Swamp adventures

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March 9th 2010
Published: March 14th 2010
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Today was an adventure, to say the least. Didn’t have to be at the office til 7am which was lovely. Ingrid and I went pretty much straight out into the field to continue working on putting up the fencing. The morning began as probably the warmest of any of the days we’ve been here so far. Which was lovely. I didn’t need any thermals and didn’t even need my sweatshirt. Considering how the morning progressed, I am grateful that it wasn’t as cold as some previous days have been. Anyway, we started working around 7:30 and were quickly into our old rhythm. We were getting lots done in a relatively short amount of time. About every hour we would finish a role of netting and have to walk back to the truck to get another. Pretty quickly we were into the swamp area, but it started out not bad at all. Just a few inches of water, nothing our gum boots couldn’t handle. A few times in the early morning it drizzled a bit and towards mid morning the water was getting a bit deeper but that just meant our arms got a bit wet and cold from tying the netting to the poles in the water. At about 10:45 we went to get another role and by that point we only had, what we thought to be about an hour of work left. Which was perfect, as on Tuesdays they have a group lunch at the fire center at noon so we figured we’d be back in time for that. Ha. As we started that new roll, the water level quickly plummeted, and we found ourselves in probably over 2 feet of water. We topped our boots and they began to fill with the ice cold water. Fun times. It ended up at times coming up our thighs. It was unpleasant, to say the least. We may or may not have screamed out loud from the cold a few times. At one point, as I stood in over 2 feet of water, I was bending over attempting to see the bottom of the fencing in order to grab hold of the zip-tie that Ingrid was passing through to me, I suddenly realized my hair was getting wet. That’s right. I unintentionally nearly stuck my head in the lovely disgusting swamp water. Then, in the midst of being up to our thighs in cold water and having to reach our arms past our elbows into the water to tie the fencing, it began to rain steadily. And thunder. It was fun times. The benefit of being soaked and freezing and standing in water surrounded by metal poles when thunder begins to sound, is that it makes you work even faster. The last of the fencing was completed quite quickly, considering, and we managed to make our way out of the water for the last time and get back in the truck just before it began to pour. Phew! My boots were nearly completely full with water. It made walking in them extremely difficult. Haha By this time, it was already 12:30. We were in desperate need of showers and luckily once Scott saw us he was totally fine with us showering and eating lunch before getting back to work. Once back at the trailer I took what may be the greatest shower I have ever taken. Hahaha. Such a lovely, lovely hot shower. It was marvelous. Felt a million times better after that. But my arms were already sore. And my fingers, even now, are super tender from pulling all the zip-ties and carrying the huge roll of netting. Needless to say, it was a very long morning.

Thank goodness, by the time we returned to the office, Scott told us we could just drive around the Ocean Springs refuge area and listen for the cranes out that way, just get signals to make sure they are alive. So we got to spend the afternoon sitting in the car. Which was good cause we were just so worn out from the morning. It was our first time driving any of the routes without Lauren or Scott, and we did ok, so that was good! The frustrating thing was that we couldn’t seem to find the birds. Out of 9 or 10 birds, we only heard the signals for 2 of them. No idea where the others were. Probably hiding out somewhere from the rain.

After work had a Gilmore Girls break and then cooked dinner. Ingrid made this amazing soup and AMAZING rosmary olive oil and salt bread that was to die for. Dinner was so amazing. And we made enough to eat it again tomorrow night! It was perfect. =) A bit later we baked some chocolate chip cookies and ate a few (despite still being desperately full from dinner) while watching GG. I was in a serious food coma, but it was worth it. =) So rough start to the day, but excellent finish. =)

I should also note that even while standing in 2+ feet of water with cold water filling my boots, being tired and wet and sore, I still love the job. This is a good sign =)


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