To Laugh With or To Laugh At

What would your friends do if you fell into the water?  Portland, Angelica, and Deisy  are such good friends that instead of helping,  they just laugh. Tuesday started bright and early with a Southwestern Flycatcher survey. In order to receive accurate information it means getting stuck in willows, walking miles in waders, encountering mosquitoes, and even a few snakes. Portland is a gentlemen: he checks all water levels before we have to cross it. He realizes how short the rest of us are compared to his lengthy body. There were a few times when he walked out into the middle and realized it was impossible for the rest of us to make it through without being soaked. We were finally able to come to a point that was easy to cross, thanks to the fallen tree blocking the rapid waters from connecting one piece of the ditch to the other. Portland walked across easily and I was second to follow. However, I wasn’t able to walk so “easy”. I was able to maneuver my way across one branch but as I prepared to approach the second, a gush of water swept my legs right from under me. My mind reacted before my body did I took a gasp of air and stuttered, “Oh no”. Instead of trying to approach the branch again with my feet I instead straddled it like it was a horse ready to gallop. I kicked my other leg over the branch and proceeded to step onto a dry cliff. All of my so-called friends watched silently as I made each move. They all waited until I hit the shore when their laughter abruptly erupted. Angelica had as much water in her eyes as I did in my waders. Every time Portland looked at me he would laugh all over again. I was annoyed at first until I realized I made a complete fool out of myself and instead of trying to exit the water I continued on my way through it…because all that ran through my head was that I was already wet and there was nothing I could do to take it back. I splashed through the rest of the survey as each step I took sounded like a dying duck from all the water that squished between my toes. It was bound to happen eventually. I guess now I can believe everyone that told me, “You do not work for BLM unless you’ve gotten stuck or fallen in”. I am proud to officially be a BLM employee!

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