Sense of Acomplishment

For the past month, many of us in the Shoshone, ID field office have been busy and working hard to do Sage Grouse Habitat Assessments.  Yesterday, my partner and I finished the last one.  This inventory and analysis project has been not only a fantastic  learning experience in the technical aspect of the project, but has given me the opportunity to work in numerous areas that probably few people get to see up close.  Through all of this, I have been on mountain ridges overlooking huge lava flows that blanket the valley below to right down in the lava itself.  Working in such a vast area and in so many different little ecotypes has allowed me to see such a wide variety of plant life.  I am truly amazed at the amount of diversity that the high plains deserts have to offer.  I came from a place in Minnesota that was on the border of the tall grass prairie and the deciduous forests.  The plant life there is truly remarkable.  Coming to the desert I had the mindset that there was not going to be any diversity in the plant life, if any forbes at all.  I had a picture of sagebrush and dry earth blanketing the landscape, with a few stragglers clinging on to life in the slim hope of rain.  To my joyful surprise, there is an abundance of forb diversity and an entire new set of flora for me to learn and experience.  The desert has truly shown me some of the most stunning flowers that I have seen to date.  I look forward to the coming months, with new projects to do, new country to see and new wonders to be exposed to.  The summer just gets better and better.

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