Thursday, March 29, 2007

state park sightings

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.


pablo said...

But not mud roads, I trust.


Lynne said...

Not a bad walk at all! The paired eagles must have been awesome to see.

Tracy said...

Migrating tundra swans - I'm jealous! Right now our pond holds mallards and wood ducks, not the most exciting water birds around.

Deb said...

pablo- they did, in fact, turn out to be mud roads. It was raining.

lynne- it was a great walk. The eagle pair almost looked as if they were dancing. They made migration appear so effortless!

Tracy- I haven't seen a wood duck yet; they are beautiful!

Floridacracker said...

Hooray for variety in the work week. Sounds like a nice couple of days ... good idea to meet folks and keep options open.

Deb said...

FC- While I like my job now, I often envision myself in a position that considers more than fish and aquatic resources. And, I enjoyed being on the interview panel more than I ever thought I would. The position I would most enjoy, with Parks, is currently occupied by a very competent individual, but maybe she'll move up...My priority right now is staying here and being self sufficient.

MojoMan said...

I was stuck by your mention of 20 miles of logging railroad. We forget the magnitude of deforestation that happened in the Northeast and Midwest about a century ago. Given a chance, the forest will recover.