Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Dow Is Up


No, not that Dow the financial thing but DOW, Division of Wildlife (Colorado that is). In looking for interesting volunteer opportunities I stumbled upon the Colorado Division of Wildlife volunteer website. It looked like some of their opportunities could be right up my alley so I downloaded an application. The process for being accepted is a little more rigorous than many volunteer opportunities. Not only is the application more detailed but you also have to attend an orientation or in lieu of that, submit a “self-quiz” on the volunteers handbook. I did the self-quiz and submitted it with an application several weeks ago.

Last week I got an email from the Volunteer Coordinator for DOW asking if I would be interested in helping them with their annual winter waterfowl count. I’m a college graduate and can count so I said “Sure, why not".  So, I am now an official volunteer and get all the privileges that go with a lofty position like that. My first privilege will be to get up well before dawn on Tuesday morning and drive to a small lake in the middle of one of the local golf courses. For about three hours I’ll count Canadian geese2Geese, mallards, coots, snow geese, swans and any other web footed friends I en-count-er. I’m an early riser anyway so I don’t mind the hours and it sounds pretty interesting. There are quite a few opportunities throughout the year so I plan to expand my horizons in 2010. Click here to see a list of just the winter opportunities for volunteers. 

Yesterday, I decided to drive over to the golf course to check things out before I tried to get there in the dark. The golf course is about 20 minutes from my house and is pretty easy to get to so I shouldn’t have a problem come Tuesday. I didn’t cheat and start counting then but there were plenty of Canadian Geese to count. I’m guessing there were 500-600 in the small area around the lake…I’ll let you know more accurately after Tuesday. Strangely I didn’t see any other birds or waterfowl of any type except one lone magpie that flew off as soon as I got near the tree he was perched in.geese1

It looks like I will be threading the weather needle for this project. The low temps are to be in the teens until Wednesday and then drop to 0 with highs right around 20 degrees! In either case it will be COLD and I’ll need to bundle up.

On the 9th of January, I’ll drive down to Colorado Springs to attend an orientation that will describe some of the other DOW opportunities in the Southeast part of the state that will be available later in the year. Looks like the DOW is up…on my activity list.

Thanks for visiting.


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