Wednesday, June 25, 2008

And the dam just broke...

I know it's only been a few days since my last post. But the events of Monday alone are worthy of their own entry.

I am here again at the front desk of the visitor center. But I am alone and we are actually kind of busy! Weird for a Wednesday. Though I guess the summer has officially starter over here since school is finally out.

First item of business. I have bad pictures of my poison ivy. It is very close to being healed now finally. I have also managed to avoid getting it elsewhere despite the evil plants best efforts. I mostly have scabby dry skin now. Here are the pictures. Again, they are not very good. I have better ones on my camera and have not yet figured out how to get them off of there onto here.
There you go. Mind you this was about a week into it, so it doesn't look as bad as it did a half a week into it.

Alright. Since I'm posting pictures lets continue with that trend. There have been some pretty awesome storms around here lately. Last night we got some amazing clouds. We got no precip. but I heard that places north of us were getting golf ball sized hail! And I thought the severe weather here would not compare to Missouri.
Moving right along. So Monday. They day I went out with the Plover girls. Jess and Lisa.

Basically what they do most of the time is walk beaches and evaluate the Piping plover and Least tern situation. By now they have gone on all the beaches and know where all the nests are and where the nests are around which hatched chicks should be and such. So, we walk a little ways down the beach to a white marker. Then, if their notes say there is an unhatched nest, we check the nest to make sure all the eggs are still there. If the notes say that the chicks should be hatched, we sit on the beach and wait to see if we can spot them feeding. We also have to make sure we look out for new nests. There shouldn't be many by now, but you never know.

So I saw Piping Plover chicks for the first time!! And I also saw Least tern chicks. They were both adorable. Here is a great video that I found. It's kind of old. Look at how fast they move and how cute they are!!! I also like the sound that the plovers make. They do this "broken wing" display when they have unhatched chicks. They flop around on the beach pretending that they are injured. The point is to attract predators to them saying "I am tasty looking and bigger, plus i am injured and can't get away so come after me!" That way they protect the nest. The terns are very territorial and a lot more aggressive than the plovers. They will fly over you making their annoying squeaky dog toy sound. And if you get too close to their nest they will dive bomb you. You know they won't hit you but it's still unnerving. If you get close enough to actually see the eggs they will POOP on you. It's not a lot of poop. But it is annoying. I managed to avoid this unpleasant experience.

The first beach was great. It was gray and foggy and the sea was restless. But there were lots of plover and terns to see. The second beach was not much fun at all. You have to walk in all that dry sand for long stretches seeing nothing and not stopping to rest because you want to get it over with. It was exhausting. And I had to drive on the sand trail because Jess and Lisa said it would be a good experience for me. I never, ever want to do that again. It's like driving on snow and ice. Inches of snow and ice and you can't stop. You can't even slow down to feel safe because if you do you might get stuck and then have to spend a bunch of time letting air out of the tires then more time to put it back in later. So there I was gunning the engine through this sand while the wheel is turning this way and that of it's own accord and I'm skidding everywhere trying not to go off the trail into the surrounding brush. It was terrifying. I am amazed that I got out of it alive. Needless to say, I made jess drive us back out.

The rest of the day consisted of us pounding in some signs warning people to look out for plovers on the beaches. It was a fun day to some extent. The most walking I have done here to date according to my phones pedometer.

Today? I am doing this and a bunch of other random tasks for Janice. And I know that I asked to have stuff to do. So...ask and ye shall recieve. All within an hour of arriving at work have talked to the maintenence lady Sharon and she has about three projects for me to do in the next week or two. Then Janice sent me an e-mail outlining the days that she needs me to take care of groups for the day because she will be gone. And then I got an e-mail from the volunteer at Sachuest Refuge (Kasia-pronounced Kasha). She want's my help for a few evenings helping to sell night fishing permits. So, I still have many days to fill with things to do. But now I have some that are set in stone! And that makes me feel a little less stressed about life.

Oh! I got to release a salamander today. It was one of the ones that I collected for the kids to see a few weeks ago. It's gills were gone and it was chillin on a piece of wood we put in the tank. So Janice told me to take it back to it's home at the vernel pool. So I did. I also saved a drowning salamanders life. He (or she) is another one who has no gills. It was at the bottom of the tank. Submerged. For some reason unable to figure out that it needs to get on the log that sticks out of the water. He was really pale and looked gead except for the occasional twitching. I pushed on his belly a few times to see if he would move. Some bubbles of water actually came out. Kind of like CPR for a salamander. Then I placed him on the log to see if he made it breathing oxygen for a few hours. Sure enough. After lunch I went to check on him. He was his usualy dark color and quite squirrily actually. I was happy to see him alive. The tadpoles are also growing up and will be ready for release.

Well, thats all. Another epic entry depicting my life here in Rhode Island. I hope you enjoyed yourself here at "". Come again soon foe another installment.


Beckie said...

Sarah, apparently you don't know my rule of things I refuse to talk about. They are as follows: bodily fluids, bugs, reptiles and arachnids, stupid explanations for why voting third-party is a waste (people are so short-sighted), and lastly, rashes.

Therefore, those pictures were cruel, and I can't visit your blog until this rash talk desists.

Jeanne, the mom and grandmom said...

You poor thing! I have never had poison ivy like that in all my life. Did anyone recommend calomine lotion? Or this stuff you soak a cloth with and then wrap it around your arms where the itch is? Sigh. I am sorry I didn't think of these suggestions sooner.

Julina said...

OK, yeah - that was a pretty bad case. If you are in Missouri and get PI again, I think a trip to the Dr would be worth it. Or maybe I haven't had it in a while and I'm being a wimp...

Love the clouds, and love the plover beach stories :-)

Talk to you soon

Julina said...

PS - I'm trying not to hold a grudge that Mom has never had poison ivy. Also, the cursor on this (library) computer is really fat and it's kind of annoying...

Love you again :-)

Steven said...

Ummm, eww for poison ivy, but three cheers for saved salamanders!!! That will be what your mission is like if you go on one, but replace "salamanders" with "confused people" (who are significantly, though not completely, less slimy) and replace "salamander CPR" with :lots of church talk."

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