Monday, July 21, 2014

Last week the LEAF crew spent their time out in the wilds of northern New Hampshire.  With limited connectivity, Aura had to save up her posts for today. Enjoy!

Dirrrrrrty hands.

I SAW A MOOSE for the first time and it was not mounted on a wall, which was a awesome experience.

Going to pick more wall lettuce was better than the day before, just because there were not as many mosquitos and it was calming to hear the rain trickle down. After going to have lunch at the Moose Coffee Shop we went to identify plants, which was a good challenge. Then we traveled to Hurbert Swamp to do some trail maintenance. The horse flies were very annoying. It was a nice smooth day. 


The border!

Today I was in 2 places at once. I was at Canada and in New Hampshire, which was cool! We did trail maintenance. We also tried to see a beaver, but we had no luck in seeing one today (sad face). Today was also the day where we traveled 4 hours to get to Burlington,Vermont - yay, what a trip! We all slept on the way. 
Two feet, two countries.

July 18 - University of Vermont Campus Visit

Friday means it's almost Saturday! Woo! 

Going to UVM was a good experience and our guide was excellent. I really do not think UVM is the school for me, but I was a good tour and I learned many things about their ecological program and their green roof, which was very cool. I had caviar for the first time. It was gross, but the sushi was good. I can't get the feeling out of my mouth. Ewww!  After the visit we went off to a treat at Ben & Jerry's.


July 19 - Burlington, Vermont

Oh Saturday, with the smell of burned waffles to wake us up. 

We went to the farmers market, which was nothing like what I expected, but it was awesome either way. I bought little things here and there and got a henna tattoo. We visited Echo Lake Aquarium, which was fun. Seeing turtles and other creatures was amazing. We also the show Carrie the musical, which was good (even though the show was two hours long). We'll be going to dinner later.
~Aura Hernandez

Friday, July 18, 2014

lettuce, bugs, and ricotta

Driving to the Vickie Bunnell Preserve was very bumpy. Losing radio signal and listening to French people was funny just because we barely understood them.
When we got to the site we met Richard [Van de Poll], who showed us the way to save the native plants. At first it was okay and then I thought, what am I looking for again? After a while you got the hang of spotting the wall lettuce.
Dirty hands!

The bugs were just around the top of your head and or next to your ears, and that was very annoying. Then we pulled out the head net which kept the bugs off for a bit, but then I could not see well through the net. The worst thing was getting dirty under my finger nails which were growing and now they are short and dirty; wonderful.
Overall the collection of the wall lettuce was amazing - 7 buckets filled with just the plant.
Buckets and buckets of wall lettuce!
Now I'm thinking about dinner which was good. We made shells filled with ricotta with maraina sauce, salad and garlic bread. It was a nice good dinner with Wink, Leah and Cindi. And of course my other LEAF team members Sam, Nicole, and Sharil!
~Aura Hernandez

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Successful Day!

The ride to Potter Farm was blurred just because I fell asleep on the way there. When we arrived to the place it was just beautiful and it was full of different beautiful flowers like the Canadian Lily.
Rescuing a silver maple.
So then we ate lunch and went to work. The task of that day was to save the sliver maple trees from the virgin vine which, in cases, is was choking up the poor little trees. After 35 trees I think we managed to try to save 32 trees and sadly 2 died, but it's better than nothing.
After that amazing rescue we went to see the Connecticut River, which smelled terrible from the cow manure, but brought me back to my parents' home country when I was younger. I saw a fish jump out of the river which was cool. Then later that day we came to the Snowfield Cabin which was very clean and awesome with so many rooms and and an amazing view from the outside.
Hanging out in the Snowfield Cabin.
After a long day we went to go jump into the lake that was near by. I saw fishes in the lake while I was swimming and to me, the day ended successfully.
~Aura Hernandez

Monday, July 14, 2014

Let's See How It Goes...

I'm looking goooooooood!

The first week at LEAF was really fun, filled with activities we all enjoyed!
The first day we stayed at The Pines Bed & Breakfast with Mary Margaret, her husband and their three cats. We also got to meet some really outgoing nice people from The Nature Conservancy.
The second day we had an orientation sort of thing where we all gathered and went over some expectations along with introducing ourselves. That same day we went kayaking and canoeing! It was my first time canoeing and it was so much fun.
The third day was pretty tough at first for all of us because we did get stuck in thorn bushes and we also stepped in a lot of poison ivy, meaning we had to scrub ourselves with Technu a lot. The end of the day was exciting because we got to go to Hampton beach, had some pizza, and went out for some great ice cream.

