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Borrego Springs, CA

Friday, February 22, 2013

Needed rain

As I write this post tonight, there’s a nice moderate rain going on outside.  The swamp needs it badly.  Over the four months I’ve been here, I’ve noticed the water levels drop.  Ponds and borrow ditches are drying up.  That’s not a good thing.  Rain has been forecasted for the next two days, and I, for one, hope the forecast is correct for a change.  I would also much prefer to have rainy days on the days I have to work, so it can rain all it wants for tomorrow and Sunday.

Yesterday was supposed to be a day of training about the environmental programming we do for schools.  The morning almost went as planned, and our volunteer/intern group followed along as fellow volunteer Barry led us on a hike to discover those things that most people wouldn’t notice along one of the trails.  He did an excellent job pointing out things you’d normally just walk past.

The afternoon didn’t go as well, as there were a couple of unexpected emergencies.  One involved a visitor that had recently had brain surgery.  As he was sitting at a table in the picnic area, he began to bleed profusely from his head.  Staff went out to help him, but the men’s bathroom and the picnic table needed taking care of.  Reminded me of my blood born pathogens' training from my working days.

Then the eighth grade school group arrived and descended on the Visitors Center.  Half of the group went on a boat tour, and we handled the other half in the VC.  After 90 minutes, they traded places.  I was scheduled to give a program to them before they left.

There were delays with the boat tours, and even though the VC closes at 5:00, I wasn’t able to start my program in the auditorium on the red-cockaded woodpecker until 5:30.  So how does it go with 64 hungry eighth graders for a half hour at the end of a long day?   Well, I put on my dancing shoes and kept them glued to the subject and interested in a little bird for the duration.  I get pumped for these presentations, and thankfully it was successful.  Sometimes, the ‘Force’ is with you!

Today, it was back to a normal morning working the VC and roving in the afternoon.  Although overcast, it was warm enough to do my roving in the open electric cart.

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It had been several days since I’d been down Swamp Island Drive, and I noticed the bladderworts beginning to bloom in one of the borrow ditches.  They are a carnivorous plant that ‘eats’ microbes in the water.  There are little bladders hanging down in the water at the end of each of the star shaped stems resting on the water top.  Each of the little bladders has a trap door that closes when something moves inside.  Then it’s curtains for that microbe as there is no escape.

71 Okefenokee NWR 2012-1343

As I drove further, there seemed to be a pretty large hatch of what I thought were pink butterflies.  As I got out of the cart and tried to chase them down with my camera, I found it impossible to get a good sharp shot.  They never stop moving.  When I got back to the rig, I couldn’t find any pink butterflies in my field guide, so I’m thinking it’s probably a moth.  All the splashes of pink in the swamp were a colorful surprise today.

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Of course, the alligators were out this afternoon.  This guy (?) lives in the ‘secret pond’, and was out cruising this afternoon.  I saw a fish break the surface, and the alligator literally blasted out of the water and dove after it.  What a sight!  I guess the alligators have begun feeding again…

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

31 comments:

  1. Did you hear what happened to the guy that was bleeding? good lord! that's terrifying.

    Bladderworts... I never.

    I have never seen a pink butterfly or moth. how beautiful.

    As always ... great pictures and information ...

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  2. Seems so many states need water. We are still way below our level and since we haven't been snowed on much we will be low come Spring. That guy must have been on some kind of blood thinner to have bled like that, plus, head wounds bleed so bad anyway. Hope is ok. The pink moth is really different.

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  3. Wow, you certainly had your hands full today.

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  4. You really deserve a special award if you could keep 64 hungry 8th graders interested in a woodpecker for 30 minutes. Middle schoolers are the worst. If I wasn't convinced before, I'm convinced now, there is nothing you can't do!

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  5. What a day! I prefer slow and steady and not too much excitement. That means the rain too, not enough for floods, but enought to bring up water levels.

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  6. We got rid of a bunch of books today, but I kept my bird book. :-). I'll be needing it on the road.

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  7. 64 8th Graders? Good Lord, what a challenge. My head would have been spinning.

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  8. Hope the gentleman with the head surgery is doing fine tonight.

