Sunday, September 21, 2008

What's up with the ducks!!

I am adding an additional post today to respond to two comments I had about :What is the deal with the ducks?
In my job as a Waterfowl Technician, on July 1st till till mid September I band wood ducks. I catch the wood ducks with a rocket net. I put out corn to get them up close to the net and then shoot a ~60'x40' net over them. It has three rockets attached to the net that pulls the net out VERY quickly. They are incredible flyers and even though they are 3 foot from the net many of the birds are caught on the outer edge of the net when it comes out. The US Fish and Wildlife Service provides aluminum bands that we put on each goes on their right leg. Why do we do this? Wood their name implies live in woody swamps and small streams. They spend most of their time in areas where you can not count them easily. Other ducks can be counted with aerial surveys because they spend their time in open water areas. Because of this we band wood ducks so that the US Fish and Wildlife Service can better estimate the population and other stuff using statistics. When a hunter kills a wood duck in the coming hunting season they will report the band number to the USFWS. The USFWS uses these banded birds to find out about migration, life-span and survival rate, reproductive success and population growth. For a much better explanation please check out the link to the Bird Banding Laboratory: That site covers Why Birds are banded?,History of Banding, Who bands birds?...etc. It is very interesting.(atleast to me it is)

I am now finished with banding wood ducks. My next job duty is to maintain, clean and record data from the 550 wood duck nest boxes that we take care of. Wood ducks are cavity nesters and we put out boxes to help boost the population since many larger trees are being cut down. The boxes are located on ~35 rivers,streams,etc in ~13 counties. It takes me about 2 months to check them all.
When the ducklings hatch out of the egg they pull the egg membrane out. This membrane drys and is left in the box. When I check a box I count the membranes...which lets us know how many ducklings were hatched and left the box. I also record eggs left in the box and also dead ducklings.
A hazard to this job is that wasps love the boxes also and I have killed hundreds of wasps in a single box. Also there is an occassional black snake..which is no big deal. We also get other birds that use the boxes like: hooded mergansers, flickers, screech owls, prothonotary warblers...etc.
Most of these boxes are checked by using a boat but some are on retention ponds or beside a stream in the swamp and we use waders to walk to them.
Hope this post has answered some of your questions....let me know if I need to explain anything further. Have a great day.

Worse Long Run to Date!!

Well I went out today with high hopes of running 10-11 miles. Didn't feel that great. Could be the wedding food that I ate yesterday or that I forgot to eat breakfast before going to church this morning. Either way it wasn't good. I ate a good lunch and gave my body 2 hours to process it. Then I headed out. That was obviously not a good plan. In my 3rd mile I realized I HAD to find a bathroom somewhere. Problem is that I live in a small town and everything is closed on Sunday. Besides the fact that I was not in "town" so there were just houses and fields. Well I found a field to hide in..... Still didn't feel great after that problem. But decided to keep going since I was 3 miles from my house anyway. I had to stop and walk several times and my stomach felt a bit sick at one point. Also my knees felt stiff. But again I kept going. Decided to just head back home and ended at the house with 8 miles on the Garmin. Surprise to me...was that when I linked the Garmin up that I had forgotten to turn it back on twice after breaks. I had to go to to estimate the distance that I had missed. Turned out to be atleast 1 mile. That made me feel a bit better. So now I am at 9 miles for my long run which isn't so bad. I have a 5K this Saturday and another the Saturday after that. I am running the World Wide Half on the following Saturday. After that I am taking a break from the long runs for a bit. Then my next planned race is December 27th in Clermont, FL.(I will be there for Christmas) I hope to meet up with some friends from Twitter and run a half marathon. That should be great fun. I am now going to relax and catch up on some more TV shows via the internet.
This week at work I will start checking wood duck boxes. Should be great fun but always a bit stressful as you change from one task to another. Once this week is finished then I will be in the swing of it. Takes about 1 1/2 -2 months to check all 550 wood ducks boxes that I manage. Always exciting. Will update on my progress or any exciting things that I see on my boat rides.

