01 Aug (Getting) Into the Thick of It 🌳
And just like that, I completed 1 month as an intern Botanist for the National Forests of North Carolina! (I can now say I didn’t move to Asheville just 1 week ago! Haha.)
My first month was a challenging one, I cannot sugar-coat it. I was beaten up by the forest time and time again. Yet despite this, my passion still remains–bruised, but still kindled. I am still enamored by the nature around me and the forest and getting a chance to work here–to experience this outdoors. The knowledge that I am aiding in the conservation of the woods brings me immense inner joy. I do not want or mean to take any of that for granted.
It’s an interesting thing, when you get to live your dream. It’s not always what you think it’ll be. Life shows me this, time and time again- there is always more.
I am beginning to feel more at ease here. I am beginning to feel excited for the ways this experience will shape me, both personally and professionally.
Professionally, I am learning so much in the field.
I am learning how to ID plants I’ve never seen before, and how the Forest Service conducts their monitoring and surveying work in the field. I am experiencing new ecosystems and learning about the features that make each unique. There is definitely something to be said about learning ecosystems in a new place–I believe it’s not enough to just research them, rather one must experience them to gain a greater understanding of each of their unique features.
I have also been busy in the office, lately especially, updating the rare plant lists for some of the national forests here, and finally really starting my GIS training.
To summarize my activities, and give some context for the photos below, since my last blog post I have:
1.) Seen my 1st waterfall at the Pisgah National Forest!
2.) Explored more than 5 community forest types in one month!
3.) Discovered just how diverse the forests here in North Carolina are!
4.) Began to understand the machinations of the Forest Service and the various challenges certain departments come up against.
5.) Found blue fungus??
Anyways, that’s all for now! I look forward to what the next few months have in store for me and will continue to update y’all- until next time 🙂