Monday, July 28, 2014

Reporting to you here, live from the post (week 4) - By: Cindyjo Keomani Boungnavath

Sabaidee everyone!

white-crowned sparrow? in walking stance
This week has been filled with a variety of activities including: walking through the visitor's center of Hatfield, running into a large group from Texas called Geoforce TX, saw the most windsurfers in one single moment of my entire life, caught a fisherman in the marine reserve (with the intervention of OSP), and also the office's (ODF&W) first BBQ together (the reason being to celebrate good weather!) 

bulb kelp washed ashore on Otter Crest
a beautiful composition of log wood on the beach of Washburne State Park
During my time at the visitor's center where my roommate and friend, Bridget, accompanied me, we quickly first went to the tidepool section where we tried identifying the species there. We then met a lovely gentleman by the name of Harry, whom was a volunteer there (and has been so for the past 9 years). We immediately became acquainted and started discussing my work with ODF&W. The discussion later then became one about the sea star wasting syndrome, both what initiated it and also its effects regarding the marine environment it plays a part of. After our time with Harry, we navigated through the rest of the exhibits offered and started talking about the role and differences between phytoplankton and zooplankton. It was a fun experience to talk about the producers of aquatic ecosystems and betting each other that the other knew the three types of zooplankton (foraminifers, copepods, and radiolarians), a bet in which I'd like to say I won. 

stone house on cliff at the Cape Perpetua Look-out 
As for the Geoforce TX group I ran into, I met the writer, Jay, of one of the guide books about Cape Perpetua there. He was one of the guides for the educational tour where the organization takes approximately 50 under-privileged Juniors in high school to various areas around the country that are highly valued in the nature realm. We talked quite a bit about the processes and creation of the different geological features of beaches (sea stacks, arches, shoreline formation, etc.) and also the backgrounds of each person. I always find it so fascinating just how easily it is to talk to people and enter into a conversation about whatever comes up. Each being possesses a loci in which we can ponder the infinite and I think it rad to be such a pertinent part in interacting with such complex individuals. 

wind-surfers at Road's End State Park in Lincoln City
Moving onto the wind surfers...what can I say except that it was an awesome sight to view with the variety of colors each surfer's kite was. It was spectacular to not only spectate but also think about the dynamics and forces in which allow such activity to work. I began to think about the factor that the ocean plays, the direction in which it travels, the distance from the shore each person was from, their posture, the different muscles that had to be engaged to be just barely efficient enough to withstand even a second on a board in the water with the unpredictability of the wind as your driver out there in the open. The courage, strength, and guts it must take! This one is definitely going on my list of things to do!

And for one of my field-days on the beach, I was at Otter Rock, again, when I spotted yet another fisherman in the reserve. In the single hour, there were close to eight boats within "iffy" distance of the marine reserve boundary. This day was also a phenomenal one for whale-watching, you could let your eyes wander out there over the ocean and before 8 seconds could pass, you'd be able to see blowholes spouting out water. There were nearly five boats floating too close for comfort near the whale, to which I began questioning its legality. It seemed as though they were no more than five feet away from the looks of my binocular-vision. Moreover, when I spotted a private vessel clearly within the reserve, I quickly took out my camera to document its proximity and distance from the buoys that marked the line. I was able to distinctly observe a fishing pole and the tug of the fisherman's arm on the line gave me enough evidence to make the call to dispatch. I gave the description of the boat, my location, and name, and without further questioning, I was sent an officer. He came, we talked, and a call was made. It was quite the day after all that was done.

**Note: if you'd like to see a picture of the boats within the reserve, check out Bridget's post (whom was of great help that day)

And lastly - the office BBQ was a hit! It was a last-minute toss up of ideas of what to bring and who was coming. In the end, we all had a great time, all feasting on a smorgasbord of candied salmon, grilled zucchini, lemon-curry chicken, hawaiian bread, an apricot-almond-feta cheese-garden salad, guac-salsa-and-bean-trio, arnold-palmer mix, potato salad, macaroni salad, and homemade brownies. It was a fun time to get out and about with the company of great coworkers and a lovely spread of food. It was a good week. 

Mahalo ~

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