Conservation Journal: Cole

The Lakes Region Conservation Corps (LRCC) is an AmeriCorps service program that develops skills and experiences for conservation professionals. LRCC members are the driving force behind the Squam Lakes Association’s conservation efforts. The program provides hands-on conservation work experience and numerous certifications over a broad range of areas, which ensures that LRCC members are capable of independently approaching a variety of tasks in the environmental conservation field. Members remove invasive species from the Squam watershed, manage and act as caretakers at our backcountry campsites, maintain the SLA’s 50+ miles of trails, educate the public on local and regional conservation initiatives, spearhead reports on conservation efforts, lead SLA volunteer crews and ensure the daily functioning of the Squam Lakes Association’s programs. Click here to learn more about the LRCC program.

Cole Beale

March 1, 2019

January in New Hampshire lived up to its reputation. It was long, cold and dark. All. The. Time. My morning routine had been pretty stable; wake up, eat and throw on every layer I had for the short but frigid walk over to the office. Today was a little different though. I was scheduled for winter water quality and as I was planning my day; what to wear, what to pack, I decided to check the weather. Typically I would see numbers that looked something like 5, 10, negative 15, but today I saw a number that I had not seen in a while. I thought I was dreaming and debated on asking someone to read it for me. Thinking my eyes were failing, I rubbed them like a cartoon character and looked again. I was right, this number was a 60. It was projected to be 60 degrees Fahrenheit and it was February 5. I didn’t know what was going on but I didn’t care, it was warm.

Adel and I were scheduled for sampling two locations on the lake that I had done with John about two weeks prior, Sandwich Bay and Inner Squaw Cove. When John and I were out sampling, we dressed as if we were walking on Antarctica, sub-zero temperatures and a wicked wind forced us to cover every centimeter of our bodies. Today was a different story. I was going to take advantage of the warm weather and shining sun and hoped to get a little base layer for the summer. As Adel and I got to Sandwich Bay and were prepping to walk out onto nearly two feet of ice, we decided to change our attire. We were dressed a little differently than what would be expected for a winter water quality sampling day. We sported our LRCC T-Shirts exposing our arms, both of which were usually covered by half zips, long sleeves and big jackets. We were ready. We made our way to the location with the help of the GPS and started sampling. Some clouds rolled in with a little breeze and overcast as we were finishing up. We got back to the truck and packed up the gear, cranked the windows down and started onto the next site.

As we got to Inner Squaw Cove the scene was a different than what we left at Sandwich Bay. The Sun was out again, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the wind was gone. We made our way onto the ice and worked up a little sweat, it was hot but we weren’t complaining. Before I knew it the sampling was done and it was time to pack up, it was upsetting. If only Inner Squaw was a little deeper we could have stayed out a little longer in the oddly hot and sunny weather. The truck said it was 60 but on the ice it felt like 80. The two of us drove back with the windows down and the music playing loud. We joked of walking into the office and putting aloe on to sooth the slight sunburn we experienced, thought it would have been a little cruel to everyone stuck in the office though.

This day flew by and got me real excited for the spring and summer. The sun has me dreaming of hot dive days and water quality sampling trips. Cruising around on a boat, being out in the sun on a beautiful lake, what more could you ask for?

Cole is an avid ice enthusiast.  He enjoys playing hockey with the local team, ice skating on Squam, and the occasional frosty beverage.  You can read more about Cole here.

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