Fake Cranes, St. Patty's Day, and boat excursion on the bayou

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March 18th 2010
Published: March 19th 2010
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Still loving the job. Week 3 is coming to a close and as such, I am finding I have less to report so the blog posts may become less frequent. Perhaps only one or 2 each week. But we shall see. =)

The majority of this week was spent practicing our radio telemetry. Scott put transmitters on fake cranes and stuck them in random places on the refuge for us to try to triangulate and then home-in on to find them. The first time I did this was extremely successful. My three points were so close to each other that they didn't form a triangle really... they practically all met at one point. So we just walked out there and found the crane right away. It was fabulous. I felt great. Since then, however, it has all gone down hill. I have yet to find another crane. Ingrid found one (and I was with her, but she had done most of the work... we alternate) but thats all. One is causing me exceptional difficulty and it is getting a bit frustrating. But I hope that I get the hang of it soon so I know that I can successfully triangulate actual cranes.

Wednesday (being St. Patty's day), was quite fun. I normally don't do anything for this holiday, as I am not very Irish and not so much into drinking vast quantities. However, Ocean Springs was having their first even St. Patty's day "pub crawl" and we decided it could be fun. Lauren was going to go with us but her week was crazy and she was exhausted so she decided not to. Ingrid and I went around 5:30. Went to 3 different places. 2 were restaurants (but we just got drinks) and one was a bar (with live music). It was actually lots of fun. We got to see many of the places in town, there were TONS of people around. It was very festive. The first place we went gave us green mardi gras beads to wear which was fun. =) Oh and the second place we went some guy got up and sang an irish-type ballade (and he really sounded like he was irish... if not, he did the accent very well). It was kinda awesome. =) Very glad we went. After about 2 hours Lauren told us to come over whenever we wanted (she was making dinner and invited us to come) so we walked over to her house and had dinner. Super fun! Got to see her dog once again, and see more of her apartment/house, I'm not really sure what you'd call it. But it is really cute. And dinner was awesome. She made spaghetti and then homemade sauce and meatballs. I hadn't had meat since I got here, but I made an exception because the meat was a combination of venison that she had shot herself (very cool) and beef that she bought that was hormone free. It was all delicious. And for dessert her friend had given her these blueberry tortes. Mmmm mmmm good. So tasty. =) Twas a very good St. Patty's day.

Thursday was probably the best day of the week, simply for how our morning was spent. Had to be ready to work at 6. Which was slightly difficult. I was so very tired. And then Lauren was running a bit late so we ended up not meeting up with her til about 6:20. But anyway, once we met up, we got the boat and trailer attached to her truck and then got the boat in the water via the boat dock that is literally right near our home. Spent the morning going to various points in the bayou doing a marsh bird survey. It was awesome. I had forgotten just how much I love being in a boat. It had been a few years. But the second we got the boat going and I was sitting up at the front watching all the beautiful scenery around me go by as the wind whipped past me, it all came back. I just love it! That woke me up right away. =) Although we didn't hear too many of the marsh birds we were looking for for the survey, we did see many other birds, including many osprey and herons and the like. Most exciting of all, we got a really good look at a bald eagle, both as it flew by us, and as it perched at the top of a cyprus tree. Amazing.

Friday was the first truly gorgeous day this week. It was sunny and blue skies alllll day, which was a nice change of pace from the cloudy chilliness of late. I think it has been pretty much the same weather here as back in NJ, and maybe it was even nicer in Jersey this week. Craziness!

There is a chance that I may get a take a fire training course and become fire-certified so I can help with prescribed burns and even maybe wildfires! I am excited about this because I think it would be a really useful thing to learn, a neat thing to be able to do, AND possibly best of all, if I did get certified and then went out to help them do burns, I'd get PAID. Hourly. $17/hr. This is very exciting news for me. We could make more in one day than we do all week for the internship. hehe. Right now we are waiting to find out if there will be a class offered soon or if we need to just do the online course. We are also waiting to hear about when the next Pack Test will be. I'm not gonna lie, I am slightly worried about this test. You have to walk 3 miles in 45minutes or less. Doesn't sound bad right? The catch is that you are wearing a vest or pack with 45lbs in it. Yikes. On Thursday Ingrid and I picked up vests from the fire center so that we can practice walking with the weights and try to work our way up to 45lbs. I had just convinced myself that I could do it, that it wouldn't be so bad. Then the vest with full 45lbs was put on me and all the confidence vanished. Holy crap that thing is heavy. But everyone here insists that I can do it, that it really isn't so bad you just have to practice and then it is mostly a mind over matter sort of deal. I guess we shall see! I will keep you posted.

No big weekend plans (aside from perhaps attempting to walk 3 miles with 25lbs on lol) but if anything exciting happens I shall write about it. =)


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