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Borrego Springs, CA

Friday, January 3, 2014

Oh, Fiddlesticks!

The wind had quit by the time I got up this morning to temps in the high 20’s.  Brrr!  I kept the water faucet dripping overnight, so my water didn’t freeze, but it sure was chilly when I took Emma for her first outs.  It wasn’t long before I was on my way to do my bird surveys. 

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As I approached one of my survey areas, there was a sudden ‘snow’ squall of geese.  Snow geese, that is.  Winking smile  They were just outside my count area, but I stopped the truck to enjoy the sights and sounds.

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The sky was filled with them!  I finished three of my survey areas, and the geese were still hanging around as I exited that area.  I hurried back to the VIS to pick up fellow volunteer Terry.  She has been wanting to see the geese, and every time she goes looking, they are somewhere else.  Darn birds, they do have wings.

IMG_5442She hopped in the truck, and we headed back to find them in one of the areas that are closed to the public.  I had previous permission to take other volunteers into this closed area with me.  That would prove important a little while later.  Also keep in mind that each of these shots just shows a very small portion of the huge flock of snow geese.  Do you see all those goose heads still in the marsh that didn’t take off?

My first fiddlesticks moment of the day came right here when I got the truck stuck in the mud trying to back out of a pull off space to see the geese.  I think I might have used a phrase a little stronger than ‘Oh Fiddlesticks’ when that happened. Surprised smile  No volunteer wants to get stuck and have to call for help to get pulled out.  Especially at this time of the year when most staff are using up their last vacation days and no one is around to help.   Other volunteers would certainly come to my rescue, but then they, rightly, never let you forget about it either. 

Luckily, I had a shovel in the back of the truck and Terry dug up some dry gravel while I put the truck into what I thought was four wheel drive.  This is an old truck and it’s gear stops are worn down and hard to read.  We were successful, and saved further embarrassment.

As I drove Terry back to the VIS, a vehicle flagged us down and a man asked if I was Judy.  I said yes, and he then explained that he was from the CBS Sunday Morning News crew, and had been told by Terry’s husband, Bob, that I knew where the geese were.  If any of you watch CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood, you know that each weekly program has a wonderful wildlife video for the five minutes or so at the end.  Well, that’s what they were here to record, and they wanted me to guide them to the geese!  

On the spot, I told them that I would have to take Terry back to the VIS and would then come back for them as they would have to be in my vehicle.  They were good with that.  As I neared the VIS, the truck began acting up and became un-drivable.  Ach!  I also got that feeling in the pit of my stomach that maybe I’d better check with someone about doing this.  As I voiced this feeling to Terry, she said, “It’s always best to CYA” (cover your a$$).  After all, it would be going into a closed, protected area, and I sure wouldn’t want to get ‘canned’ for taking the public into a closed area.  That could certainly happen if the footage ended up on national TV.  Disappointed smile  I ended up calling the refuge complex manager, and he said CBS would have to have a special use permit in order to be allowed into a closed area with me.  

After borrowing Terry and Bob’s vehicle, I returned to the CBS guys and explained about the permit.  I told them that a call to the complex manager would probably be all that was needed, but they declined doing that and got footage on the public access roads instead. 

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So I’ll be watching the CBS Sunday Morning program in the near future to see if Anahuac is featured.  But, ‘Oh Fiddlesticks’, I sure would have liked to have shown them our geese and watch and see how these segments are made.

By the way, Bob fiddled with that four wheel drive shifter thing, and eventually got it back to a point where I could safely drive the truck again.  All seems well with it, and after finishing the last three of my survey areas, I headed for home.

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                                                                   I’m keeping my eye on you!

                                                                                 THE END!!

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

27 comments:

  1. Those are some wonderful segments, I like that show and watch it when I can. It would have been fun to see your photos of the film crew:)

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  2. Aw, shucks. I watch Sunday Morning each week, and would have loved to know you had a hand in one of their ending segments. But as you said, better to CYA.:-)

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  3. That is one of my favorite shows. And I love the wildlife they show at the end. Some days are just a lot of fiddlesticks all the way around. The only place I've seen that many birds take off was at the Salton Sea. Just an incredible sight.

