4 of 5 Months

WoW….I can not believe that I am half way through the fourth month of five to complete with the SOS program. Recently I have been working with a family that contracts with the BLM and grows BLM SOS seed. The couple joined me in the field last week to complete Symphoricarpos rotundifolius (Mountain Snowberry) collection. The time I spent with them was valuable and interesting. They are exuberant about the SOS program and have many great research ideas, some of which include defining species group parameters. Cataloging which species are found in conjunction with one another so that restoration efforts can be maximized. It is refreshing to work with civilians that are passionate about improving the quality of public lands.
Recently I was speaking with another intern at our neighboring office and found myself saying that with every passing month I feel much more confident in my ability to complete the job successfully. I am able to identify seed ripeness much more easily and with confidence, I am able to collect more quickly efficiently and accurately, and my off-road driving skills have improved tremendously. The privilege of driving the government trucks is wonderful and has allowed me to see a lot more of the beautiful country out here then I would if I were traveling as a civilian. I am up to a total of 24 collections, when I package and send out the completed seed lots I feel a great sense of pride to see my completed work. The fall is just about in full swing here in Surprise Valley and many of the shrubs are nearing seed ripe. I should be busy with collections for a bit longer thankfully, and I hope that the weather does not turn too cold to fast.

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