    Try being the teachers with 64 8th graders...been there; done that!

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  9. Sure wish I could send you some of our rain. Our yard looks like a disaster area but it is too wet to do anything with it. Raining now, and more rain forecast for monday. You have my sympathy for having to deal with that many youngsters:-)

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  10. We got a couple of really good soakings while at Red Bay, and the rain has pounded on the roof our first two nights back in Montgomery. I'll be happy to send all that water your way for a bit.

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  11. I am not sure I could have dazzled 64 kids like that and would likely have needed to use a slightly different version of the "force":)

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  12. You find the most interesting and wonderful places to volunteer, and your enthusiasm is "catching".

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  13. Bladderworts and pink moths...how interesting.

    Hope you get the much needed rain.

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  14. Never a dull moment! I have three 7th grade grandchildren (among others!) so I can sure appreciate the energy level of 64 8th graders. Good grief!!

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  15. To bad about the bleeding head person and happy the kids didn't see it.
    Looks like you are having some nice spring weather. Care to send some this way?

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  16. I don't believe I've ever seen a gator going after a meal. I think you'll be having some more rain coming soon.

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  17. How frightening for the man with the head bleed. Judy, your posts are so interesting and informative and your pictures so beautiful that I truly believe you could publish a book from this blog and make an income.

    I'd love to borrow your eyes and instinct on walks. You see things that I'm convinced I'd miss on walks.

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  18. Beautiful pink moths. I've never seen that species before. Thank you for posting.

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  19. butterbean carpenterFebruary 23, 2013 at 8:44 AM

    Howdy Judy,
    Looks like the 'spammers' have found your blog today!!! That is so bad for your blog readers to have to go through commercials, one reason we don't have television!!! Your pics today were outstanding and getting to see an alligator hunting prey is awesome!!! That pink moth must be some kind of 'swamp bug', but a pretty one!!! We're glad you are enjoying the rain we sent you, of course it didn't drop any out here in West Texas, but you're welcome to it, anyway!!! We didn't send any tornadoes, they just jumped in in Looozianna!!!!
    Give Emma a pat & hug for us!!! Hope the twisters don't get you & Emma!!!

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  20. Could it be some type of Sphinx Moth. . .they do have beautiful pink on them, although the ones I've seen have had more brown.

    Seeing an alligator in feeding mode. . .awesome!

    Janice
    ReadyToGoFullTimeRVing Blog
    FaceBook.com/ReadyToGoFullTimeRVing

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  21. Could it possible be a Sphinx Moth. . .they do have beautiful pink on them. . .although the ones I've seen had more brown.

    An alligator in feeding mode. . .awesome!

    Janice
    ReadyToGoFullTimeRVing Blog
    FaceBook.com/ReadyToGoFullTimeRVing

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  22. I, too thought Sphinx moth when I saw your photo... but then I have to remember that you're in Georgia and I don't know what's there... have to keep remembering what habitat I'm in... let alone anyone else ;-) I hope those eighth graders had good chaperones... what a handful!

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  23. Never a dull moment at the visitor's center!!! Enjoy your weekend, and I hope you get a chance to relax,.

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  24. Hungry gators? Stay away from the water!!

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  25. I'm with Rick...feeding alligators spell trouble. Judy, I could NOT do what you do...giving talks and tours. Of course, no one in their right mind would WANT me to do that...I would immediately be thrown behind bars for being politically incorrect and offensive ;-)

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  26. Glad you got to use your teaching gift for those kids. Now how come you've never put on your dancing shoes when we visit you? That's something we'd love to see! ;c)

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  27. Kudos to you for successfully entertaining that truck load of kids. Wow!

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  28. Glad you are getting the rain. Even here in the NW they are behind in rainfall for the year. Its been raining plenty the last few days so maybe that will help.

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  29. Yes it is about feeding and breeding time for those gators. Love the turtle, that is how I feel after overcast days.

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  30. Oh my! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I LOVE yours! I learned so much just be ready two or three posts! :) I'll be back!

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  31. Maybe a bella moth: http://www.georgiabutterflies.com/id199.html

    TravelBug-Susan

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