It feels just like yesterday that all of the half-term Lakes Region Conservation Corps members gathered for orientation at Squam Lakes Association. However, as I’m writing this conservation journal, it has been three months and seven days since that first fateful day. By now, fall has ever so slightly begun to show its autumnal face. The days are starting to get shorter, and the summer green leaves on the red maples are modestly beginning to shift to reds and oranges. I can smell and feel New Hampshire’s most beautiful season approaching. Summer is full of sun and fun, but New Hampshire’s colder seasons are my most favorite of all. I look forward to bright and colorful fall views from the mountain tops, flannel weather, the smell of a wood stove, the cool crisp frost on the grass in the morning, and before we know it.. the snow.
While I’m grateful for that inevitable time of year, I can’t discredit the warmer months and all the fun I’ve had. Although it’s been a rainy and gray summer, the handful of rare sunny days have been well spent. I become filled with excitement when a scheduled day on the lake corresponds with sunny weather in the 70s. One of the many great things about this program is that I was able to get a boating license. Occasionally, we will bebop around Lake Winnipesaukee in the Lakes Region Conservation Trust’s majestic and awe-inspiring pontoon boat, the S.S. Lilypad, to visit conservation land on one of the islands. The Lilypad is a colossal 22-foot pontoon boat equipped with a whopping 25 horsepower outboard engine. It reaches top speeds of a brisk 10 to 15 miles per hour depending on the wind and how many people and things are onboard. I heard someone recently describe that it “handles like a bag of water.” Learning how to drive the Lilypad definitely came with a learning curve. But after some practice, it has easily become one of my favorite tools at LRCT. Getting out on the pontoon allows us to get a great view of some of LRCT’s flagship conservation lands. When in the correct position on the lake, one can observe the beauty of both the Ossipee Mountains/Castle in the Clouds and Red Hill. Along with many other properties on and off the lake, both are impressive pieces of nature that I am glad to say have been perpetually conserved.
I suppose there are a limited number of times now that I’ll have the opportunity to captain the S.S. Lilypad as an AmeriCorps member since the end of this term is unfortunately just around the corner. Three months and seven days ago I embarked on this wonderful journey with LRCT, and I know that three months and seven days from now I’ll be looking back on my term with a smile on my face. As summer continues to turn to fall, I’m looking forward to all but one seasonal change. That one change would be the end of my time at LRCT as an AmeriCorps member. This program has been a blast, and I’m looking forward to what the rest of the term has in store.