Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cabin #3

I just got back from my jam-packed Cali vacation/ Cokane's wedding. The first day I flew from NJ to San Fran. It was a 6 hour continuosly turbulent flight that would be immediately followed by a 3.5 hour drive to Tahoe. I already knew I'd miss the wedding rehearsal, but I was hopeful that I could make the rehearsal dinner. I left the airport a little before 4 pm. Unfortunately it was mostly a 10 mph crawl along Route 80 to Fairfield. Bay area folks, is this normal??? At that point, hours had passed and I decided to venture into the hills of Napa to get to my pitstop at Davis. It was pretty much all twists and turns along hills alternating from being blinded by the sun to dark woods. Gorgeous scenery that I really couldn't enjoy. I get to Davis at 8 pm and after that there was no traffic. My 3.5 hour drive turned into 6+ hours. I was dead tired and my eyes were bloodshot when I stumbled into Tahoe. Even in my tired delirium, I did enjoy the scent of pines and hearing the wind blow through them.

The next morning I headed to Cal Neva for the wedding. I happily checked into Cabin 3, which is Marilyn Monroe's cabin. For those who didn't have the privilege of seeing my Pepto Bismol pink childhood bedroom, it was usually covered with posters and pictures that changed throughout the years. During junior high, there was a ton of Marilyn posters and pics. Although the posters and pics have come down, I still am a follower. So I was super excited at the prospect of sleeping in a place that she spent time in. Cokane gave me the brief synopsis of the supposed haunts of the cabin. Ghost hunting is another favorite of mine, so it was a double bonus.

After the wedding reception, I scurried back to the cabin. Most everything in the cabin is not original. So that was a downer. The two things I wished had been updated was to make the cabin non-smoking and fix whatever plumbing problems were going on in the bathroom. To say it reeked would be an understatement. Cal Neva folks, here's my wish for Cabin #3. Replace the 1990's country decor with authentic 1950's/60's style decor. You must have pictures somewhere that you can use as a template. Make the cabin non-smoking and fix the plumbing. Fix the deck and put some furniture out there. Put up some of those authentic pictures of the rat pack and the Cal Neva. Then you can really charge a lot for the cabin, but it would worth it.

I quickly realized that my blooshot eyes were likely due to allergies. My nose also was running like a faucet. I went to bed a little after 1 am and was in the not quite asleep phase for awhile. Around 2:30 am, I rolled over onto my belly. Then it felt like the bed was shaking. I flipped back over and tried to sort out what was going on. Then I realized my pulse was going double time. I've had that problem before when I take decongestants, but I hadn't taken any. I also had very little caffeine in my system. I knew there was no way I could sleep with my pulse going so quick, so I watched like an hour of trash tv. The rest of the night was a restless, but unremarkable night. I woke up super early and opened all the windows again and took a mostly unpleasant shower. My eyes were still bloodshot and it felt like there was a weight on my chest. I decided to head out of Tahoe quickly in hopes of feeling better.

By the time I got to the coast, which was a few days later, my eyes were clear and that weight on my chest had been lifted. I am not a doctor and the brief google search didn't pan out any clear info. Whether it was allergies, reaction to the smoke/sewerage scented room, the spiritworld, something else, or a combination of things, I'll never really know what caused my pulse to go crazy.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Wee one

Turtle season is winding down. This weekend I only went out to two sites and the weather was not ideal. It was very cloudy and on the cool side. It was pouring a few miles away. The first site I found this little one. I had been shoving my hand in a mucky hole and noticed it in the mud nearby. I grabbed it and was not able to confidently identify it since it pulled istelf into its shell. I consulted my supervisor and she was unsure as well. So we waited a few minutes to see if it would come out of its shell and reveal it's true identity. No such luck. She suggested putting it on the white pages of the notebook since she's had luck that way. Still no movement so I started walking through the marsh with the open notebook and wee one on top. I felt like a waiter. I must have walked around at least 20 minutes and progress was slow. After 10 minutes, one foot was out. Then another. From my observations of my baby painted turtles, I've seen this vibrations of the limbs. They start moving them in and out a wee bit. This is a sign that the limbs will come out. I added a small snail to the notebook in hopes that a friend would help. The snail ended up on top of the turtlet and still no real progress. Finally all limbs were out but the head was still mostly in and it started walking around like that. Finally the head came out just enough and the telltale mark was seen. It was a super rare turtlet. It was put back where we found it and off it went into the muck. Live strong wee one!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Great Personality

The weather hasn't been too cooperative for successful turtling. I did get out today for a few hours and thankfully the weather held. This site is huge and in south jersey. I'm used to north jersey sites and this site has very deep water and muck. Plus there's the floating effect of walking on a mat of vegetation that doesn't quite hit solid ground. Every step that's taken is met with thousands of bubbles and ripples of vegetation and water going out in every direction. Did I mention the random bottomless pits? So every step is calculated and tested before full commitment. It's so deep that I bought hip waders. I sort of feel like a pirate.

The super rare turtles at this site are the most unattractive. Their shells have been deformed or eaten away presumably by the acid in the soils. We are not sure what is going on here. When I spotted this lady, at first I thought she was dead from her appearance. Second, I wasn't sure exactly what species she was. But all worked out and she put up a good fight while I measured her and took notes.

This weekend I noticed a large dead snapping turtle along the road in my local wetlands. It didn't look run over but each time I went by it was in a slightly different spot. Today it was fully on the road and pretty beat up. I guess some scavengers have been moving it...either that or kids have nothing better to do. Monday after work I drove by and spotted two small turtles on the road. At first I was excited, but that quickly turned south when I realized they had both been run over. In years past, I've helped a bunch of turtles cross the road in the area. It just might be time for some turtle xing signs to go up.