Borrego Springs, CA

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

How long are you going to do this?

This is what Terri, the office manager of the refuge, asked me today.  She was referring to fulltiming, and volunteering at National Wildlife Refuges.  My answer was “Until I die in the traces, or can no longer drive the rig.”  I realize that things can happen, and my plans may change, but I really enjoy this lifestyle and hope I have many years left to enjoy it.  I’m a life time member of Escapees, and told her about that and the CARE program in Livingston, TX.  (If you don’t know about Escapees and CARE, let me know and I’ll do a post about that)  I’m hoping not to end up living with one of my kids in my old age and becoming a burden to them.

It was another day of working in the Visitor’s Center today, and the electronic counter on one of the entrance doors said I had 44 visitors today.  Since it counts people as they enter and leave, I probably really had only about 25 folks stop in.  There is another door without a counter, and some people enter and leave that way. 
_MG_5295Early on, I noticed one of the Lewis’s woodpeckers fly into one of the elm trees surrounding the VC.  I grabbed my camera and ran outside since that would mean he might be in the sun.  I’m not sure I’ll get a better pic than this of this dark colored woodpecker, but I’ll keep trying.  None of the red in his plumage showed up in this angle.  :(

I had a visitor today ask if we had a form to leave comments for the refuge manager.  We don’t, so she just wrote her comments on a piece of paper, and I took that to the appropriate person.  That resulted in a little project, thank goodness, for me.  I’m developing a comments form that will be available for visitors.  That sure beats playing spider solitaire all day long when no one is visiting!  The biggest challenge I face in doing this is working with an ancient version of Microsoft Word.  I told the volunteer coordinator that that’s why I always had a secretary in my former life.  They could have whipped up this form in minutes, where as it is taking me hours!
IMG_5308Once I got home, Emma was more than anxious to get out of the confines of the rig.  We sat outside for several hours, after taking a good walk around.  I just wish I could hear, smell, and interpret  everything she does.  Here she is on vigil status protecting our home!  :)

I have tomorrow off from the VC, and I’m going on a tour of the refuge with fellow volunteers, Jan and Karl.  They have volunteered here for 14 years, and are amateur (not really) archeologists.  They’ll be showing me petroglyphs and an authentic sod house among other things.  I’m pretty excited about that, as we will be going to areas of the refuge that are not available to the normal visitor.  Cool Beans!!

I leave you with tonight’s sunset….
IMG_5313                              on a drying Walla Walla sweet onion on my picnic table.  :)

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


  1. The Great Horned Owl photo is spectacular. It sounds like you are really enjoying your volunteer life. I hope you are appreciated for all that you do.

  2. The question of how long will we do this is a good one. I do not think we will go til the end, as you plan, but we are not sure when or how we will decide to stop. Maybe it will just come to us one day or fate will intervene and force a decision.

    I have to admit that I smiled at you comment about not being a burden to your kids. I always tell mine that I hope to live long enough to be a burden to them. :)

  3. Emma is a real beauty. I totally agree with you on the fulltime living. I hope we can do it for a very long time. Also...we never want to live with our kids. I don't want to encroach on their freedom to live their own lives with me in their way!

    Loved the pic of the dark colored woodpecker. Who knew he existed? Well, you did but not me. Have a great time on your day off.

  4. Very artistic picture of the onion. It's always interesting to see what photos make it into your blog. Have a good tour tomorrow!

  5. That is a very good picture of Emma! Her ears remind me of Lady's, but that's where the resemblance ends.

    I absolutely couldn't live with one of my kids, and I love them all dearly. But I really don't have a plan except to die quickly and not linger, lol.

  6. I think that is the first photo I've seen of Emma. Pretty girl. I forwarded your blogsite to J&R at the ranch for next winter's possible 'ranch sitting.' They have it on file now & are definitely interested. It's a great birding area. If you send me your email addy I can pass it on to the ranch folks & you can communicate with them directly at some point.

  7. I really like the answer you gave the refuge manager. It is my hope that soon I will be able to answer the same!

    It's nice to see pretty Emma! She's got what my family calls "soul-eyes."

  8. WE,including Rigg's liked the picture of Emma. She has a regal and resolute look as you said like she is on watch. I too wonder many times what Rigg's is thinking, especially when he is looking in your face and you can almost see the wheels turning and the love in his eyes.What would life be like without these wonderful companions, truly a gift of God.I could never be the burden to my sons that they were to me, so I won't even try. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

  9. You need to hook Emma up with Riggs...They look like they would get along great!..The minute you mentioned petroglyphs, I perked right up. We saw some awesome ones at Seminole State Park in Texas...I can't wait to see what photos you dish up next time!!

  10. Emma is certainly a beautiful dog. The onion picture is one of your best. You should really consider selling some of your pics or at least enter them into some contests. I think you would win, hands down. I have never seen such ordinary things, look so fabulous!!

  11. Love Emma's white chin.

    Has anyone ever taken an educated guess of what is mixed with her lab blood?

  12. Awww Emma is such a pretty girl!~ And your onion shot is just amazing... now Steveio would think that would be a great photo framed in a kitchen! He LOVES onions!

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard