The day has come. Today is the very last day that I will be working here. It seems like just a few days ago that I was working in the eighty degree weather and enjoying the wonderful air conditioning. We are now nearing the end of October and the snow has begun falling. Island Park has become a winter wonderland as the snow has covered the trees and the ground. I have quickly found out that I am not prepared for the snowy roads yet but soon I will be forced to be prepared because the snow will come for good. I still see the famous goat probably three times a week as I take water quality samples. Sadly I have gotten used to seeing the goat and while it is still very neat, I have gotten used to seeing him and it is just another day. When I got to the water sampling site I was wondering If I would even be able to see the very white goat with all of the snow in the background. When I first saw the goat I thought it was a polar bear cub and I wouldn’t be surprised if it actually was a polar bear. It is already very rare to have a mountain goat in Island Park so we might as well have a polar bear in Island Park too. It turns out that the goat isn’t quite as white as I thought it was. It looked almost yellow against the pure white background. It has been very nice to see all of the wildlife while I have been with the Henry’s Fork Foundation and that is something that I will miss very much.
With my added time with the HFF I am only working part time. I will be doing pretty much just the normal things I have always been doing like water quality, cleaning the Chester fish ladder, and walking the fenceline. There hasn’t been any calls lately about cows getting into the river which has been good. Instead of spending my time out in the field with the cattle I have spent time watching the Chester fish ladder camera and repairing some damaged waders. Last Thursday I was reading the paper and watching the camera when a big brown swam by the camera. I immediately took a screenshot of this big fish that swam by. I have never seen a fish that big swim by the camera. I usually see little fish around swim around that are about three inches long but I have never seen anything this big swim by.
With my days off I have also gotten the chance to go duck hunting a couple of times. Just this last Tuesday I had the chance to go out and have a great time with my dad. We each shot our limit of seven ducks. Included in these fourteen ducks were some very rare types of ducks for this area. The first duck of the day I had shot was a hooded merganser. The drake hooded mergansers look very pretty while the hen looks kind of plain. Unfortunately I had shot a very dark hen hooded merganser which was still exciting but it looked kind of gross and it didn’t taste the best either.
(Hen and Drake Hooded Merganser) (My Hen Hooded Merganser)
My dad was lucky enough and got a hen ringneck duck. Although the hen ringneck ducks aren’t quite as pretty as the drake as usual, it still looked really cool and we were happy to collect our rare prize.
(Drake and Hen Ringneck) (Our Hen Ringneck)
My time here at the Henry’s Fork Foundation has been absolutely wonderful. Although my time here has ended, my time outdoors will definitely not end anytime soon. Throughout all of the benefits of working here at the Foundation the best one was getting to be outdoors. I have always been an outdoorsy person but with this job I have been outdoors so much more. I have learned new places to fish and new places to explore. The many lakes and reservoirs in the area will start to freeze due to the cold weather which means ice fishing season is close. With this internship I have had the chance to meet a lot of people and I have enjoyed talking with them. With my outdoorsy lifestyle then I’m sure that I will see a lot of people that I have met out on the river and I look forward to talking with them again. The last sentence of my very first blog says, “I have a great love for things outdoors and I am grateful for this opportunity to go out on a daily basis and be surrounded by these things.” Several weeks later I am proud to say that my love for things outdoors has intensified greatly. Over the weeks I have also realized how lucky I am to be with the Henry’s Fork Foundation. I would just like to thank all of the wonderful people I have gotten to work with for giving me the many great memories and life experiences that I have received. I will never forget these past few months and I hope great things wait for me in the future.