Sunday, August 17, 2008

Last Days

Okay folks, were getting to the point where I can almost count my last days on two hands. Already it's my last weekend here!

I cannot begin to even fathom just how fast this summer has gone by. And yet, as I look back, events as recent as last weekend seem months away. It's blowing my mind!

It's been quite a busy week. It was Corey and Evans last. So Suzanne was working everyone extra hard to make sure as much as possible got done before we lost two more people. I spent the whole week working with Corey on all the projects that needed doing. Mostly this involved checking minnow traps every day in the morning. I have discovered muscles in my forearms that I didn't know existed. This also involved more phrag transects. Oh joy. This time I wore hip waders to keep my legs dry. The trick was not to fall over in the mid-thigh deep water. We also worked on measuring plants in the deer exclosures. This was both informative and tedious. Informative because I learned to identify many plants. Tedious because of the nature of this study bein done.

Dotted in the woods at Trustom Pond Wildlife Refuge are these circular wire exclosures. About 30 feet across and 10 feet high. Next to these are plots of a similar size marked by neon pink flags. The whole point is to compare the vegetation between the exclosure and the open plot next to it. The assumption is that deer may be frequenting the area and cannot get into the fenced area. So you see what kind of damage they are doing to the vegetation growth in the area. It is an interesting study. But gathering the data is not. You ahve to measure the three tallest plants of each species you find as well as estimate percent coverage of each species and rate their age. It's not too bad. Your in the shade the whole time and the woods are beautiful. But there is a lot of poison ivy. Plus, no matter how hard we looked Corey and I could not find one of the exclosures. They aren't that hard to see, as you can imagine. But there is one missing. Either it was moved, we were misinformed about it's location, they took it down without remembering they did so, or a group of mischevious gnomes came in the night and stole it. As of right now, the last possibility seem the most likely.

I went out with Tom Tetzners Photography class again on Tuesday. It was fun. I found out that Tom wants me to write a short little article about what were doing to either be put in the paper or a newsletter somewhere or something. I wasn't very clear on where it's being published or even if it will. As falttering as it is to get to write it, it's like having homework. I finally got a rough draft down and you can see it on my creative blog if you feel like popping on over there. Tom's wife is going to give it a rundown and I will fix it later. She's an english major. If any of my english major sisters feel like giving it a once over as well and giving me their thoughts feel free. I will not, however, discourage other comments from you non- english majors.

Wednesday I went on a kayak for the first time ever in my life! I think that I caught on pretty quick. We had to kayak over to some of the frag transects that weren't accesable by foot due to shrub coverage. It was fun and give you a good arm workout. I wish I knew someone with a canoe or kayak and that lived near a lake or pond that was close to me. More simply put, I sich I could canoe or kayak often.

I also went to the beach again on Tuesday with Courtney. We were in the water for a grand total of maybe 15 minuted before Courtney was scared out by jellyfish. I know that the last time I swam in the Atlantic ocean I too was scared of seaweed and jellyfish. But c'mon. You know the tiny ones aren't going to hurt you. And seaweed is just a plant. We're adults now. At least I know Courtneys sadult fear. We sat on the beach, tried to luer gulls over because courtney wanted to catch one. And I made a sand turtle. We left after an hour.

Thursday, us 4 interns tried to go minigolfing. But due to bad planning and some risky weather consisting rain, thunder and lightening, that plan was squashed flat. So we did what anyone else would do. We checked all the shops in the small shopping center nearby. Ths shopping center is much like the one in Columbia by the Conely super Wal-Mart. Theres a pet store, a neat toy shop, a salon, a pizza cheap pizza place, and even a dollar tree. Theres also a blockbuster and a game store. It's all located to the Stop N Shop that has been my grocery store for the last three months. So we went to the pet store, the toy store and dollar tree before we decided that we were too tired and hungry to continue. Oh, what an evening. Theres really nothing more to do in Rhode Island unless you want to drive 1/2 an hour to Westerly or 1 hour to Newport or Providence.

Anyway, moving on.

