Borrego Springs, CA

Friday, January 8, 2010

Annual Volunteer Banquet at Anahuac NWR

Tonight was the annual Volunteer Banquet here.  This is the first one I have been able to attend since I usually am not here at this time of the year.  It was held in Winnie, TX.  It was a potluck with the refuge providing some adult beverages and BBQ beef, chicken, and sausage.  Since we didn't eat until around 7:00, I only chose a small plate of food.  Eating that late at night generally has not been a good idea for me in recent years.  ;)  It tends to interfere with a good night's sleep.

Most of the attendees were local volunteers that were rightfully honored tonight.  Anahuac has a strong Friends group that really supports the refuge and is responsible for providing the Community Building for the RV volunteers.  There was a nice slide show running throughout the evening depicting all the volunteer activities on the refuge.  Because of hurricane Ike, there was no banquet last year, so tonight honored all the work contributed over the last two years.  I can't remember the exact statistics, but in the last two years, volunteers have put in many hours that have been valued at over $350,000!

I've had a couple of questions from readers that sent me personal emails that I'd like to answer here:
  1. How can one spell check be better than another?  The spell check I'm using now allows words to be added to the dictionary.  So I don't have to keep checking words like Anahuac, Laguna Atascosa, or Balcones, etc.  Also things like fulltime, motorhome, and RVing.
  2. What is a salinity test?  A salinity test checks for the level of salt in the bayou (river).  As the rivers near the Gulf of Mexico they change from fresh water to brackish water to salt water.  I do the testing so the refuge staff knows how much fresh water to release through the refuge to keep the marsh healthy.  Sorry I didn't explain that before. :(
  3. Are you keeping warm?  Barely...temps overnight were in the mid twenties.  On the bright side, my water hose didn't freeze due to all the insulation installed and keeping water dripping out of the faucets all night.  The furnace ran almost all day even though I have two space heaters running constantly, and the temperature forecast for the next two days is not encouraging.  1989 was the last time that the Houston area saw temperatures this low for so many days.  I have my fingers crossed that my propane will hold out through the weekend.
I'll be working the VIS tomorrow, but won't be opening at 8:00.  Tonight it may get down into the teens, so I'll wait a bit before going in.  I've worn my winter coat more in the last week than I have in the last four years!  I'm sure glad I didn't get rid of it before I hit the road, even though I never planned to have to use it.

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later,  Judy

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