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Borrego Springs, CA

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Got new wheels today

To celebrate Memorial Day, yesterday, Jack and I each got to do something we wanted to do.  First we headed for a casino.  What?  I have no interest in casinos, but Jack was on a mission.

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He was on the hunt for a couple of $1 poker chips.  He uses them for the center of some of his pine needle baskets.  Some of you may remember our escapades around Mississippi Sandhill Crane NWR when we went out hunting longleaf needles when he visited me in 2012.  No longleafs around here, but there are casinos.  I think it takes about eight hours of work to weave a basket this size.  Of course, that doesn’t include the finding of the needles or their preparation for weaving.  This is an old Native American craft, and I think it’s rather poignant that these baskets are a melding of the old and new Native American culture.  Kind of sad to me.

After lunch at the casino, it was my turn to enjoy a different kind of hunt.  We went back to the refuge to try to find some morel mushrooms.  I have spent many an hour looking for them, but have never been successful.  Morel hunters won’t tell you where to find them, and it is a real social no-no to ask. 

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I did find some unusual looking mushrooms, but sorry to say, they were not morels.  Shucks!  I struck out again.  I believe ideally there should be rain and warm temperatures.  I did see a refuge visitor with a mesh bag of morels a few days ago, but that was right after our 3” of rain.  I’m not giving up though.  This could be the year I finally get to fry up some tasty morels that I’ve found myself.  The going price for them right now is $25/pound!

As for my new wheels?  It was back to work for me today, and as I attended the weekly staff meeting, I asked if I needed special training to operate a riding lawn mower on this refuge.  The grass is getting pretty long around the RV sites, and I offered to cut it.  Several eyes lit up around the table when I said that.  The deputy manager asked if I could start mowing today.

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So here is my new, to me, set of wheels.  I’ve never ridden a Deere before.  Winking smile With a big celebration planned for Saturday with lots of big wigs arriving, they were thrilled that I could help spruce up the place.  I’ve never minded mowing as long as I can ride and not push.  So now I guess I’m the new groundskeeper for RV pads, bunkhouse, maintenance area, and temporary headquarters for the duration of my stay.  Sure beats being inside!  Of course, there was some training involved… mostly in the safety area.  I put on my boots, safety glasses, and ear protection plugs, and off I roared.  I think the area is looking pretty spiffy!  (and I can drive home for lunch!)

After work, I drove to Detroit Lakes to meet Jack for a fare thee well dinner.  No Waffle House this time!  The Ice House Restaurant had linens on the table and cloth napkins.  That’s what I’m talkin’ about!  I had the garlic steak with wine cooked mushrooms while Jack had the broiled fresh Red Lake walleye.  Very tasty, indeed.  We had a nice visit this go around with lots of fun activities.  I look forward to the next time our paths cross.

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When I got back to the rig, I sat outside with Emma for a while and replenished the new addition to the Hard Rock Bird Café.  I bought an oriole feeder the other day, and boy has it been popular with the locals!  You can see how they’ve attacked the orange half, and Ms. Baltimore Oriole finds the grape jelly irresistible.  Seems like it might be about time to hang out some string pieces for the orioles to use to build their nests.  Maybe tomorrow if I get the chance.

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

31 comments:

  1. It was nice to have your adventures with Jack. Certainly was a busy visit.

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  2. I have found that as long as there is grape jelly,they don't want any other foods I offer.

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  3. I think I have lawn mower envy.

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  4. I have heard that Morels grow well in apple orchards. My sister-in-law picks 5 gallon pails of them up at her family's farm. For a strange looking mushroom, they certainly taste good!

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  5. Jack can make a nice basket, can't he? The last time I used a riding mower (Baton Rouge area), it got stuck in a ditch, altho I'm sure I don't know why. Stay away from ditches! :)

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  6. They are still finding morels around here. They are definitely tasty. Sounds like you and Jack had some fun adventures this visit. :)

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  7. Those are some interesting mushrooms that you photographed. Yipes, won't say what they look like but you may put PG on your blog today. hahahahah!

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  8. I've been lucky enough to eat morals that other folks have found. I've never been able to find them myself but they sure are delicious. Love the pictures of the Oriole's. They sure love your feeder. Happy mowing with your new wheels.

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  9. I think the mower looks like fun - you're right, better than being stuck indoors. Clever idea for the pine needle baskets. Jack's a talented guy.

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  10. Those are some wheels you got there. Ought to keep you out of any visitor centers. Neat that you had such a fun time with Jack. Always fun to meet up with special friends on the road.

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  11. I wouldn't know a morel if it jumped up and hit me on the head. Now you can add riding mower to your long list of qualifications. Sounds like it would be fun, but don't try any wheelies.

