Our second week of work here at the Grand Canyon has come to a close. Its been a busy week, and has involved a variety of activities.
Monday started with moving a pile of heavy Pinyon pine logs. We moved these to a future planting site to act as natural mulch. The logs were quite heavy, but with good communication and awareness of safety we succesfully moved them all. For the rest of the day we continued repairing fencing around several sites that have already been planted. The vagaries of wind, weather and time have caused many fences to fall over or lose some of the zip ties that hold them in place. Without these fences, deer and elk would ravage our small plants. The rythmic pounding of stakes, the satisfying clicks of zip ties ratcheting into place, and the occasional question from a confused tourist filled the rest of the day.
On tuesday we were fortunate enough to sit in on a geology training. This was more for people working in interpretation, but was immensely useful for our crew and answered the bulk of our questions about the geologic wonder that we work near everyday. Carl Bohman, an expert on the canyon's geology, gave a dynamic talk that lasted all day. We learned the names and history of each layer of the canyon, as well as theories as to why and how the Colorado river cut through them.
On wednesday we began mantaining planting site P1. In the afternoon we did a tour of the museum collections, which is right across from the vegetation office where we work. During the tour we were able to see artifacts from many layers of the canyon's history, such as a giant sloth skull, 12,000 year old arrowheads, and the personal belongings of the first pioneers and miners.
On thursday we built berms at P1. This is so that when we water in the summer, the water will be retained around the plants. This is tiring work, as the soil is hard and full of rocks. We made good progress nonetheless. Throughout the day the wind blew hard, and clouds raced across the sky. Just before we finished for the day, the first drops of rain began to fall. On friday we continued building berms as snow dusted the ground around us and obscured the view of the canyon. We are relieved that the weekend has arrived as the snow piles higher!