Monday, May 1, 2017

MDIFW Regional Wildlife Biologist Intern Week 13

April 17 - April 23 "Mopping Up"

Winter has finally come to its end. The land is free of snow, the ice is gone on the lakes, the frogs are calling and the birds are chirping. With that comes our transition from winter activities to spring/summer. This means that our WSI's have one last step- collecting the weather monitors. These are little sensors left inside of water bottles that are locked within what are essentially duck boxes. This information contains barometric and temperature data that can be compared against our snow depths, sinking depths, and deer data to determine how winters impact our white-tails.

The WSI monitor we had to retrieve was way out in Appleton, which is another town that I never knew existed, is not far from Augusta, and is truly a remote area. I'm always surprised at these little areas that I always thought only existed well north of Augusta, even Bangor.

I had no idea where I was going, but thankfully my co-intern had been there once (just once, in the winter when there was all sorts of snow and ice) and somehow pinpointed its location after driving down some dirt roads and hiking through some truly gorgeous woods. 

Within these woods was a large rock outcrop with some signs of familiar faces; porcupines.
Look at all that dung... it's seriously several feet deep.

And it appeared that one of them was not so lucky. This guy was at the base of a tree and slouched over. I'm not exactly sure what happened to him, but my guess is he fell out of the tree during one of our recent storms.

What was likely his mate was looking down at us from the tree that they likely hung out in for a long time. I kind've felt bad for this porcupine widow. 

This transition period also allowed for some proper "spring cleaning", which allowed me to challenge the remaining forestry data. I took several solid wacks at it throughout the semester, but this week, I felt confident. I felt like I could do it. Especially since when I got to work and nobody had any clue as to what I could do, I knew that I could spend all day chiseling away at it.

And so I did. The data was finally defeated; I was out of busy work. From here on out, it should be nothing but field work!

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