The past two weeks have been a flurry of activity.
Last week (Jan 16-20), our office was a regular hub activity. There were researchers AND conservators here. And, there was even talk of a film crew coming to interview one of the conservators. Although I didn’t have much interaction with the conservators, I did have the opportunity to get to know the researcher. He’s a documentary film director who has now branched out into writing books. He patiently slogged through our extensive Borax photo collection to compile of list of photos he wanted. He was a nice guy and gave me a free copy of one of his documentaries he did on Death Valley. If you ever have the chance, look up Weird Tales from Death Valley and enjoy!
After an eventful week, it was nice to settle back in to some semblance of a routine. My major goal of the week was to finish organizing the DEVA Mining records in these 3 drawers. For some time, these three measly drawers have been the bane of my existence. When I say organize, I really mean determine what collection these maps belong to. And, if that doesn’t sound tricky enough some of these maps aren’t labelled. So, here I am with a bunch of maps with squiggly lines and numbers trying to determine where they go. Suffice to say, I had to kick into detective mode to solve this problem.
I had to take a crash course in the history of mining in Death Valley. There were books, websites, and reports to absorb and I still don’t like I know a tenth of the material. But, I’m learning as I go.
Thus far, I’ve managed to organize 1 of the drawers, refolder the oversize maps in appropriately sized folders with nice labels about what the map is and what collection it belongs to. This project is important because it’ll enable me to move more oversize material into the cabinets. And, hopefully, after I’m gone this system will still continue on.
Also, as a break from the map/oversize collection, I spent most of this week filling researcher’s requests. Most of the work consisted of scanning photographs from the DEVA photo file or from the Wildlife binders containing 35mm slides. I have to admit, this part of the workday was a welcome change. After all, who doesn’t love photographs? The wildlife binders were particularly interesting with shots of bighorn sheep and wild burros.
I’ve been fortunate in the 6 months that I’ve been here in that I’ve seen so much wildlife. I’ve seen wild burros walking the streets of Beatty, Nevada. I’ve had several encounters with roadrunners, jack rabbits, and, surprisingly, coyotes. I think my sighting of coyotes is pretty high. It’s only second to jack rabbits. My rarest sighting of them all was a wild horse. Check out my twitter feed (@k_bubbs) to see the picture of the wild horse.
As a treat, to borrow from Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show,” here’s your moment of zen: