Damn, well I had a whole post typed up, did something and deleted it all. Let’s try this again while hitting the save draft button numerous times!
Alright, well I did not post anything from this weekend because let’s face it this weekend wasn’t too exciting. Although it was critical. We did all our paperwork, survey printings, and planning this weekend. I figured no one really wants to hear the gritty details on that, right? Yeah, that’s what I thought
Today was our first day out in the field by ourselves and it was… successful, as in we successfully found nothing at any of our bridge sites.
Raccoon (Procyon lotor) tracks and the beautiful yellow flowers of the canola fields which are popping up everywhere.
We learned that navigating steep slopes of rivers and creeks through chest high grasses concealing various holes and erosion cliff sides can be quite difficult. (We bought a machete today to help combat this problem. And because machetes are badass.) And then when you finally find a trail you can follow next to the river, it dead ends causing you to have to back track 150 meters and find a new route. Oh and did I mention ticks LOVE high grasses? And apparently me as well. Okay, I feel like I’m completely complaining, but all was not as bad as the above paragraph seems. Also concealed in the grasses was this guy…
He is a bullsnake (Pituophis catenifer sayi) which is a new species for me. Unfortunately the grasses also hide Prairie Rattlers, which are awesome, I just would like to see them way before I’m right up next to them.
The only river that we found that had obvious beaver signs happened to be unwalkable. So this means tomorrow morning we are planning to strap our canoe to Rick (the truck) and take our surveying to the water. Yeah, I am pretty dang stoked about this! That should make things a little be easier than navigating the bank sides.
Well now the weirdness of wildlifers comes out. On our way back we saw a perfectly fresh roadkill male ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus). Pheasants are EVERYWHERE here by the way. I think I flushed about 4-5 while doing our survey today. Well this guy was in perfect shape, he must have just been nicked by a car and broke his neck or something. So being the wildlife people we are, we stopped on the side of the road and plucked some beautiful feathers – he doesn’t need them anymore. We are going to find some craft to make with them so they will not go to waste.
And further down the road we came across a coyote (Canis latrans) pup roadkill. I’ve never seen a coyote pup before so this was kinda cool, if not a bit sad. I’ve been debating posting a picture of him, but he wasn’t in the greatest shape by the time we passed him so I’ll save you from those images, unless of course I get some requests in which case I will gladly post them.
On a side note, I found a new gym to take up my free time. The local YMCA. It’s HUGE and perfect! It has everything I need from tons of cardio machines, suspended track, weight machines, free weights, group classes, even a pool, hot tub, and sauna! I am really excited about this since I am a little bit of a gym rat and have been going crazy having not worked out the past two weeks. Already my body is achingly sore and I love it! Between a hard two hour session at the gym and hiking river banks all day I am more than ready to call it a night – even though its 2130 and completely light outside still. So goodnight all! 🙂