Chaco tan lines and bald eagles

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Brace yourselves, friends!  There are so many photos included in this blog post and they are all of wonderful things; I will let the pictures do most of the talking…

Life at SOLV has wound down for the time being as Green Teams are finished since schools are out for the summer but we are now gearing up for six weeks of vegetation monitoring of all of our sites.  We have three interns joining us for the next weeks from Duke University and they will be helping us with photo point monitoring and vegetation monitoring.  SOLV does this every summer to measure the amount of native and invasive plants on all of our active and graduated sites; we will go to each site and take photos and data on how the native vegetation is doing and what invasive plants might be threatening the site.  Getting ready for some sweet tanlines!

Our final retreat for JVC was this weekend on Whidbey Island in Washington; this was our third retreat with a focus of spirituality and what better place to see the beauty of the world than along the coast of Washington?  We stayed at Camp Casey, a former military fort that was built in 1890 to guard Puget Sound.  It is right on the beach and provided absolutely stunning views and wonderful space to walk and enjoy the sunshine.  We were visited by bald eagles nesting in the fir trees, a doe and her fawn, seals and the occasional stray JV.  It was fantastic to see all of the JVs from the Cascades region, reflect on the year and consider how our experience will influence where we are all headed.  Since calories don’t count when you’re on retreat, we all ate very well and made use of the expansive field, beach and outdoor space.  We’re so used to rain that we weren’t quite sure why it was so bright and warm out!  The weekend ended with a coffee house and of course, everyone who shared was hilarious and so talented.

So hopefully, this sun is here to stay and we’ll have a lovely next few weeks.  We celebrated my housemate Sean’s 23rd birthday yesterday with some fantastic Chicago deep dish pizza his parents sent… how lucky are we!  We enjoyed it at a tree house a few miles from our house and Sean donned my birthday tutu to celebrate.. quite a sight on a bike.  Not sure where the next few days, weeks, months, years will take me but I’ll keep ya updated!

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