It was a work day for me today, so first, I drove the five miles over to the maintenance area to pick up a refuge vehicle. Then I was off to check the information boxes at all of the various entrances to the Alligator River NWR. I had a good supply of refuge pamphlets with me, and most of the boxes needed restocking. There are about 11 different places to check, and it takes quite a while to cover the 70 miles or so around the perimeter, with a couple of stops in the interior of the refuge.
I took a little extra time today to check out some of those gravel roads that penetrate the refuge. About all that was out and about were some turtles.
I believe that these are yellow-bellied sliders. They’re pretty common in the southeast. As you can see, there wasn’t a breathe of wind, so it provided some nice reflections.
Why do turtles cross the road? To get to the other side? I’m not sure what species this is since it didn’t quite look like the others. I encountered this one after checking the canoe/kayak launch along Buffalo City Road. Didn’t have a chance to pick it up to see if it was a male or a female.
After lunch, I was off to the Pea Island NWR visitors center, and checked out the pond at the beginning of the nature trail. Just like five years ago, it was loaded with turtles. On the left is a mud turtle, and on the right is a big snapping turtle. I wondered if this was the same big snapper that lived in this pond in 2007.
As I walked along the boardwalk over the pond, all the turtles came swimming up. I suppose they thought I might throw in something for them to eat. Not a chance, guys. There is a big sign prohibiting feeding the wildlife right on the boardwalk, but my guess is some people do it anyway. Why else would they all make a mad dash over when they felt the vibrations of someone walking on the boardwalk?
I was slated to help one of the interns with the Soundside Presentation today just like last week. At least this time I had been given a script of what was to be covered. It turned out, I wasn’t much help once again. As the presentation began, a gentleman approached me for help. Seems he had locked his keys and cell phone in his car. Hmm… I seem to remember I did the same thing last week, so I was sympathetic. I ended up driving his wife back to the VC so they could use the phone to call a locksmith. I suggested the same one I had used, and they were soon on their way.
By the time I got back, all I could do was help with the last seining walk out in the Pamlico Sound with the net. We didn’t catch much other than a couple of really tiny crabs. I was prepared for this, though, and had already changed into my walking in the water shoes. I just can’t do the bare foot thing. Since half the interns are leaving this weekend, I may be running this show for the next month. I’m ready. There is some other intrigue with refuge staff going on that I’m not at liberty to divulge, so we’ll see what happens.
After picking up my car and dropping off the refuge vehicle, I encountered this fellow on the drive home through the back roads. What a nice ending to my work day. You can only get so close to these bruins before they decide to high tail it off into the woods. That, of course, is best for all involved.
SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE.
Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later, Judy