Woke up today and got to work at 0800. I knew I was supposed to be doing something different today aside from dealing with RCW’s but I wasn’t sure what. My morning consisted of “reading” through 280 some odd pages of a PDF file about FWC policies. I was then supposed to start working with a man named Carlton to monitor water flow in Lake Jackson and the Jackson-Kissimmee canal. However, he’d stepped out to take care of another job while I read the never ending list of policies. By the time I had finished, he still hadn’t returned so I was assigned trash duty at three different places on the WMA (yay!). To make up for it I was finally given my own set of truck keys and a lifted, green Dodge 2500 with all-terrains that’s been beat to pieces. I’ve named the truck Shrek.

After receiving a radio and GPS, Shrek and I took off for trash duty. The trashcans out here are bear proof which also means they’re nearly human proof as well. The design made it so that the cavity that holds the trash is larger than the opening, AND the lid refuses to stay open while you’re attempting to remove the swollen bag of garbage. With this combination of things working against me, I successfully tore open the full trash bag and spilled all the contents back into the trashcan (which was also full of mud from the recent rain we had). I had to go through the trash by hand and remove all the beer cans, McDonald’s wrappers, and dirty diapers from the can. To top off this adventure, something (probably a spider) bit me on the wrist hard enough to leave a quarter sized welt.

When the trash run was finally done, I came back to the office and met with Carlton. We hooked the Jon Boat up to his truck and loaded all the computer equipment needed to measure water flow. It began to rain a little bit as we went to the first stop, but I stopped by the time we were ready to launch. To monitor the water flow, essentially a floating computer is attached to a rope that stretches to pulleys on either side of the canal. I had just motored the boat to the far side of the canal and hopped out to begin feeding the rope when a bolt of lightning struck WAY too close. It didn’t take much convincing on Carlton’s part to get me back in the boat and ready to hook it up on the trailer in seconds.

Once back at the office, I met with Cliff’s wife, Emily, and we left to go check bluebird boxes and band some chicks. I was able to band my first bluebird chick and was assigned my own series of boxes to watch over. Since it was pouring rain, I wasn’t able to get any pictures.

Drove into town after work and bought the KFC I was craving. There was a terrible thunderstorm on the way but it had slacked off by the time I returned to the trailer. Then, after dinner, I took a few minutes to go fish. I (of course) forgot my camera again. I managed to catch two keeper Stumpknockers, but I think it might have been the same fish (or at least his clone). Tomorrow I get to do a quail call survey and have round two with the jon boat.