As a boom of thunder rolled across the lake, the first day of the work week had come to an end. I had never yearned for a heavy rain so intensely before in my life as I had when I saw the first signs of the coming storm. For weeks previous to the deluge, the weather had been nothing but hot and the water levels had fallen drastically, as such portaging became a must as the marshes became parched for water and the grip of the cranberries grew tighter. Telemetry equipment, turtle traps, litres of water, food, paddles, life jackets and more, only added to the weight that made slogging the canoe across mudflats and over slabs of Canadian Shield even harder.
The rain finally came and my heart was lifted from the sphagnum bogs which the turtles call home. We made it to our cabin home and tore off our filthy, sweaty, stinky waders and changed into our warm dry clothes. Paper work isn’t usually so exciting, but with flashes of lightning kissing the dusk, cracks of thunder echoing from the heavens and rain muting all other sound, paper work just feels right. Hours passed and the storm seemed to be going strong. Paper work complete I went to sleep.
As the morning sun began to shine its yellow beams across the emerald green, forested horizon the anthem of birds, who act as my alarm, began to warm their vocal cords. Phoebes, robins, vireos, rose-breasted grosbeaks and more fill the air with their symphony performance just for me and the day seems promising.
I’ve had my cereal and my fruit, my lunch is packed and my semi-dry gear is once again begrudgingly adorned. My spirits are high with the hope that last night’s storm was enough to raise the water levels so much as to make navigating the mangrove-esk cranberry marshes even slightly more manageable. But the water levels had not risen and my hopes promptly sank. However the turtles need to be found and the work must be done so we trudge on, smiles on our faces and the knowledge in our hearts that we are working for a better future for our little shelled allies of the bog.