Was spent in the bush! But first, of course, my birthday :) It was somewhat low-key, but really what I wanted. We went to see the musical Wicked, which was indeed wicked good. Very well done, and very professional cast. Before the show (it was a matinee), we went out for lunch with Perry, the lady that sits besides us when we go to musicals, which was really nice, although the food and service was disappointing... But it didn't ruin our day! Sunday morning we celebrated by going out for breakfast with our running group (almost complete!), which was also nice.
Nolan got me some really nice earrings. I guess my small studs (I have studs and small hoops) were starting to drive him nuts, so he decided to upgrade to some nice real diamonds. Don't they say diamonds are a girl's best friend? Not sure I agree, but those earrings are darn pretty! He also got me some beautiful roses. Looking familiar?
As I mentioned before, it's been very dry, and any rain we've had so far has always been accompanied by lots of lightning. And lightning is a number one cause of forest fires. The Thursday before my birthday, the students up in the fire towers at the PRF spotted a large fire on CFB Petawawa. By Friday, it had grown to over 100 ha, en Sunday it was up to 200 ha, and the east entrance of Algonquin Park was closed. The fire was close to the main entrance road, but also close to the PRF. Staff at the PRF was starting to burn out after many days spent in the towers or patrolling the forest for fires, so they asked me if I could help out. And why would I say no to a week in the field?! Indeed, no reason to say no! They also asked me to come out since I have a reputation of bringing lots of water. Remember from last year? Read here... Well it worked, within an hour of arriving at the PRF, the sky opened up, and we got a short downpour. Which resulted in 4 mm of rain. And lots of lightning... So not a good scenario. A couple of days later several fires had started in Algonquin Park, but luckily nothing too major. I actually spent half a day up in the tower the day with most fire activity in the Park, and it was actually really cool to watch the fire bombers dumping the water on the fires. I was glued to my binoculars!
Below are some photos of the view of the tower, as well as some photos to show how dry it really is...
Pretty bad... Luckily we didn't have any fires at the PRF itself, but if something was to break out, it could spread very quickly, and that's why we're so alert.
After a week at the PRF, I went back home on Sunday and started my intensive French training right away: every morning for 4 weeks, after which I'm supposed to do oral exam. It's tough, but it's also going quite well. My French did not get as rusty as I thought it would be. This week it's actually only four mornings, since I'm back at the PRF, working another weekend (and a long one this time, Civic Holiday!). Luckily Nolan is coming up for a few days as well, so at least he's not a bachelor again this weekend. We did get some rain on Tuesday (and lightning), but the fire index is back up, so the students are back up in the towers as well. They are calling for some rain this weekend, but also lots of lightning. Hopefully we'll get some real rain in the near future. And not just for us, also for the farmers and others in the region that need this rain so badly. Let's all do a rain dance!!