Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Don't try this at home kids

It was destined to be just another office day until this little bat was found on the side of our building. I guess the landscapers scared it up and it forced to take flight. Little cutie was full of jaw dropping batty poses. The handler has her rabies shots so she can safely handle this little boy. Yes. She determined that it's a little boy brown bat.

A few years ago I found a presumable little brown bat right outside my front door (see awful pic below). I guess it got confused when it flew into the front enclosure and thought it was day thanks to all the lights. I poked it a few times and it opened its tiny mouth in annoyance. It eventually flew away.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


The excitement at the office this week was the hatching of some snakes. My coworker found some black racer snake eggs a couple weeks ago and passed them out to various people to hatch. Everyone's eggs hatched and someone brought theirs in for everyone to see. Now this species of snake is notorious for its nasty attitude and willingness to attack. Even the young will agressively strike even though they are the size of a jumbo pencil. One of these snakes did attack a coworker soon after it hatched, but both snakes have mellowed. I held both of them and they were very friendly....not biting. When these guys mature, they'll turn a solid black color and will be very long and fast....hence their name black racer. I'm not sure what will happen with these two. The keeper is afraid to handle them and she even freaked a bit just by touching them. But I think she and her son have already become quite attached. Gotta love their big puppy dog eyes.

This is what they will look like when grown.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

When's the sun coming back?

I'm sure most of you encountered the brutal rain storm last friday. I had the joy of driving towards it on my commute home. Lots of lighting strikes nearby. Close enough for me to scurry past the metal overhanging signs on the highway as we crept along. This was the view through my windshield with the wipers going on the highest setting. I swear I had better visibility with no wipers on a normal rain storm. The weirdest thing is that while all this was going on I could see the sun peeking through one small hole in the clouds. See my horrible pic below.

Needless to say that I haven't had any field work all this week. I won't get out tomorrow either. I'm in the office writing big reports and today I helped lead the discussion about the new regulation proposals.

With all this rain, I'm wondering if this is what life in Seattle must be like.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Field trip, passport not required....yet

Just got back from Coney Island. It was my first outing there cuz I also miss the Mermaid parade! I can never remember when that is. I highly recommend everyone to visit before it gets undergoes a major transformation. I don't know how much of it will be torn down but I am hoping that all the favorites will remain. Do not miss the freak show. It was well worth the few dollars. Also you can't beat the 99 cent coney island museum which is right around the corner. Of course you have astroland, famous nathans, and the cyclone which are entertaining. Plus there is the beach if you are adventurous. I just wish someone would tell me what yellow frosting is covering all those corn on the cobs. It looks like yellow paint. I'm sure some sort of butter/margarine action is going on but it just looks so unnatural.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Good things

Well Thursday turned out to be a rather mellow day. The dishwasher tech did show up. Woohoo! I had my mom meet him and I showed up later on (I was passing by between sites and thought I'd see how things were going). My mom had laid a series of throw rugs from the kitchen to the front door. She also was putting her feet on my yoga mat as she sat in a chair. She was worried that it might rain and they would make my floor dirty. Plus most of the rugs were from the home country so they were every color of the rainbow. So for at least 30 minutes it looked like gypsies lived at my house.

I went to three sites and they weren't very eventful. I got to walk on a small train tress which reconfirmed my general dislike of heights and the fear of misstepping and falling through. Longest 10 steps I've taken in awhile.

Got to see some deer complete with two fawns at my last site. Our client at this site turned out to be a pretty cool lady so we chatted up a storm. She had 2 cute doggies and an awesome old house on a large piece of land. Plus she had a pond complete with froggies.

Then I finally remembered to simpsonize myself online. It's at www.simpsonizeme.com Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Humans are not extraneous

This past week has been a bit of a snore at work. We just got a preview of a proposal for revisions to regulations we use every day. It's almost 300 pages long. Granted it's big font and doublespaced with crazy margins so it's not super dense. I've been nominated to read them and let the rest of the group know the highlights. Reading legal language is not a real page turner. You have to read paragraphs over and over just to understand what they really mean. A few people from my group are on vacation so I get to cover them by checking their desk for important mail and answering calls from random people on projects I know nothing about. And to top it off work has slowed down probably because it's the big summer vacation time for everyone. So it's been a struggle to find real work to do. I do get a reprieve from all that. Tomorrow I'm outside all day so hopefully I'll see some cool things.

