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Can't wait to have Jill closer!!!!  

Turtle Mis-identification

Well... I learned something today... So in my last post I had put up a picture of this turtle... and I said it was a small snapping turtle... but I was wrong! 

One of my students is doing a research project on turtles and had heard that I have a lot of pictures of turtles and asked me to email some to her, which I did.  Then we were looking at a book she had about Maine critters and got to the turtle section... and I did not realize there were so many kinds of turtles in Maine... I thought there were snapping turtles and painted turtles... I was wrong... 

This turtle, I have learned... is a musk turtle also known as a stinkpot turtle.  Apparently when disturbed this guy can secrete a fluid that stinks a lot... and I am very thankful that he did not let loose on me!  

When I saw this guy the other day I looked at its tail... and noticed it was very different from the huge snapping turtle I had seen last time I was there... but thought immaturity was the reason.  But it is a sure sign that this is not a snapping turtle... That being said... these turtles are aggressive, apparently... it did not seem that way to me, but did stand its ground by not jumping into the water no matter how close I got... and apparently their necks are very long so even picking it up from behind does not protect you from getting a turtle bite.  (Good to know!)  I also thought the yellow on its face was unique... and now  I know!  

I also learned today, which I am very excited about, that there are sea turtles off the Maine coast! I LOVE sea turtles.. they are my favorite!  (But am not thinking I will see them while kayaking!)  


And a little job update.

So... Friday I took the principal from the NH job up on his offer... He had told me that if I was applying for jobs in the area to let him know and he would put in a good word for me.  So... I asked him if he would do so for another job in NH.  He responded and said he knew the person whose position I would be applying for and would do some research... and later let me know that I should apply, but know that they already have a candidate in mind... someone who works there, which happens.  But encouraged me to apply for a high school dean position within that same district... (the one I was asking them to say a word for me on my behalf, not the district where I interviewed.) Then later in the day, the man who would have been my co-assistant principal called me.  He wanted to tell me how impressed he was with me in the interviews, which was nice.  He also wanted to tell me about a job as an elementary school assistant principal in a town near there... and said he had already called the principal there and had given them my name, even though I have not applied there.  Elementary? Hmm... food for thought...

I am impressed that they are doing that for me.  I feel really good about it, feel like they were really impressed or else they would not be going above and beyond.  They are so busy and for them to take time to help me out is amazing.

So... we'll see what happens... :-)

And... MORE kayaking

I paddled in two spots today... what a BEAUTIFUL day!  I lathered up with sunscreen early this morning and again between trips but still managed to get quite a tan today.  (Yes, that's tan, not burn!)  

The first spot is a bog that is in a pretty remote place.  It's a place my friends and I have wanted to go for a while, but haven't been able to make it happen.  I had heard that if you want to kayak here you should go in the spring because as summer progresses the water levels get really low and accessibility is problematic.  I am so glad we went!  

 Yes that's a MOOSE! I was sooooooooooooooo excited to see him.  We came around a corner and I spotted him way off in the distance.  And told my friends.  They didn't believe me at first, just seeing a dark spot, but then the moose moved and they were all so excited.  None of them have seen a moose while in a kayak before.  Unfortunately this guy was a  bit shy.  To be honest I think that he got nervous because there were five of us and we were spread out all watching him.  Moose have bad eyesight and probably didn't know what was coming at him and thought it was bigger then him.  I was soo excited too.  I have never seen a moose down here when I have been kayaking.  I see them up north... and this means... I will return here, soon... and arrive even earlier than we did today.  We had planned on being on the water by 7:45, but we had a delay at a dunkin donuts by one of our group members and then had a hard time finding the exact road to go down to find this location.  But it was worth it.  very cool place! 

So, we all packed up and headed towards home... I decided to go home a different way because I wanted to return to the place where I had seen the big snapping turtle last weekend.  So on the drive I had my PB & J sandwich.  

On my drive I went by this little park and noticed two Canada geese and noticed their babies were under a picnic table... had to stop and take a picture or two.

Look how fuzzy!  

