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Borrego Springs, CA

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cranes don’t know it’s leap year

March 1 usually signals the beginning of the breeding season for Mississippi sandhill cranes.  So what happens when there is a leap year and an extra day in February?  The cranes ignore it and just carry on as usual.  That extra day this year happened to land on a Wednesday, which meant we had one last crane tour to conduct for the season.  We had a small, but enjoyable, group of visitors for the tour including the man who is the voice for McGruff, the police crime fighting dog. 

_MG_6429

We were able to find 11 cranes for them to observe, along with a good view of the two young eagles.  I’m thinking it won’t be long before these youngsters start flapping their wings and the next thing you know, they’ll be fledging.

_MG_6423Then, on the way back to headquarters, we encountered this water moccasin snake on the side of one of the refuge roads.  This snake had attitude!  As we moved to the opposite edge of the road to pass it, it reared up and snapped open its mouth as we passed.  It was successful in sending us on our way.  Winking smile

In the afternoon, all of the volunteers went along with Doug to visit several areas on, and adjacent to, the refuge.  Several volunteers had never seen the eagle’s nest, and we got quite a show.  While the mother eagle was perched in a nearby snag, the father swooped in with a big fish to feed the ever hungry offspring. _MG_6444Then we went to the Western Jackson County Water Treatment Plant that is surrounded by refuge lands.  Diana and I will be leading refuge tours beginning next Wednesday that differ from the crane tours.  This will be a tour that includes birds other than cranes (which will be nesting) and whatever wildflowers are blooming.  We wanted to check out the treatment plant for a possible destination to include in the tour.  While there, we spotted a pair of cranes working the fields surrounding the ponds.  Tomorrow we will let the biologists know the colors of their leg bands.

I’m sure just about all of you know that in addition to being leap year, today is also Sadie Hawkin’s  Day.  That means I have the opportunity to propose to the man of my dreams today!  Sorry to say, I have to report that I haven’t found a likely candidate.  Sad smile But on the bright side, I’ve got four more years to investigate possibilities.  LOL!

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

15 comments:

  1. I think next winter I may volunteer at a refuge, just have to decide which one.

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  2. Sadie Hawkins day...you know all day people have been mentioning that on Feb 29, women do the proposing but not one person mentioned Sadie Hawkins. I knew something was missing! Don't be in any big rush to change your current status!

    http://travelinglongdogs.blogspot.com

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  3. The snake would have been more than enough for me. Nasty things. I know they eat other things and keep them in check.

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  4. I was always taught to beware of water moccasins. I think I'd rather pass a rattlesake.

    I totally forgot about Sadie Hawkins Day, and dang, it's almost too late to propose to anyone, except possibly in the Pacific time zone! Like you say, maybe in another 4 years I'll be prepared.

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  5. I could totally have done without a photo of a snake on your blog! Right when I was just getting ready to say how great the eagle shot was too...... I hate snakes just like Indiana Jones!

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  6. dang it Judy! I worked all day today too and had no opportunity to hunt down any men folk in the campground to make any Sadie Hawkins proposals to......four more years I guess!

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  7. When I was living in Houston ( a long time ago) I had some bad experiences with water moccasins while canoeing on the small creeks. They would aggressively swim at the canoe and try to crawl in. One time, I foolishly paddled under some over hanging tress and had a couple drop into the canoe. I am afraid I returned the rental canoe with a lot of extra dents from my paddle. I know biologists like to say they are curious, but I think they are just aggressive and mean:)

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  8. Make sure the man of your dreams like washing and waxing RVs! ;c)

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  9. Forget the man, stick to the cranes.

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  10. ewwwwwww snakes. Great bird shots though. I'm so happy the people on your tour had the opportunity to see the eagle feed its young. What a memorable experience.

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  11. Judy, I concur with your thoughts on the Sadie Hawkins Day. The good guys don't come along very often and most of them are already taken ,-)

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  12. Here water mocs were always called cotton mouths because the inside of their mouths was white as cotton, and they are a nasty snake.
    Had totally forgotten about Sadie Hawkins day. when we were in high school we used to have a sadie hawkins day dance and the girls could invite a boy (unheard of a girl asking a guy then). It was always fun to see who came with whom.

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  13. butterbean carpenterMarch 1, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    Howdy Judy & Emma,
    Great pics today and especially the cottonmouth!! He was just saying Hello!!
    I have a great cottonmouth story that's fuuunnnneeee!!! Maybe the gators will give your next bunch of volunteers a thrill.. Of course, you've got those Eastern DBs to locate and show off ,too, also!! Give Emma a hug and pat for me... Go back and get some BBQ from the folks in the woods!! She needs the business..

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  14. YIKES!! Here I am, scrolling through your bird photos innocently...and you throw a snake in just to throw us off guard. I cannot even watch a TV show with a snake on it if I am eating..I get an upset stomach....I loved Steve Erwin, but thought he was certifiable a nut cake for how he "loved" the serpents and reptiles...

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