Borrego Springs, CA

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I'm pooped!

I was on the road this morning in the dense fog by 7:00.  It was a 50 mile drive through the hills to the Country Store restaurant where we all met before heading out for a day of birding.  12 people joined me in the refuge van and we headed for the water treatment plant in Burnet, TX.  A member of the Upper Hill Country Bird and Flower Society had made arrangements for us to be allowed in.  Normally, the public is not allowed.  Water treatment plants are quite often some of the better places to go birding.  However, the fog was so thick this morning that the ducks that were on the ponds were barely visible, and as we approached, they paddled away into the mist.  An employee was waiting patiently in a truck for us to finish so he could lock up the gates behind us.  That eliminated our idea of coming back after the fog lifted. 

We headed off for a ranch that is in the ecotourism business.  Since the group had reservations, we were met by the owners and guided on a hike through the ranch after spending some time on the patio viewing the visitors to their numerous bird feeders.  The woodpeckers especially liked the tall slender tree stump that was plastered with peanut butter.  I think the hike was a little under two miles which included an interesting and muddy creek crossing.  I'm sure glad I wore my oldest shoes. Texans in this area are experiencing unusually high water levels after almost two years of severe drought.  The ranch does an excellent job of maintaining trails, bird feeders, and water devices for wildlife.  I'm thinking I'd like to come back during the spring migration.

We got back a little late to the restaurant for lunch, but none of the food was prepared ahead (other than the soup), so everything was hot and fresh.  For a little restaurant out in the middle of nowhere, they were a little overwhelmed with twenty starving birders descending on them at the same time.  Of course, they knew we were coming, and had put on extra staff for the lunch.  I had a delicious hamburger.

By the time everyone got fed, it was 2:30.  We headed to the nearby Inks Dam National Fish Hatchery, and hiked around all of the ponds and down along the Colorado river.  It was great to spend a day with a bunch of enthusiastic birders, and the stipend I received for being the bird guru will just about pay for the tire I had to buy yesterday.  A profitable day in more than one way!  :)

After ten hours in her crate, Emma was more than happy to see me return and we spent the remainder of today's daylight outside.  This is the first time that I have left her for such an extended period, but she did fine.  Since she's been so cooped up, I'm sure the TV won't have the only Olympics happening tonight.  :)

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

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