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Borrego Springs, CA

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Trash and a Treasure

Instead of taking another day off today, I decided to work so I’ll be sure to have the weekend free for some special visitors.  The harried activity of getting ready for the Expo is over, so I tackled litter pick-up on the refuge.  In general, I don’t mind picking up trash because I’m outside all day and can enjoy what I see and hear as I make my way to those areas that I know need cleaning up.  Of course I always have my camera along for any opportunities that present themselves.

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                                                                              White Ibis

I’m going to make a very broad generality here based on my vast experience as a litter picker upper.  Fishermen, or women, are among the most uncaring and trash producing individuals on our refuges.  That’s why I know to go where the boat ramps are and popular fishing locations.  No matter how thoroughly I clean these areas, I can go back the next day to find more fishing line, beer, water, and pop cans and bottles, snack wrappers, used toilet paper, Sick smile and empty cans of those little wieners.  It’s disgusting really.

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                                                                         White-faced Ibis

Cell phone reception when I am out and about on the refuge is spotty at times.  Sorry to say, because of this I missed a call about fellow volunteers Barb and Barry.  We all worked together last winter at Okefenokee NWR, and they stopped at the visitors center in Anahuac to see if we could get together.  I could easily have met up with them if I knew they were coming. Sad smile  Hopefully we can get together some other time this winter.

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As I made my way out to Frozen Point, I got to see something I’ve known about for years but never observed.  I wanted to share it with you.  Many people use the refuge boat ramps to access Galveston Bay for crabbing purposes.  The local Vietnamese community especially likes putting out crab pots in the bay.  Today I was able to watch as one of these crabbers checked his traps.

IMG_5032As he pulled up the crab pot, you can see that I was not the only one interested in watching.  Lots of brown pelicans were following him.

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                                 Once the crab trap was on board, the pelicans congregated close by.

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I don’t know if he was throwing out old bait or what, but it sure seems the pelicans knew there might be a handout.  See the crab trap buoy on the far right of the pic?

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It only took a short time for the crabber to reset his pot, and then he was on his way to his next buoy.  The pelicans followed right along with him.

After getting my fill of trash, I stopped by headquarters to hand in a monthly vehicle gas usage form.  Had a couple of surprises while I was there.  The 50th anniversary of Anahuac NWR is approaching, and the Refuge Friends Group and refuge will be producing a book commemorating its first 50 years.  I was asked to submit some of my best photos taken on the refuge during my seven year history here, and also asked to write an essay to be included in the book comparing the challenges the refuge faced in the 60’s, when it was established, as opposed to its present management challenges.  I was flattered to be asked, and will be working on that in the coming weeks.

The second surprise was to find out I had a small package delivered here.  I was mystified since I have my own mailbox at the Winnie facility, and use that address.  The outside of the package indicated it came from Massachusetts.  I don’t know anyone in Massachusetts.  After what I posted about fruit smoothies last night, can you imagine my shock to find a book on Ultimate Smoothies in the package when I opened it?  I wasn’t to solve this mystery until I was paging through the book this evening after I got back to the rig.  I finally located a note inside from a reader of this blog named Barbara.  She read my initial post about the Magic Bullet, and sent me this book.  What a treasure this is.  My previous attempts not only looked unappealing, but tasted bad.  Thanks Barbara!  I’ll soon be on my way to making things like “Where the Cheer and the Cantaloupe Play” and “War and Peach”!

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                                                                              THE END!!

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

38 comments:

  1. What a roseate picture. Spectacular!! That one for sure has to be among the collection you submit. Sure hope I get to read a copy of what you write. I think it's wonderful that they asked you. It just shows that they know talent when they see it. Can't wait to hear about all those great smoothies you are going to be making. I've had readers send things to us especially during David's rough last year. It is just such a wonderful surprise.
    Readers are wonderful!!!

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  2. After working as park caretaker for the past three years, Kevin would agree with you on the messy fishermen and women in the bathroom. What a shame. Congrats on the honor of having your pictures and essay in the book. Can't wait to hear how the smoothies turn out. Our kids got a magic bullet for a wedding gift, and I've been thinking of getting one too.

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  3. Congrats on your new career as a writer and photography. One day I'll be able to say I knew Judy when she was just "The Bird Lady of Blogland".

    Great end pic tonight.

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  4. would think after all the fab pics you have taken to narrow it down

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  5. I just love the bird pictures! It is no surprise to me you were asked to submit photos...we all look forward to them and you sure have a way with words too! Like the story about the crab pots and the pictures to go with it...

    Enjoy your smoothies!

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  6. Oh those Roseate Spoonbills are so beautiful! What makes people leave their trash around? They must have had lousy Mothers.

    I suppose you could buy some fresh crab from that fisherman!!
    I am sure your beautiful photos will be a great addition to the Refuge Book:)

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  7. What a beautiful picture of that 'pink' bird!!!

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  8. The pelicans are amazing. Is the big bird in the first fishing boat picture also a pelican? I didn't realize they have such a huge wingspan.

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  9. I can't think of a better or more talented bird photographer and bird lover to help with the 50th anniversary book. Your pictures are always amazing and informative. I've learned so much from your blog and the pictures you take.

    And to think of all that time you wasted teaching math! ;c)

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  10. I can't think of anyone better to submit photos and write for the 50th anniversary book. Way to go, Judy! Have fun with the smoothies. :-)

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  11. Spectacular pic of the Roseate Spoonbill. I shall have to add it to my list of must find birds. Or you could just pack one up and send it to me for Christmas! lol Congrat on the photo opportunity... it will be something to look forward to.