All of us with TNC volunteer, Len Martin, at Manchester Cedar Swamp.
The fourth day we mad our way to the Manchester Cedar Swamp and worked on the swamp pathway.

Reading tree rings with Professor Tom Lee.
On Friday, (fifth day) we went on a UNH tour and met Professor Tom Lee, who gave us a brief tour of the geology department. That same day we went to go see the oysters, and learn about their importance in filtering the bay.
We ended the day off by going to Prescott Park to watch Shrek the Musical! It was honestly really funny, at least I found it funny, and overall a great treat for this week.
Yesterday (Saturday) we attended the Bioblitz but we arrived late :( I really wanted to the nature sketch / painting. We got to do some animal tracking though, and at night we had story time!
Now, (Sunday) we are at Loon Mountain Resort about to go zip lining. Let's see how it goes...
~Nicole Medina

Saturday, July 12, 2014

A New Perspective on New Hampshire's Seacoast

Meet this year's interns from The Nature Conservancy's Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future (LEAF) program!

They're all from Central Falls High School in Central Falls, RI: Aura Hernandez, Samantha Castrillon, Sharil Deleon and Nicole Medina.

In their first days, the interns are getting acquainted with the nature of New Hampshire. At the University of New Hampshire, they learned an overview of the state's forests from professor Tom Lee, also a trustee with the Conservancy's NH chapter.

They also went to Adams Point on Great Bay to learn about The Nature Conservancy's partnership for restoring oysters in Great Bay.

In the short video, the Conservancy's Restoration Coordinator Kara McKeton shows interns baby oysters (called spat), which volunteers are raising this summer around Great Bay.

In the coming days, follow along on this blog as the interns introduce themselves and discover the wilds of New Hampshire's lands and waters. They'll be fixing trails, removing invasive plants and exploring the great possibilities of working in nature!

Monday, August 5, 2013

don’t get too comfy with me gone

All of us "happy campers!"
So this is the last blog entry from me. Wow, how fast this month has gone by. I feel like just yesterday I walked through the door of the hostel in Conway. This month helped me meet new people. These people are Sara, Lindsay, Joanne, Wink, Jeff, Ray, Cara, Christa, Megan, Mark, James, Tom, and more. These people are amazing. They’re kind-hearted, sweet, and love what they do. They are people I want to stay in contact with. I’ll miss each and every person I’ve met.

They all have a special place in my heart. So does New Hampshire. This place brought me a lot of new memories, like today with walking along a swamp picking purple loosestrife. And yesterday with camping. I’ll definitely come back here to visit everyone; I can’t wait to see them again! I’ll really miss it here. The girls too, of course—Jen, Marquia, and Ariana are great people to work with. They’ve made this trip a blast. They’re hilarious people and sweet, too. Each of us worked together and were in sync.

Sara has also been amazing. She worked well with us and didn’t snap at us so I was happy, lol. This is my goodbye to you, New Hampshire. But don’t get too comfy with me gone. I”ll come back soon, and this time I’ll bring my family J

~Darlene Valenzuela

Friday, August 2, 2013

Didn't see it coming

I promise I'm a smiley person! Especially when it comes to botany.

In my past week I spent most of my time in the Lubberland Creek Preserve, which basically means in the mix of plants( multi flora rose), insects (mosquitos) and the rain! On the other hand, I loved it. In my time spent I've become in tuned with my interest in botany. Joanne and Lindsay have become my personal Botany 101 teachers and now I know how to differentiate many of the trees and invasive species in Lubberland Creek. My colleagues and I have spent time building character and muscle by searching for invasives, monitoring trail work in the rain and building water bars to keep water off trails.

What I wasn’t prepared for was a tick bite, which I really didn’t see coming. Literally didn’t see coming because it was on my back. I was pretty freaked out at first til I went the hospital and called Wink, who made everything better. In the end I was stoked that I was bitten because now I’m official. In what? I don’t really know but its official.
~Ariana Mitchell