Note: I’m running low on pictures at the moment. I haven’t uploaded them to the computer yet. I’ve also, obviously, fallen behind in postings since I’m usually too tired to do much of anything after work.

Pulled the crawfish traps back in last week and had quite a surprise. I actually caught some! Well, by some, I mean two. But it’s more than I’ve ever caught. The picture is blurry, but I swear it’s a crawfish (the camera died right after I took the picture so I couldn’t get a better one).
As I was pulling in the traps, I was being eaten alive by flies. I didn’t pay them too much attention and focused mainly on getting out of the dome and back to the jeep. I got back to the trailer and sat down at the table in the kitchen to eat some dinner. I noticed then, that my hand had two giant welts on it. One on the top next to my index finger, and the other on the underside of my wrist. The welts had swollen and were close to the size of a paintball welt. I was rather surprised about how big they were, but couldn’t really do anything about it so I finished eating and went to take a nap. Upon waking, it felt like my hand was asleep. I looked down to see my entire right hand smooth and swollen. I immediately took an antihistamine to try to make the swelling go down.

I played around with the idea of going to see a doctor. But it seemed the swelling was slowly (very slowly) going down over the course of a few days. This picture was taken two days after I was bitten. I’ll let you use your imagination to figure out how I took the picture by myself.
Wednesday was a blast. I nearly put in 12 hours of work. I had to do a sex check on an RCW tree and after (sorta) getting the band combination of one adult, I went to peep the tree. The peeper, however, was broken and wouldn’t display a picture. I drove the four wheeler over to meet Cliff to see if he could fix it (which he couldn’t) and then drove back to the office. I had some bluebird stuff to take care of while I waited for Cliff to finish up with the good peeper and after he was done, I got to essentially start work (at 1:00pm). I had taken the four wheeler that morning because most of the places couldn’t be accessed by truck. Unfortunately, the good peeper can’t be put on the four wheeler so I had to take Shrek along with me which he was pleased about. I once again willed the truck through more places than I can remember and finally called it quits at 1830.

Thursday had me back out at a few places I couldn’t get to the day before. It nearly took all morning to find the different places (+ a few new ones that had been tacked on). The last cluster I had to check (cluster 45) actually required the four wheeler. It’s not that it was too muddy or wet, it was that the tree is literally close to a mile from the road through thick palmettos and cypress domes. I started to hoof it out there, following a small creek when a thunderstorm rolled in. I decided that holding a 30ft pole in a lightning storm wouldn’t be the best idea, so I turned back to the truck before I even made it there. Since I’d put so many hours in the day before, I just left work early.

Friday was yet again, another RCW day. I had to help Cliff do a fledge check in a specific cluster. The fledge check is just to see if the chick that hatched has successfully left the nest. This requires getting all of the band combinations of ALL birds in the area. I really wasn’t too much help, but I did help Cliff follow the birds all over creation for a few hours before we finally found the fledged chick. I then was lucky enough to go back to cluster 45 to find the tree. I made the mile hike through shoulder high palmetto, cypress swamps, and bogs. It took forever. I went all the way out there to look inside the tree, just to see….Nothing. It was empty. I trudged my way back and finished out the day by checking 3 more clusters.

Drove into town on Saturday to get groceries and a haircut. I finally got paid, so I was able to treat myself to the Wendy’s I was craving. I bought some fishing supplies that I wanted to trying to catch catfish and went back to the WMA to see what I could do. I set some limb lines and got chased off by another storm. The storm had passed before it got dark so I drove back out to check the lines. As I walked down to the canal, I noticed that one of my lines had been dragged up under some weeds. I started pulling on it only to find it hung up underneath the weeds. I walked out onto some stumps to find the leader and discovered about a 20 inch catfish on the end of it. Sadly, as I pulled on the line, the knot broke and the fish got away. I reset the lines and called it a day.

Sunday I tried catfishing again but with no luck whatsoever. I did learn a valuable lesson though. As I was fishing, I had two old women come up and start bream fishing literally on top of my lines. Close enough that when one of them accidentally caught a catfish (that I’d been fishing for over an hour for), her line got tangled around mine. I walked down and started to try to get the bird’s nest undone. She had hooked about a 14 inch Bullhead catfish. I lipped him and started to pull the hook out when it suddenly felt like someone had stomped on my thumb. The catfish had bitten me. Hard! Not wishing to hold the thing around the body, I kept my finger in its mouth as I desperately tried to remove the hook between his munches. I finally freed the fish and the women said they wanted to keep it. I threw the catfish at them in frustration and stalked back to my seat. (And no, I didn’t hit them with it. That certainly would be an interesting story to tell the police officer why I threw a catfish at some old ladies).