Thursday, March 25, 2010

Seeing spots

The turtle preseason is fully on its way. I hit the jackpot in my secret land that currently resembles glacial lake passaic. See photo at the very bottom. But once you get past the first ocean, it's an oasis of nature that's rarely sees people. I've had a rare owl there on my last brief outing there. I even heard the owl briefly call in the middle of the day, which is unusual but not unheard of. Today I found 5 spotted turtles. The last turtle I even sprinted across part of the lake. Of course it plopped into the water and I thought it was long gone. But a few seconds later a turtle head came to the surface and I grabbed it. One turtle that I did miss (but see it's butt) caused me to plant my butt and sleeved arm up to my elbow in cold water. Nevermind the clipboard that came undone with piles of semi wet paper strewn about. I taught myself a new turtle finding technique. Since I was in crunchy dry vegetation, I could see and hear when a turtle was moving and would sprinto to that location and find the turtle. So it was a great but tiring day and my hand tan is full swing.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Prepare the ark

From this past Friday to late Monday it rained. The next town over got 7 inches. Mind you before the rain, all the snowpack had melted and the rivers and streams were full or were already flooding. I ventured out on Saturday afternoon and it was not nice. Wind gusts up to 50 mph, nonstop horizontal rain, and umbrellas were mostly inverted. Branches had fallen on powerlines and lake sized puddles were already invading the road I hunkered down at home and relaxed. Then a knock comes at my door at 10:30 pm. I'm in my pjs and see that there's some sort of commotion going on in the basement. I then see that there's an inactive pump and the basement is flooded. It's never happened while I lived here, but I had seen evidence that the basement had been flooded before. I slap on one of my 4 pairs of rubber knee boots with pjs and scope out the situation in my individual basement. Thankfully it wasn't completely flooded and I rolled up the carpet and lifted anything that could be damaged off the ground. But the trough around the perimeter of the basement was full of water and overflowing onto the floor. I had an inch or so in spots. My neighbors were less fortunate since their basements were jammed full of junk that doesn't do well in water.

The maintenence guys then make an appearance and I still don't fully understand the situation. I really can't blame then since they were soaking wet even with rain gear. I also don't recommend using a towel as a rain hat. Point being was that they thought it was pointless to pump the basement since water just keeps coming in. But that they would come around and pump if the water got too high. Thankfully by morning the water had mostly drained or had been pumped and only a puddle was left in my basement. It's still very damp down there and my dehumidifier is making a rare spring appearance. It's all so strange since I've never even had a drop of water down there during large rain events. Not sure why it was an all or nothing situation.

On sunday afternoon, I just had to get out of the house and run some errands. Very quickly I realize that most of the next town over is under water. Here's some shots I took today (Tuesday) and water has dropped enough that they are allowing cars on the main road.

The below road is still undriveable, but it makes a good rafting spot. That's a raft in the middle of the road there.

Here's another road closed. It sure makes you figure out new ways to get around.
Of course I have a ton of field work to do in this town, but it just going to have to wait under the water goes down.