My Weekend Buddy

Jul 30, 2011 6 comments

I have a house guest this weekend.  His name is Boris.

Oh my gosh!  Cute!    

His full name is something complicated and Russian because his owner really likes Russian authors.  And I do too, and am part Russian, but I still can't remember the name.  Haha.  I'm watching him for my co-worker while he is in Las Vegas for a wedding.  I'm jealous.  Have I mentioned how much I love Vegas?  Oh yes, yes I have.

Anyway, I've decided pugs are awesome.  They're affectionate, loyal, smart, well behaved and have the cutest little bark ever.  They are the perfect apartment dog.  I want one. 

Right now he's sleeping on the couch and it's super adorable.  I may never give him back...  : )


Bear Week

Jul 29, 2011 2 comments

Now that we're finally getting some rain, the Sandias were open last weekend so we decided to take full advantage of some hiking in the mountains.  We ended up going on an easy trail because I'm lazy from always hiking during the week.  It's really pretty, though.  It's a nature walk type thing in Cienega Canyon.  Cienega means "wet meadow," or so the sign said.

I like this picture because it's pretty and you can't tell how bad I look because I'm all shadowy

We had a nice time just hanging out and finally it was time to go, so we decided to loop back around the other side of the trail to go back.  While we were walking, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed something moving in the trees above us.  Upon closer inspection, I realized what it was...

"Oh my gosh, it's a bear!"  I said.

Matt didn't believe me at first, but I pointed it out to him, and there was no doubt about it.  That bear was staring right at us.  We started walking away slowly, still looking at him, but he didn't really seem to care.  He just made his way down the hill and into the meadow.  I was so surprised, I didn't think to take a picture right away.  So all I got was his butt as he went past us.

Can you see him?

The next day, I headed down to the field with my two travel companions (the boss needed some time alone, apparently, so I got two helpers : )  We had to do a transect this week, which is just ten holes in a row across the same polygon, or similar area, so I got to go ahead of the boys and flag out the spots where they would dig.  While I was off by myself, I kept hearing strange noises.  Rustling, some high pitched squeaks, stuff like that.  At first I thought it was the guys whistling for me but they weren't that close by.  I just happened to look up at the exact time that .... you guessed it... another bear was standing in the woods looking back at me.  I yelled at him, and he just kept staring, so I decided to blow my "rape whistle," as J calls it, and that scared him off.

After that, I didn't want to stay by myself any longer so I went quickly back to the place where I left the guys and told them about the bear.  They said I probably saw him because I was alone and not making too much noise.  I said it would be crazy if I saw another bear the next day.  That would be impossible, right?

Actually, no, not so impossible.

The next day, I was alone again because I had to finish flagging and describing the opposite end of the transect.  The guys took the GPS so I was on my own trying to remember where I put the flags.  I found the first few pretty easily but the one on the end was over on the other side of a little hill and I couldn't find it.  I was looking all over the place and getting really frustrated when I heard a noise.  I looked up and saw yet another bear (or maybe the same one?) running down the hill toward me.  This time, I was startled and afraid.  More so than I had been the day before.  But when the bear saw me, he stopped, and I yelled at him and he ran away.  At that point, I gave up on looking for the last hole and decided to head back to the truck.

The guys showed up a little bit after I did and I said "I saw another bear."  They thought I was joking, but I was totally 100% serious, of course.  They were both really tired from digging but it was only 4:30 so I wanted to describe another hole.  At first, they were pretty cranky about it, which made me feel bad, because I thought they were mad at me.  So I was pouting a little bit and J told me to cheer up, so maybe they weren't that mad.

For the rest of the week, we pretty much just stuck together so that none of us would have trouble finding the rest of the holes.  And we didn't see any more bears.

The only other thing that happened this week, was Egghead and I ran into a rancher and somehow he got started on the topic of wolves.  There's a program within my organization that tries to keep the wolves from going extinct, and ranchers HATE it. "It's a terrrrible program, just terrible" he said to us.  Egghead asked him what, specifically, he didn't like about the program, and the rancher said, "They sneak in, and they eat yer cattle."  No joke, dude.  But the program doesn't do that.  The wolves do.  But when I'm out there, I try not to get into any arguments.  Not worth it.  So we went home, and I was glad for it.  It was a long week.

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The 180

Jul 23, 2011 0 comments

Last week, J and I left our dear friend Egghead behind and headed to the field without him.  It was a super good week and I enjoyed myself quite a lot.  It's so nice working with someone I actually get along with.  I do hope the feeling is mutual.  At times, I feel like the annoying little sister, or like that 12 year old girl riding around with John Milner in "American Graffiti."  But I try to keep my annoying-ness to a minimum.

We saw some different animals this week, including a couple coyotes, wild turkeys and a horny toad.  One day, we were pretending that we were on a safari and kind of got distracted/lost.  Oops.

Horny toad waaa (that's what Matt and I call a baby : )

pink soil (made from weathered rhyolite)

Cute little drainage basin and awesome background scenery

Back in the office on Friday, I talked to my boss about my work, and he didn't really have much nice to say about it.  I'm trying not to let it get to me, though.  I know the work I did, and the effort I put into it.  I just have to realize that that's the way he is and I'll most likely never hear a compliment from him.  It's hard, though.  Next week, I'll do it all over again, and hopefully the negative comments will at least diminish.

Pink Fluff

Jul 16, 2011 3 comments

This was the best week I've had in the field in a long time.  My new field buddy and I work together awesomely well.  And we have fun too.  It's great.  I haven't enjoyed field work this much since the VCNP two years ago.  This makes me happy.

Here's some pictures I took.

Calming Things

Jul 11, 2011 1 comments

Tomorrow, after 3 weeks of sitting in my cubicle, I will go back to the forest.  Getting there is always a process.  A long, drawn out, stressful process.  Field work is not all fun time in the woods.  There is constant planning and preparation and perseverance even when things suck and you want to go home really bad.  But if you can get through that, there are rewards.

Like the ever changing New Mexico sunset.

And watching the moon cycle through its phases of light and dark.

I like this picture.  The way it captures two points of light, the fire and the moon, linked together in the darkness. 

And, if you're lucky, the sound of a stream running by on a sunny afternoon.

So tomorrow, I may be stressed, but tonight I am feeling calm.


The Last 6 months

Jul 2, 2011 1 comments

Stuff has been so crazy around here that I haven't been able to post about everything I've been meaning to so far this year.  Instead of making a separate post about everything, which I'm definitely too lazy to do, I'll just catch up with some of my pictures I took from the last 6 months.  That way I can also finally clear out my camera card for some new pictures.  Multitasking!

We took Matt's dogs to the hills.  Here's Star looking cute.

Matt got three different Lufthansa airplanes, which he lined up together.  His sister just flew on Lufthansa airlines to Germany, not any of these particular ones though.  An A340-600.

My friend Erica came to visit and we hiked to the snowy Travertine Falls.

I went on an adventure to Silver City and took the scenic route back, through the overpass.

We took a trip to one of my favorite rest stops in New Mexico, Garden of the gods and goddesses.

We brought some friends along on a trip to the Mountains.

And went camping by a stream.

So, as the fires continue to burn around the state (albeit more under control, now) and I continue to deal with the stresses of daily life, I will remember these times and look forward to new adventures and many more photographs to come.