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Published: April 12th 2010
keeping me company in the blind
The title says it all. This week went all over the place. It started out not so great. Some of the baby cranes we had found/seen the week before, were gone when we went to check on them. No sign of them or their parents. Not good. Still were trying to hold out hope but things weren't looking too positive.
But Monday night two of my best friends from high school arrived to visit me!!! I was very happy. We went to ocean springs and walked around (nothing was open but they got to see what the town looks like, and to walk down to the gulf). Then we got dinner at one of the local bars that I had heard a lot of good things about but had not been to yet. I got this eggplant dish (ok, it may have resembled a sandwich. shocking, I know. hehe) that was really tasty. It was a good night overall. So fantastic to have friends seeing this place I am currently calling home.
Tuesday morning was the dreaded pack test. I was nervous but tried to not be by simply not thinking about it. That worked decently I would say.
Turned out there was only one other person taking it besides Ingrid and I. I still don't understand how this happened, but we passed! And not only did we pass, but we did it in about 39minutes and 15 seconds! So with nearly 6 minutes to spare! This is still thoroughly surprising to me. I guess it was a combination of being able to pace myself with Ingrid, who was clearly walking much faster than I ever did when practicing, and of the adrenaline of it being the day-of. Whatever the cause, I was very pleased. We both were. And EXTREMELY glad to have it over and done with. =) So now I just have to take the online course and then I will be fire-certified, a level 2 fire fighter, able to help with prescribed burns and to assist with putting out wildfires! woo!
I spent some time doing telemetry after the test, and then went to assist Lauren with releasing 2 cranes that we got from the Audobon center into one of our pens (again, in hopes of them being foster parents). A reporter was there, taking pictures and asking a few questions. The article came out
the next day =) It isn't all factually accurate, but still thought ya'll might want to read it. Here is the link http://blog.gulflive.com/mississippi-press-news/2010/04/sandhill_cranes_released_on_fontainebleau_refuge.html
When I was done work on Tuesday I kinda just hung around the trailer with Ingrid just relaxing. It was nice. Carolyn and Sarah were off in New Orleans for the day (also having a blast). Although I was bummed that I couldn't go with them, it saved me some money. Plus, I was so exhausted from the pack test that I wouldn't have been up for walking around the city anyways.
Tuesday night upon their return things took a turn for the worse. My poor friend got food poisoning and was deathly ill all night long. I was up with her for a good portion of the time and then I had to go to work. I felt terrible but there wasn't really anything I could do, and Sarah spent the day with her getting her anything she needed. Ended up that she went to the health clinic and got some medicine. After I got off work she was just resting on the couch and said that Sarah and I could go out so
we walked around the refuge a bit and then went down to the beach and then out to dinner where Ingrid works! It was nice to finally hang out with Sarah, but it was a bummer that Carolyn couldn't join us.
BUT, Carolyn slept a really long time that night and on thursday morning was feeling much better. Still not 100%, but significantly better. And luckily my boss was awesome and let me take the day off. So I got to sleep in a bit, and then we all got to hang out for the day! Went an took a tour of Jefferson Davis's house, which was an interesting experience. It was pretty cool to see. The gift shop was interesting, to say the least. After that we drove along the coast and went to a casino in Biloxi. Only stayed for a little bit but it was fun. We just played the penny slots for a while. Carolyn and I didn't make any money, but Sarah earned a dollar! =) Then we walked around Ocean Springs again, but this time stores were open so they got to go in some. Twas fun. Rested for a bit and then with Ingrid we went to the Shed. I figured it was a southern thing they needed to experience. I think they enjoyed it. Although it would have been better if Carolyn was completely healthy and if there was live music. But still, fun. =) The only down side of the day was when my boss called to tell me that the birds we had just released into the pen were found brutally murdered. =( Poor Janice and Nigel! Ingrid and I couldn't believe our cranes would be so cruel. More on that in a second.
Sadly after dinner my friends had to leave. It was a huge bummer that Carolyn was sick for a good portion of the trip, but I was still so glad to see them and glad that they both got to do some fun things, despite everything.
Friday at work everything kinda picked up. From the helicopter Scott and Lauren saw 3 live chicks (yay!) and they saw a nest in Fontainebleau with eggs in it, which explains why the birds from audobon had been killed. The nesting pair was defending their territory. So although the deaths of Janice and Nigel are still very sad and unfortunate, at least it happened in defense of a soon-to-be chick.
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