On the home front, I got word that my dishwasher was recalled for potential fire. I have the option of having a technician come and fix it. I booked the appointment on the web and the parts for some reason were to be mailed to me. Day before the appointment I get an automated call asking if I recieved the parts. I say "no" since I'm not home and was then supposed to be directed to an operator to reschedule. I hear dead silence for over five minutes (I'm on my cell so the call may have been dropped but my screen goes dark after a few seconds of no activity). I end up hanging up thinking that they would call back. I get home and the parts are there. I'm thinking the appointment is still on and call the automated line and reconfirm it via pressing buttons. Sure enough the technician never comes. I call the automated line and by pressing more buttons I request that they call me within the first 2 hours the next day to reschedule. I don't get any calls so I call them but the wait is over 15 minutes to get an operator so they direct me to the web and hang up. When I check the website, it says that my service was performed last saturday! Liars! Impossible! So I started over and sure enough I now have two sets of parts. The million dollar question is whether or not the technician will come tomorrow.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Chasing butterflies

Back out at the big estate this week. I think we FINALLY finished our wetland delineation there. It was another hot and sticky day. This time we spent more time out in the fields so we had the sun beating down on us and the grasses were radiating heat and more humidity back at us.

A day or two before we had a big rain storm so we were afraid the river would be too flooded for us to work. But everything worked out. The highlights of the day was seeing all the butterflies and my co-worker found 2 dollars in 2 separate spots along the river. Not sure what the deal was I guess a good spot to find money may be along the banks of a river after a flood? Who knew? I was spending too much time trying to take butterfly pics and capturing more toadlets. At the end of the day, I found this beautiful sunflower like plant. The bees and butterflies just were loving it.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Babe and wilbur

I often drive by these pigs but I just noticed piglets so I stopped for a photo session. I have no idea what was so tantalizing in this corner of their large fenced area, but I saw at least two piglets chomping on some bits of plastic. Lots of oinking and squealing was going down.

I have no idea how these adult pigs can even see!

A seige at the castle?

I am not sure what is going on at the infamous yellow castle house in Warren. Nobody has lived there for many years and I thought it would eventually be replaced with one or two McMansions. I'm still kicking myself for not taking a look inside during the last open house or when it was on the market. They tore down the separate garage and as you can tell, they've been digging. There's an excavation company sign out by the road. I just hope that someone bought it and hoping to restore it back to its original glory.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Some like it hot

I was back out at the big estate doing a long wetland delineation. It was a wetland delineation along a major NJ river so we did a LOT of walking rather than circling around in a small area. Add 94+F heat and humidity to the mix. Luckily we spent most of the time in the woods so it was cooler. But we survived and I'm back home slowly slipping into zombie relaxation mode.

When you are in the floodplain of a major river, you see all sorts of things that have been picked up by the floods and then deposited. Like this picnic table. Somehow it managed to stay intact and upright. But usually you see a sea of logs, fallen trees, thousands of twigs, random floatable garbage such as shoes, balls, bottles, etc. Like in the picture below with my co-worker lurking on the left. I try to avoid walking in these piles because my latest paranoia is bee/wasp nests (and apparently rightfully so). I had almost stepped on a ground yellow jacket nest last week which my co-worker had pointed out. They make a hole in the ground and their hive is underground. I now survey the ground each step I take. Although I think I would be fine as long as I don't block the hole too long or cause the ground to collapse and crush the hive. Since last week, I spotted another ground yellow jacket nest and managed to avoid it. Then today I spotted a hornets nest which I unknowingly was standing right next to. Luckily I spotted it before my presence was fully known to the occupants. My co-worker identified it and said that type of hornet would follow you for miles if its nest was disrupted.

Throughout the day I keep seeing smalls thing scurrying in the brush. The first thing was real speedy but I managed to stalk it to the river. It was a small bird and it clumsily flew into a low branch and then fell into the water. Swimming was not it's forte since it wasn't a water bird but it managed to get back to shore and I left it alone. It probably was a baby bird. Then I found some American toadlets. They were all over the ground. So cute and small that I couldn't get a focused camera phone shot.