I don’t think I’m alone when I have always thought of Idaho as the nation’s potato producer. I never thought of potatoes coming from California, but they sure do.
Many of the fields that are leased by farmers on the refuge are planted with potatoes, and the potato harvest began a little over a week ago. The road in front of my RV site has had all kinds of huge trucks full of spuds blasting past from morning until almost sunset. I’ve been tempted to pick up some of the potatoes that fall out of the trucks along the roadways.
Yesterday, I spent the day giving new volunteers, Heather and Cliff, a tour of the refuge on their first day. I mentioned about the potatoes, and Cliff got out of the car at one of our stops. He went over to talk to the farmers in the tractor in the first pic to ask if he could pick a hill or two. They said help yourself. I now have enough fresh picked potatoes to last me several months. I just had to have fresh hash browns for breakfast today.
Today I went out to do the bird survey, and check water levels at Lower Klamath. Some water has been released into the refuge, but contrary to recent hunter rumors, the hunt sections are still dry as a bone.
In the Oregon Straits area of Lower Klamath Refuge, one of the fields that had water a couple of weeks ago doesn’t any more. Instead, a big flock of sheep has been moved in to graze. This is the first time I’ve seen sheep around here.
This afternoon I did the Tule Lake NWR auto tour route to see how many more waterfowl have arrived from the north. On the last aerial bird survey there were close to 200,000 ducks and geese on Tule Lake. These two button buck mule deer probably know this is a safe place for them.
Lots of greater white-fronted geese have arrived. Hunters down in Texas call them speckle bellies, and around here they’re just known as specs. Can you see those spots on their bellies?
And, yes, the snow geese have begun to arrive.
In three weeks or so, there will be three to four times the number of waterfowl than there are now. Numbers over a million on the refuge are hard for me to wrap my mind around. Not sure I’ll still be here to see that. It all depends on the weather forecast.
I leave you tonight with one of this year’s young eared grebes. They’re divers, and lots of them were raised on the refuge this season. By next year, those eyes will be a brilliant red.
Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later, Judy