Friday was a day of goodbyes. This past week was Corey and Evans last week. Friday was really like ther other days of the week. We finished deer exclosures and still couldn't find the lost one. We almost got really stuck driving the Gator over a too narrow and wet bridge. We checked and pulled up all the minnow traps. Then we got a call from Suzanne. As a treat she was taking everyone out to Mews for lunch. YAY!!! It was lots of fun. And the best part was, on Wednesday as we were leaving happy hour, we passed this table area for big parties that was in this little alcove with those old fashoned saloon doors for privacy. I said, as we passed it, that before I left here I as going to eat at that table even if it meant reserving it for me and Dad when we eat there. Guess where they sat all of us on Friday? Yep. I was pretty excited. It was a nice lunch. I got a stromboli witha side salad. It was delicious and I got my favorite part out of it. LEFTOVERS!!! We shared a few fun memories and laughed. I got a few pictures. And then we all went back to the traliers to have the rest of the afternoon off so Corey and Evan could finish packing and get out of there.

Funny thing about their packing. Their tralier looked worse than mine and Cortneys does right now with the exception of a few bags that were actually packed. There was stuff all over the floor. All their food was still everywhere. It seemed they hadn't done dishes since they got there. They were both scrambling to get gone and their tralier was a mess. So, being the nice person that I am, I agreed to wash their dishes. This proved to be a gross idea. Many of their dishes had been there long enough to start growing things. One bowl contained what can only be described as something you'd find at the bottom of a smelly pond. It looked like some maphibian laid it's eggs in it. Pretty foul. I finished the dishes. The because I was on a roll and I was afraid that if I didn't do it, no one would, I cleaned the kitchen sink and the stove. By the time I was done, they were ready to leave.

Hugs were exchanged between all. Evan Hugs made sense. He's a nice kind of guy you want to hug. Corey hugs were a little more akward and more out of a feeling of obligation than anything else. Don't worry, there were no tears. It was weird the think that I couldn't really say "see you later" because I most likely wont. Oh well. There is always facebook. Corey is now in New York performing his R.A. duties and Evan is in Mass. helping with a migratory birding crew there. And me and Courtney are still here. The only ones left in the trailer park. FREE AT LAST!!!

Actually it's kind of weird. It hadn't really hit me that I'm actually leaving until today at church. I said goodbye to people that I barely got to know. The relief society president, the sunday school teacher who had finally remembered my name. The bishop who I had talked to maybe three times, John my beach friend. A gentleman, Bro. Smith, who had rescently been called to the bishopbric introduced himself to me for the first time. We had never oficially met as was the case with many members of the ward. I shoo his hand and let him know that it was my last Sunday. I felt bad that I didn't get to know more people. One of the sisters in the relief society overheard that I am majoring in Fisheries and Wildlife and she told me that she was originally from Alaska. I then told her that I was looking into an internship there maybe next summer. She gave me her e-mail because two of her kids work with fish and game in that state and she might be able to connect me. That would be amazing.

Anyway, me and the two girls I did get to know are going to Prividence Thursday night. I'll stay there and wait for dads flight to some in. Actually the airport is 15 minutes away from Providence but it's still close enough. So I'll get to see those girls one more time.

I'm not exactly what this coming week holds. I know I have to finish two phrag transects and one deer exclosure(the one we couldn't find). Thats if I can figure out how to use the GPS and find these things. Plus, now that Corey is gone I am sort of in charge of these things. I hope I can remember all the plants that I need to know.

So thats my week. I may or may not have the time to post once more before I leave. We'll see. I cant believe that I have less than a week here. I can't believe that I am actually leaving soon. I can't believe that I havn't started packing yet!!!!!!!

Love you all. I really miss talking to many of you over the phone. I can't wait to see many of you soon. Have a great week.


Steven said...

So how do you feel at the end of your first stint of living away from home? I have to say, you certainly did it in style. Okay, I'm calling you this week, period.

Love you and take luck!

Peeser said...

Hey, do you have a phone replacement, yet? Or is your phone working? I haven't even tried to call because I figured it was still out of commission..

I can't believe you are almost done! Congrats on surviving a summer on your own (and on a limited budget, no less- not an easy task to accomplish- kudos!)

I hope your last few days go well- that they are fun! I can't wait to see you on Saturday! (if you and Dad aren't too tired, maybe we can do some kind of game-playing...)

Love ya lots!

Steven said...

So awkward for me- I just read mom's letter from this week and found out your phone doesn't work. Somehow I missed that memo. So I won't be calling you. But this is two comments on your post, so I figure that makes up for it. Love you and soak in every minute of your final days!

Jeanne, the mom and grandmom said...

Loved reading all your news. Not as good as a phone call but almost....

emily said...

wow! You've done SUCH a good job keeping a "journal" of your adventures in RI. I am so impressed... and proud of you and happy you got to do this...

And mostly I'm excited to see you again.

Happy trails!

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