It's off to the Ten Thousand Islands for me tomorrow. I kept thinking of how tired I am right now, and all the field work I have ahead of me. I have so much work to catch up on in the lab, and I've had day after day of field work. It's so easy to complain, but then it hits me. How many people get the chance to go to the Ten Thousand Islands to conduct smalltooth sawfish research? Not many. I have a pretty freaking cool job.
Sure, it pays peanuts. Yeah, I come home bone-tired, covered in fish scales, and smelling distinctly of a South Florida estuary. Then I look back on all the neat things I've done. I've held sea turtles. I've gotten up close and personal with a 6 foot spotted eagle ray. I've held a gator. I've gone electrofishing on the beautiful Peace River. I caught two sawfish for a National Geographic show last year. Then there's the little things - driving a boat across the harbor on a flat calm day...seeing a huge, gorgeous redfish...watching a storm front approach...watching a bald eagle dive to catch a fish...and just seeing the wonder and beauty of the natural world.
So...tomorrow I head off with my co-workers to hopefully capture and tag some endangered sawfish at the edge of the Everglades. I get to play my small part in the conservation of these really awesome animals. What could be better?