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Borrego Springs, CA

Thursday, May 16, 2013

First day on the job

Spent the morning shadowing the Environmental Education Programs for about 100 kindergartners from Detroit Lakes.  I could do most of the education stops except the one where the volunteer had the kids singing along with puppets.  Have I mentioned that I, at one time, was a high school math teacher?  Singing ditties about little baby bluebirds with five and six year olds is really not my forte.  Disappointed smile  I can do mimicking frog and toad sounds with a group, but I sure hope I don’t get the puppet assignment!

I was snapping off pictures as I went to each station for tonight’s post, but noticed, eventually, that the camera kept mentioning there was ‘no card’.  I remember forgetting a couple of years ago to put the card back into the camera when I was in Yellowstone, but I was sure I had done that last night after downloading pics of my site here.  I checked, and sure enough, the card was in the camera, but it just wasn’t being recognized.  Ugh!  I hoofed my way back to my car to install a back-up card, but by that time most of the activities were over with.

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So, as I headed back to the rig for lunch, I decided to take a trip down the Blackbird Wildlife Drive.  I need to familiarize myself with what is available for visitors.  This is a pretty typical view of the north woods lakes that are encompassed by this wildlife refuge.

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Around one of the bends in the road, I encountered a Canada goose.  I think she may have been sitting on a nest of eggs.  While the geese are leading their young around already not too far south of here, it’s only been about a week and a half since the ice has left these northern lakes.

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I found a pair of trumpeter swans feeding in one of the wetlands along the drive.  It was so nice to see some of these birds after hearing their trumpeting yesterday after my arrival.

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After lunch I met with Janice, the volunteer coordinator, to get the necessary paperwork out of the way for my volunteering here.  As we were finishing up, Neil, the refuge manager, came in and asked if I would like to go with him to see the energy retrofit that was in progress at the Visitors Center and refuge headquarters.  I jumped at the chance.  This building is closed right now until the fall to make it more energy efficient.  It was an interesting tour.

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While we were driving there, I mentioned that I was interested in taking up my long dormant interest in fishing while I was here.  That peaked his interest, so after walking through all the construction, he took me on a tour of the refuge.  It’s not often a refuge manager will take the time to drive a volunteer around.  I learned a lot, and he showed me about four good places for fishing from the shore.  I don’t really care for ocean fish, but I love fresh water fish.  I’ve got a nicely stocked little tackle box, but it’s on my list tomorrow to buy a license and fishing pole.  Crappies, perch, sunnies, and maybe walleyes look out!  I’m on the hunt.

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Late this afternoon, after I got back to the rig, I set up the Hard Rock Bird Café in my front yard.  I couldn’t believe it when within five minutes, I had purple finches, American goldfinches, rose-breasted grosbeaks, and Harris’ sparrows visiting the seed feeders!  After about a half an hour, ruby-throated hummingbirds also began visiting their feeder.   It usually takes a week or more for birds to show up at a new feeder.  I was amazed and happy.  Guess I’d better add bird seed to my shopping list for tomorrow along with the fishing pole.

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

29 comments:

  1. The birds are already thrilled to see you. Sounds like a good assignment.

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  2. Sounds like a fine and full first day indeed. I need to get a portable bird cafe. I keep saying I will but haven't found the right sorts of feeders that will be easy to store and tote around. We move every two weeks and sometimes earlier so I worry a little about setting them up and then disappearing after the birds are coming around. Great pictures of the trumpeters. I'd love to hear them. Lucky you!

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  3. Sounds like perfect fishing....and outstanding eating!! What a dreamland you have landed at...envious!

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  4. I didn't see any trumpets with those swans. Are you pulling my leg? Maybe if they find their trumpets, they can accompany you when you sing with the kiddies... ;c)

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  5. Count me envious too! I can't believe how few birds I see here at home, even compared to what there were at the campground. I hope you catch lots of fish. When I lived in Ohio I enjoyed the fresh water fish you mentioned, but now that I have better access to wild caught Pacific fish, that's all I eat.

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  6. I think that someone told the birds that you were coming and they were ready for you!

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  7. Add me to the list of those envying your summer habitat! I'm comforted knowing there will be many pictures shared.

    How nice of the trumpeter swans to welcome you!

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  8. My manager gave me a CD of children's sing-along songs. I told her "sorry, you don't want to hear me sing". Since I get to choose the activities, singing will not be one of them.

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  9. Is this heaven on earth or what? You lucky girl! Birds at the feeder already...

    Five and six year olds love you no matter what...enjoy!

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  10. Yikes-100 kindergarteners! You are much braver than I:)

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  11. I would have had a nervous break down with all those kids.
    I recently has a card go bad on me too. Of course I had take thousands of pictures with it. So happy I had an extra one too.

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  12. You are going to have such a wonderful time there. Can't wait to see how the fishing is. That used to be my big love, but, although I have my rods/reels, fishing vest and everything else on board, I haven't fished in years. Like you, I will again some day. :)

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  13. Ah, you won't have to spend day after day standing on hard floors at the visitor center since it is closed for renovation.

    I read in one of Robert Fulgham's books about him asking kindergartners how many could sing and they all raised their hands then he asked older kids and got hardly any hands. He wanted to know when we stop being able to sing.

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  14. Nothing like fresh fish for dinner :) Great pics of the trumpeters

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  15. I have to smile when you say you are in the Northwoods.....I am from Roseau about 170 miles North of you.

    I hope there are some Northerns in the area for you to fish. They are fighters...like the weedy shoreline this time of year and taste wonderful.

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  16. What a beautiful place... and lots of birds as well! Sure sounds like a great place to be for the summer... as for singing, 5-6 year olds don't care a bit if you can't carry a tune in a bucket... they'll love you anyway.

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  17. I'm pretty sure you're going to like it there :)

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  18. There is something very calming about the Northwoods..Our family use to go to Hayward Wisconsin every summer...I know darn well there are black bear up there too...and wolves..!

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  19. We have a lot in common today, what with the trumpeter swans and geese we're seeing. Those kindergarteners would be MY forte, I'd love that assignment! Today I'm searching for a place for us to have a short vacation in Minnesota in August, believe it or not, because we have a state park sticker from last year that expires in August. Will you still be in Tamarac NWR at that point?

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  20. Jim is anxiously waiting to hear about your fishing exploits. Especially the walleye. His favorite. You are really going to have a great time - even if you get the puppet sing-a-long detail. Those little ones don't care if you can sing or not. In fact, they would probably love it if you were extra lousy.

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  21. Looks like you've found the perfect place to spend your summer.

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  22. Sounds like you received quite a welcoming from your bird friends.

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  23. This position sounds like a good one. We will be following along to see how many times you get to share your singing talents with the world.

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  24. Do you think some carrier pigeons passed the message along to those birds that you were headed their way and dinner would be supplied?

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  25. Just catching up on your travels. We love the Detroit Lakes area. My sons went to a summer camp in that general area so we spent several summers driving up there. I like fresh water fish too, especially walleye but I'm not much of a fisherman.

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