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Borrego Springs, CA

Monday, March 3, 2014

Better safe…

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. 

_MG_9893Friends, 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… Winking smile 

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

33 comments:

  1. Oh Judy you are such a trooper with all the weather. I'm such a wuss and hang out in Florida all the time. Maybe you should check out their NWRs. It would at least be warmer.

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  2. I haven't been following the weather...can't believe it is cold AGAIN!
    That's funny about the one raw oyster. Did you eat it plain or with a cracker and sauce?

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  3. Oh come now Sherry. Florida has had it's share of crappy weather this winter too. I don't think any of the southern states has escaped the cold.

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  4. I am so excited to come upon your blog... I luv the NWR of Anahuac. I have Family that live there in Anahuac and My Mom lives Hankamer. Also a son that lives on the Bolivar Peninsula. You Guys have an awesome adventure going on. The Refuge is a very amazing place. A lot of Family Fun there along with Great Memories. I plan on following your adventures Stay Safe and WARM.. ~Big Hugs~

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  5. Ironically you are saved by the threat of freezing rain. Forget any predictable weather in the continental U.S. Wonder what it's like in Hawaii?

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  6. Freezing rain a possibility here tonight too...As we age, we do wonder what the Hell we are thinking being here in this weather...One of the best things we ever did was get an electric fireplace in the Hiker..It has more than paid for itself in propane..We have been down here since Nov 30th and only filled our bottle once so far....

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  7. If you don't like the weather, just wait 5 minutes--gosh! So glad the duck banding was called off. Experience IS a good teacher, eh? Stay warm!

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  8. There is no way I would have been out in that weather chasing ducks through cold water. it's hard enough to have to take the girls out. Smart move with those steps. Not sure I would have thought of that.

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  9. Terrific to hear about the weather. Moving out is a great part.

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  10. Glad you are so well prepared and think ahead when the cold weather strikes. Hope you stay warm and dry and can you let the young ones go do that birdbanding when its rescheduled.

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

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  11. Hope you are warm and safe and sound this morning! And that the bad weather has moved on out.

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  12. Hope you are warm and safe and sound this morning! And that the bad weather has moved on out.

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  13. It does sound like you've learned some valuable lessons. Hopefully it won't too cold or icy.

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  14. Retracting the steps is a great idea. I hadn't thought of doing that but we have a stabilizer under ours, so it would have to be removed first. I just put salt out if it is icy, but your idea works better.

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  15. This morning here in Houston is worse than they thought. It rained the entire night and now there is ice all over everything. I don't blame you one bit for not wanting to band the ducks. This is the craziest winter weather I can remember.

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  16. Raw oysters. Love them and raw clams.

    Oh my, I was reading your blog to Len. He says waders can keep you quite warm regardless of the weather. Glad you didn't have to test that out!

    Somewhat warmer here in Fort Worth today. Yesterday everything was frozen. We keep 3 propane tanks. Len took the one empty one to be refilled. We, too, are blowing through the propane.

    Sunday morning our steps were iced over also. VERY careful walking down them. Even worse was the running board/step on my side of the truck.

    I read the Talley's blog about their visit with you. How nice.

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  17. Are you sure that you're an "old dog"? You seem young and smart to me. Great idea to retract the steps! Emma needs to learn to walk her own self when the weather is bad!

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  18. Reading about the weather in Texas and other places, all I can say is ugh! And, of course, pass the suntan lotion so I can put some on before going out into the hot desert sun!!

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  19. Crazy weather here at Inks Lake as well. We've seen 80 degrees one afternoon, followed by 22 degrees just 36 hours later. Up and down!!

    We do know that it will eventually get hot and stay hot. That is certain...

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  20. Maybe you could record the info instead of retrieving the ducks? Sounds like an opportunity that would be hard to pass up.

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  21. Wow, is there no way you'd consider being in the southwest and just taking it easy next winter? It's very different than where you are, of course, but the weather is so much warmer. I can't imagine being in that kind of cold, wind and rain. Well, I actually enjoy that kind of weather, but not for a long time. I hope things warm up soon for you. :)

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  22. Have you checked the weather In Detroit Lakes, MN lately????

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  23. It's all your fault. That cold weather followed you home from the Great White North. :cP

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  25. Yes, winter has returned with a vengeance hasn't it? We ended up bringing in the bedroom slide Sunday night just to get a decent night's sleep, and Monday was just cold, cold, cold, and windy, windy, windy, and today rainy, rainy, rainy ... and dare I say again, it was cold!

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  26. The weather has been really weird, that's for sure. We were out to the lake today, and saw wave after wave of geese...all headed south! I think they decided that winter has returned, so they're headed back to escape. Little do they know that California is having bad weather, too. Of course, they're probably going farther south than that. Or maybe they are just gonna hang out around here because there is a lot of nice young green sprouts in so many fields right now.

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  27. After hearing about all the cold weather in Texas this winter we feel very smug being here in the warm Phoenix weather. We have been at Usery Mountain Regional Park near Mesa, AZ since November and are loving it. Maybe next year you should consider working in this part of the country. The Sonoran Desert is a beautiful place and we feel so blessed to be able to spend 5 months here. SKP Hugs, Karen

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  28. Sure hope you find a warmer spot to hang out in next winter.

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  29. We enjoyed seeing part of the refuge -- thanx for the tour. Driving west out of Winnie Tuesday morning was an unforgettable experience, but we'd prefer being able to forget it! Icy rain. Yuck!!

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  30. what a fabulous idea to retract the steps. . .that makes all the sense in the world. . .duh! My friend's hubby fell hard down their steps due to the ice. . .I am going to share this bit of brilliance with them. . .wonderful advice. . .thanks!

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  32. Sounds like the weather followed you from Chicago.

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

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