Sunday, June 19, 2011

Intern Ellie: Starting Fires, Loons and Raspberry Honey

Wood up close
Let it be known that today, Sunday, June 12th I have built a fire outdoors with damp firewood. This is my first fire starting ever. It took more fire starters then probably acceptable for a boy scout but I needed a fire to dry off my long socks, the two pairs of shoes I brought and my warmest sweatshirt so I was persistent. The wood was sizzling, foaming and dripping water from the end of its logs for a long time and for quite a while the wood was just some coals and then all of a sudden it became a lasting fire and I kept running back to the car to get more things to dry off. It's so nice to have these articles of clothing back. When your outside everything somehow gets wet. I wanted to have a dog when I went camping but my loyal car which I call Siddhartha is just like one. It travels with me as a companion, it protects me, and smells like a wet dog. I don't know if that means I smell dog like but I try to keep it under control.
pink lady's slipper

This weekend was great even with the rainy days. I met an awesome nature interpreter in Branbury State Park, Rachelle, and she took me on a kayak trip to see the loons. They were nesting on an island. I got to see my first loon ever and the noise it made was amazing although you have to stay at a distance or else the loon can abandon there nest.

Both the male and female spend time on the nest. The name of the bird sounds like the noise they make which resonates within the lake. I have only been kayaking one other time and it was great. I hope to do it again this summer.

One fact I learned about Honey Suckle, an invasive species that the forest service is removing this summer, is that it's berry lack the nutritional benefits for the birds and although the birds feel full, they are not getting there proper nutrition which could lead to there decline in population.

Sunset at Lake St. Catherine State Park
At Lake St. Catherine State Park, I met a gentlemen who was telling me stories of his family who owned an entertainment center on the Lake where there was dancing and a bowling ally with a dock to go on rides with a wooden boat around the lake. I wish there were more classy social places like this around. It would be great to meet locals and have a local hang out and what better a place then on a lake.

Knowing Vermont was known for Cabot Cheese and Ben and Jerry's I knew eating here might be an issue being allergic to dairy protein (Casein and Whey). Luckily Vermont has amazing food co-ops and natural food selections where I can find food without dairy in it. My favorite food co-op find was a local honey with raspberry flavor and they have other flavors like lemon and blackberry which means I'll have to buy two of each next time I see it. Before I go home at some point I am definitely stocking up on Vermont natural food products.

-Ellie

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