Monitoring. A Humorous Poem by Jacob Robinson.

The year is a circle with no start and no end,
Dodecahedron rolls nine and September we shall begin.
Riparian plantings and oak woodlands stress out,
Aggravated wasps and poison oak won’t make me lose count.

Elderberries and associates surrounded by sheep fences,
Sub-plot sampling beats a full census.
Giant garter snake marshes are filled to the brim,
Now migrating waterfowl have somewhere to swim.

Marsh vegetation has grown and is ready to peak,
Record Relevé cover to round out the week.
The data for the year has all been collected,
Now hours of Excel that’s been grossly neglected.

Monitoring reports are close to be due,
Still waiting on the bosses final review.
Reports out the door without too much pain,
December is here and we’re waiting for rain.

Showers come down at all different stages,
The short straw spends Christmas checking staff gauges.
Vernal pools fill up and cold temperatures will set,
Time to dust off that invertebrate net.

Bent over all day and soaked through your clothes,
You don’t notice the smell cause you can’t feel your nose.
Dancing in the net is a familiar little guy,

Take a break from the pools to go out on the prowl,
Look for a breeding pair of burrowing owl.
The weather turns warm and water goes away,
Leaving a beautiful floristic display.

On hands and knees with your face to the ground,
Making sure every last species is recorded and found.
Exit hole surveys get you up on your feet,
Finding an elderberry beetle is ever so sweet.

The pools are drying up way too fast,
We don’t know how much longer the vegetation will last.
Vernal pools are all done we dust off our hands,
What about the seasonal wetlands.

Alas veg monitoring is wrapped up ever so soon,
Spring where did you go it’s the first week of June.
Swainson’s hawk and kit fox are up for round two,
Giant garter snake traps need to be moved.

Driving back and forth and all over town,
Don’t forget those beaver dams that need torn down.
The days get longer and hotter and hotter,
It’s all we can do to keep up with the water.

Waiting on Liberty for the perfect tide,
Nothing says fun like a delta boat ride.
Let’s go down the list and see what’s next to do,
Riparian plantings and oak woodlands, this can’t be true.

I looked at the calendar like a crystal ball,
I couldn’t believe it; we’re on the door steps of fall.

– By Jacob Robinson