Texas,  Thoughts

Of Sycamores and Endings

Yesterday Chris found a gigantic leaf in the woods that turned out to be an American Sycamore. It is almost 18″ in width and the little Chris has found on the internet it seems that the largest so far is only 15.5″. Perhaps this is a record? If anyone out there can find more information, please let me know!

Our time in Sabine National Forest is up. I think I’ve walked over almost every inch of this forest from Patroon to Shelbyville. It has been an awesome experience, walking this forest. When we first arrived it was warm and fall was just beginning. The leaves were turning red and yellow and now they are almost bare and only the beech trees have held most of the color with a few oaks thrown in for good measure. I’ve been very surprised at how rolling east Texas is; there are some wonderful sloping forests that lead to small creeks and ravines.

I wish I’d learned more of my plants, though I did pick up some new ones, I also learned a lot about other animals. Ever since we’d arrived in the forest I kept finding small tan, fuzzy things on oak leaves. After showing one of my co-workers who’d done a lot of work in the area and he didn’t know the answer I finally took it to Google and learned about wooly oak galls. I’d known about galls in trees, but leaves? Verrrry interesting.

I’ve seen several deer, snakes, bald eagles, red cockaded woodpeckers, flushed out two separate woodcocks (a new bird for me, but they reminded me of grouse), rabbits, and too many icky spiders to name. Chris has run into several areas that showed signs of beavers and another coworker saw river otters. There is a lot more out in the forest than one might presume!

So, the job is done and we’re returning home for a bit to spend Christmas with the family. I’m excited to see Zoe open presents for Christmas! I’ve been a bit downtrodden on real jobs lately. I’ve had five interviews over the past several months and none have turned up anything and most recently received a rejection email to an environmental education manager position that I would have loved. It just bums me out to not even get a chance at an interview, especially for jobs that I am qualified for (not necessarily the education one). The good thing is that there are some projects coming up with the company we are working for but not until March at the earliest. Until then, don’t think that we don’t have something up our sleeves!

Tomorrow we’ll go home, see family and hopefully some friends, and I plan on eating a lot of the Christmas candy that my mom made. I’m wondering if peanut butter balls were on her agenda?????????


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