Borrego Springs, CA

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Training Tuesday

All of the volunteers and staff had to show up at the maintenance office this morning for a training video on safe driving.  Each month it’s something different, and I missed the October training on blood born pathogens.  Oh darn!  :)  I’ve about got that video memorized from all the years of viewing it back in my former life.

When that was over with, I headed back to the rig to relax until after lunch.  Then I headed to the Visitor’s Information Center (VIS) to get trained in on the new cash register for the nature store.  This year’s version even has a scanner for items that we sell.  Technology marches on even at our refuges!
_MG_7103 _MG_7105
During a lull in the afternoon, I took a short drive down one of the refuge roads to see what birds were about.  This Loggerhead shrike posed on a couple of branches for me.  This bird has a common name of butcher bird because it catches small birds and insects and impales them on thorns to dine.  It’s talons and feet are not strong enough to squeeze the life out of its prey, so it’s not considered a raptor.  They are quite common on the refuge.
_MG_7109I also got a brief view of an Eastern phoebe on the barbed wire.  Notice the dragonfly zooming around at the top of the pic.  You can’t see much more than the silhouette of this bird because I was shooting into the sun, but I liked the effect.

I hustled back to the VIS to learn the closing procedures, but our only sale today was a bottle of water to a staff member.  :(  This isn’t exactly the busiest time of the year here for the VIS.  I’m really surprised the VIS is open every day at this time of the year, but originally the new VIS was supposed to be already built by this time.  There are plenty of volunteers to man it and the new second center closer to I-10, but neither facility has been completed.  I’m hoping to help set up the new visitor’s center before I leave, but I’m not sure it will be done by then.
_MG_7111After we closed up the building, I took a drive around Shoveler Pond.  This pic of a great blue heron was all I could come up with.  Since the hurricane, this wildlife drive has been miserably unproductive.  Before the hurricane, it was a fresh water oasis in the middle of brackish and salt water areas.  It will take more time to get it back to a fresh water haven. 

It’s not been a very exciting day today, but tomorrow I’m off on a bird survey assignment.  The weather has been muggy, windy, and hot; perfect for the hoards of mosquitoes that don’t seem to be blown off by the winds.  :(  When I lower the window on my vehicle to take a picture, dozens of those blood suckers rush inside and I’ve got lumps all over.  Even though it’s hot, I wear jeans and a sweatshirt to take Emma out so I won’t be a head to toe pincushion!  That’s the price I pay for this great location.

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


  1. Judy - I do so love your pictures but I must tell you. I think you're nuts. Those mosquitoes would so do me in. How can you stand the itching without going insane?

  2. It seems so funny that everything is back to normal-as if you never took the cruise. Glad you're back, great photos again today.

    Did you notice - 99 followers? Wow, one more until the big one hundred.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and Emma from me and Katie! :)

  3. Isn't it so neat how Texas can be "moist, muggy and tropical"...and still have desert, mountains and pine trees??? One of the most versatile states ever! Make sure you use mosquito repellent with DEET in it!! BZZZZZZZZZ...TEE HEE.

  4. This reminds me of the children's book "Why Mosquitoes Buzz In People's Ears." They are just plain B A D ! Glad your feet are back on dry land...and wheels! Thanksgiving blessings, K

  5. I'm so impressed with your knowledge of the birds you take pictures of.