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.


Ellen R. said...

Hi Karin,

I'm really enjoying your blog and I'm totally envious of your job.

I saw a fox in Morristown the other day near a pond. It was at about 10:00 in the morning and I was wondering if foxes normally roam around during the day. It's not like seeing a raccoon during the day, is it? Just wondering.

Kartek said...

Hi Ellen.

I see foxes in the daytime too. I just think at night they get a bit more brave and venture out in the open more so we notice them more then.