Thursday, December 31, 2020

December 2020: Wrapping Up a Year Like No Other

December is customarily a whirlwind -- not just at the marsh but everywhere else. 2020 was no exception. Despite 31 days, it all seems to get condensed down to about two weeks professionally (if you're lucky), so we did well to complete two finite goals involving outside contractors (in addition to wrapping up the duck season, winterizing the shop and the bunkhouse, and tying up end-of-year accounting).

Project #1 took a fair amount of planning and prep because it took place in the county right-of-way along our NE property line. We needed the blessing of the USACE (which we got with our permit issued in November) and the County Engineer (a $10 driveway permit), but essentially all we were doing was rebuilding a pull-off that existed until a previous owner thought it made sense to remove it -- to try to eliminate trespassing by fishermen. The work was completed essentially in one (LONG) day.

Nothing like squeezing one last project in before the end of the calendar year. Our restored driveway access on the NE corner of the property.

The restored driveway access in process.

Guardrail installation makes for a safe, secure entrance.

Project #2 was orchestrated by ODNR's Office of Coastal Management, or technically a sub contracted by one of Coastal's engineering firms working to advance the Sandusky Bay Initiative. Theoretically, the job was going to involve the drilling of one bore hole, 40-50' into the ground (with the idea of the results confirming constructability for potential improvement projects down the road). That ended up being the easy part. The challenge was keeping the drill rig from falling into the marsh and then getting it out of the mud and back on the road. That ended up taking the better part of a second day, but we (and by "we" I mean Roy) got it done!

The "easy" part of the drilling job (the actual drilling).

The "hard" part -- the caravan of vehicles it took to extract the drill rig.
Ultimately, no harm done.

Last "tailgate portrait" of 2020 -- final duck hunt of the season.

Several dozen trumpeter swans lined the highway across from the bunkhouse as I headed back following my last visit to the marsh for 2020. Not a bad way to be ushered home.