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  12. I gasped in appreciation of your header! AMAZING Spoonbill shot! :) Loved all of them, how interesting about the pelicans...pretty smart birds! Glad you got a book too...I bet you enjoy those smoothies now!

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  13. We so much enjoy reading about all the wonderful experiences you have. I don't know how you find the time to write this great blog.

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  14. What fun you'll have with the 50th Anniversary project. It would be hard to limit both words and photos to say it all.... what choices!

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  15. Holy buckets, you have a lot going on!!! Kudos to you for being invited to contribute to the 50th anniversary edition. It does make me angry when I see folks throw out their garbage anywhere they please. Thanks to caring people like you, who must clean up after them. It is a thankless job, but so very important. Love the photos of crab trapping. Have an enjoyable day!!

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  16. Spectacular roseate photos--I'm envious--but not envious of your mosquitoes!!

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  17. You could be some serious competition for National Geographic!!

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  18. WOW...what an honor to be asked to submit photos and write. Hope you will share you essay.

    Lovely photos today. I enjoyed seeing the fisherman also.

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  19. I'm so glad that you are willing to be a trash picker upper! I like that too!

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  20. great roseate picture and congratulations on your writing project. Your pictures are spectacular! they ought to be a book ... I love walking out on the piers. Even with line bucket things to put old lines in and trash barrels everywhere.... it never ceases to amaze me how uncaring people are. The plastic six pack holder things and fishing lines just dropped in the water where any bird can get tangled up in.. hate it. ... old bait cups ... bloody fish heads. ???! hate it

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  21. I want to get on Barbara's gift book list. What a nice story and what a nice person she is.

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  22. Love that spoonbill! I just made a very tasty smoothie today (from the Ninja book) - 1-1/2 cups pineapple, 2 kiwis, 1 banana, and 5 cubes of ice. Oh, and a cup of frozen spinach. Can't taste the spinach at all. (Supposed to use fresh baby spinach). Congrats on being asked to write and submit photos for the book. I saw that poster when I was there.

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  23. Used toilet paper? Now that is an image I wan to forget real soon:(

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  24. I don't know women, but we agree that fishermen are terrible litter bugs. They open a package of hooks and throw the package on the ground, leave pop cans and other messes, even styrofoam bait boxes wherever they are. I wonder if they like coming to fish in a messy area?

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  25. I never understand the mess people leave behind. Is it to heavy empty to carry to a trash can? Yet they claim to love the outdoors. And as we know fishing line is a real killer to birds and other aquatic things. I would love to be a ranger and just walk the shore line.

    Hope this book gets you making some great smoothies.

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  26. What an honor to be asked for your photos!
    Teri
    markteri.blogspot.com

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  27. Your contributions to their book will be amazing. We all have had the chance to enjoy all your photos and now many others also will.

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  28. Kudos on the Roseate shots!

    I'm with you on litter pickup -- there is a sort of Zen to just being able to enjoy being out there in the air, listening to the world around you and noticing -- through trash -- the values of citizens around you.

    But to be truthful, the idea of spending the whole DAY doing it is less my idea of a great day. Here at Siuslaw we get a chance to litter pick amid a variety of other little jobs that fill the day. I guess that's ZEN for the ADD or ADHD among us ??? I must just have a short attention span.

    A little bathroom scrub here, a little leaf blow there, here a weed sack, there a brush hack, everywhere some litter. Olde Volunteers, we have our jobs, E, Eiy, E Eiy Oh!

    Cheers,
    Peter
    A retired photographer looks at life from behind an RV steering wheel.
    Life Unscripted

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  29. I agree with everyone else, you are a very talented photographer and your birding images are amazing. The Roseate Spoonbill header takes my breath away! They are so beautiful. You and Al B. from http://thebayfieldbunch.com/ take the best bird photos! What an honor to be able to share your photographs and thoughts in the 50th anniversary of Anahuac NWR book!

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  30. I find it a crying shame that anyone would think it okay to be a litter bug. . .but having also volunteered, I know what you say to be the truth. . .sad really. . .thanks for all you do!

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  31. One would think. that a person who does outdoor activities would take special care not to litter. As I said One would think. In lots of cases One would be wrong. It's so easy to dispose of trash.

    That person tending the crab traps does have a challenge.

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  32. I tried to mail the book to you in Winnie, TX but my post-office person couldn't find a zip code. No zip code-no idea how much to charge for postage. Then the nice internet gave me another address. So glad you eventually received it. Enjoy!

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  33. I have to agree with you Judy about fishermen being so trashy! I always think that they would take better care of the lakes and rivers where they fish so that the fish population could stay healthy. I think they are uncaring morons! It makes me sick to see the trash and the Styrofoam bait cups. And the fishing line is so hazardous to fish and birds. Makes me fume!

    Love the picture of the Roseate Spoonbill. So beautiful!
    SKP Hugs,
    Karen

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  34. I do remember how much trash those guys could create.

    And your photo series on the Vietnamese crabber was interesting. I was always amazed to see them bring in their traps the first day of the season. I couldn't believe they could travel with that huge stack of crab traps on their boats.

    Happy Thanksgiving. I'll have to go see if you went to Cumberland Island. Going there for my Thanksgiving after having Thanksgiving Wednesday night with Cindy M.

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  35. You will have trouble choosing a few pictures from your many, many great shots.

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  36. Nice Post. Thank you for sharing this in Your blog

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