After Hurricane Isabel a few years ago, this land was so completely flooded that it has been swampland ever since. But for some reason, this summer, the water has slowly dried up, and now it's like a wasteland. The beavers killed all the trees in the wetlands except for the pine trees, and the water killed those, so there are tons of dead trees, standing like white skeletons, with egrets and herons nesting in them, and the ground is covered with cattails and dead lily pads. There are tons of deer and beaver tracks, and we found four beaver lodges today, but they looked as if they've been abandoned for wetter territories.
The earth is acres and acres of dried peat, and you can tell that if it stays dry, it's going to burst into life, just by its nature. The parts that have been dry the longest are covered thickly with this leafy groundcover, and there are little teeny magnolias spurting up here and there.
My job was to check the trees to see what was alive, to check for beavers (which we didn't see), and to find the main waterway so we can clear it to put in a bath before the undergrowth gets too thick to keep the land navigable. Unfortunately, it looks like part of the main waterway was already taken over, so we're going to have to pull stuff up with the tractor. It was really pretty cool because you could see a part of the natural life cycle of a piece of land.
The weather was hot and insanely muggy, and we have to wear thick protective layers and disgustingly DEET-y insect repellent, so I felt like I was melting the whole time. On the other hand, I actually have color for once n my life; I have loads of freckles from being outside most days.
Then we went to the commissary at Fort Lee to buy groceries. My cousin, Vickey, is one of those people who buys like a million of everything and doesn't check what she needs before she leaves the house. Buying groceries took three and a half hours; it was kind of insane. Once we got back, the entire fridge had to be cleaned out because there was no room for the food and there was stuff that, uh, expired in January.
Anyway, the lower 48 was really neat. I want to post about my cousins and their puppies but I think that needs to wait; this is getting long already.