Viable eggs and building nest barriers

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March 26th 2010
Published: March 27th 2010
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This week started out well. After a frustrating time last week attempting to triangulate this one fake crane, I FINALLY successfully triangulated it and was able to home-in and find it. It was a little pathetic just how excited I was. =)

Tuesday we worked on putting out posts around an area called Duck Pond, so that we can build a nest barrier there. It went pretty well, except that while trying to get the posts into the ground, both Ingrid and I popped holes in our gum boots. =( Now those are permanently our post-putting-in boots, and they are going to have to order us new ones to actually use most of the time. Whoops. Other than that it went well. We got a fair bit accomplished, although at the end we did go in the swamp portion and ended up topping our boots. Ah well.

Tuesday afternoon was awesome. Along with Lauren, Scott, and Maarit (another visitor, this time from Finland, although she has been living and working in the states for a while... in NYC actually!) we went out to 3 nests. The first we had not been to yet, but they had seen it from the helicopter. And guess what? The crane was still sitting on the nest, even when we got quite close so I got to see it really close up! Of course, once again, I didn't have my camera on me. I promise to try to remedy that soon. Maarit took a lot of pictures so I may be able to get some from her via the internet. And then, when we were getting the measurements of the eggs and everything, turns out that they are nearly ready to hatch! They seem very viable, and they even kicked the shell a bit! Probably by next week we shall have some chicks! =) The second nest was the one that I had seen before. This time the mom stayed REALLY close, she never flew off. She just prowled around us, making threatening sounds, etc. It was really awesome actually. Again, wish I had my camera. Bah. At the third nest site, the eggs didn't seem to be doing so well, so we may have to go check on them again and possibly take them in to incubate them. We shall see.

After seeing how viable the eggs at the first nest were, it was decided that we should be a nest barrier near there so the chicks can be placed into it after they hatch so that they will hopefully be safe from predators. So Wednesday the plan was to errect an entire nest barrier in one day. This seemed slightly daunting. But, we got one of the guys from the fire center to help (so with Lauren and Ingrid and I there were 4 of us) and it went surprisingly quickly. Mike also brought along this device that made putting the posts in the ground a million times easier. We are going to have to take it to Duck Pond so that we can get the posts there in better. So anyway, we got the whole thing put up before lunch! Go team! =) Following a farewell luncheon for some of the volunteers, Ingrid and I had to go back to the originally nest barrier that we worked on (the one from the evil swamp day) to fix some parts that were falling down. It actually wasn't too bad. We did have to fix a lot, and we did top our boots once again, but only at the very end and it was a bit warmer outside and not raining so things weren't so bad. =)

On a side-note, Maarit, the visitor, was really awesome. Sadly she was only here from Monday afternoon til Wednesday morning, but we talked a lot and she was really great and I am hoping that through facebook we may keep in touch. She was a very cool person.

Thursday was a nice easy-going day. After a morning in the blind, it began to rain and so the rest of the day was spent in the office. Did the pre-class stuff for the aviation training (cause I take it on tuesday! woo!) and started the GIS online course. Also got to do arts and crafts! hehe We painted some fake crane eggs. Twas fun. But the most exciting thing about the day was what happened after work. Went to dinner with Lauren, Ingrid and Emily (another person from the refuge, who is awesome) at a really neat Mexican fast-food (ish) place. Everything is made-to-order which was what made it so great. I didn't have to worry about it having too much spice, or sour cream or anything else I don't like. It was tasty. And best of all... after dinner we went to see Alice in Wonderland!!!! FINALLY. I was beyond excited. And it was so worth the excitement. I enjoyed it very much. So glad I finally got to see it. Would totally see it again but that probably wont happen. But I have a feeling that eventually I will end up owning it. hehe.

End of the week brought more nest-barrier building. All day was spent working on duck pond nest barrier. Got a fair bit done. Although we didn't finished. Which was the hope. Ah well. With all the manual labor this week, it looks like I have been beaten up. I have quite a few bruises. But its no big deal. I just hope that by the end of this internship I am in better shape, and maybe even build some muscle! hehe.

I learned that we will be taking the pack test on tuesday april 6th (yikes! soon!) so after work today I did a trail run to see how it went. Only did it with 25lbs. Figured I will work my way up. But it took me 46minutes. Which I guess isn't too bad. Trying not to be discouraged. Lauren said that was quite good and that really the extra weight doesn't really change much. It is just the challenge of getting used to walking with any amount of weight. I hope she is right. =) After I finished the 3 miles, I was dead. I didn't really realize til I stopped. haha. But I am proud of myself for actually doing it. I foresee much more practicing in my future.


27th March 2010

Go, Jackie!
You rock, my seester :-) If Alice is still playing when I visit - and we have time? - I will see it with you. I don't have much need to see it otherwise ;-)

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