Oh and just to end the post with a odd note...I ran past two dead oppossums,one dead mourning dove and one dead "thing" that was unrecognizable. Maybe all of that was causing my stomach upset....SMILE

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Indian Summer Cross Country 6K

This morning I ran the Indian Summer Cross Country 6K. This is the first Cross Country race that I have participated in. The race went well. I finished in 36:33. There were only 20 participants. First year for the race. I was 5th or 6th overall and 2nd woman to finish. I made good time on the paved part of the race but since most of the race was around soybeans time went down there. Two guys that were running the race twisted their ankles. It was 77F, 89% humidity and 7mph wind when I left the house at 7:00am. Race started at 8:00am.
Since today or tomorrow were going to be my long run days....9 miles. I decided to run home from the race. I took the long way through town and then back to the house. That added another 4 miles to the day. Lately my mileage has gone through the roof. Now two weeks in a row over 30 miles in a week. Which is more running that I have ever done. I am really excited about that. Can't wait till it gets cooler because that is when my running gets much better. I should be able to run much faster then. My husband has friends coming in two weeks to run in the Waterway 5K in Elizabeth City. I will not be running home from that race...Not up to 20+miles yet. SMILE
Work has been going really great. Last year I beat the record of wood ducks trapped with 586 ducks. This year I smashed that record with 867 wood ducks. And I wish I could trap more but I have a meeting and bow season for deer starts on Monday and I can't have bait out on the game lands.
I just finished getting dressed up for our church directory pictures. I hope they turn out good. I have tried to lose weight for awhile and all of a sudden this past month my weight started to go down. Guess I finished building muscle and the mileage is burning Fat. I have gone from an avg weight of 140lbs to my weight this AM was 133.5lbs. I feel really great and will keep it up till I am a lean mean running machine....SMILE
Well gotta take off for the pictures. I am going to try to keep posting on the blog. I hope for great things to come.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Run Run Run!!!

Running is going good. Ran my second 10 miler on Sunday. Took yesterday off....I was thinking about taking the day off of running today also. I am now sitting in my running "outfit"....debating about going out in the 90F heat of the day. It is 4:00 now. Can't wait till much later than 5:00 because we are meeting Jon's brother and his wife for dinner. It was Jeremy's birthday this past week.
I didn't sleep well last night. Kept thinking about Tabitha son that died in the car accident and how horrible the family must feel. Like they are in a nightmare that they can't wake up from. I know horrible things happen all of the world each day....but when it is someone that you know. It makes a difference.
Good day at trapping Wood Ducks. Shot at North River this morning and caught 66 new ducks and 11 recaptures. About 150 ducks were there total. They didn't want to eat corn and so I ended up shooting the net over them when they were about 3 foot away from the bait. That brings the grand total up to 790 ducks this year. Last year I broke the record with 586 ducks. So this year I have blown that number away and I still have about 2 more times to trap.

Well I better go out and run.....

Monday, September 1, 2008

Long Time No Posts we are again. I haven't blogged in forever. Reading my past two posts sort of makes me cringe. Had some "issues" for sure. Things are some what better now.

My grandfather was doing better. They actually took him off of dialysis after he was going 3 times a week. This was about 4 weeks ago. Unfortunately he is not doing so good at the moment. My dad scheduled a check up because he gets tired easily and his memory is much worse. I pray he does much better soon.

My husband is working at the prison in E-city and is enjoying his job. He is actually making decent money. Not as much as before but more than I anticipated. The price of gas cuts into the pay. This is the 1st job where he has to drive far to get to the job.

My running is going great. I can not believe how much it has improved. I planned on running 802 miles in 2008. As of 8/31 I had 566.7 miles (last yr same date miles=322.9miles). I calculated that I had to run at least 16 miles a week(if I took some weeks off for sickness...vacation..etc). But the past couple of weeks I am running 23-27 miles a week. It is incredible.

My husband and I went to counseling and it helped. We are still working on things. The counselor said he could stop coming and use the money on a gym. That it would help. He started going to a gym and hurt his back he hasn't gone in a week or so. This has happened before....he starts exercising and then hurts something. Then he stops going. I hope this does not happen this time.

I have started using the microblog TWITTER. And I love it. It is nice to be able to make friends that you can share with each day. It is especially nice because I still don't have any close friends where I live. I have worked on that and plan on having a party at the house and inviting all my neighbors and friends. Hopefully that will get us closer with people in the area. Today it seems we get so busy and it is hard to make new friends.
Well gotta go and clean the house. This is "Labor" it is time for some labor. SMILE