The End is Near

Hello, This is my last full week here at White Sands, and it’s starting to hit me. But before I talk about that, I want to talk about how Mothapalooza went last week. There were about 60 people who came to see the moths and the presentation Eric gave. It was actually pretty fun! When I cut the yucca fruit up, I finally found an average sized caterpillar that I could then show visitors and explain to them how the fertilization of the Soaptree Yucca works. Then after that we had the sheeting and I was at the top of the dune showing people things that glowed with the black light. The most impressive thing was the┬áscorpion I found as I was walking along. Thankfully, I didn’t find it too late and people loved looking at it glow green under the light. The moth sheet was also covered by all sorts of bugs, like the famous moths we were looking for.

Me cutting up the yucca fruit to find caterpillars

The scorpion I found glowing under black light

A Sphinx moth that was attracted to the light on the sheets

My table I was talking about moths at

Now back to my last week. I have a lot of loose ends to tie up, and it’s been a little overwhelming when I see how much time I have left and the time it takes to do the projects. I’ve also been thinking a lot about what I have learned during my time here. I’ve thought about the types of people that I met and observed the amount of people that I met who where people of color, like Latinx or African Americans. Unsurprisingly, the overwhelming majority of the people where white and a lot of foreigners too, like people from Asia or Europe. When I did hear a family speaking Spanish, though, I would get excited and would make a note to myself about the last time I heard someone speak Spanish or saw a Hispanic group come in. One other coworker here was Hispanic, and he and I would constantly be talking in Spanish and it felt really good to do that. I can only hope that this program and others like it actually will change the faces in parks, and I am going to continue to push this, maybe not in the National Park Service itself, but through other organizations. I am very grateful to have been given this opportunity to see how a park works.

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