Wednesday, June 28, 2017

On fathers day Dad asked me to take some photos of the mid-west area I'm working in, so I decided to put together a post on a day of mist netting in the mid-west.

The day starts with my travel coffee and tea bar. A hot bottle of tea goes with me netting most nights.


I also have a small electric grill and boot dryer that get daily workouts.


From there I move to my portable computer station to reply to emails that appeared in the morning while I was sleeping. The speaker plays white noise all "night" so I can sleep through normal people waking up and maids working in the halls.


I generally do a meal out daily. So off to town I/we go!


On this project we are staying in a small college town, so it has a fairly nice main street with good restaurants. In this case there is a sports bar with excellent pounded pork tenderloin (grilled or breaded and fried) and a good Thai restaurant right next to each other. I pretty much alternate between them.


The work day mostly starts in a hotel parking lot with the truck. This project involves a little UTV use, though for the majority of this project I left it at a dealer for an oil change.


On the drive to the sites we see all kinds of fun mid-western character like this 30' diameter smiley face on a pond dam.

\

We are hunting for streams and corridors that bats travel, the overall habitat looks like....



One of the more notable features of the landscape is large, EXTENSIVE berm and dyke systems in the a lot of the fields. The patterns in the field below are not just where thee tractors harvested, but are 6-10' tall earthen dams. They seem to be designed to slow/capture storm water and direct it to collection systems that I think pipe it to the creeks. I'm assuming these replace the old tile drainage systems used to keep fields dry.


They are hard to see in photos, but there are miles and miles and miles. Probably tens of thousands of miles of these dykes in this area.



Series of three dykes in a fallow field.




Drainage/tile field capture pipe topper. I find it amazing the amount of soil moved to build these things. Not sure if they clear the topsoil, dig and build out of clay, then recover with topsoil, or if it's all topsoil.



Eventually we stop rubber necking at the water/erosion control features and get back on the path to work! We pull into a corner of the field we need to cross to get to our net site in the woods somewhere in the back 40.



Then we gear up (bat man just had a utility belt, I have a whole vest).... 


and march or ride through the poison ivy (yes all the leaves mixed into the grass are poison ivy).


We zoom or trudge looking for places to set nets. Like this piece of woods.


Hmmm..... That's a steep poison ivy covered bank leading down to......


A totally non nettable trench.


So we pick some friends off and continue.


Looks maybe promising. I can kinda see a creek down there. More fun poison ivy.


Yep a creek we can net!


Finished with that one....


Then we zoom to find other spots. The coyotes really seem to like the area. More night time yipping and howling than I've heard on any other project.


Holy smokes that's a cliff down to the creek. And more poison ivy. A quick public service announcement about poison ivy. The oils will go through thin field pants if the pants get wet after poison ivy exposure. 


A deer path down to the creek. Don't slip!


A typical side ditch leading into the main creek. Lots of fine, super slick sludge like soils.


Another net set ready to go. Notice massive erosion. It's everywhere. Soil headed to the gulf.


Settled in for the evening. Just add bats. 


Not a bat, but caught a cute vole (probably red backed). That was swimming the creek. Lots of raccoons, possums, muskrats


Random wildlife is pretty common, but sometimes a fun one shows up, like this beaver! It got kinda upset (after I stepped on it while it was playing hide and seek with me) and did a couple tail smacks and a sprint across the beach my tech was sitting on to get to deeper water.



A short video one of my techs made to show water depth on a net check.


video

I think this post needs something to wrap it all up. Maybe a big brow bat!