Along about 10:30 this morning Bridget and I headed out in the refuge truck to do litter patrol. Neither of us mind this assignment as it gets us out on the roads of the refuge, and you never can tell what you are going to see. Bridget had spent the early morning helping Janice clean the pit toilets on the refuge. That’s an onerous task that I have thankfully pretty much been able to avoid.
As we made our way down County Road 26, we passed the beaver lodge in one of the ponds and caught this white-tailed doe making her way along the edge. We’ve only seen the resident beaver once at work on his lodge, but we always stop to take a look just in case he’s out and about. It was a nice calm day to be outside working.
There was also a report that one of the refuge maps had been stolen from one of the boat launch areas, so we checked all of those as well. At the Waboose Lake boat launch, the area was alive with Compton Tortoiseshell butterflies.
When we stopped at the North Tamarac Lake boat launch, sure enough, the heavy map plaque of the refuge had been removed from the kiosk. It takes a special kind wrench to remove the screws holding the plaque in place, and it was obvious that it had been carefully removed. I sure don’t understand why anyone would do such a thing.
We also found this rather beat up white admiral butterfly resting on some grass seed pods. It looked like it had some encounters with birds trying to catch it for dinner, but it gave me a nice view of both its upper and lower sides. These guys get most of their nutrients from mammal scat, puddles, and wet sand or pavement, so that’s how I knew it was probably just resting.
We picked up three five gallons pails full of litter along the refuge roads today. There were lots of beer and pop cans and several McDonalds/Burger King bags of debris. Again, I don’t know why folks can’t take their garbage home with them rather than throwing it out the window.
On our way down Bruce boulevard, we had our encounter of the day. There was a very pale wild turkey standing along the road amongst the wildflower blooms. I’ve never see such a light colored wild turkey. Looked like a bleached blonde to me.
It had another normally colored companion with it, and we couldn’t figure out why they were hugging the edge of the road so much. I shut off the motor to the truck, and we just waited.
Being patient showed us why. Very soon a whole bunch of young ones came out of the tall grasses. They were of various sizes, so I’m guessing these two moms had banded together. There is safety in numbers, don’cha know. The challenge for tonight is for you to spot at least nine baby turkeys (don’t know what they’re called) along the road and in the grass.
Now before you go commenting about blonde turkeys you have known, I just want to say that before I aged and became a Q-tip, I was a natural blonde. Not sure if I was a turkey or not. At any rate, bring it on! I can take a joke.
Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later, Judy