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Borrego Springs, CA

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Had another brainstorm last night

This morning I was up and out the door fairly early to lead a bird tour on the refuge.  I really didn’t expect anyone to show up at 8:30 in the morning in this out of the way location, especially in the middle of July.  It’s not exactly prime birding time.  Late May is the prime time here to see and hear all kinds of birds setting up their breeding territories.  By the middle of July many birds have stopped singing as they’re all busy raising families.

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I was surprised on two counts.  First, eight people showed up for the tour.  Secondly, we spotted a Wilson’s snipe sitting atop a burned tree perch to start the day.  What an uncommon find.  It was a good birding day, and everyone was happy by the end of the tour.

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This group of birders was interested in more than just birds, and we enjoyed finding other natural things like this morning glory with a couple of pollinators. 

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I think this is a Compton Tortoiseshell butterfly that we spotted also.  These guys hibernate over winter in the shelter of hollow trees or under bark.

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I found my first monarch caterpillar of the season snacking away on a milkweed plant that was just beginning to bloom.  Everyone else in the group was excited about this find as well.  Leading a group of enthusiastic nature lovers is so much fun.  No one even complained about the deer flies and ticks.  I had to chuckle when one woman said, “Don’t look up at the inside roof of the van.”  It was covered with deer flies, but no one asked to have all the windows closed.  They wanted to see and hear everything.

I worked the afternoon in the VC, and along about 2:30 or so Merikay and Craig showed up to say hello and watch the refuge movie.  They’re fellow full-timers and bloggers.  We’ll be getting together again tomorrow for a refuge tour and BBQ.  I’m going to put them to work helping me fill pamphlets in the kiosks.  Winking smile

Last night as I sat outside with Emma, I perused my road atlas maps contemplating my trip when I leave here in the middle of September.  I do love to page through the maps dreaming about routes to take and places to see rather than relying on the internet.  That’s when I had a brainstorm.

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Perhaps some of you remember when my brother Kurt (aka Nurse Ratchet) came to stay with me and help me survive my hip replacement at Okefenokee NWR about a year and a half ago.  Well, I got to thinking that I know he likes road trips, he’s retired, and I would be heading down to Arizona to visit him before my next assignment at Imperial NWR for the winter.  I gave him a call and proposed that he be my traveling companion from Tamarac to there. 

He said he liked the idea, but would have to check with the ‘Boss’, his wife Jody, in the next week or two.  What a surprise today when I got an email from him that said it was a go.  She had agreed.  Cool beans!  After eight years on the road alone, it will be nice to have someone else to share adventures with along the way.  I think we’ll both be checking maps and things to see over the next two months.  I do know he’s never been to Yellowstone, and it’s one of my all time favorite places.  Let the planning begin.

Jody still works so that’s the reason we all couldn’t do this.  She did have one condition though to this idea.  We won’t be allowed to visit any places in Arizona without her.  I can live with that.  Maybe she could get a few days off and meet us in, say, the Grand Canyon?  Otherwise, if she can’t, I’m not sure how I’m going to drive through Arizona with my eyes closed…Surprised smile

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

33 comments:

  1. How wonderful to have your brother be able to travel with you. Sharing a trip sure makes it more fun. See you tomorrow.

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  2. Wow, a traveling companion! How super for you....I can feel your excitement......

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  3. Thanks - I've never seen a snipe before. How great that you will have company on your journey. I'm predicting you 2 will get to do and see so much. Look forward to following that road trip!

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  4. Perfect traveling companion! Good to see you found some Monarch Larvae!! :)

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  5. Great plan! I assume you'd get to relax and enjoy some co-pilot time every now and than and it might come in handy to have a nurse as a traveling companion!

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  6. That sounds like a fun plan and it will be nice for you to have someone to share some of the chores!

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  7. Now that's a lucky group to go birding with you, even in July. 8:30 is actually much later than most birding I've done. You and Kurt are going to have some great adventures. Brilliant idea!

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  8. Fun stuff. I am sure you and your bro will have a great road trip!

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  9. That's really neat to have your brother along. I'm sure you are going to some great adventures...

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  10. Sounds like a great plan having your brother along. Nice of his wife to agree also.

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  11. You are one of the very few people that I know that takes people on a "Snipe Hunt" and actually find a snipe.

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  12. Your brother Kurt can take care of any nursing duties along the way.

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  13. Glad you're coming out west! Hope to get to meet you at Imperial.

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  14. Great to have a human navigator on board. Don't think Emma will be too jealous... :c)

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  15. Somehow I missed that you were going to be at Imperial this winter! what a difference from Minnesota and Texas both. Who knows, we might actually head for the desert this winter for a short time, not another three month sojourn however. Would be great to see the Imperial NWR from your perspective. We did see lots of white pelicans on Salton Sea nearby, so who knows, there might be some interesting stuff there as well. Also...wondering about your plans for Oregon. Any word?

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  16. Having your brother along the way with you for a while will be awesome. So happy for you and Kurt...who knows, maybe Judy can meet you at the Grand Canyon.

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  17. Oh my...the monarch caterpillar is a beauty!
    So glad Jody agreed to let your brother travel with you. I'm sure you will have lots of adventures and fun together.
    Can't wait to hear about your fun with Merikay!

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  18. How wonderful to have your brother with you!! So special. Have a blast!!!

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  19. I'm inviting you and Nurse Rachet to Bluewater Lake State Park in New Mexico as you travel southwest! I would love to meet Emma, and if you are theer I will be polite and meet you too!
    I didn't know what the monarch caterpillar looked like and really enjoyed it and the snipe!

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  20. There's nothing like planning a road trip to share with someone. Having a second pair of eyes, especially of someone that's never experienced an area, triples the enjoyment.:-)

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  21. How fun to have your personal nurse along again!! Yep, Yellowstone is number #1 for a must see..I just saw on TV that one of the roads in the park in "melting" from the heat beneath is...just one big caldera, that one! It's a little frightening to even think about that when you are standing right on it!

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  22. What a treat to have a group that is attentive and enjoys watching nature at it's finest.

    Great news about your brother. What memories you two will be making.

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  23. It can not possibly be that long since you had your surgery. Goodness, time is quickly moving on.

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  24. how wonderful to do a trip with your bub. . .love it!

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  25. What a great plan! Before Bill & I started RVing I took a 2 week trip with my brother from Ohio out to Abq. NM for the Balloon Fiesta and we included Grand Canyon, Mt Rushmore and much much more. I hope your trip with your personal nurse is as enjoyable as the time we had. Imperial NWR, eh? Been a while since we've visited there.... sounds like you'll have a warm winter.

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  26. Sounds like a terrific plan .....let the planning begin ...... Sooooo much to look forward to and Yellowstone is such a treasured spot !!!!

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  27. Driving with your eyes closed can get dangerous, warn us before you get to Arizona

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  28. Can it be? You and Nurse Ratchet on the road, Westward-ho? Yee-haw, let the fun begin!

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  29. The Boy Scouts always teased the younger scouts about going on a snipe hunt.... But I never thought they were real... It was just a big joke...

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  30. Glad to see the fellow birders were true nature lovers. Yellowstone is the greatest and off the beaten path one of my favorite flyfishing venues...:)

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  31. That was a great idea. I cannot remember my last brainstorm:(

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  32. A trip from Minnesota to Arizona with stops in Yellowstone? I can't wait! Maybe I'll quit my job and leave my husband so I can come too. Well, I'll dream about doing it anyway.

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

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