As I’ll be leaving Tule Lake and Lower Klamath NWRs in five days, I spent some time today reviewing my time volunteering here. Overall it’s been a good experience. Good enough, in fact, that I’m thinking of returning next year. But, of course, nothing is perfect.
One of the assignments I was given here was to evaluate the six photo blinds that are available for public use. I visited the last one on Thursday and took the above and below photos from that blind.
This one appeared to be a good loafing location for white pelicans. All those little black dots in the background water are other waterfowl that almost cover Tule Lake. I made notes on all of the blinds with my opinions of their needs and usefulness. When I went to hand them in to my supervisor, I was told that wasn’t necessary. Nothing was going to be done in the foreseeable future, so I could just keep them. What?? Then why was I given this assignment? Same thing happened about my assignment to evaluate the numbered Auto Tour pamphlet. I got the impression that the time I spent on these endeavors was to keep me out of his hair. I don’t think this guy knows what he’s doing. I won’t go into his other short comings, but I’ll just say that had he been one of my employees back before I retired, he wouldn’t have lasted a school year.
Thankfully, I’ve also been able to make myself available to the biologists on the refuge. That’s the work I’m most interested in. Plenty of opportunities doing things for Stacy, the biologist in charge of the hunt, to work outside and test out my new lens.
Wait for me, Oliver!
Oh, alright Stanley…
This year, I’m doing the stats for how many birds of what species are taken on the blinds that are up for a lottery each morning. Working with numbers is right up my alley, and I also get to chat with the hunters. The biologists here have never had a volunteer (there have only been VC volunteers before), so Stacy and I have talked about my returning to help them. She also agrees that improvements need to be made to the RV site.
For the first time since I’ve been here, it rained all morning. One of the results was to find this frog outside the VC. The rain also did a wonderful job of knocking down all the dust that has been in the air the last few weeks. All creatures, human and other, were joyful for this respite from the drought.
One of the young temporary employees moved this guy off of the rocks to a better location. Fascinating toes.
On my way to the hunter check station this afternoon, I found this dark morph red-tailed hawk trying to dry out from the rains. (I’m loving this new lens) This happened just as an alarm went off in the vehicle with that flat tire signal. Nuts! I had to drive back to the VC to exchange vehicles as I do a lot of driving on rough roads each day. VC supervisor said he’d just drive it anyway and ignore the signal. Yeah, well, not me. I don’t want a flat out in the middle of nowhere on a weekend when no help is available…
When I returned, the hawk had moved to a different perch so I could get a front view. Isn’t it a beauty? I spent several hours doing the stats and collecting bag check tallies from hunters that go out in boats on Tule Lake. I’ve got to drive quite a bit of the refuge to collect those tallies. That’s when I get the chance to keep updated on what’s happening bird wise on the refuge. I know it’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it.
Snow geese are the favorites of my friend Sue, so this and the following pic are for her. The rain clouds provided a different view of the refuge for me from the seemingly perpetual blue skies.
I estimated the flock in the first pic at 500 geese, and more are on their way. The scenery today kind of reminded me of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Like Sue, I have found that the Klamath Basin speaks to my soul. If I can solidify volunteering for the biology department, I will surely return next year.
Well, this post is pretty long for me, but I wanted to put some closure on something I posted a while back.
I asked readers to guess what this was a photo of. Some people guessed an irrigation system, and they were correct.This type of system is used for irrigating potatoes around here. This is a close up of the heads. The big pipes are put down in between rows of potatoes with these ‘heads’ sprouting up every twenty feet or so along the line spurting out water. The red ones are located at the end of a row so that water isn’t wasted by watering the roads.
Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later, Judy