By Caroline Fazzio, Individual Placement Program
As my term enters its final weeks, I reflect on the past eleven months and realize it’s impossible to sum them up in a mere 600 words. The people, places, and moments I have experienced cannot be defined within my meager vernacular. So for this final post I simply offer photos capturing a small handful of those moments.
Crystal Springs Scientific & Natural Area (SNA). A day of descending slippery slopes to find a quintessential winter waterfall.
Grasses weathering the cold of Minnesota at Lost Valley Prairie SNA. All the DNR IPs got a tour of this wintry wonderland.
Prepping for field season starts early. Plant ID training (like the one set-up in the picture above) helps both DNR staff and partners prepare for the upcoming months of surveying.
As soon as ice-off, specialists are in the field armed with throw rakes and ready for surveying.
Many adventures were had at Tettegouche State Park during the first CCMI retreat of the year. Crazy hikes, roaring waterfalls, and steep gulches were all conquered.
When the water temperatures rose, the SCUBA gear came out. Dive surveys for zebra mussels started early and continued through the entire field season.
Making the most of the long days at the headwaters of the Mississippi in Itasca State Park.
More diving, more water, and more invasive species field adventures as summer hit the homestretch.
Starry stonewort was the topic of the summer’s end with multiple hand-pulling events (like the one pictured above) and a new infestation survey.
October was the month of conferences with multiple program meetings and the internationally-attended Upper Midwest Invasive Species Conference.
Despite the dropping temperatures, dropping leaves, and dropping daylight hours, it’s still a great time to get outside and enjoy the crisp autumn air.
A time for reflection and quiet contemplation with the gentle repose of the wilderness. Stop, breathe, take in the moment, and look forward with joy to the coming of the next season.
*Photos courtesy of the MN DNR.