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  12. That darn Jack! Just when you were having fun he has to leave....now we won't know what he is up to....Tell him to stay longer next time-- Enjoyed reading about your adventures and glad he has progressed from Waffle House to a Three Star Restaurant!!....Love your new ride --My husband and I have a lawn service - we mow about 50 lawns...Big lawn mowers are the way to go!! Have fun mowing-- I bet the place never looked so good!!

    PS Nice work on the basket Jack!!

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  13. Nice set of wheels! We have 3 ride on mowers but none of them are a John Deere, lucky you! With the way our campground is laid out and the fact that there are lots of pine trees, the grass is a bit sparse in areas and lots of small inclines, Kevin is finding it almost quicker to use the push mower in many of the areas.

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  14. Mowing is one of my favorite things to do when we volunteer... hope you enjoy it. Are those false morels in your photos?
    I sold morels for $9 a pound 25 years ago... which was good pay back then. That year the morels were as big as a large hyacinth... and... tasty!

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  15. Oh morels, I've always wanted to find them too. They are supposed to be along the Blue Ridge where we lived but in 35 years, I could never find them. Good luck. Sorry to see Jack go. It's great that he pops up in many places you are. Riding a mower sounds like a great gig to me, even with the noise. It's outside!!

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  16. Now I know why our son looks for morels when they go geocashing, $$ because he doesnt eat mushrooms. The deere looks like ours. wish it had better hydraulics in the seat, we have very bumpy yard and sometimes your back can really take a beating, kind of like an inexpierencd rider on an ill gated trotter. Too bad Jack cant stay longer you two are havng a great time. Have to believe that grass cutting is preferable to say latrine duty.
    Donna W

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  17. Hard to believe that no one likes to mow grass. I would jump at the chance to do that. Any trimming involved?

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  18. Oh cool, you've joined the mowing ranks! Our zero-turn mower is a Deere and that baby sure is a workhorse! Hope you enjoy it as much as I do! The basket is lovely. Wish I had the patience to do something like that!

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  19. Great post! So many interesting topics. How nice that you volunteered for mowing. Anything to get to stay outside.

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  20. I think mowing beats being inside too. Nothing runs like a Deere! :)

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  21. Gail stole my line- "Nothing runs like a Deere!" You will like that little mower . I have heard that you have to dig up the morels and they are in dark rings around trees. I have never hunted them myself but I sure do like them.

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  22. We love our Deere, and have had it 30 years...Of course, MacGyver has given it the "overhaul" every so often...DARN!! I was just getting to know Jack and he up and disappears again..I would make it a point to cross his path again...just sayin'.

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  23. Thanks for the compliments about the basket. Nice hobby to relax with.
    The reason I don't stick around long is I want to see this big old country of ours.
    Judy has lots of tips and trick she can teach. I pay her back with the better meals.

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  24. I still wish I had my old John Deere to ride around on and cut my grass. Looks like you got the hang of your new wheels pretty quick.

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  25. You're supposed to get away from cutting grass when you sell your house and go full time. You must be regressing. At least if you have to cut grass, a Deere is the best way to do it.

    When we sold our house, I was sorry to see my John Deere tractor go, it was the best mower I ever had. Someday if we settle down and buy a house, another Deere will be a priority.

    Just don't run over any mushrooms with your cutting duties! ;c)

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  26. When we were in Gilbert, AR last month we met a guy coming out of the woods with a backpack full of morels. He said he was on his way to Fayetteville the next morning to sell them. He mentioned the $25.00 a pound price he was expecting to get. We asked if we could go along on his next hunting trip and he politely said NO.:-(

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  27. Dave didn't mind the mowing at all at our last volunteer assignment. . .he love the XTR mowers. . .called it fun. . .hmmmmmm. . .

    You're gonna get me in a lot of trouble. . .now I'm gonna need an Oriole feeder. . .how cool is that!

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  28. The mushrooms you have pictured look what we used to find in west-central IN when I was a kid, related to true morels and called "snakeheads" in that region. If the same thing, they are edible but not as flavorful as morels.

    Sarah

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  29. What a nice visit you and Jack had....haven't seen linen table cloths and napkins in forever...you lucky girl! Will Jack be back to visit again before you leave?

    Ummm ....I guess I need a mushroom lesson. I have no idea what a morel is.

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  30. Nice Wheels! Sounds like you are having a great time in Minnesota! We are also getting some Orioles but the racoons have discovered the feeder and there's not much left after they are done. Crazy lot of hummingbirds this year so that is nice.
    Morel mushrooms are a huge deal up here in Northern Michigan and there are two Mushroom festivals with prizes for the biggest morel found.

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  31. Nice post.Thanks for sharing this in your blog

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