Thursday, June 26, 2008

Friendly neighborhood spider

I found this little guy on the hibiscus in my front yard. I hope his hunt went well.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Summer burns

We have spent the last two days burning areas on the refuge, with burns this time of year we have to stay in front of the weather, so it's a bit tricky. We got wet today, a pretty good thunderstorm built over our fire near the end of the day, we were drenched. This is typically the time of year that fires would occur in south Florida naturally.

Here's a few photos, and you can find more in my photo gallery on my website, and there may be a few in the Naples Daily News tomorrow.

UPDATED: Naples Daily News photographs

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Work week update June 19th

I thought I would share some of the week's events. We are finally getting some rain so we may soon be able to start doing some prescribed burns on the refuge. Hopefully we get to some of the areas that need to burn before it gets too wet. We have been getting many afternoon thunderstorms, and with the storms we get lightning. We have been spending most mornings traveling the refuge looking for new fires that may have been started by the lightning. So far we have been lucky and no new wildfires have come of the lightning.

On another front it's only a little over a week until I head out to Seattle and the surround Pacific Northwest for the Seattle International Beer Fest I am really looking forward to the trip, and I will be taking lot's of photos and drinking many fine beers. Until then enjoy a few photos from the work week;

Butterfly orchids are in bloom

I am out looking for lightning strikes

We had a Sikorsky visit the helibase this week.

A barred owl out on the refuge

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Fish Fry - Friday the 13th

PJ decided to share some of his delicious fish (Grouper, Mahi) so we had a fish fry at the bunkhouse. There was some pass the pigs, wood chopping and story telling. A good time was had by all.

The rest of the photos can be found at the gallery.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

blimps, fire, orchids, and lightning

Another day out on the panther pasture, we were out looking for lightning strikes from the day before when a few new fires popped up out side of the refuge. A short explanation on the lightning tracking is due I am sure, we use an online version of the lightning sensors that are used across the nation, we download the coordinates (lat and long) and then go looking for new fires or lightning struck trees. Yesterday we had around 20 strikes on the refuge so we split up and went looking for either fires or lightning struck trees. Here's some photos from my day...

A blimp

I didn't see anything about Ice Cube being a pimp.

I found a new cigar orchid (also known as cowhorn)

A demised deer...

Using the GPS to find lightning strikes.

Rain to the left, fire to the right.

Looking for orchids and lightning strikes.

Out in the woods, I am happy.

Some sort of alien face you would expect to find on Endor.

The last water holes go to the biggest gators.

Looking up!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Burmese python

Imagine the shock of running over a snake this size. Some one hit this large snake just north of the refuge, this is a sign that they are more than likely already on the refuge. Theses pythons were released pets that have started reproducing, and multiplying rapidly. Obviously they are non-native and a threat to many native species. I am happy to find them dead rather than alive.

Some python links:
Python bursts after eating gator
Python tracking puppy
Everglades Burmese Python Project
Species Fact Sheet

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Golden Gate Wildfire photos

I just finished sorting through the photos I took the previous three days on the fire in the Golden Gate Estates and I have posted a photo gallery to my website. I didn't get many photos from the first two days due to how busy I was, but I would like to share some photos of the crew. They worked very hard and worked well together. Thanks to the four firefighters that came down from North Carolina refuges to assist us and the assistance we got from J.N. Ding Darling NWR as well. More information and photos of the wildfire can be found at the Naples Daily News website.

Andrew applies water to a hot spot while Greg and Anthony use their tools to mix in the water and foam.

Photo Gallery

I captioned all the photos so you can find more details about the photos in the gallery.