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Borrego Springs, CA

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Settling in and the Tule Lake Auto Tour Route

Well, the training in the VC didn’t happen yesterday, but the water issue was sort of resolved.  Since no one could figure out how to turn on the water spigot at the RV site, a 125’ hose was purchased, and I’m currently connected to water at the end of the fire management building.  Since it’s not drinkable anyway, I thought this would work for me.  However, an ordinary green water hose was purchased and you RVers know what that means.  The water reeks of a hose smell.  Even after bathing, I don’t smell too good.  Brings to mind that old saying, “Up your nose with a rubber hose!”

I did get my request for a picnic table for the site.  Now I have a place to hook Emma’s tie out rope to, and a place to set out my Weber Q.  Haven’t had a chance to put out the grill yet, but that and the tire covers for the rig are about the only things I have left to do.

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I headed out this morning to familiarize myself with the Tule Lake Auto Tour.  As per usual at this time of the year, the skies were heavy laden with smoke from various wild fires.  It sure didn’t make for great photo opportunities.

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I was also doing my first bird survey.  Tule Lake and the surrounding wetlands had an abundance of waterfowl on them, but even using a spotting scope, many species were hard to make out.  Everything just looked black.

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These sunflower (?) plants near the end of the route sure did attract the monarchs.  At an elevation of 4000’, this area is almost like a high desert location.  Average rainfall, if not in a drought situation, is only 15”/year.  These flowers are not abundant, and the insects take advantage of them when they’re found.

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I stopped to take a look at this red-tailed hawk that was perched, and was surprised to find that little California quail in the picture when I got home.  That’s a new species for me, and I’m guessing I probably saw about 50 of them today.  Just like Gambel’s quails, they make me chuckle with their ‘muttering’ and blasting away when disturbed.

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There were also lots of young pheasants along the route.  Seems like it’s been a good breeding season for them.  Somehow I never thought that pheasants would be so abundant in California.  Folks come out to hunt them on the refuge.

Some of the confusion on the refuge this week is due to the fact that Hallie, the volunteer coordinator, has her last day here tomorrow.  Her responsibilities will be taken over by Steve.  Steve has different ideas about how things should be run with the VC and with volunteers and interns.  That creates a bit of a flux in the flow of things. 

When I returned to the VC this afternoon for my training, Hallie was on her way out, and I got to spend a bit of time with Steve.  I think he will be good for RV volunteers.  He has ordered a 75’ ‘white’ water hose for my use.  It should be here next week.  That kind of surprised me as I had decided I’d just buy one myself.  He also told me that there is a DSLR camera with a 600mm lens that I can use any time I’m out doing my bird surveys.  On top of that, I got to choose which days I’ll work, and he only requires two four hour stints in the VC per week.  Now all those things made me one happy camper!

I came back to the rig, had a glass of wine, and dreamt about not smelling like a rubber hose…

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                                                                               THE END!!

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

20 comments:

  1. Folks come out to hunt them on the refuge.

    Somehow, I didn't think there would be any hunting allowed on the refuge, since the word refuge would typically mean a place of safety and security where the animals are protected.

    I guess I was wrong!

    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

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  2. Yeah-- all great news! Sounds like Tule Lake is going to be a great gig!

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  3. Sounds like things are looking up. A good volunteer coordinator makes all the difference in the world, and there seems to be a real scarcity of good ones.

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  4. Good to know they are treating you well.

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  5. I hope the smoke doesn't get bad enough to bother you. The wind is pushing it out of our area and up north. Remember in the old days when we used to turn on the hose in the summertime and squirt each other, and also drink the good cold water straight from the hose. I think the water is definitely not as good as it was then, and maybe the hoses are a different quality, probably imported. I'm glad things are looking up for you at Tule Lake. Maybe you'll come back next year.

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  6. Looks like you're off to a great start...... except for the rubber hose ;-) I've never seen a young pheasant before and wouldn't have known what that critter in your photo was. Probably tastes like chicken....

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  7. Wonderful getting all settled in and enjoy a new adventure.

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  8. Only two four hour stints sounds amazing. Glad you are off to a great start. Enjoy!

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  9. I think the smoky photos look kind of nice. Different but nice.

    Steve sounds like a keeper. It sounds like you're going to be happy there. Maybe a place to return?

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  10. Horrible smoke at our house this morning--so glad things are going to work out for you at this refuge!

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  11. Sounds like you're going to enjoy it there! The California quail sure looks like the Gambel's quail to me.

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  12. Sure sounds like you got a winner there. Thanks for the reply about that Goose. I thought the same thing. There were two of them and it looked like they like hanging around with the Canada geese.

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  13. Nice to read that everything is falling into place for you. Hopefully it won't take too long for you to get rid of that hose smell, the birds will probably come closer to you after you get that new water hose... ;c)

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  14. Has Steven ever been a volunteer? Sounds like he understands how little it really takes to make RVers happy and it willing to take steps in that direction.

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  15. Merikay has a good comment - sometimes it helps to have someone in charge who has walked in our shoes. Just like in the "real world," when people aren't happy it's usually the boss causing problems for the workers. It sounds like you're in a good place to spend a while. Looking forward to all the bird photos. :)

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  16. I am pleased that you are pleased with Steve. We all know how much you love working in VCs. :)

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  17. Sounds like a place you are going to enjoy. Sure hope the fires and smoke disappear for everyone's sake. I know you already really appreciate Steve.

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  18. Most of all I hope the skies clear for you and that it isn't too hot. Steve sounds great. Better than some you have had to deal with. 600mm?!?!? Oh my. Can't wait to see your bird photos as the season progresses.

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  19. Good news, sounds like you will enjoy your stay.

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  20. Nice Post.Thanks for Sharing this in your Blog

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