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  4. I hope all those Snow Geese flying over your head didn't drop any "snow" on you. That would have been the "icing" on your day! :cD

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  5. Awesome header photo. Super job!

    We will have to turn the TV on CBS this week. Hope it is on after we get back from church.

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  6. good thing you made the call. you would think they would welcome national coverage of their reserve. oh well govt
    red tape and all.

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  7. Have you ever noticed how the "gummit" likes to bite off it's nose to spite it's face? All branches of guv'mint are guilty! Too bad about us not seeing "Judy's Snow Geese" on CBS Sunday morning... oh well, NUTS!

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  8. My sister is always telling me about those segments .... I'll have to e-mail her to be sure and watch tomorrow. Just curious... how many geese did you estimate to be there?

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  9. Love those snow geese. We will be watching too

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  10. "but they declined doing that and got footage on the public access roads instead. "

    When/If they show the footage of the Snow Geese will anyone know that the film was made from a public access road in Anahuac rather than from a road that was closed to the public? I doubt it very much!
    Unless CBS goes out of their way to announce that there were denied access to the closed road without a permit. If they do that then they may also say that they decided not to get the permit after a spokeswoman, Judy Bell, explained the permit rule to them to CHA.
    I do hope they show what they filmed. I think everyone will be pleased.

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  11. The best programming.g ever...CBS always does it right! They sure missed an opportunity..they should have at least featured you...boy ,they missed out!

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  12. We watch that show "religously" and always try to guess the location before it comes on. I guess I'll have an advantage over the wife one of these coming weeks. :)

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  13. Amazing number of geese--but we don't have TV, I will just have to see them in your photos!

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  14. Those Geese need an air traffic controller!

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  15. I LOVELOVELOVE that last section of Sunday Morning and always have to tell Steve to "hush" for a minute so I can savor it. He thinks because the "news" part is over, he can jabber through that last segment. argghhhhh

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
    Karen and Steve
    (Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard
    http://kareninthewoods-kareninthewoods.blogspot.com
    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

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  16. Those photos are awesome! Too bad the crew didn't make the call...I really don't get that!
    I sent you an email....we will arrive Monday afternoon for 3 nights. I am so excited....

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  17. Sunday Morning is my absolute favorite TV show. I watch it every week, almost without fail. I'll watch for the geese! :) :) :)

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  18. How wonderful to have been there and seen and heard all those geese. So glad you were able to take Terry and glad you covered your ahhhmmmm. Does seem silly to require a permit when a staff member would be watching to make sure they abide by rules for their 15 minutes there. Do you think you will have gotten over this 20 degree thing by April???

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  19. Good think you CYA for sure. That sure is a lot of Snow Geese

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  20. I watch that show every week. Would have been great to see you on it:)

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  21. Awww Crap!..We cannot get any local TV channels here, only the Direct TV channels..That would have been sooooo neat to see them actually working in the field, getting those shots up close and personal...YOU DA GIRL for that, for sure, Bird Master.;-)

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  22. Greats Gobs of Geese!! Nice shots. Gotta love the bureaucracy of Special Use Permits to get a few minutes of video...

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  23. I think it's interesting that a special permit was required! Also, I'm glad you had the truck in 4wd, and got unstuck. The photos of the geese and the hawk are really lovely! Thanks for sharing.

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  24. Great shots. I saw a "river" of snows crossing north to south over the Platte in Nebraska a few years ago. There were literally millions from horizon to horizon.....

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  25. I relate to your getting stuck scenario. On the Christmas Bird Count on Dec 28 our jon boat was stuck in Oke's Mizell Prairie. The engine kept sucking up the vegetation and we drifted into the lily pads. The boat captain neglected to make sure we had PADDLES so after an hour of him trying to clear the line I knew we needed a rescue. Didn't want to use the radio and called the concessionaire on cell to come bring us a paddle and if necessary give us a tow with their tour boat. Boy did I get razzed when I got back. Hey - that was the captain's responsibility! I was focused on birds, birds, birds! The other gal and I had a great time while stranded, counting up birds and talking birds.

    We also had a camera crew for National Geographic come in Spring and they, too, had to get permits, etc. to film in Oke. I hope the CBS crew got some good shots.

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

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