This month has been such a blur since time went by so fast again. One thing I’m glad I was able to learn this month was how to drive a large tractor with a bat wing mower attached. What we wanted to do was a mow a certain portion of the preserve that is commonly flooded during the winter season. The purpose of this was to create additional habitat for birds such as egrets and cranes. Two egrets actually came by and foraged approximately 20 feet of where I was mowing!
Another fun thing I did this month was installed our “Cosumnes River Preserve” sign. This thing is huge and it required a four man team to installed it. We had to bring in a backhoe and attach it to toe straps to hoist it up and manuever it towards the post. One of the more memorable assignments during my internship!
Many of the broadleaf weeds such as yellow mustard, wild radish, and milk thistle are starting to emerge as rosettes and a large portion of what I did this month is herbicide application. The type of herbicide to be used depends on the goal. Since we’re only targeting broadleaf weeds and not grass, we can only use only Garlon 3A. Any residues of Roundup left over in the previous pesticide tank is diluted and disposed of before we can start with a fresh batch of Garlon. What Roundup will do is that it will wipe all the plant species including grass species which we’re trying to preserve. The equipment that has been used lately is the UTV and sometimes ATV for the herbicide application. I enjoy cruising along on the ATV, the only downfall is that it’s strapped with herbicide.
We recently moved back into our visitor center. During the move, we came across some vandalism such as broken fire lane signs and damaged displays. Another volunteer and I worked on these repairs and many other touch ups for the building and its surrounding area to make things safer.
We’ve been also setting out squirrel traps for the resident ground squirrels around our facilities. Another part of my job has been to capture and relocate squirrels to areas where they are no longer a nuisance. So far we’ve captured and relocated four individuals.
Nothing super exciting went on this month, but it’s work that needs to be done.