Borrego Springs, CA

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A shift in the winds

Yesterday we were blasted from the south with winds that brought temperatures up into the seventies. Overnight, the winds became northerly, and the temps began to plummet again. It may go down to 30* tonight. I know that's nothing compared to you folks in the Midwest, but that's the reason I head south for the winter. :)

I worked several hours this morning on getting familiar with all the science requirements for elementary students here in Texas in preparation for developing some education programs. Emma and I also went for a good hike. We headed out to the Skillern Tract on foot down Farm Road 1985. That is more of a challenge than it sounds to be. Truck drivers blast down this road at way over the 60mph limit. They are mainly oil trucks and trucks carrying debris from the hurricane clean up. Emma hates the traffic and goes berserk every time a vehicle passes. Eventually we made it to Skillern and had a nice brisk walk along the refuge road through the moist soil units. Of course, we had the same challenge on our return trip to the rig. :(

After lunch, I headed to the shop to turn in my present vehicle for the one I was supposed to have. It's a drive of about ten miles to get to the shop or visitor's center. After I got the switch accomplished, I decided to take a drive around Shoveler Pond and out to the boat launch. Surprisingly, I was able to see an alligator. Most of them died during the hurricane.

As you can expect, I found a few of my feathered friends willing to pose. This is a neo-tropical cormorant. Cormorants dive for their dinner and must spend quite a bit of time each day drying out their feathers.

This is a snowy egret. How do I know?....
Just look at those yellow dancing shoes he has on....a distinguishing feature.

Today was the first time I have seen a wood stork on this refuge. I have seen them in Florida and at Laguna Atascosa NWR, but this was a first for me at Anahuac. I was able to watch one stork feeding. They put their beak down to the water and then swish the water with one of their feet to stir things up....a cool adaptation.

I headed back to the moist soil units of the Skillern Tract and found an abundance of black-necked stilts working the shallow flats.

I know this photo is awful, but I wanted to show you what I've decided will be one of my challenges while I'm here. I want to take a good picture of a vermilion flycatcher. This one has been hanging around the visitor's center, so I should get a chance to show you a better picture.

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later, Judy

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Judy...if these pictures are any indication of what is to come, I can't wait. Keep up the good work...I'm so jealous I can't stand it....!!