liked to made it a few more years. It was a juvenile green, such a pretty thing. Should it have been alive and in good enough condition, we would have transported it to the Gulfarium, a sea turtle rehab center in Fort Walton.
On another note, I’m a pro, scratch that, fairly efficient…scratch that too, moderately familiar with the ins and outs of manipulating raster and vector data on GIS. Yay, Savanna!! I’m definitely gonna have to take that class though, because predictably, GIS skills are a must have resource looming in the future for any wildlife biologist. It’s a selfish relationship really, I love it for all the information it can give me but don’t care for it otherwise.
My herbicide training came in use this week. We had to eliminate some hazardous chemicals that we had no need for on the refuge anymore. Triple rinse, people! We wore the gas mask things. Defibrillators? Rehabilitators? I can’t remember the word. Brittany, the refuge manager and jack (or jill?) of all trades had some empty wine bottles that she cut herself that we poured the methanol into and left to evaporate. The Alcanox, which is just a light detergent, we mixed in the kiddie pool with water and left to evaporate.
I had pretty terrible luck on Monday. Me and Ashley attempted to map part of the firebreak on Little Point Clear Unit. It’s been a while since Jackie has been out there, so she couldn’t give us too much detail on the condition of it i.e. whether it was overgrown or driveable…We got out there and realized we needed waders for part of it, so we mapped as much of we could one way and then started another line. I was driving the 250 through some tall grass when I clipped a water meter. By the sound of it, I thought the truck broke in half. Literally, I turned around and expected the bed of the truck to be disconnected y’all. My life flashed before my eyes. I would forever be the girl that single handedly dismantled the truck to my supervisor and the staff at Bon Secour. In reality, I only broke the step-up into the truck off. Yah, only, right? When I told the maintenance man, Jerry (or silver fox as we sometimes call him since he has such nice hair), he found it quite humorous. I failed to see the humor in it at the time, but I can laugh now. He said to me, “Couldn’t have done it if you weren’t working.” Everybody was honestly, very nice, about it which I am so grateful for. So, AFTER we had unsuccessfully mapped one stretch of the firebreak since we were waderless…AFTER I had modified the truck with a water meter….we started walking back and THEN it started pouring. We went out again on Wednesday, this time all three of us, with waders, to map the bit we had missed on one line. It was fun, albeit, rough conditions. Incredibly marshy and that grass that cuts your hand’s and arm’s when you try and push it out of the way. One misstep and your up to your thigh in mud. Unfortunately, but at the same time, fortunately, we didn’t see a single snake. Or gator. Boo.
See y’all next week.