Thursday, July 19, 2007

Maintenance Day

It was maintenance day at the Audubon Center at the Francis Beidler Forest. The education director worked on the education curriculum while the sanctuary manager checked the condition of the aluminum canoes and painted the warning stripe on the front door ramp.

The canoes are used for guided tours on the trail that departs from Mallard Lake (downstream from the nature center) and travels over 1.5 miles into the old-growth cypress/tupelo swamp. The canoes usually fare well on the way upstream, but the 1.5 miles with the current and back to the landing is a different story. Any familiarity with the canoe and current that an inexperienced paddler may have gained on the way upstream seems useless once the canoe is travelling with the current. Force equals mass times acceleration (F=ma). The trees in the numerous turns along the trail show scars from the current's slight increase to the accleration portion of this physics problem. Those collisions, many bow-on, take their toll on the rib-like supports of the canoes. A welder with some additional aluminum will soon arrive to make the repairs.

Besides the recently-installed, hand-crafted, cypress-imbedded door, the ramp over the threshold received some new paint. To prevent any tripping injuries, the small incline into the nature center needed to be painted with a warning color. The pedestrian black-and-yellow striping simply wouldn't do. Instead, a bright yellow food chain was brushed onto the deck. Ask your child to explain the concept to you when you next visit! Direct all comments regarding arrows to the sanctuary manager.

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