I think my brain is on overload! I’ve had two days of training on sea birds, whales, and sea mammals. I’ve come into this assignment a true beginner as far as knowledge of these three areas of nature are concerned. What a challenge.
Yesterday was all about sea birds. These are birds that spend most of their lives out at sea on the oceans, and only come to land to nest and raise the next generation. Puffins, guillemots, cormorants, murres, and such. Being from the Midwest of the country, my learning curve about these birds is great. I’m thinking I’ll learn more things working for Oregon Islands NWR than I’ve learned at any other refuge that I’ve volunteered at. What an opportunity!
I just had to go visit the coast around Bandon after the day’s training to help me absorb all the information I had been given. The mesmerizing sound of the breaking waves was very calming.
When I lived in upstate New York and Minnesota, I always had hanging baskets of fuchsias. It was quite a surprise to me to see fuchsias growing naturally as a huge bush in the area where the training was taking place. I don’t know if fuchsias are native or not, and to be honest, I’m too tired to investigate that.
I also have to admit that sitting through all these hours of training was a bit of a challenge. It’s been a long time since I’ve had to sit through hours of lectures, and my back was just killing me. Although the whale and sea mammal topics were interesting, there were times when I had to jiggle my feet to keep awake. Too much sitting, I guess.
I was thrilled to finally get to the point in the training where we went on an excursion to Simpson Reef to see the seals and sea lions. Simpson Reef is those rocks that go across the horizon near the top of the pic. The area is a popular ‘hauling out’ area for sea lions, and a birthing place for harbor seals. Do you see that area of sand that looks like a landing strip in the top middle?
There were quite a few California sea lions basking in the sun there. I was told that last week the entire sand area was covered with them. There were also elephant seals and harbor seals and pups scattered around, but I couldn’t get any pics of them.
When we were finished with the training, we all headed back to the rigs and had a pot luck dinner. Chef Jay made very tasty stuffed pork loin with some of my wild rice from Minnesota. As I head out in the morning, I’ll be missing my times with Linda and Jay, but perhaps our paths will cross again somewhere down the road.
I’ve got about 85 miles to drive tomorrow to my assignment at Harris Beach State Park down in Brookings, OR. I’m excited about it, but have some studying to do before I’ll be comfortable manning my station.
Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later, Judy