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Borrego Springs, CA

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Procrastination wins out

I worked the hunt yesterday morning, but didn’t take any pictures since I figured very few readers would want to see them.  This weekend mottled ducks were legal to take.  They weren’t last weekend, and four $500 fines were given out to hunters that didn’t know any better.  In flight, mottled ducks look very similar to mallards, and inexperienced hunters just shoot rather than letting the birds go.  Mottled ducks are a resident species that are in decline, so that’s the reason their hunt season is shortened.

All mottled ducks taken on the refuge during their season are under a study.  With the hunter’s permission, we take one wing and the gizzard of each mottled duck that is shot.  The wing is used for aging purposes, and the gizzard is studied to see if any lead is detectable.  Many birds consume little rocks to aid the gizzard in digestion.  The gizzard and stones grind up what they eat.  Being dabbling ducks, mottled ducks often ingest lead shot which can effect their survival rate.  That is the reason for the study to test lead levels to see if that is one of the reasons for their decline.

I haven’t been involved in anything like this before, and have so far declined to take the gizzard out of the birds.  I’ve simply done the paper work for each collection.  In order to get the gizzard, you have to cut the lower belly of the bird, and reach in with your hand to extract it.  I found the odor that comes from these birds when you cut them open almost overwhelming.  I can’t describe the smell, but it took almost 24 hours for me to get the smell out of my nostrils.  Those are the pictures that I thought not too many people would be interested in. 

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Today my plan was to stay home and do things like laundry and rig cleaning.  I got the laundry done, but then my tendency to procrastinate about house work kicked in, and I decided to do some shopping in Baytown instead.  I’ll get to why I went to Baytown in a bit.

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On the way back, I stopped at the relatively new Anahuac NWR visitors center that is located only two miles off of I-10.  That’s where the headquarters for the Chenier Plain National Wildlife Refuge Complex is located as well as the visitors center.  Anahuac is just one of the refuges in the complex.

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There’s a half mile round trip trail and boardwalk through a cypress swamp behind the visitors center.  It was a warm sunny day, so I took the trail down to an overlook of Anahuac Lake.

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It’s a very nice walk through the cypress.  Cypress are the only cone bearing trees that lose their needles (leaves) each fall.  What’s left are their cones.  There was a lovely fragrance of pine all along the trail.

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I was not alone on the trail.  Appropriately, there were plenty of turtles out sunning themselves as I walked along Turtle Bayou, and several little lizards on the boardwalk.

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                                                 I’m back in the land of Spanish moss as well.

Over the last several years, I’ve often wished I had some sort of a blender.  More recently, I’ve wanted to make some fruit smoothies.  It’s hard to do that without a blender.  So today I decided it was time to get one.  It sure beats vacuuming.  Nyah-Nyah

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What I ended up with is the “Magic Bullet”.  Supposedly, I will be able to make wonderful creations in 10 seconds or less.  We’ll see how that comes out.  Of course, I have to first wash everything in warm soapy water before using.  I’m thinking there are some fruit smoothies and chocolate malts in my near future.  I guess I’ll have to stay home tomorrow and do some vacuuming…

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

36 comments:

  1. I told Jim I didn't want any pictures of his hunt either but so far the deer have been safe - he has a buck tag and he's seen does and some spikes is all. That one turtle looks like he's trying to take off. Love it. We also have a bullet and Jim loves it. I very seldom drink anything besides water but Jim makes Italian sodas and smoothies and milk shakes and an occasional adult beverage.

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  2. Oh no....you meant stay home and make smoothies didn't you? Why vacuum?
    Nice walk you had....

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  3. I have one of those 'magic bulletts' and LOVE it, make my protein shakes with it!!! Turtles!!

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  4. Definitely enjoyed the turtle pictures a lot more than duck cleaning.

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  5. in the left side of the scale malts, the right side of the scale vacuuming......the scale almost tipped over on the left !

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  6. I saw a lot of hens slaughtered and prepared for the skillet or stew pot in my childhood, and watched my mom clean them and do the gizzard. I don';t recall an odor, but then I didn't stand too close. To me, the odor following the dipping of the chicken into boiling water and then pulling the feathers out was the worst smell. My mom loved the gizzard, but I couldn't eat one to this day. I wouldn't mind seeing the hunt pictures if they weren't too gory.

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  7. Procrastination. I've studied that technique carefully and have mastered it over the years. ;c)

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  8. Aw, the heck with vacuuming -- let's hear it for experimenting with the Magic Bullet!

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  9. I see some serious Yum in your future! Enjoy!!

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  10. Does it really count as procrastinating as long as you found a blog-worthy topic about making smoothies? ;-)

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  11. It looks like we are planning to visit Anahuac the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Hope we can meet up. I left you a google hangout message with our email.

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  12. Thanks for sparing us the photos. I even had to skim through the description....

    We have green smoothies every day. We just just enough fruit to sweeten it, but mostly veggies, figuring it will be better for us. Our staple is made with spinach, kale, red cabbage, blueberries, pomegranate juice and bananas. Sometimes we add apples, sweet potatoes or carrots. Just experiment. You can't really mess them up.

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  13. Having "dressed" many a critter, I could actually smell that innards (warm guts) smell when I read your blog. There'd probably be more vegetarians around if they had to butcher their own meat ;-) Feel free to delete this... it may be more graphic than most would prefer ;-) I think I'd like working the check station... sure fire way to learn the species up close!

