We Chicks have had to do a lot of things that seemed okay on paper, iffy in the truck, and then darned scary when we got there. It’s not unusual to hear nervous laughter on occasion. Somehow, though, by the middle part of the task at hand we seem to find the beauty or wonder in it and we forget – totally – that we were terrified.

That’s the case every time at some sites. One, in particular, on a confidential site, is a “wetland” of epic depth. It is typically a nice day and we are headed there to do the monitoring of the vegetation. You see, we want our clients to succeed and it’s our job to go out and see what’s doing well and what’s not working. Then, we make recommendations based on what we see.

Nuphar lutea

This “wetland” (which is, in reality, a small lake) is rather deep for a wetland. I would say that it comes up to my chest and I am 5’8”. Our job is to walk the transects (lines across the “wetland”) and list tree heights and such and take a look at what plants are thriving.

Now, the water is fairly clear. The bottom is sandy. It’s easy to see the bottom once the organics settle. BUT – and this is a big BUT….there is a lot of floating vegetation and the presence of alligators is a definite!

Something happens….something odd. When you enter the water at first, there is almost always snickering of the nervous type. Somewhere in the middle of the “wetland”, when the water is about thigh high, you get nervous and wait up for the other person. Then, the magic happens.

You notice the nuphar or floating lilies, the minnows, and the cool twirly tendrils of the plants in the clear water. You see that some of the little trees are doing better than last time. You start to relax. You start to think how pretty the water is. You wonder if you can see under water because it’s so pretty.

You forget…you are no longer threatened by the unknown but you are impassioned by the known. You are engaged. You are fully immersed in the watery world and all that live in it. You are no longer afraid.


The Wetland

That’s when I know I am doing what I love – how do you know? I want to hear.