Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Portage Lake, Day 3

Heavy rain was in the forecast so we had to make alternative plans to accommodate the weather. It initially seemed as if it wouldn't materialize,

but by the time these 3 Loons came by, the rain had started pitting the water surface.

It came down in buckets while we were conducting our plant workshop under the town pavilion (about 4% of the town's population turned up - there are only 360 residents).

 We had to pause the instruction while the local train idled near the road crossing so the driver could pop into a diner to get breakfast!
The community response to our effort was especially heartwarming - they were so appreciative, and thankful, and laid on an evening meal for us at their community center - it was quite special to see a community come together like that. Another resident dashed off to the package store and delivered beer and wine to our cabins for us to enjoy after a day of surveying.
I was especially sad that we had to leave early to get back home to other commitments. Having the opportunity to survey a remote Maine lake with such dedicated and knowledgeable people has been the highlight of my plant patrolling experience. It was exciting being with a bunch of like-minded, passionate, amateur botanists that I describe as quirky. Dale thought non-neurotypical was the more appropriate term, to which one person responded, "no, we're all just effing nuts!"

I'm looking forward to next year's expedition already!

AND VERY IMPORTANTLY, we didn't come across any invasive aquatic plants!

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