The Student Conservation Association's Online Community
Wednesday, October 18
I don't know what the highlight of your day was, but mine was surely spotting a tarantula in the wild! Tarantulas don't bother me one bit. I view them as completely separate from spiders. It was really neat seeing one in the wild for the first time! (Photo featured with tarantula in the center of the image; kind of difficult to see, the dark spot is its abdomen)
I woke up and made it to the VC. Karl, our maintenance manager, dropped by and we had a really fun conversation about several things, including hiking. He then left, and I got to work. What kinda work? ALTITUDE WORK. I have started to in depth research the "sky islands" of Arizona and write down the many biotic communities that thrive there. I got to read numerous interesting books, and took lots of notes. I did this until I nearly forgot it was lunchtime!
I arrived back, and continued researching. At a certain point, Andy said that he was going to rove -- walk the trails in uniform, providing assistance and information to any hikers that need it -- and that I could leave once he got back. I was planning to go and rove the Silver Spur Meadow Trail, an easy trail that begins right at the VC. I went out on my brief hike, and saw over a dozen deer during the entire hike. I stopped frequently to just observe and listen. Eventually, I saw something moving on the side of the trail and realized it was a tarantula -- a smaller one, maybe more young? This was very intriguing to watch. I saw some MASSIVE fire ant mounds which I made sure to avoid.
I made it back, surprisingly exhausted, as the VC was closing. I kinda lounged the rest of the day. Tomorrow Andy and I are headed to Fort Bowie to help Amy (primary interp ranger there) with a school group. We will get to hike into the park again!