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Now, on to the good stuff. My summer job as a “Beach Ambassador” (man, I love the hilarious grandiosity of that title; did I mention I mostly change trash and pick up litter?) is drawing to an end — about a month left — so I thought I’d share with you some of the highlights. I’d like to note that these pictures are pretty nature-heavy because that’s what I’m drawn to capturing. I mean, do you really want to see me in action telling the 500th resident in a row that their dog can’t be on the sand? No, me either. So these shots are pretty trail-heavy, because that’s my favorite location within the park I work at.
All pictures can be enlarged if you click on them. My apologies for the poor quality; they were all taken on my phone, and several of them when I was on the move.
Also a minor warning: there are a few creepy-crawlies in here, as well as one animal that (as far as I can tell) died from natural causes. Okay, let’s go!
Oh, I’m excited! And chewing gum!
Let’s ambassador that beach! And by beach, I mean sand imported near a little stretch of an unspectacular lake. Okay, those of you who live real a near beach can stop laughing now.
I got hired as a beach ambassador about one week before the worst flooding north Texas has seen in years. Um, I think there used to be a beach under there?
The view of my beach area from a dock at the boat ramp. Only recently reemerged from our heavy flooding this May.
A glimpse of the lake from the trails.
A moment of peace behind the baseball fields.
The wild, overgrown trails most recently accessible as the floodwaters recede. My favorite area by far!
A shot of the more populated trails right near the park when everything was still flooded. We passed the 100 year flood-plane this year!
And some of the cool, witchy trees exposed when the water receded.
You can see how high the water got by where the foliage all goes from brown to green. Who knows how many of these trees will make it?
And the gross but cool gunk left behind on all of the grassy fields. Lake algae or some such that stuck to the earth and then dried in the sun.
But not all was lost. There are still plenty of pretties that made it!
This horse apple/crab apple is HUGE! It’s the seed pod from a bois d’arc tree.
Don’t let that cute face fool you. Bunnies are rule breakers.
Look closely, right in the middle. See it?
Here it is zoomed in. A big, gorgeous bobcat!
Tons of lovely butterflies out there, this is a neat one.
And tons of these large birds, too. They’re hard to get pictures of because they take off as soon as we get near.
Speaking of birds, look at mama and what she was perched on!
And who’s that?!
It’s not a dog. It’s not a wolf. It’s…
We made eye contact and he whispered his secrets to me. He’s full of mischief and slinking.
This pretty little garter snake is SO GREEN that at first I though it was a plastic toy.
Speaking of GREEN, look at this tenacious little guy who came along for a ride.
Mr. Rat burrowing his head into the grass.
A long-tailed bird.
A family of fat little toads hiding under a piece of litter. :)
And two tiny little cuties! (The second was inside my hand.)
A frog, I think.
Sad, but beautiful. This owl was lying dead under a tree. I couldn’t see any injuries. I was amazed by how large it was, and how “fluffy” its feet.
Mischievous little mouse!
A different type of snake. He was hiding under a trash can.
This black widow gave me a fright! She was hanging out in one of the trash bags I pulled out to change. Luckily she was down deep in the shade. I wish I could’ve caught a shot of the marking on her back, but, well, I was only willing to stick my head so far into that can.
Speaking of spiders, I’m sorry to say that that brownish grey stuff all over those trees? It’s spider web. There are entire trees absolutely covered in it. I think it might be from water spiders when the lake was up all the way to the leaves.
To make up for the scares, here’s the tiniest, cutest little spider I’ve ever seen. :)
And two ridiculously smug ducks.
And just to round it out, here’s a shot of part of the farmers’ market I work on Saturdays.
And just to rub it in, here’s what I’m up to on rainy days: creating Styrofoam tombstones for the Halloween event. Best job ever!
I’m still having a blast and working hard, but I’m winding down the summer job and winding up the writing. I’d say my break was a huge success. I’m ready to be back! I’m sooooo dreaming about the upcoming fall and my next projects and all the new adventures that await. I hope you’ve all had a great summer too. What have I missed?