As a kid I never spent a single moment awake indoors. I was always outside playing, working in the field, and spending as much time in the sun as possible. There was never a day that I was burned from the sun; instead I roasted like a hot dog. I always turned a golden brown. I suppose with age, I lost that awesomeness because for the first time ever I became a golden brown under the layer of fire truck red. I fried! I have never known the feeling of a true sunburn until now…boy does it sting!

Post hole digger, shovel, pick, hammer, nails, posts, and poles: I volunteered to spend my week building fence on the Rio Grande with Stefan, Seth, Portland, and the SCC crew. Given that I have lived on the ranch my whole life I know the ropes to building a sturdy fence. That is until we are next to a river and each hole dug is collapsed with rock and water. After a day of one step forward two steps back, Paul (our boss) decided he could help out by bringing an auger. That sure did help because by Wednesday we were nearly done with the whole three acres of land. Although our days always started early and ended really late, the payoff was amazing. To look at that fence and know that it was because of our hard work the willows could now grow made me feel fantastic. There were a lot of memories made along the way as well.

Wilson’s phalaropes and American Avocets have come in by the hundreds. Shorebird surveys have been a blast because every time we are out, the numbers continue to grow, as does the wonderful mud. The festival is coming together fairly well. We are still figuring out some donations and trying to rake the money in so we can pay for food and prizes but other than that all is set in stone. Until next time I will be bathing in Aloe and taking Advil in hopes to cure this red sting.

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