Friday, October 23, 2009

The less traveled road

I got my full workout this week just by going to work. I've walked 10+ miles in four days over not the best terrain. I've bled (not loving the massive rose thorn that was completely pushed into my pointer finger on my dominant hand), been bruised, battered, and I am very happy it's the weekend.

Today was supposed to be a solo day, but I'm thankful I had my birdman co-worker with me. The day started off with clearing brush, tree parts, and logs from a woods road (see above pic) that would eventually lead us to the powerline that we were working on. We helped navigate our vehicles past fallen trees in spots where we couldn't move the fallen trees. I lead the charge in my girly suv. I quickly regretted the decision to drive both our cars when I spotted a mucky and watery span in the road. I was 100% sure I'd immediately get stuck or slid into the woods. Surprisingly, I made my way past it with some minor sliding and skidding. Alas, there was a zillion more deep puddles and as I squealed along I sort of felt like I was in a suv commercial. Except, I really didn't mean to be there and was driving a mostly inappropriate vehicle. I had to go fast enough to make it across the puddles, but slow enough to not bottom out or go horribly off-course. We arrived at the powerline and started to gather up our field gear. I quickly realized I couldn't find my cellphone. Birdman called my phone and we didn't hear it ring. It must have fallen out of my pocket when I was brushclearing on the road. We decided to both drive back and I decided that I would leave my car near the beginning of road to avoid having to drive that crazy drive twice. Sure enough the phone was near the closest brush clearing and was inches from being run over on the initial drive down. Phew! I will say that birdman's more capable subura gave a much smoother and assured ride. If we end up doing a lot more work in this area, I may just have to bite the bullet and drive one of the company's mega suvs out there. Aside from the morning's initial hiccups, the day was enjoyable. The area we were in was remote and full of cool rare hawks and woodpeckers. We also enjoyed the different plants and I even found a possible turtle eggshell and owl feather.

We even found this old VW bug way out in the powerline miles upon miles from the nearest road. Pretty soon that punchbuggy will go completely back to nature.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bloodletting and ladybugs

I spent the past two days line walking. Many miles were covered and my feet and muscles are feeling the burn. I made the mistake of not wearing carhartt pants yesterday and my knees are now covered with 20+ red thorn pricks. Nevermind my hands that repeatedly and accidentally groped thorny branches.

Here's some typical vistas along the line near my neck of the woods. It's been nice having a commute that's a maximum of 15 minutes. But alas, the more ground covered, the commute will grow.

The next outing will be the most difficult. There's major river crossings (too deep for kneet boots), many miles between parking/access roads. Nevermind the potential for vast and flooded wetlands. I've already been to areas that I'm sure rarely see humans.
By this afternoon, we seemed to be covered in ladybugs. When I got home, there was a zillion ladybugs on my deck. It's an infestation of cute bugs. Sure beats ticks and mosquitoes anyday.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The last of summer

Chilly morns and eves abound. The insulated rubber boots, jacket, warm mittens and friends have been broken out. I've seen my breath outside on those brisk morns. It's officially the beginning of autumn. By afternoon, the last gasps of summer warmth is present and all the warms layers are slowly removed. Pretty soon the jacket will be a requirement for the entire day.

Field work has been plentiful and I've walked many miles already along the new powerline job. Things have been relatively uneventful. There's been a giant hornet nest that was avoided at the last minute. Sorry no photo for that! Deer have plentiful and a tragi-comic event was witnessed. A seated doe had spotted me, jumped up, and ran head first into a chain link fence. She fell on the ground, but thankfully sprung back up and ran off. If she had only originally remained seated, I would have never had known she was there.

Above is probably the last turtle of the year. This poor thing had an injury to it's shell and I was very surprised to see it considering how cold it had been that morning. Below is a type of daisy I had never seen but it sure it pretty. The flowers are like a good 2 inches across and vivid purple.