Hummingbirds in the Chiracahua Wilderness-Rattlesnake Fire Rehab!
This was my first Internship with the SCA. Coming off of a summer of Trailwork in the Big South Fork River Recreation Area (Tennessee), I took a Fall internship doing Fire Rehab and trail work in this incredible Wilderness area. Chiracahua's are in the Coronado National forest, and I interned with the Forest Service. We worked in high desert some, but mostly up on the 9,000 ft mountain range. There were 3 of us SCA interns-Lisa, Tim and I. We did a variety of work like cleaning and building water bars, stone stairs, tread grading, logging and brushing trail, revegetation, and even fire prevention education for local elementary schools. WE averaged 4 days on (out on top of the mountain range), and 3 days off. The toughest part was the beginning of the internship, hiking from 4,000 - 8,000 feet up to Rustler's in just 3 miles with a full pack and tools (No vehicles or motorized equipment allowed up there.). By the end of the Internship, that got alot easier. I learned alot about what happens after a forrest fire, and what happens when visitors disturb the natural cycle of rebirth for a forest. My favorite memories are from seeing thousands of hummingbirds at Rustler's Park on their way south to mexico for the winter. They were all sipping on the tons of lupin and indian paintbrush that covers part of Rustlers-incredible-and the sound! a thousand hummingbird wings beating... My other favorite memories are of me, lisa and time, taking breaks and cracking each other up! If you ever get the chance to go and see the hidden gem the Chiracahuas, go! bring lots of water, good hiking boots, binoculars, and spend the nite up there-the stars are amazing!