Portland and I have been doing our macroinvertebrate surveys for the last few weeks. This means that we have been trudging through the mud, which is above my knees in some ponds, day after day. Of course performing these surveys takes a lot of energy, a lot of hard work, but most of all they require maintaining a good attitude throughout the day. Port and I always find a way to make a long, rough day enjoyable, but this week was amazing!
It all started last season. When I started working with the BLM we searched high and low for waders that will fit my tiny feet (I wear a size 3 1/2 in youth). We found a pair that fit me great, but mid-season they ripped! We looked everywhere and still to this day have not found hip-high, contrasting ankle waders in my size. I settled for a pair of hip-high waders that do not have a contrasting ankle, but this made it extremely hard to walk through the deep, thick, stinky mud. When Portland and I got to Pond #046 this week I took my first step into the mud and sank all the way to my knees! My boots were 100% stuck in the mud and I had no choice but to step out of them! The mud was thick and felt awful between my toes! I thought Portland was going to fall into the pond from laughing at me so hard. Even though the mud felt nasty on my feet there was nothing unsafe about being bare foot in the pond, so I did what I had to do to get the job done. After our first point Portland did not want me to feel bad about being covered from head to toe in mud, so he took his boots off too! Now that is a great friend. The ride back to the office that evening was very smelly and messy to say the least!