First Week of My New Job

Technical title: “Biological Science Technician”
Respectable title: “Owl Researcher”
Common title: “Hooter”
Location: Quincy USFS

Proper Job description: Work four 12-hour shifts per week. The work day begins at 17h00 and ends around 05h00, allowing the technician to see both sunset and sunrise in a single work day. A huge benefit to this kind of work. Technician must be capable of driving on mountainous roads in the area, using a compass, GPS, and topographical maps.

Improper Job description: you must be absolutely batty to do this work.

First week checklist:
– Observe spotted owl family of four from close proximity. Check
– Drink lots of coffee. Check.
– Observe family of 4 mountain lions from the safety and comfort of my truck. Check.
– Hike over mountains, cliffs, rocks and trees. NOT singing sound of music. Check.
– Take a 2 mile hike-out, call for owls, start packing up and notice the lovely eye shine and outline of a cat. Check.
– Proceed to drop anything unnecessary to the panic run. Check.
– Point radio at lurking eyes and turn squelch on high while making as much noise as possible from a 5’3″ woman. Check.
– Creep slowly away, overcoming every natural instinct to run. No time for checking anything.
– Arrive at truck.
– Pray (maybe should have done this earlier) thanks to the Maker of me and mountain trylions.

It’s true folks. There have been a number of scary moments in my life, but this definitely ranked pretty high up there. And so I end the first week of my new profession. My, oh my, what will the next 15 weeks bring….

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6 thoughts on “First Week of My New Job

  1. Of course you are a spotted owl researcher who sometimes gets attacked by mountain lions. Of course you are. You are the most interesting person I’ve ever known. And I’ve known some people, let me tell you.

  2. whooo nelly! I was going to call you and ask how your first week went et all but, aside from sounding like you got the living daylights scared out of you, it sounds like it went pretty well. How’s life in the Kroeker house?-E

  3. This is way cool! When I retired off the Plumas the Pacific Southwest Experiment Station was just setting up a big research project initiated by the QLG project. I believe their focus was on the Mt Hough and Almanor Districts. Is that where you are working? Elise and I have called a few nights. Exciting! I want to hear more. With your voice you ought to be calling them in unaided soon. Phil Tuma

  4. That is so awesome . . . in an “I’m glad I’m sitting on the couch in my living room reading this” sort of way. I’m jealous-waitressing is so incredibly tame in comparison: only the occasional drunk or senile old guy.-S

  5. Thanks for all the support guys! Les, you are wonderful. One of the most all-around wonderful people I’ve ever known. And I’ve known some people….E – I miss you. I tried to call you today and didn’t get through. You should set up your voicemail.Phil- great to see you on here again! It is definitely fun, and I practice my hoots everday. I have the SPOW down, and the Flemmulated, GGOW, and GHOW. Working on the rest!Serena dear, waitressing is a great experience! And much safer, and skills with drunk and senile men is an absolute must in this world, so keep on!!Love you all.

  6. Lucky! How is Quincy doing with the fires? Almanor District is all goofed up…. nobody could leave the station Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning. Since I’m on Trail Crew and 99% of the trails are closed right now, my week has been pretty boring. I’ve mainly been helping the rec guys install recycling containers and what not. No exciting adventures…. I did get to evict campers though! Be careful out there, two of our bird people are MIA and haven’t reported back in over 48 hours now. Hope our paths cross soon!-Joe

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