Thursday, June 8, 2006

Tobermory 2006: new beginnings

Time flies… you can’t, they’re too fast. Lol… that was an old joke from a chemistry prof that I remembered as I was thinking about what has happened since I emailed last.

I finally found a spot in Tobermory that has wireless internet access… and a perfect spot it is; out on the patio of the Tobermory Sweet Shop, overlooking the harbour as I sip an iced cappuccino – paradise! Paradise has bad wireless connection though, so the time I can stay on is brief, and msn conversations are frequently interrupted by lost signals, which is no droubt annoying, but at least I’m outside with a great view.

Sunday morning, I went for a ride with the few boarders at Jenny’s place as a “barn get-together event”. Melody was the star of course, and lead the way for all the young ones behind. That afternoon, I went into Fergus with Melissa to check out a horse. Hails Bold Love (Hailey), is the newest addition to the barn (she was scheduled to arrive today). Now Melissa and I can ride together! We didn’t get back to the Bruce until after 10pm that night…

A new colleague and Young Canada Works student, Amber started on Monday. That day, the three of us (me, Amber and Melissa) began field work. Singing Sands is a beautiful location, a long sandy beach with rare orchids and other plant species growing nearby. That was where we caught our first Massasauga rattler. She was in the shade along the beach, one that had never been caught before. We tagged her with a microchip (called a PIT tag), and painted her rattle yellow, took measurements etc. We did this to keep track of the locations of the Massasaugas, and the paint was done as an indicator that we previously caught the snake that year and there is no reason for us to bother her again. The next day, we were up early (started at 6:30 am) and searched in another location, the George Lake area. Starting early isn’t that bad since I get to leave earlier (like 2:30pm). We caught three more rattlers at George Lake; two of them were courting at the time, excellent finds! I named the two of them Minnie and Mickey, since Minnie had a mouse-head shaped marking on her back as one of her ‘irregular spots’. The third was already PIT tagged, and we found that (on the database with previous records) she had been tagged three years prior to us finding her.

Tuesday night, I played my first game ever of ultimate Frisbee - tons of fun… Although, I managed to stop a Frisbee in mid-flight with my face! Don’t worry, I’m fine aside from a fat lip and a bruised cheek bone hehe.

Yesterday was an experience, for most of it I helped conduct interviews for new YCW students for the summer. There were three of us that went to the highschool in Lion’s Head, and also at the Visitor’s Centre in Tobermory. We interviewed four people in total for two positions, and it was obvious which ones were to be hired. One guy was unbelievable. I couldn’t believe the things he said, from what I understood amongst his mumbling, and his crazy hairdo was enough to throw us all off.

Thursday, I spent the day outside; the morning along the shoreline of the Georgian Bay looking for Lake Daisies – we found a big patch. Lake Daisies are currently ‘threatened’ and only grow on flat rock in certain conditions. The afternoon was spent eliminating an invasive species called Garlic Mustard, which essentially smells like Garlic. It’s overcome the South, and we are trying to postpone its invasion in this area.