I know to some people that probably sounds boring. Or uneventful. And it’s probably something not many people would volunteer to do in their lifetime. But this week Team Bug put up an exclosure fence next to the Rio Grande River from post to wire and it could not have been more interesting.
I am one of the few seasonal employees that is not from the valley. Furthermore I am the ONLY seasonal employee who has apparently never done the “ranch-hand” type of work that includes hammering in t-posts, stretching wire, operating a chain saw, and a few other activities that seemed to come second nature to my colleagues. I learned on Monday night that we would be assisting the Riparian team in their fight to save the willows of the Rio Grande, and by Tuesday morning I was getting the 411 on how to take a bundle of t-posts, barbed wire, wooden posts, metal clips, and a whole bunch of nails and turn them into a fence.
It started out slowly because there was a fair bit of instruction and safety precautions that needed to be relayed to me, but in no time I was helping Morgan hammer in t-posts along a thinly stretched lime green string. By the end of the project we had helped the guys dig holes for “H” braces, hammer support structures, stretch and staple barbed wire, and we mustn’t forget, barbecues bratwursts and hotdogs for an afterwork barbecue in celebration of our beautiful new fence.
You wouldn’t think so, but it was actually a great time! It was awesome being able to learn a new skill amongst my awesome coworkers and in such a beautiful place. I’ve really come to appreciate the beauty that the valley has to offer, and any opportunity to spend time outside, amidst the river, wetlands, mountains, or meadow is a great day in my book. On top of that, we hopefully helped to protect the willows near the riverside from future damage! Conservation, construction, cooking and celebration – it doesn’t get much better than that 🙂