In case you haven't heard, Minnesota has one of the best state park systems in the nation. I am fortunate to have four state parks within an hour's drive of home. The biggest one in the state is directly south of here, about twenty miles; in fact, the park entrance road is built along the same old logging railroad grade that runs through our property.
Today I had the opportunity to spend the day at that park, although unfortunately it was mostly indoors. I was asked to be on an interview panel for some entry-level park manager positions, so I spent the day intimidating young career aspirants. I was the only one on the panel that was not working directly for parks; they like to have someone from an outside discipline come in, and I think maybe they are required to have a non Caucasian or a female on the panel. So I've been asked to do this a couple of times. I enjoy it; it's interesting to see how different individuals react to the stressful interview process, and I like meeting natural resources folks outside of Fisheries. There may be a networking plan for career shift here. Or not. It doesn't hurt to meet people.
I had about 45 spare minutes at lunch time, during which I took a walk. I mean, no-brainer, the park has miles and miles of hiking trails and I'm going to sit indoors during lunch? I wandered down a road until I found a paved bike trail, then followed it for a while. I heard a phoebe, then heard, then saw a migrating flock of tundra swans. Then, after I had reluctantly turned around, I heard a screeching from above. I looked up to see four bald eagles, riding the thermals and leisurely migrating northward. Two of the eagles were obviously a pair; they were the ones calling to each other, and they followed each other closely in flight. I watched them until they disappeared from sight. Not a bad walk.
More interviews tomorrow. This time I will drive there straight from home, following some out of the way dirt roads. The best kind.