Got up Friday morning and got to work at 0800. I had to go check a bluebird box on the other side of the WMA, so I hopped in Shrek and took off to go take care of it. Sadly, I only had one box to take care of and the trip took 45 minutes to get there and back. Once back, I was about to load up the four wheeler and begin the exciting task of spraying exotics again. Lucky for me, my boss Tina saved me and asked…well…told me that I was going on my first burn. I was to use one of the technician’s (named Stony) four wheelers and trailer since it had the proper gear on it. I hooked the trailer up to Shrek and drove the Stony’s four wheeler up onto it. It only took me about 15 minutes to figure out how to start it since I’ve never seen a push-start button on a four wheeler.
After getting everything ready, six of us drove off to the area that was supposed to be burned. The section was about 2 miles long and about 1/8 of a mile wide. Since I’ve had no training in burning, it was my job to drive up and down the road on the four wheeler and make sure the fire stayed on the correct side of the road. If it jumped the road, I would get to spray it out and call for help. The fire never jumped the road I was patrolling but did on another road. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to help out since it wasn’t where I was supposed to be. At one point during the burn, as I was video taping some of it, I nearly ran over a 4 ft. Diamondback Rattlesnake. (For some reason I can’t upload the video).
I spun the four wheeler around and got a picture before we sprayed it off the road with the hoses. The only other animal I saw that got flushed from the fire was a small raccoon. I certainly enjoyed my first burn and I doubt my clothes will ever get the smoke smell off of them. I guess driving around through smoke for 4 hours will do that.
Surprisingly, I wasn’t too tired to go fishing after work, so I loaded up the kayak and went to try the same ponds again. Since I recently lost my favorite fly to an evil oak, I had switched to a larger grasshopper fly. I only caught a few fish from the pond covered with lilly pads, so I went over to the other one before it got too dark. There, I caught a few decent sized bluegill and 5 small bass. Fished until it was literally dark, then headed back.
Saturday I did a whole lot of nothing. Slept in until almost 1100 since I rarely get the chance to. I played around on the internet for a few hours, then decided I’d try out my crawfish traps. I dropped one at the edge of lake Jackson where I usually fish from the bank, then dropped the other off of road 7 (which was a terrible road, glad I have 4×4) where an old bridge reaches out over the canal. Came home and cooked (a.k.a incinerated) some hamburger steaks then decided I’d go for a run. I underestimated how long the road was that I was running down and a two mile run nearly turned into four. It was dark enough on the way back that I was running by moonlight. I also found a new form of motivation for running. I made the run last night without a shirt on and after turning around and coming back, I decided to walk for a few seconds. Motivation came alive in the form of a few hundred yellow flies. Needless to say, I didn’t stop to walk anymore.
Woke up and checked the crawfish traps this morning to find absolutely nothing. Made a few casts and caught one stump knocker. Driving down road 7 successfully covered my entire jeep in black, stinky mud, so I had to go rinse it off as best I could when I got back. Tomorrow I have to spend the day spraying exotics. Chelsea’s got some surprise for me on Saturday, so I’m excited to find out what that is. I have Wednesday off so that I can pick her up from the airport and we’ll be going by BassPro to buy some more flies.