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Borrego Springs, CA

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Drive-by grabbing… a new Extreme Sport

It was a little foggy as I headed out early this morning to finish up the last two Minnesota Breeding Bird Atlas blocks.  Only added one new bird to the Wauboose block, and nothing new or improved in the Balsam block.  Breeding season for birds in Minnesota is just about done for this year.  I kind of hate to see it end, as I’ve had a wonderful time trying to document breeding birds, and it also means that the mornings are going to be a lot quieter from now on.  I’ll miss the daily cacophony of nature’s symphony. 

IMG_9182 Joe-Pye Weed

In my travels, I did find a new wildflower beginning to bloom.  It’s Joe-Pye Weed.  This flower is in the Aster family and is quite common on the refuge very close to the cattails.  It takes its name from a medicine man named Joe-pye.  In a comment yesterday, Janna asked me to recommend a wildflower guide.  I really don’t have much of a recommendation for her.  I know I’m really appreciating the book loaned to me by the refuge that only covers Minnesota wildflowers.  I like it because it eliminates looking through all those species that don’t grow here.  So all I can say is that I’d get a guide that is specific to the area you are in.  I think it makes it a little easier to figure out the flowers.

After about four hours, the temps had risen to the middle 80’s, so I called it quits on looking for birds.  I would be spending the afternoon picking up litter.

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In my somewhat extensive knowledge of picking up litter, it’s been my experience that the most efficient way to gather litter from roadsides is to use two people.  You can get more than twice as much work done in half the time.  So, after an hour or so, I stopped back at headquarters to see if Rachel was available to help me after her morning long meetings.  As you might guess, she was more than happy to get out of the office.

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One of the roads we worked has an osprey nest on it.  In the first pic, mama osprey is not too happy with us stopping on the roadway, and screamed at us a few times.  We didn’t make any moves to get closer to the nest, so she calmed down.  Notice how she’s shielding the young chicks beneath her from the hot sun?  This nest has been used for years, but doesn’t always produce chicks.  I was happy to see two healthy young ones this year even if it is a bit late in the season.

Boad-winged Hawk

There was also a very cooperative adult broad-winged hawk that posed for us on the same road.  That’s  the nice thing about litter patrol; you get to see so much more than garbage.

To add some excitement to the litter gathering assignment, Rachel and I have invented a new Extreme Sport of sorts.  Remember, she’s young, and I’m the driver.  I must say that our technique is improving every time we go out.

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Welcome to Drive-by Grabbing!  Of course, she’s posing for this shot, but just picture us tooling down the roads and spotting trash along the way.  I slow down a bit, and she leans out to make a grab on the go.  It saves a lot of time, and provides us with chuckles along the way.  I just haven’t figured out yet how I can veer over to the other side of the road, lean out the window, and do the same thing while steering the truck and watching for traffic. Surprised smile

I’ll leave you tonight with last night’s sunset and the fog rolling in over the creek just down from my patio.  It was a wonderful end to the day with the loons calling from Flat Lake in the background.

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Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

31 comments:

  1. What a beautiful time of day...you picture of the sunset and fog is so peaceful!

    Drive by Grabbing...I bet you two were chuckling more than grabbing.

    What a magnificent hawk. I was so excited today to spot a pair of trumpeter swans with 2 babies at the Ninepipe Wildlife Refuge...WOW!

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  2. I was laughing before I even started reading just at the title. You do have a way with titles. I was imagining all sorts of potential drive by grabbings. GREAT header picture!! You are just having too much fun that's all and loons calling at night. I want to be your understudy. I guess I've said that before haven't I??

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  3. Oh how funny. You two sure make a great team.

    Awesome photos of the osprey. The sun shade photo is my favorite.

    Beautiful "end of the day" photo. Looks so peaceful.

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  4. I dindn't know it was legal to have that much fun picking up litter.

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  5. The pictures tonight are so gorgeous, especially the last one. When I saw the blog title I thought maybe there were guys going around in pickup trucks and grabbing for gals along the way (You can see where my mind is!).

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  6. Love your drive by grab! We have one of those grabbers here so I think we will have to start taking it in the truck with us and as we go down the road I can pick up all the recyclable cans and bottles as well as any other garbage. Thanks for the great idea.

    Your evening pic is very beautiful, a nice end to the day.

    Ruth
    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

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  7. I think you've found a great partner in Rachel :)

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  8. Drive by grabbing...I think we have done that here in Ill. Hope Rachel remains in touch with you and you tow tag team grabbers can hook up down the road.!

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  9. Gorgeous evening fog shot. Combined with the loon calls, it must be pure heaven. You and Rachel sure do have a lot of fun-- she looks like some kind of Refuge polo player!

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  10. Never a dull moment, when Judy's around!! Fun day picking up litter. The evening fog photo is absolutely stunning!

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  11. I so wish I could get a picture like that of our Momma Osprey and her two chicks. They've really been doing a lot of wing flapping so I'm assuming they are getting ready to try them out. I think you need to implement drive-by grabbing wherever you go. Cleaning up and having fun at the same time. Can't be beat.

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  12. I think I can see you as an author in the near future, litter control in the wild:)

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  13. Lovely "ending" photo. You're going to miss your buddy, Rachel, when you leave!

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  14. Drive-by garbage grabbing--that's a new one. Rachel is a good sport! Beautiful sunset-fog picture!

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  15. It is sooo fun to work with a "youngster!"

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  16. The young keep us young! Gorgeous evening shot!

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  17. I've picked up tons of litter, but never quite that way ;-)

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  18. ha ha. . .I've had my entertainment for the day!

    Closing shot is just fantastic. . .

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  19. Love the new sport but I have a question . . . does she flip the trash into the bed of the truck? Can't imagine her pulling trash into the cab as you drive along . . . teehee! Grab. Toss. Score! :)

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  20. I think you two have made quite a bond. You will miss each other at the end of the season. You two work so beautifully together.

    Love your closing picture.

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  21. Looks like a great way to pick up trash!
    Your flower is Milkweed..the pink one is called Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata). Joe Pye is different, it is taller and its flower heads will look fluffy..it should bloom soon, I have not seen any bloom yet. The Milkweeds are all blooming now which is great because they are the plant that makes Monarch Butterflies possible. There are two kinds of Milkweed in this area Common Milkweed think heavy leaves and little bouquets of flowers. For a real treat look at them close up..they should be on the roadsides in the refuge.
    Sorry for the long flower lecture:)

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  22. I was getting a little concerned that you were being accosted by a drive-by "grabber"...copping a feel then taking off!! I couldn't imagine anyone doing THAT and getting away with it!!!

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  23. Only you would come up with such a great idea! Nothing better than making an unpleasant task lots of fun.

    But wait, isn't it a bad thing for government workers to be overly productive? I hope you don't get in trouble... :cO

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  24. Gee, if we could teach all young people this game maybe things would look cleaner all over! We could have a bicycle division and a walker division maybe even a motorcycle division...just kidding!! Great way to get the job done and have fun at the same time. Enjoyed the osprey pictures.

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  25. Loved the last photo. Any chance of your including the cry fo the lool so we can enjoy that, too?

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  26. Great idea! More people should try that!!!

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  27. Great idea on the drive by pick up. Beautiful evening shot.

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  28. Judy, you should photoshop moose and loons in that last picture...it would be a winner! When I saw the flower, I thought Swamp Milkweed also.

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  29. this really brought back memories of my breeding bird counts, christmas bird counts, and trash pickups!
    Thanks for bringing them back!

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  30. Nice Post.Thanks for Sharing this in your Blog

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