Then... I got to the stream where I wanted to hunt for that giant snapping turtle.  I was secretly hoping to also see loons because this is the spot where I had seen the nesting loon last year.  And YAHOO, they greeted me!  My first loons of 2012!

Not only did they greet me... they swam next to me, underneath me... as they were fishing.  I got to watch them as the sped underwater chasing fish, darting about.  I could see them really really well and it was so fun to watch them under water.  I got a video that didn't come out great, but I will see if I can manage to share it here later on...

 Gosh they are so beautiful... 
After watching them for quite a while I kept paddling... it was such a pretty day.  

I did not find the giant snapper, but I found this guy, with a hole in his shell!  He was about 8 inches long... and not afraid of me at all!  

And of course there were painted turtles.  Check out this guy's shell.  

This guy climbed back up onto the log after jumping in... he had to work hard to get back onto the log.  

Back to the little snapper, who was still on the same log when I paddled back by... 

The sky was soooooooooo blue! 

And I saw another family of Canada Geese.  Cute! 

Wow... what a day... Gorgeous!  I am so lucky to live where I live and have the opportunity to kayak and see such beauty.  

The only part of the day I would have changed... was my need to go to the bathroom when there was no bathroom nearby... I had to pee in the woods!  I HATE that!  (But... happens from time to time when you spend time outside.) 
I am wiped out ! I think I will sleep well tonight.  Guess the sun does that to me!  

Oh.. here are a couple videos:
This first one is one of the loons that swam around under water and under my kayak.  So cool, wish it was more clear though!

And.. this is a small snapping turtle.  I know his action isn't too impressive, but listen to the frogs!  The frogs were SOOOO loud today!


One step closer...

Well... One step closer to getting a new job... at least that's how I am going to look at it... 

I did not get the job in NH... which surprises me... my instincts told me it was my job, that I had it in the bag, all wrapped up... and fully expected to be driving to NH tomorrow to meet with the superintendent... but... that's not what I will be doing.  

The principal from the school called today... and said it was a hard phone call for him to make, wishing that they could hire both people, but... that they had chosen the other candidate because she had experience.  He said that was the only thing that separated us.  Which... makes me think.... if we are similar, and that was the only thing that some experience gave her an advantage... and I have NO experience just imagine how I will be WITH experience!  Given the fact that the guy who is the other assistant principal will be changing his role in a year from now, the principal was nervous to hire someone without experience... which is okay.  I tried to be ... professional... and thanked him for the call and for the experience.  I said that I know, based on what I had seen there, that he has a good handle on his school... that there are good things are happening there and that I believed if he felt the other candidate was a better fit for them, I knew it was a decision he was making that was in the best interest of the kids... and that's okay with me.  I'm sad about it, but am okay with it.  

Somewhere along the way each of these administrators had no experience as an administrator... and... someone took a chance on them... and someone will take a chance on me.  And as my wise mentor told me today... it only takes one yes, to change my experience from none to some... so... just gotta keep going...  I need to mention, at the next interview, that I understand I have no experience and that it would mean having people take a risk... assure them I am a safe bet, remind them they were once inexperienced, and tell them that starting out, without experience means that I can really build a career somewhere, immerse myself in the job... and bring the passion and excitement that comes with a new gig... 

Disappointed... absolutely.  Even cried a little, talking to Dad does that to me... But, there are lessons here... 
I am ready and willing to relocate if need be.  I could not have said that a few years ago... when Mom was sick and after she died there was no way I could wrap my head around the idea of moving even further from Dad than I am now... Now.... I am ready... to go where I need to go... (that being said I don't see myself moving to Alaska any time soon!)  I know I am ready to purge things at my house, get rid of things I don't need... clean out the clutter... and... this experience at this school, gave me hope, that there are schools out there with which my philosophy aligns... schools where I could not only have a job, but build a career... and having this experience will do nothing but help me in the next round... whenever that happens... 

But... it does suck.  I was totally expecting the other message... had thought about what it would be like, moving closer to Boston... having the means to travel.... but.... it will happen...eventually... 


24 hours...

Tick Tock...

24 hours from now I will know if I am the finalist for the NH job or not... 24 hours... trying to tell myself that if I don't get it, life doesn't change... but if I do get it... my life changes a lot... so there isn't a lot of pressure... but... truth is... I want this...  I will either be disappointed...or elated...

tick tock...


