All in a Day’s Work

This post will lay out the basic components of my daily routine. Not the most interesting, but perhaps gives some substance to the blog. Future Center for the Environment Stanback Interns be warned… in a good way.

The Morning routine:

At a better pace than the highway, I approach the entrance to Salisbury’s Greenway.

Wake around 7:15 am.

Eat Breakfast at home (the one I’m generously allowed to stay in).

Feed and let out dogs (my contribution for the housing)

Start walk to work, in between 8am and 830am to arrive before 9am.

The walk is probably the climax of my morning routine. It takes about 30-45 minutes and there are obviously a few different routes. I’ve attempted three and completed two.

The first way is to go the same way that I would drive. Yes, I do drive sometimes. The second way is through the residential area that I’m staying in, onto the greenway for a short jaunt, and through the aforementioned and coveted Fred Stanback Jr. Ecological Preserve.

This way is the most pleasant. After strolling through a few streets, I approach the scene pictured above.

A nice roof for the bridge with mud dauber nest
The city maintains the greenway with this riding lawn mower.
Looking towards Bridge on Greenway


I have reached the greenway. I am barely on it before I get off, but I do pass over a creek, on this nice bridge pictured above.

Toothed leaves with uneven base alternating on zig-zag branches, looks like a Basswood to me.
Surprised to see Mulberries in front of me


Above are some fast foods that I have eaten on the way to the center, Mulberry (berries) and Basswood (young leaves). The trail has two overhanging Mulberry trees that I saw and quite a few Basswood trees.

The largest impoundment on the preserve with fairly shallow water.
One of a few smaller impoundments on the preserve.
Another pond with overflow duct


The preserve has a few impoundment ponds that were created by those who envisioned the preserve. One of the functions is to encourage waterfowl and other wildlife. I pass by these on the main trail, which runs through the center of the preserve. All trails are built up, a foot or so in elevation, to stay dry year round. Once I arrive at the center, I walk up the hill to see the back of the building (pictured to the left, below).

Usually this is the work station for us interns, because there are more computers here than the “intern room”.
Walking up to the Center from the preserve.


Partial kitchen view

Above you will find some of the usual scenes for me in the center. We are able to cook in a fully-stocked kitchen and work from computers in the building’s computer lab. What you don’t see from the above pictures is the view looking out. This side of the building is lined with large windows and outdoor porch space, which is a nice touch for creating a nice place to work.

The substance of the day is usually filled with a meeting, discussion and collaboration with the other interns (4), work on our respective projects, as well as lunch and perhaps educational interactions with faculty and staff.

So far these off-hand encounters have helped to orient me to the center, it’s work, and the surrounding area. A good example of such an experience is our tour of the grounds and preserve  with the grounds-keeper. This gave us the chance to ask questions about the day to day operations of maintaining the preserve as well as what are referred to as the gardens around the center. A not so off-hand event was Francis Koster’s presentation on his new book, Discovering the New America: Where Local Communities Are Solving National Problems (see details here). This presentation included discussion of renewable energy and associated tax credits, which I will discuss in a later post.

Everyone who is involved here is really knowledgeable and interested in sharing their enthusiasm for their part of what the center is doing. This makes the center an interesting place to be with plenty of ways to connect and learn. Having a support network is especially helpful for an internship, like this one, which has the space for self-initiated projects. Collaboration based on individual skills, experience, and interest is always at play here.

After the work day, I return home by walking the same way (or driving). I work on this blog sometimes. I make dinner. Other than the basic details of preparation for slumber, entertainment, or relaxation, I have found particular enjoyment in visiting Goodman Gym– home of the Catawba Indians basketball program. As to be expected, there are also a few good restaurants in the area that I have enjoyed.

Life in Salisbury is going well.