.

.
Borrego Springs, CA

Friday, November 23, 2012

Sometimes, you have to be flexible

Normally my work assignment days on the refuge include a half day in the Visitors Center (VC), and a half day roving.  Today my assignment was for a full day in the VC.  While I normally don’t mind a full day now and then in the VC, I wasn’t looking forward to today.  The flooring here is uneven bumpy chunks of slate.  It plays havoc with my current malady, and I have to do a lot of walking on that surface.

After opening up this morning, a call came in that Kathy would not be able to make it in this morning to man the Chesser Homestead.  She was hoping to get here for the afternoon.  I immediately volunteered to take her place for the morning since we had three people manning the VC.  (Overkill in my opinion since the mornings at this time of the year are very slow.)

Sarah, the Brown Shirt on duty, agreed and let me leave to rove and open the Homestead if needed.  Yahoo!!  I was out of there in a flash.  I had the electric cart, so I slowly made my way down the Swamp Island Drive.  One of the parts I like about roving is talking with visitors along the way, and answering any questions they may have.  People are more willing to talk to you when you’re in the little open air cart. 

71 Okefenokee NWR 2012-1316

                Couldn’t pass up the chance to take more pitcher plant photos in the early morning light.

I came upon a couple standing outside their car on the side of the Drive.  The husband had a honking big lens on his camera, and was obviously stalking some little birds in the palmetto understory.  He first asked if I was an expert, and then began to describe a bird he had seen after he told me he was a birder.  I told him the bird he was describing was a male common yellowthroat, and then he showed me a picture he had taken and asked what bird it was.  It was a pretty good photo, so I easily identified a chipping sparrow.  Then he quizzed me on the sounds that these two birds made in the winter.  Luckily, I was able to produce some sounds in my identifications that made him say, “Yes, that’s it!”  Phew!  I’m sure glad they were easy questions, and I’ve always added sound effects to my descriptions.  Who me?  It was a fun encounter.

IMG_0979

After lunch, I returned to the VC to work the afternoon.  Turns out I had done a NO-NO.  I didn’t have a radio (walkie-talkie) with me this morning.  Art, in charge of interpretive programs, had been trying to get a hold of me all morning to tell me to stay at the Chesser Homestead to be the docent all day.  The refuge gets quite a few visitors the day after Thanksgiving, and the Homestead is very popular.  Without a docent, the visitors can’t go through the house to see what it was like back in 1927 for a pioneer swamper family. 

IMG_0984

Needless to say, I hopped back into the cart and floored it back out to the Homestead!  Disappointed smile  I bet I was doing a little over ten miles per hour!  It’s a good thing I got things opened up as I had 72 visitors in three hours.  That’s a lot of people to talk to about the history of the farm.  I was in my element, and thoroughly enjoyed myself.  Sometimes you have to be flexible, but this time the sudden change in the schedule made my day.

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

28 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great way to spend the day... a little bit of everything. Glad you didn't have to stand on that VC floor very long.

    ReplyDelete
  2. We took the grandsons and the German au Pear to a State park Redwood grove that is near our home. We met a "roving" volunteer in the grove and I thought of you. We also took a close look at the Visitors Center which was quite busy today.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think you were in your element. Bet you were great at explaining the history of the Homestead and it sounds like a great change for you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Quick thinking on your part, and it sounds like we worked out quite well. Glad you enjoyed your day today.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sounds like a great way to spend the day!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I had company at my house for Thanksgiving from Georgia yesterday. We'll be swinging by to visit her for the New Year and the first thing I wanted to know was if there were any pitcher plants within reasonable distance of Atlanta. Unfortunately the answer is no! Guess I'll have to get to Okefenokee someday if I want to see them. I had to work today too, but only interacted with 2 patients in 6 hours. Black Friday not a big day for picking up glasses and contacts!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I knew you were expert at bird id'ing and photographing, but didn't know you imitated birds as well. An all around bird whisperer! Don't you just HATE those radios they provide you? At Lassen mine only worked sporadically, so it was a good excuse when I couldn't be reached. The radio hasn't been working very well.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm so impressed with your bird knowledge and ability to remember it all. It really is such a wonder and so helpful to people in natural areas. Nice job of rolling with the changes especially when they are in your favor!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Judy, you are just about THE most flexible person I know....and the smartest.

    ReplyDelete
  10. That's the kind of flexible it's good to be called on to have. Glad your day went much better than you expected it to do. I can't imagine being able to identify all those birds let alone whistle like them. You are one talented lady.

    ReplyDelete
  11. You speed demon, you :) Racing back to do something you really want to do...priceless.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Don't you just love it when days turn out so much better than expected? 10 mph - not sure that speed is safe for you to be "roaring" around the place. Glad you had such a great day.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Sometimes the cards fall just right! Maybe it is a omen of a string of good luck:)

    ReplyDelete
  14. You are like a Boy Scout Judy always prepared.

    ReplyDelete
  15. It is always nice to get the job you like.

    ReplyDelete
  16. A sign I had in my office when I worked (and now have in my home office: "Blessed are the flexible for they will not be bent out of shape." Sounds like this could be your mantra.

    ReplyDelete
  17. A sign I had in my office when I worked (and now have in my home office: "Blessed are the flexible for they will not be bent out of shape." Sounds like this could be your mantra.

    ReplyDelete
  18. A sign I had in my office when I worked (and now have in my home office: "Blessed are the flexible for they will not be bent out of shape." Sounds like this could be your mantra.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Flexibility is good; even better when it is to your advantage like this day turned out to be.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I just can not imagine being able to make bird sounds. Even more I can't imagine remembering what one would sound like.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I think you are in the perfect place doing a job that is perfect for you. Hope you keep enjoying your fun time!

    ReplyDelete
  22. It is always wonderful to catch someone at a VC or a homestead or whatever who really knows her business and can bring to life a musty dusty old place. Good for you!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Wow, you were certainly driving a breakneck speed! Amazing that you didn't run over an innocent pitcher plant out for a stroll... ;c)

    ReplyDelete
  24. You are in your element! NASCAR has joined NWR, apparently...racing around like Danica Patrick and all.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Always good to have one of those days where you feel productive.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Ain't it grand when the vagaries of the day work out in your favor!

    ReplyDelete