What goofy weather we’ve been having this year. When I did the weekly waterbird survey on Friday, the skies were very overcast with intermittent sprinkles and a brisk wind. Then Saturday was an all volunteer workday on the refuge to do restorative plantings in the prairie and to begin moving stock into the new VIS. The wind was howling again, but temps neared 80. Sunday, a day for chores, was overcast again and warm and muggy. Along about seven in the evening, the winds returned with a vengeance and the temperature dropped like a rock within minutes along with a cold rain.
The wind advisory continued today, and the wind chill was in the 20’s when I took Emma for her first outs. My furnace was working overtime to keep the chill off.
Friends, and fellow bloggers, Nickie and Jimmy were scheduled to drive in from Baton Rouge today for an overnight stop. I know I wouldn’t have driven the rig in those winds, but they’re trying to make it back to California rather quickly so they pressed on and made it to Winnie a little after 2:00.
I gave them an abbreviated tour of the refuge while we chatted away. These are the folks that bought me one raw oyster to eat when we last met in Mobile, Al. That was a memorable experience for me, and it has remained the only raw oyster I’ve ever eaten! After an enjoyable couple of hours, I dropped them off back at their rig and wished them safe travels in their journey.
This week was slated to be quite busy with several days of duck banding being scheduled in Beaumont and on the refuge. As I was shivering early this morning, I began to have second thoughts about Tuesday’s assignment. The plan was to drive to Beaumont at six in the morning. Refuge staff will be setting off a rocket net to capture ducks in the marsh. Volunteers will then wade out into the water to quickly extract the ducks from under the net and bring them back for banding to a central location. We were cautioned to wear waders, and dress warmly. We would certainly be getting wet and muddy.
The forecast for tomorrow morning is temperatures near 32* with freezing rain. Not being a spring chicken any longer, I wondered about my sanity in doing this. What was I thinking? I left Minnesota because I can barely move my fingers in cold weather, and I’d be dunking them into the marsh waters to pick up wet ducks. Nope, I decided to pass up this “opportunity”! Little did I know that by this evening, the operation was cancelled because the rockets nets won’t work in freezing rain. Whew!
After feeding Emma this evening, I took her out into the cold windiness and gave a thought to my propane supply. Considering the forecast, I wanted to be sure I had enough propane to keep me warm overnight. If I can lift the extend-a-stay tank easily with one hand, it means it’s time for a refill. Well, the tank is not quite empty, but I’d rather be safe than sorry, so I detached the tank and stowed it in the car to be refilled tomorrow. The last time I did this, the tank was frozen to the ground after an ice storm, and I couldn’t get it loose. I’m a little smarter about that now, and put it into the car before the ice forms.
I’ll also be retracting my steps after Emma’s last outs tonight. I don’t need to be crawling down backwards on hands an knees to get out the door in the morning again if there is freezing rain. Sometimes you can teach an old dog new tricks…
Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later, Judy