Marine Bio major. SCA intern with US Fish & Wildlife Service at Long Island National Wildlife Refuge. Weed Warrior in Training.
Attack of the Water Chestnut!
Oh the joys of water chestnut, an aquatic invasive! It floats on top of the water and once enough of them pop up they pretty much smother the aquatic community. No plants or fish under it can receive sunlight or proper nutrients!
But guess who hopped in a kayak and came to the rescue?! I did!
We went out on Mill Pond, which was covered pretty densely with the chestnut last year, to check on things and see if any plants had popped up. There were plants but not nearly as bad as it was the year before, which is great!
I did my job and pulled for my life, and picked up a damselfly larvae in the process!
Long Island Native Plant Initiative (LINPI)
Got to work at this really cool native plant sale. They had all types of awesome plants that are not only native to New York but grown specifically to tolerate the soils of New York and the areas that they’ll be planted in. The grasses (little bluestem, lovegrass, etc.) were planted in soils with certain salinities so that when hurricanes come through the grass isn’t affected by the salt spray! Pretty cool right?!
I got transplant grasses to smaller pots to sale to people and I got to weed some baby Pitch Pine pots.
They had great educational and outreach material from the Long Island Invasive Species Management Area (LIISMA). With live examples of invasive plants and lots of literature!
At the end of the day I got to take home this really cool Mimosa Pudica plant. It’s leaves close and drop when disturbed!
Oh the joys of living 10 minutes away from the ocean!
And living very close to a homemade ice cream shop!
Ahh Rainy Days!!
The rains been holding off for the past couple of weeks but it should be returning this week. I’m totally okay with this because it’s been scorching!
Anywho, last really rainy off day we spent the day playing Clue and then we made homemade calzones! The appearance of our work wasn’t Food Network worthy but it tasted pretty great. It’s pretty fun to make as well!
A little background behind the blog name:
I’m sure not too many people know about the plant names listed on my blog title. Heck, even I didn’t until I got here!
But those are names of some pretty common invasive plant species found here on LI. Mugwort, Purple Foxglove, Japanese Barberry and the one on the left in the picture is Black Swallow-wort.
My primary job is to map and treat (by pulling or cutting) the many of invasive plant species we find at the different refuges. So yes, technically I am weeding (hence the name of weed warrior!)
People probably think I’m crazy for driving 11 hours from Detroit to Long Island to weed but invasive plants are like the worst of the weeds! They can change the pH of soils and take up all of the area that native plants used to grow in and many of them aren’t very insect or animal friendly. So my job is quite important for the sustainability of the ecosystem!
This pic is a little old, but like I said I’m playing catch up!
We were at Sayville, another refuge on LI that’s a part of the complex, cleaning out some enclosures that were set up to grow the native plant Sandplain Gerardia. We ran into a little box turtle friend along the way.
Sidenote: we have on the full suits because ticks love Long Island and they especially love me
THE BEST WEEK OF MY LIFE!
So this here collage is just a glimpse of the events and people of literally one of the best weeks of my life! The SCA Career Discovery Internship Program Orientation Week, yet another mouthful.
I spent a week at Forrestel Horse Camp in Basom, NY with all of the interns and mentors of Region 5 of the Fish & Wildlife Service (Region 5 consists of 13 states from Virginia to Maine). While not kicking it at the camp we spent the rest of our time on Iriquois National Wildlife Refuge which was down the street from the camp.
During this week we learned more about Student Conservation Association, US Fish & Wildlife Service, career paths, heard stories from our mentors about their challenges and triumphs in their career, got a look inside what visitor services and biological services consists of on a NWR (National Wildllife Refuge), and created bonds that will last a lifetime.
Outside of time in the classroom I got to enjoy a canoeing trip, a trip to Niagara Falls, NY and bonfires and s’mores every night and tons of laughs and smiles!
My Slice of Heaven
Squassux Landing to be exact! It’s right by my house and I usually go and sit after my runs. I believe it’s a part of the Carmans River that runs through the refuge
So I live near a donkey, a mini horse, an alpaca farm & a peacock