Mississippi, you’re on my mind

 Well its business as usual here in Oxford MS. For our second conservation day, the team got to take a very informative tour of the Enid Lake Dam and the North Mississippi fish hatchery. The dam tour was very interesting. We learned about how the dam works, what it was built of, and what they have to do in case of flooding or heavy rain emergencies. We got to take a look inside and saw the motors that lift and lower the walls of the dam. The rangers also gave us a fun fact. When they drain the outlet for maintenance which is about once every 5 years they allow people to go in and grab as many fish as they can carry. It was described to us as a “black Friday” for fish lovers. After the dam tour we had the chance to tour the North Mississippi fish hatchery located on Enid Lake. We learned the process in which they go through to spawn the fish. Some they have to spawn by hand while others will do it on their own. The Hatchery raises about 2 million fish every year.  The hatchery is built on Enid Lake because of the lakes exceptional water quality. The hatchery produces and stocks primarily sport fish such as crappie, bluegill, and redear. They also raise non game fish like the flathead and channel catfish, and different species of carp.  During our visit we got to see the magnolia carp, and the alligator garr. We were able to see the garr starting as fry working up the line to the large beast of a fish that they are.  The hatchery took on raising the alligator garr to combat the invasive Asian carp infestation. Check out this video to learn more about the invasive Asian carp:::http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPeg1tbBt0A  Surveys!!! The following week was a little different from the rest because Miss Dena came to visit us and spend some time with us at our sites. Her presence definitely helped pass the time, as well as a little extra support and guidance on our surveys. (She pretty much perfected us.) As always, visitors were entertaining and mostly friendly, rangers were helpful and the beautiful shade protected us from the new summer sun. After what seemed to be a forever never-ending wait, we all got paid that Friday and took to the town. Some of us did a little shopping while some of us went and saw bands play at local venues. But one thing is to be said. We ALL had a great time! We also had some great home cooked meals including salmon, and honey pork loin. Can you say YUM! We yet again played a very intensely hilarious game of Munchkin, as well as a new game called headbands. For our second conservation day of the hitch, we got the opportunity to serve those at the Yokna Bottoms Farm. The farm is about 19 acres and hosts a variety of organic agriculture as well as a 30 chicken coop. We assisted with the planting of eggplants and potatoes, I got to help lay some new straw in the chicken coop, and even collect some fresh eggs. We also helped with a fair amount of weeding as well. Aside from all of the dirt and sweat it was a wonderful time. We all left with a sense of accomplishment feeling great about the future crops that will grow to feed the community.  We ended the hitch with a little Salon LaRhonda (the name of the street of our home sweet home), where Nakeda, John and Brendan all became just a little more beautiful with the help of Sophie and myself as hair stylists. All in all it has been a fantastic second hitch here in Mississippi. We are all looking forward to the weeks and adventures to come! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHTjftzbrRs Peace out!