Friday, September 23, 2016

Island Hop 2016 ~ Friday Night

Back on The Rock after Island Hop 2015 was cancelled and I couldn't make the Spring Work Weekend happen this year.

Traffic and road construction was brutal on the drive up ~ added a solid 40-minutes to the trip, then there was virtually no parking at Miller's Ferry.  Busy weekend, I'm guessing... 

Anyhow ~ lot of familiar faces.  As always, I can't remember anyone's names, because, you know, I'm just awful at remembering names.

Tomorrow's task is going to be chopping wood and moving it from South Bass Island to Gibraltar for the fire ring.

I haven't seen it yet, but I'm guessing this is going to be the woodpile we'll be working...

We'll see how it goes.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Saturday Work Day (2014) - Post 23

Another day of volunteering at Stone is resigned to the pages of history.  Like I posted yesterday, back at the LEINWC for a whole bunch of work.  

I teamed up with former Stone Lab Director Ed Herdendorf and tackled the task of tightening up a bunch of bolts on the picnic tables and benches before we helped to dig out & level off a space to place some pavers for a display to rest on.  Some minor cleaning up in the yard before heading inside to help with the reorganization of the storage room and cleaning the displays.

Resting on one of the displays was one of my favorite natural science books ~ Ohio's Natural Heritage.  I was extolling the virtues of said book and Dr. Herdendorf said to turn to the chapter on the lakes and islands... One of the authors was Charles E. Herdendorf.  Me: "Wait, you!?!  You go by your middle name then?"  I told him that I'll have to bring my copy for him to autograph next time :-)

Back on The Rock, we had a typical Saturday evening - wine/cheese, dinner (regular lasagna, not just veggie!), a talk on Jay Cooke ~ Financier for the Union in The US Civil War and now, winding down with some reading.

A group went across the bay to PIB.  But you, my dear readers, know I am so not interested in that.  So, I read!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Been a Whole Year? (Island Hop 2014) - Post 22

It's hard to believe that it's been a whole year...  The Spring cleanup was canceled due to how late the ice was hanging around in the Lake & Bay; so yeah, first time back in 12 months.

Things seemed, at first glance during our pizza dinner, very much the same as usual.  (Still have wi-fi in the dorms ¡YAY! ~ hey, that was a big thing for me last year.  Didn't have to trek up to the computer lab at 0300 to post these).

More and more of the volunteers are starting to look familiar to me (though I'm still terrible with names), as I've been doing this for a few years now.  (Going through the blog, it looks like 2012 was the first time back after Fishing in 2009.)

(I'm still *REALLY* big on parenthetical statements...)

Signed up for helping out at the Lake Erie Islands Nature & Wildlife Center again this year ~ saw Jackie's name as one of the group leaders, so I thought it would be nice to stop over and see her again.  Plus, It's kind of a trend now ~ 2 trips in a row at the Lighthouse now 2 at the LEICWC, so I can do something different next time!

The water was pretty rough, but not the worst I've dealt with.  Big cold front coming in, temps dropping from near 80 today to a high of 51 Saturday with some high winds.  Good stuff!

Otherwise, the schedule looks to be the same as previous years.  There's definitely something to be said for routine!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Wrapping Up - Post 21

Back home and watching the rain fall means that it's time for the final post of the work weekend.

The rain was a drag and made everything feel so bloody damp - but, there was no freezing through the night, so it was easily survived :-)

Because of the rain, we didn't get to do the Tweet & Treats hike around Gibraltar - so a few of the workers set up in the Research Building.  Downstairs in the ichthyology lab, we dissected a few perch (including plucking out their little hearts and placing them on our wrists to watch them continue to beat in time with our own pulses - weirdness) after hearing Chelsea give the brief class lecture they usually do as an outreach activity.

Upstairs in the lecture hall, we played with some snakes and viewed a handful of other local critters (salamanders & turtles) before hopping on the Gibraltar III and departing for the places we call home.

As always, it was a nice weekend spent on the Lake outside of tourist season while giving a little time to help out and support all that Stone Lab does for so many stakeholders. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Saturday Work Day (2013) - Post 20

... And it rained all day ... 

Given that I was at the Lighthouse the last 2 times I was here (and the 2nd undid much of the work we did the 1st time), I couldn't bring myself to sign up for anything at that location.  

Today, 3 of us and our group leader Chelsea went to help out at the Lake Erie Islands Nature & Wildlife Center over on South Bass Island, where - lo and behold - the project manager was Jackie ~ my group leader from the 2012 Island Hop Lighthouse / Butterfly Tagging adventure (photo page HERE).  Small community up here...

We helped out by pulling weeds and invasive plants from the Monarch Waystation and another garden bed (that will be transformed into a vegetable garden next year).  After that, we were going to stain the deck, but the moisture / rain killed that plan - so we turned our attention to the inside where we cleaned all the glass cases for the stuffed critters, sills around displays and all the shelves where they keep literature / sale items.  There were a few other little things like vacuuming, emptying dehumidifier containers and sweeping out the restroom, nothing terribly challenging - just time consuming and helpful to the LEINWC to have a group of volunteers to hammer through right quick.

Back on The Rock - shower, wine & cheese reception, group photo, dinner, opportunities to explore the island / souvenir shop (nice shirt this year, again!) and hear Jeff talk about the projects Stone Lab has completed over the past year or so.

Now, most of my fellows are watching some football game - so, I'm enjoying the peace and quiet to write this up, relax and do a bit of reading before drifting into a blissful slumber.

G'night, kittens :-)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Island Hop 2013 - Post 19

Back on The Rock for another volunteer work weekend!

Unfortunately, while I recognize faces, I have a hard time with names.  Once we settled in for our pizza dinner and introductions, I recognized the dudes I roomed with (and froze with) in Spring - maybe I'll tell that story later - as well as the dudes I roomed with for the 2012 Island Hop.

Matt & Jeff are still here.  The buildings are still here and standing (though with a fair list of updates - INCLUDING WIFI IN THE DORMS!).

What else?  I know I never posted photos from Spring, sorry.  That weekend was really cold and miserable I couldn't muster the energy to write another post.  Hopefully, this weekend will be a little better.

I signed up for landscaping at the South Bass Island Nature and Wildlife Center tomorrow, so it'll be nice to see somewhere new and different.  Plus - Nature!  So, yeah... Win.

This weekend's schedule seems to be in line with the others - so no surprises there.  If you're curious what the weekend looks like, the Island Hop overview is HERE.  According to the schedule, we're staring with coffee at 0700 and bouncing off Gibraltar at 0900 and back by 1700 for a bit of Wine (from the Lake Erie Region, of course) and cheese before dinner.  An evening program follows at 1900 and then a bit of time for whatever (reading!).

Sunday will include the Tweets & Treats (birds & edible plants) tour of Gibraltar before departing and heading back to the places from whence we came.  And those are the highlights of the weekend as it stands to unfold.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Spring 2013 Return - Post 18

Tomorrow, I'll be embarking on the return trip to The Rock for another Work Weekend.  I'm a little apprehensive on this one though - I have no idea what the weather is going to be doing up there.  Today it was 75F.  Tomorrow is supposed to be almost 60F with rain in the morning followed by a high of 45F & sunny Saturday while we'll be working.  O_o

Yeah... I thought that islands were supposed to maintains relatively consistent temperatures due to the thermodynamics related to being surrounded by water.  Apparently someone missed a memo on that somewhere along the line.

As I did with the last work weekend in Autumn - I'll be posting regularly while on the Island in the hopes of shedding a little more insight on what life is like at Stone for an alum that likes to help out and volunteer when possible.