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  14. Magic bullet sounds great. I have a vita mix and make smoothies with it all the time. Haven't made a malt, I'm afraid to get started. Might be a really slippery slope.

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  15. How interesting about the mottled duck study. I never knew such a study was done. Thank you for sparing us the photos. Your description is plenty for me.


    Hope you will share a few of your smoothie recipes.

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  16. I have a big ole Cusinart blender--takes up way too much room in the motorhome. Glad you didn't post photos! :)

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  17. I also have the bullet. Sometimes the blade gets slow and while it is off the motor turn it a few times to loosen it up. I don't use it very much anymore but I did make lots of smoothies for a while. Just got to expensive for all that good stuff. Enjoy it

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  18. Last year, I purchased a Magic Bullet for the motorhome. After misusing it by trying to blend too much at one time. Now, I use it regularly. Yesterday, I ran out of cinnamon. Out comes the M.B. and a cinnamon stick. I broke the stick using pliers and the magic bullet ground them into power. Who would have thunk?

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  19. No photos of your dancing partner--Mr. Vacuum? I have been looking through my recipes for the holidays, and low and behold, I found the recipe for sponge candy. We call it Angel food:
    Here it is:
    2 rounded teaspoons baking soda
    1 cup brown sugar
    1 cup dark Karo Syrup
    Boil sugar and syrup to 295 (crack). remove from burner, add soda. (use a larger pan because when the soda is added it foams to twice its size) Blend in well but DO NOT OVER STIR. It will stay foamy. Immediately after foaming, place in a well-greased 9x13 pan and let cool. When cooled, break into pieces. Coat with chocolate!! Enjoy

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  20. My episodes of procrastination follow along the same lines. I actually have that smoothie maker - at home. Lotta good it's doing for me 4 months away from home in Texas. I wonder if I should shell out for another or a blender. I'd love a smoothie right now and a chocolate malt a little later would work, too. Love the close up pics too, as usual.

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  21. Paulette uses her Magic Bullet to make fruit smoothies practically every day and love it. Thanks for not sharing those gizzard photos.

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  22. If you put Greek yogurt in your bullet to make a smoothie, you will still have to stir it. That stuff is thick! But the protein of the yogurt will stay with you longer than just fruit/veg will.

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  23. I have a Magic Bullet, too, and I love it. It's so small. Very easy to store and get out as needed. I like to make fruit smoothies with yogurt, ice and any fruit I have on hand. I sometimes add fruit juice or water to thin it out enough to sip through a straw. Super quick lunch or light dinner, snack, etc. I hope you like it. (I also have a VitaMix, but it's so big, I have it stored. Once in a while I'll get it out, but too much effort.)

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  24. If you make too much at one time using yogurt you can freeze it and then have frozen yogurt, better than ice cream.

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  25. Does the Magic Bullet make Margaritas?

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  26. That Magic Bullet sounds like quite the machine!

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  27. I make smoothies every morning... I love frozen unsweetened dark cherries mixed with almond milk and whey protein. ... frozen peaches... any frozen fruit in lieu of ice cubes .. makes it more milkshakey like...

    You going to share recipes?

    I didn't know that about Cypress trees! they lose their needles... surely do smell good

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  28. We always had gizzards around the holidays. The gizzards were cut up in small pieces browned and mixed in a little brown gravy and then mixed in rice. They were very good. Not the exact recipe and haven't had any since my mother passed away. They can be found in many larger grocery stores. Made me hungry for them reading your post. Will have to search the web for a recipe, and though shopping. Thanks. As usual great photo's.

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  29. You will have to do a Magic Bullet Review for us! With recipes. It was below zero today with the wind chills, air temp was 14. I bet you are glad you are not still here:)

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  30. Buying a smoothie machine ALWAYS beats vacuuming. Tomorrow I hope you can find something ELSE that beats vacuuming!

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  31. Finally, the mottled duck gets some recognition. I spent three years studying them in LA for my Master's thesis and developed an affection for the little known "black mallard." Thanks for sharing the great pictures.

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  32. Tried to comment from work but DOI didn't like that! I thought lead shot had been outlawed! The smell story reminded me of when I first moved to Maine and worked as an "egg picker" at a chicken farm. OMG the smell was horrible - took me 2 days to quit coughing up the nasty dust. I made about $2 an hour picking eggs off the conveyor, too, and decided egg farms are abusive to the poor chickens stuffed 3 to a cage, no room to lay down, debeaked, and feathers on breast missing from pressing against the wire cages. That's why I buy free-range eggs now, and chicken meat when I can.

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  33. I got that job once. Only one mottled duck came in, and, as soon as I switched to my helpless blonde persona, the hunters took over and retrieved the gizzard for me.

    And do report on your blender. I may have to get one.

    I am really enjoying my smart stick. It replaced a food processor that was taking up too much room in my rooms or Honda Fit. And it is so much easier to use, that I use it at friend's houses when they have food processors or blenders.

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  34. I'm probably the only one who would have enjoyed the dissection photos. I loved the anatomy class I took about 6 years ago and was the one in class who was all geeked out over doing the dissection of the cow eye. As for smoothies, the few times I made one I was not bowled away. I prefer my fruits and veggies whole it seems.

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