Mother's day... equals kayaking!

How else would I spend a sunny Mother's Day?  

I went to one of my favorite places... a place that connects two lakes and while it is a short stream/river, there are lots of places to explore and always wildlife to see.  I started out watching this bird... it was so cute... running along the logs chasing bugs... so fast... 

Then I headed into the culvert.... (picture for Jill... y toes of course!)  

I am not sure what kind of flower this is, but it was pretty.  It could be a weed for all I know, but added a nice splash of color.  

It was a beautiful day! 

These 'helicopters' were so colorful.  Last year I went to the same place on Mother's Day, to kayak, and I cannot believe how much further along we are this year, as far as the foliage being 'out' so much already.  

And... there were turtles galore!  And yes, I have to keep taking their picture!  

This bird almost got eaten!  It was on a really low branch and a snapping turtle jumped out of the water and tried to eat it!  Not kidding!  I half expected a gator to jump out and try to get me!  

Another bird... no idea what kind... but pretty and had a beautiful song! 

Ahhh... ferns... waking up... 

I love this picture... the colors and the light were perfect!  

This guy was hanging out on a log and could have cared less that I was there.  Could have easily caught this one, but didn't try.  In order to steady myself in the kayak I was holding on to a branch that was about a foot in front of his face.. and he just kept looking at me and blinking! 

Seriously, he did not jump off the log... Sooo fun to hang out with him... love the markings.  

OK.. I made a mistake today... that I am kicking myself for.  As I was transferring things from my truck to the kayak I noticed I didn't have extra batteries in my kayak camera bag... and thought about putting in a couple extra from my camera case (not waterproof) but thought I would be fine... wrong.  I was clicking away happily and my battery was low... so I tried to reserve it... and was lucky to get a couple of pictures of this guy before my camera died... a HUGE snapping turtle... its shell, from front to back was probably close to two feet long.  Big guy.  It's head, which I noticed first, looked like the end of a log sticking out of the water, easily bigger than my fist.  

The cool part was he swam for a while and I followed and he would go under and resurface... then he went under and stayed under... for a long time.  I could see him so clearly under the water and my camera was dead!  His tail looked so prehistoric... He walked along the bottom for a while, then stayed in one spot, watching me floating above him.  I hoped he would resurface so I could get a pic with my phone, but he stayed down... after 15 minutes I figured the stalemate was over, he won... and I left.  I need to research how long snappers can hold their breath.  He also, I think, explains some loud noises and splashing I heard today... once I was focusing on the shore, ferns, and heard a loud sound and turned and there was a huge circle in the water, from something either jumping out of the water or something big being thrown into the water... of course I thought that perhaps a sasquatch had thrown a rock at me from the woods... (That's what the sasquatch hunting shows claim 'squatches do...)  But I think it was this guy.... or one of his relatives!  I would NOT want that guy to bite my toe!  

After kayaking I stopped in to see Sara, Phil, and Maria... They were hosting a mother's day bash and had invited me over to join them.  I told them I wasn't sure if I would be up for it, but am glad I did.  It was nice to visit with them for a bit.  

I also want to share some other pictures, that were on my phone and I had not yet posted... 
This first one just makes me laugh... it's Meg... the night we went to our local professional basketball team... our mascot... is a lobster... kind of lame truth be told... but.. Meg asked me to take a picture of her playing with his ball... yes.... she went there! 

Then... just down the street was our mascot for our local baseball team, the Sea Dogs... again, not my favorite mascot idea... and this is Meg kissing it... she is a crazy girl! 

Just a sign I saw in Portland that I like... the RIGHT Portland... for the record! 

The rest of these pictures were taken when I was on a walk with one of my coworkers.  I did not have my camera... MUST go back with it next time... Maine is such a beautiful place.  

Oops.. forgot these two were here too... 
This is a picture I took in Manchester, NH... I was happy it was located on a river, but... I will NOT be kayaking there, if I get the job!  Too rough! 

Me... in my interview outfit Friday... 

My Favorite Place

My Favorite Place