My last post left you in June at Tamarac NWR in Minnesota. As it turned out, I still had more than three months left in my tour of duty there.
Tamarac is another jewel of a refuge, and I enjoyed all the blooming ladyslippers along with all the birds I was surveying. On my days off, I did the tourist thing in the area and in Fargo, ND. I found a candy store that made chocolate covered sponge candy and chocolate covered potato chips. That in itself was memorable.
Then there was the malt shop and the Breadsmith store. I make my own malts now, but I can’t wait to get back for some of those hearth baked breads. I was able to visit kids and grandkids in Rochester twice during the summer, and perhaps they’ll be able to make a trip up to visit me next summer.
I had the pleasure of having four other bloggers visit, and how could I forget Mr. Smith the fresh vegetable grower? Since the temps up there were 27* below zero yesterday, I wonder if he has put a shirt on yet. My plans were to leave toward the end of September, but fate stepped in to decide otherwise. The nice part about that was I got to enjoy the beautiful fall colors while worrying a bit about snow coming.
All was not fun and games though at Tamarac. The challenges began with the wood and deer ticks soon after my arrival. Next was the mosquitoes. Same say they are Minnesota’s state bird. Early on the bears played havoc with my bird feeders, a horrible storm made toast of my outdoor screen tent, and I ended up aggravating my shoulder as the result of painting 200 sign posts. Then the refrigerator broke, there was the government shutdown, and I was stuck by myself on 40,000 acres. The leaves turned, and the invasion of the Asian beetles began. I’m still finding those buggers crawling out from who knows where on warm days even after three months. These little things keep life interesting though.
I need to apologize to Bob and Linda for including them in the collage of challenges. I some how missed including them in the last collage. I certainly didn’t feel they were in that category…really, I didn’t.
It was about the middle of October before I could finally head south to my next assignment at Bayou Cocodrie NWR in Louisiana. I had to make that trip as quickly as I could because of my late departure, so not much time was spent visiting areas. I did find two good campgrounds that I’ll visit on my way back north next spring, and I took a little time out at the Tom Sawyer Campground to enjoy the tug boat traffic along the Mighty Mississippi.
As you may remember, Bayou Cocodrie was a great disappointment to me, and I had to turn down that assignment. Luckily, Stephanie had room for me here once again at Anahuac NWR along the Gulf Coast of Texas. I’m now back in the land of birds and alligators and cattle drives for my sixth time. I’ve already had a number of visitors, so life is good to finish out the year.
That’s a wrap for me for this year as 2014 is a little over five hours away. Fireworks are a big thing here in Texas so I’ve wrapped Emma in her thunder shirt to help her get through ‘til midnight. Happy New Year everyone!!
Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later, Judy