Borrego Springs, CA

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Another day in the life…

Egad!  It was 23* when I took Emma for her first outs this morning and the north wind was blowing.  Much to my chagrin, she thought the brisk wind and crunchy turf were invigorating, and took her sweet time going about her business.  :(   Wouldn’t you think a short haired dog would have more sense than that?  Nope!  She ran around in circles on her long lead and fairly made me dizzy.  Eventually, we went back inside and I got ready for the bird count.


Fellow volunteer, Marilyn, and I headed out at 8:30 for our appointed rounds.  We about froze our fingers off walking the transect at the first stop.  The marsh was wet, but frozen.  The little killdeer and yellow legs were walking around on the ice looking for something to eat.  No ducks to be seen.  They were probably off to more sheltered grounds.  That was one chilly bird count this morning!


This afternoon, I needed to make the ten mile drive into the main part of the refuge to gas up the refuge vehicle before the weekend.  Since I was there, I took a ride down all the refuge roads for probably the last time.  After four volunteer stints here, I’m really not planning on returning, but you just never know.

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As I drove down the entrance road, I noticed smoke from another fire.  This time it wasn’t the burning of rice fields or pastures, but the burning of debris piles still left from hurricane Ike.  You just can’t imagine the massive amounts of debris left from a hurricane unless you’ve seen it.  That raised shed, on the right, is one of many that was constructed to oversee the removal of all the debris.  Last year, big dump trucks hauled huge mounds of stuff away every day.  Now, they’re burning what is left.  I think it’s been over two years since that hurricane, and that gives you an idea of how long it takes to clean up from such devastation.

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As I made my way around Shoveler Pond, this great blue heron decided to pose for me.  That beak is sure a formidable weapon, and this bird is an expert at freezing in place until an unsuspecting fish or frog moves past.  Then that beak moves with lightening speed to grab some tasty morsel.  I’ve enjoyed many a moment watching these herons work at getting a large fish, head first, down to their gullet.  

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A Virginia rail also made an appearance today.  See how it has puffed out it’s feathers to keep warm?  You know it’s a chilly day when they don’t live up to being ‘as thin as a rail’!


Lastly, I need to vent a little rant on what some people do on our public lands.  Yesterday, Marilyn was working the VIS, and needed to visit the restrooms that are located across from the VIS.  As she entered the restroom, she found that someone had taken a crap in the hand washing sink!  Can you believe it?  There are two stools located there, so why would someone do this?  And guess who had to clean it up?  The volunteer!  I just don’t understand.  What a disgusting thing to do!  I know what I’d like to do to the person who did this.  What is this world coming to?  Ugh!


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


  1. Why in the world would someone do something so inconsiderate! Some people have ZERO respect! Good thing Nellie didn't see that~
    From now on when I'm feeling fat I'm gonna use the excuse that I'm just puffed out like a cold Virginia Rail.


  2. The blue heron pictures are wonderful!

  3. Having worked with the public I know that there are some folk out there that are absolute pigs!
    Sadly those people find their actions amusing, and even more sad is that fact that it's not always kids doing things like this but supposedly 'mature' adults.
    Super shots of the GBH and I'm very jealous about the rail.

  4. great shots of the blue heron!..thanks for the information about how they get their food..as for the poop in the sink..disgusting!!!!!!!!!!

  5. It is amazing what some people do. I just don't get it. Hey, wanted to tell you too that there really isn't any cell service at Eastman Lake. Thanks goodness they have a wifi for us or I wouldn't be able to keep up on your blog and that would suck!

  6. Hi,
    Crazy weather-it seems it's cold everywhere this week. Some crazy people out there too.
    The photo on my blog today is one of my husbands, it was taken at a county park that we often walked in. The pictures I post will be either mine or his, but his are much better. I only starting taking pic's last year.

  7. Disgusting. I am constantly amazed at the things people will do that are so incredibly disrespectful.

  8. I love love love

    Great Blue heron and was fortunate to live close to a rookery back east. In the NW corner of the Mohave Desert, I only get to enjoy them in pictures. Yours are stellar!

    people are amazing, and not always in a good way. How absolutely disgusting!

  9. Kelly works in the cottage resort business back home & has run into the same thing with the public. Majority of people are OK but it's the teenagers who mostly pull off stunts like that. Adults often leave the cottages in a big mess but it's the teens who really do the gross stuff!!
    Always amazes me how those large gangly Blue Herons can build their large nests so carefully in the tops of tall trees

  10. Herons are both beautiful and amazing creatures; I never tire of watching them. I have often thought that I would not want to be on the receiving end of their beak. I am not familiar with the Virginia rail, thanks for posting a picture of this guy/girl. As for the visitor center incident, I stopped being surprised a long time ago of the wickedness that humans are capable of. I do not blame you for being angry, I feel the same and I was not even there.


  11. Love the Heron...and those little rails or railroad or what ever..the puffed up ones! As for the "crap"...You need to treat peeps like that as a slinky...you know, a trip down the steps??

  12. You take the best bird photos Judy! And if you catch the moron that did that I will come and help you take care of him/her!!

  13. It would seem some alternative students have followed you to TX. Even Emma has more sense than to soil her home. I would say a sign might help--Please go potty in the toilet--but most likely this moron cannot read. . . . . Yuck.

  14. We were in your area back in April and were absolutely amazed at all of the debris still there from the hurricane!! Sad to see so many trees were totally uprooted and gone!

    Gorgeous pic of the Blue Heron with the long neck feathers!

    OMG! That is so gross in the restroom! I'd like to help you round up that varmint! Make them do bathroom detail for a month as punishment! GRRR

  15. Great pics of the blue heron! Some folks are just plain ignorant.

  16. Great pictures, love that you identify the birds. There is a heron that hangs around one of the ponds as we enter the RV park. Now I know why he was standing there in a frozen position. There are also a number of pelicans and egrets that I watch flying past the front window of our rig, love it.

  17. That is horrible. No wonder there are cameras everywhere you go. Nasty, nasty, nasty... :(

  18. I have this non scientific view that the the idiots are growing exponentially as a percentage of the general population.

    I do not know why, but it just seems that way to me.

  19. It's things like this that cause places to lock or remove restrooms completely!

    I can't understand how or why someone would do this.

    Excellent photos as usual!

  20. Those heron pictures are great. Too bad you had to go outside in the cold....brrr.

  21. Ok, that is just NASTY! And Kathy should feel ashamed for saying good thing I didn't see that. I SWEAR I would NOT have taken a picture of it!! G R O S S !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Now, I'm going to Kathy's blog to tell her off ;) hehe!