Thursday, November 13, 2008

Find the Fish

Righty ho, time indeed to play Find the Fish. But first, I'd like to impart a bit of wisdom to any future perspective field technicians planning to treat invasive weeds on a military base: don't spray bushes that move! Driving to a prairie on Fort Lewis last week, I happened to see some shrubbery out of the corner of my eye. I normally wouldn't have given shrubs a second glance, except they appeared to be walking across a parking lot. On closer inspection, I noticed these botanical beings were well armed, and had two eyes peering from a green and gray face. Either these were hasty bonzai-entlings, or well disguised snipers. Either way, I'd not want to make the mistake of rousing them about.

Did you know it can be rainy in the pacific northwest? It can.

I mowed Scotch Broom (in the rain), and was glad to have a canopy above my head on the tractor. The wind still soaked my legs, but as coach Pappy would tell me, "no pain, no gain boy!". We had a meeting with the acting Director of the Washington Nature Conservancy, who came down to explain the 2015 campaign, and also discuss how our finances look for the upcoming year. (it was raining outside). The red-card brigade also had an after-action review of our fire season, with some plans on how to be more effective next year. TNC's global goal is to burn 15 million acres, but annually we are only achieving about 100,000 acres. That's a current burn regime of 150 years, so clearly we need to crank it up a notch. I know my home state of Texas has recently begun an active burn program, so it'll be interesting to see what they're up to for 2009.

Once the rain started again, it was back outdoors. This time, it was to help reseed some of the test plots with seed mixes. These test plots are measuring the most effective methods to restore prairies. When the weather is at its worst, Lisa's been helping me design a fancy custom database for the TNC Knotweed crew.

On Sunday, when the rain backed down to more of a mist, we took the chance to visit McAllaster Creek. A big surprise was the small creek had a big Chum Salmon run taking place as we watched! It seemed very primal to watch these fish valiantly strive against the current to find their spot in a sandbar. Enjoy this video of another wonder of fall migration... underwater!

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