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Borrego Springs, CA

Monday, June 2, 2014

Brown water again?

After a pretty boring rainy day working the VC on Saturday (only 10 visitors in 7 hours), I came home to smelly water out of the tap once again.  Shucks!  I turned off the ice maker and bemoaned the fact that this happened on a weekend just like last week.  By Sunday morning, the water was pretty brown and undrinkable for me.  Brushing my teeth was not an enjoyable experience.  I reported it first thing this morning, and we are all hopeful that a permanent solution has been found.

We had about 50 fifth grade students from Mahnomen, MN, today.  It was the first time this school district has sent students to the refuge.  Considering this is their last week of school, all of them were very well behaved and I think everyone enjoyed the day.  We helped them through five different classes today. 

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Most of the classes take place at the Chippewa Picnic Area.  As you can see, it was not very sunny today, and we got rained on several times.  As I drove to the picnic area, I was happy to see the usual bald eagle perched on the dead tree across the road.  The Chippewa Picnic Area was actually a CCC camp back in the early 1940’s, and some of the stone work still remains today.

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For two of the five classes I worked with today, I got to set up and man the spotting scope.  There were two things I noticed when I looked at the picture one of the other volunteers took of me working with the students.  First of all, I hope Donna Cave will notice how stylish I am with my pants tucked into my socks.  The result of that fashion statement (and Deet) was only two ticks to pluck off this afternoon!  Secondly, I also noticed that I’m about the same size as fifth graders.  Eek!  How big are these kids going to get?

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Here’s what we were looking at… a bald eagle nest.  It was about a quarter of a mile away so we were no bother to it, and some of the kids were lucky enough to see the baby eagle poke its head up once in a while.  All of the students got to see the adults perched nearby or soaring overhead.  It was an exciting time for them.

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One of the young girls was just fascinated by my camera and asked to take a picture with it.  Here’s what she saw.  If you look really closely, you can see about 50 dots in the sky.  Those aren’t birds.

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We were surrounded by hordes of emerging dragonflies.  Thousands upon thousands of them filled the sky.  That’s also the reason there were at least 100 cedar waxwings plucking them out of the air for a welcome feast.  The circle of life is all around us if we take the time to look and see.

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After the kids headed home, I went back to the same spot of all the dragonflies, and captured this picture of both of the adult eagles perched in the same dead tree that the young girl had taken a picture of.  It’s too bad she couldn’t have joined me.  I think she would have been thrilled.

Tomorrow, we’ll have about 100 fourth grade students from Moorhead, MN.  I’ll be manning the eagle post again, but I’m really looking forward to my assignment after that.  One of the biologists has asked that I check all the back road trails to document any trees that may have fallen across those roads less traveled over the winter.  Ha ha!  Could there be a bear or wolf sighting in my near future?  I sure hope so!  I’ve asked Bridgett Hatch if she’d like to go with me, and she said yes.  It’s always better to have two people on these treks into the unknown just in case.   Winking smile

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

23 comments:

  1. Judy,

    The brown water situation is disgusting. You volunteers deserve better. I like the jeans tucked in socks look. Noticed it right away. And I am glad you don't go into "uncharted territory" without another person along. Keep up the good blogs.

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  2. Hope your water situation gets remedied pronto. Had that situation one time and it certainly wasn't pleasant.

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  3. Sure hope the yucky water is all cleared up...
    It is so great to read about young children who are excited about nature. Thank you Judy for your contribution and efforts!
    Only 2 ticks? Maybe bands around your arms also...

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  4. YUCK brown water. How awful. Hope it's fixed by now. I see you are all suited up to avoid ticks but how are the mosquitoes. I nearly got eaten alive today in Grayling, Michigan. Dare I even come to Minnesota???

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  5. Appears you are back into the swing of things. Who cares what you look like when the tick count is low? Hope you get the brown water situation handled soon.

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  6. What a great day to expose all those kids to nature, baby eagles, photography, and yes, even wood ticks! What a rewarding task!

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  7. Sounds like you organized a very special day for the 5th graders. So sorry about the yucky water. I hope they get it fixed SOON!

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  8. Wow Judy what a fun day you experienced. What a thrill for those young kids to see the Eagles, the waxwings and the Dragonflies. I would have loved to see so many Dragonflies in one place! So sorry about your water and the two ticks! Keep those socks over your pants!

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  9. Surely there must be an outfitter in your area that carries camping and outdoor supplies. Personally I would use iodine tablets along with the neutralizers. If the iodine doesn't come with the neutralizer, you can add a pinch of Vit. C after the iodine has had a chance to do its work. Keep your eye on the water as you do it because the yellow iodine color immediately dissipates, and the water has no iodine taste. You wouldn't want to use this method for a long period of time, but even for most of your weekends it wouldn't be too bad. The Refuge is probably doing what they can to fix the water problem, and it is no doubt what we will be contending with off and on in the future all across the country. There is also a product called Aqua Mira; I have a packet of it but have never tried it yet. Good luck.

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  10. Love those eagles! Those kids are fortunate that they can go on those field trips... they'll take that experience home and share with their parents... and maybe the whole family will return.

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  11. From the picture, it looks like those kids really enjoyed their time. Love your new fashion statement....

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  12. I'd be throwing a match into a sink-full of that water just to make sure it doesn't catch fire!! Sounds awful.

    Quite a chore entertaining all those kids!

    Rick’s Bits ‘n Bytes, Pics and News

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  13. Good to see the hatch of Skeeter Eaters!! Have you seen the size of some of the skeeters? Two ticks isn't bad for a days haul. Hope they get the water fixed soon, the salt must be clogged again. :)

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  14. OMG...I am sooo upset that you have now trumped me in fashion! Tucking pants inside socks...I never would have thought of it..but I have some great socks to show off, sooooo.........

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  15. The mental image of the cedar waxwings eating the dragonflies was wonderful tome! I would have really jumped up and down at witnessing that.
    About the pants into the socks...great idea, and good result!

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  16. We often employ the "pants tucked into the socks" look in tick and chigger country. Looks really dorky, but I'll take dorky over itchy any day!

    It sounds like you need to fill your fresh water tank with "good" water (next time you get it) to tide you over when the brown water shows up.

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  17. I had to laugh at your commentary about your outfit, and height. LOL

    And when you go out on the "are there trees across the road" job, once you find one, how do you do forward to see if there are more? Oh, maybe you are walking? That would definitely be better, at least you could go over or around the downed trees. Wear bells and make lots of noise. And remember, the faster runner gets to tell the story about the bear. :)

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  18. That is wonderful that the children were so well behaved. At the end of the year, they are usually wild, waiting to get out for the summer.

    The eagle shot is awesome.

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  19. Great photo of your volunteer work. I have too many childhood East-Texas-camping "tick memories" not to cringe a bit with your tick counts! Wish my parents had known your tick-finder skills. :-) Would love to see the Cedar Waxwings going after their high-protein dinner!

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  20. Wonderful pics of the Bald Eagles. Hope you and Bridgett have a great sighting tomorrow.

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  21. Love the socks and eagles but yuck on the brown water.

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  22. Nice Post.Thanks for Sharing this in your Blog

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