I just finished three more days in the VC, and have three more to do before I slowly move on towards Oregon. Yesterday afternoon, the refuge manager asked if he could talk to me in his office. My first thought was ‘here we go again’, and my heart skipped a beat as he once again closed the door behind me. Now what? I was quite surprised when he proceeded to tell me that he had been premature in telling me that I would not be asked to return to volunteer next winter. He then apologized and asked me to consider returning.
I told him I’d think about it. I also told him I had been going to ask for an exit interview to discuss some things that I thought he was unaware of. I covered most of those things in this talk. I have a week to consider the pros and cons. I will make a decision before I leave in a week. I appreciated that he was professional and man enough to admit to his mistake. If I were to return, I would not be exclusively working in the VC. We agreed upon that point.
When I went out the side door to the picnic area beside the VC to have my lunch today, I was surprised to see another western diamond-backed rattlesnake slithering out of the first desert tortoise habitat. Oh my! We had quite a few visitors inside, and I was concerned for their safety. I dropped my lunch bag and hot footed it back inside to tell the refuge manager.
Nate grabbed the snake catcher and a red bucket, and jokingly told me he expected Linda and I to grab the snake. Ha! Not in my job description! The snake had moved down the walking path a ways. It was loudly rattling up quite a storm as Nate approached with the ‘grabber’. Can you see it’s tongue sticking out?
The idea is to use the ‘grabber’ to clamp down just behind the head of the snake. This was not the same snake that was here a week ago. This one had twelve rattles on its tail and was much bigger.
Nate maneuvered him into the bucket…
…and clamped the lid on before releasing the grip on the rattler. Now that was some lunchtime excitement for me! It was later released quite some distance from the VC, but not before it repeatedly made strikes against the lid of the bucket.
I leave you tonight with a little bird lesson.
I snapped this pic on Sunday morning’s bird tour. A couple of migrating turkey vultures catching some rays in the early morning. If you look really closely, you can see that these birds have reddish/pink legs with white wash on them. Vultures defecate on their legs. Turkey vultures cannot be banded on the legs like other birds. Their white wash is very acidic. It turned out that the first vultures that were banded ended up losing their foot on the leg that was banded. That acidic ‘poop’ accumulated inside the bands and ate through their legs. That little piece of trivia should lighten up any dinner conversation don’t you think?
Anyway, besides doing the packing up chores the next few days, I’ll be contemplating where I’ll be heading next winter. This has been the warmest winter I’ve spent in the last nine years, but I like green as well. Decisions, decisions…
Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later, Judy