.

.
Borrego Springs, CA

Monday, July 14, 2014

Another tour for special visitors

Merikay and Craig showed up right on time at 10:00 on Sunday morning for our scheduled tour of the refuge.  They are staying at a campground right outside of Itasca State Park, about an hour away.  Of course, since I had all of a quarter of a mile to drive, I was a little late.  Embarrassed smile

_MG_0490

Weather wise it was an absolutely gorgeous day to be out and about on the refuge.  Moderate temperatures and a beautiful puffy cloud studded sky heightened the enjoyment.  I thought we might see some busy beavers at this pond along Teacracker Trail, but no such luck.

There was no lack of conversation as we made our way around to the eight kiosks on the refuge so I could restock pamphlets at each of them.  Merikay and Craig are fulltime RVers that have only been on the road a couple of months.  Seems like that was a long time ago for me.  The selling of my house and such is but a distant memory.

White Admiral

                                                                            White Admiral

While we didn’t see any mammals throughout the day, we sure did see a lot of butterflies.  Catching them sitting still long enough for a photo can be a challenge.

Northern Crescent

                                                                        Northern Crescent

I had planned that we would have lunch at the Chippewa picnic area, but time was marching on so we just pulled out our sandwiches at the roll-over dam bridge.  The Otter Tail River was gurgling in the background as we lunched, and the breeze along the fast moving river kept the mosquitoes and deer flies away while we ate.  It is one of my favorite locations.

Aphrodite Fritillary

                                                                        Aphrodite Fritillary

There were claw marks and black hairs stuck on a couple of the wooden bridges that we crossed during the day.  Black bears seem to like these bridges as places to scratch their backs.  We also found some pretty fresh wolf dung nearby.  We didn’t see any of these creatures, but I think it’s exciting to find evidence of their presence.

_MG_0499

After finishing with the kiosks, we had enough time to take the Blackbird Wildlife Drive.  I asked Craig and Merikay to pose for the obligatory blog portrait at the Blackbird Lake Overlook. 

_MG_0497

Blackbird Lake is one of the few places on the refuge where kayakers can enjoy a nice paddle.  This is the first time that I’ve seen any out on the lake.  It sure looked like they were having a good time.  A bald eagle was also soaring overhead as they made their way down the lake.

Eyed Brown

                                                                     Eyed Brown butterfly

As we were finishing up the wildlife drive, Craig asked me if I knew anywhere to find some wild rice to purchase.  I had told them how the Chippewa/Ojibwa Native Americans harvest some of the wild rice that is abundant on the lakes of the refuge each year.  With a smile on my face I said, “Of course.  Right in the visitors center nature store.”   We sell bags of rice harvested on the refuge in the old traditional way.  Next stop… the VC!

Dun Skipper ? IMG_8003

                                                           Dun Skipper  (?)

We then headed back to the rig, and I got ready to grill some burgers and dogs on my new Weber Baby Q.  I’ve only had it a couple of weeks, but I’m really liking it so far.  Merikay had brought a Key Lime Pie for desert, and I had invited John and Bridget to join us.  It was a tasty meal, and soon afterwards it was time for our visitors to leave.  Another enjoyable day with friends to put into the memory book.

_MG_0491

                                                                                THE END!

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

20 comments:

  1. You must be good for business with all the visitors that you attract.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Beautiful butterfly pictures and here I thought you only knew every bird in the country. Looks like those two got another great tour and wonderful dinner. You are a terrific hostess. Aren't you getting even a teeny weenie bit tired of company? Thanks for the confirmation of my duck sightings.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The butterflies pictures are so clear and pretty.
    Glad you has a nice day with Merikay and Craig...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Another great visit. Love the butterfly pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  5. You have become a destination, Judy! Glad you were able to meet up with Merikay and Craig.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hope you see those bears one day and that wolf too! Good to have company! Are you enjoying the cool weather? I am! :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. how nice that you got to meet Craig and Merikay!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. We met Craig and Merikay in December of 2010 in San Diego shortly after we began or fulltiming journey. They were in the planning stage and had lots of questions. I'm so glad they finally are living their dream and that you all got a chance to meet. Love the butterfly pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I wonder if you had to look up even one of the butterfly species in the photos?! I enjoyed the tour in virtual ways! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  10. It was fun to see the same butterflies in your post that we also had picture of! i would have loved to see loons close up, but just hearing them at your campsit was memorable. I know wildlife viewing is a crapshoot. You have to be there for a long time and get lucky. I am understanding that spring is the best time for birding. I'll keep looking. Thanks for the lessons.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Butterflies are yet another group that I am not very good at capturing in pictures. You pictures are great. Sounds like a another great day on the refuge:)

    ReplyDelete
  12. With the special tours you do, you're going to have everybody in blog land beating feet to join you. The refuge should double your salary for all the extra visitors you bring in! ;c)

    ReplyDelete
  13. I certainly hope you're not tired of visitors. . .as we plan to stop by for one your Thursday morning tours sometime next month. :)

    Loved all the butterflies. . .

    ReplyDelete
  14. Like that last photo of the 2 Gals heading on down the road:))

    ReplyDelete
  15. I agree with Carol K..YOU have now become an attraction in the Minnesota Northwoods!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Paddling on Blackbird Lake looks so relaxing! Hope the kayakers were well sprayed with DEET! Love the flutterby photos!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Looked to be a great day and the weather sure helped.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Sometime in the future we will be visiting.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Destination Judy! Love it! Nice butterfly shots today.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Nice post.Thanks for sharing this in your blog

    ReplyDelete