My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Looking Back at 2013: Work and Play

While I actually do a lot or work, I don't have much documentation of it.  So I'll throw in some of the pictures of me in play.

This first picture represents my favorite job.  I got to develop and then give a program on the bees to the Montana Conservation Corps kids. My goals were to collect bees to establish base line information of what bees were present, while getting the kid interested in helping to save the bees, to Citizen Science, and perhaps consider a career in Biology. From the kid's point of view, it was a day off from pulling invasive weeds, or stacking fallen trees to be burned in the fall.

I set out bee cups the day Tuesday mornings, then picked them up on Wednesday with the kids before they netted bees.  One day, I remembered to bring my camera and caught this picture as they started up High Point Trail. I missed the picture of the little bear coming through the pasture where I had one of my bee transects on another day but we all got to watch him for several minutes.

Bee catchers and bighorn sheep

 Didn't use this in my work but did take the certification course with two young guys.  And passed!

Certified to drive

 Another program I worked closely with was Talk-to-a- Biologist.  I helped produce the brochure, and also worked most Tuesdays on it, after we got it started. I even got to impresenate a Biologist.

Talking pollinators

 Here at Okefenokee, I helped with educational field trips. I love the intensity with which these guys are checking out their catch in their net. Children can learn so much more by doing than by being told.

 Last winter, my job fell through when the refuge had a major sewage problem in the the volunteer house which they could not afford to fix.  So I did a lot of playing - mostly paddling.  This is one of my favorite places, Choke Canyon State Park.  We are paddling on the flooded Frio River.

 This is Turtle Bayou, very close to Anahuac NWR on the upper Texas coast. It is through a swampy area.

This picture was from the same trip.  I'm paddling in the bow of Natalie's boat, with Zootie, her dog and her daughter, Ellen.

In September, I got to paddle in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota with friends. Bob, Andrew, and Natalie for the first week, and only Bob and Natalie for the second week.

I also did the work of cooking and drying our meals, then reheating and serving them.  Bob and Andrew did the heavy lifting of the canoes and a heavy personal pack, as well as the food packs.  Natalie and I only had to carry our packs and day packs and light stuff like the paddles on the sometimes difficult portages.

I got in a lot of hiking while in Montana and during the two weeks I traveled towards  the Boundary Waters with Bob G.  One of the best hikes was with a family I met the first weekend I was at National Bison Range.  This is me at the start of that hike.

Boundary Waters Bob also came up and visited me at National Bison Range before we went to Glacier National Park. We ended up camping with another couple.  Karen and I hiked the Grinnell Glacier Trail while the guys fished.


Karen's picture of me in front of the Grinell Glacier Lake

Bob G. and I went on a guided tour while at Grand Tetons. He took this picture of me in a beautiful grove of old trees.

On the way back to Galveston  from National Bison Range, I spent two nights at Palo Duro Canyon State Park so I could get in a hike. This is a self-portrait among some of the wonderful boulders carved by nature. 

And of course you all remember that mystical swamp paddle the Cindy and I recently did at Banks Lake NWR.  It will be a favorite memory forever - or until Alzheimers sets in - both because it was so magical and was my first paddle in a Georgia swamp.  Cindy took this picture.

What are your memories of 2013?  I'd love to hear from you.  Leave a memory in the comments  or a link to your memory blog.

And I hope you are getting a quick start on making 2014 memories.  May you all have a wonderful year.