Borrego Springs, CA

Friday, December 16, 2011

A great day off refuge

Every once in a while the refuges that I volunteer on take a day to provide a field trip for all of the volunteers.  Some refuges do it more often than others, and some don’t do it at all.  Personally, I think it would be a great idea for all refuges to do this.  We all have different schedules, and this provides a common sharing time for all of us, and enhances our experiences after putting in all those volunteer hours.  Today was such a day at Anahuac NWR.

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Even though the skies were threatening after a good rain overnight, we headed out early this morning for our nation’s first National Preserve… Big Thicket.


After a brief time at the Visitor’s Center, we all headed out for a ranger guided hike on the preserve.  We wanted to get the hike in first in case it might rain later.

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It was a nice two mile hike on the Kirby nature trail.  That’s the longest hike I’ve gone on since my back problems.  We started out with ten people, but two had to turn back due to knee problems.

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There were lots of colorful fungus along the way, and…

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a nice selection of mushrooms.  This was declared the first National Preserve by Congress in 1974 because of the many different habitats found in this unique area.  It has since been recognized internationally as an important natural area because of its biodiversity.

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It took us a couple of hours to do the trail, but it was a nice walk through the woods and several habitats. 


                               A nice little forest of cypress knees was off of one of the boardwalks.

IMG_4966                                At the meandering bayou we headed back towards the parking lot.

IMG_4968There was a picnic table along the way back where we all posed for the mandatory group picture.  Just so you’ll know, in the top row from the left is Stephanie (the volunteer coordinator), Barbara, James, yours truly, and Tammy (another refuge staff member).  The front row from the left is Dorothy, Cindi, and Bob.  Bill and Carol had to turn back early so missed being in this shot.  We may look like a motley crew, but we’re all dedicated volunteers.  I was kneeling on top of that wet picnic table, so that was more of a grimace than a smile.  Thinking smile  The funny part of this photo is that as the ranger tried to take this picture using my camera, the flash popped up and nearly knocked her ranger hat off.

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy


  1. I thought that was a football pose and you were ready to leap! That would be good for the back! I sure admire what you do!

  2. Nothing like a bus man's holiday:) Looks like a lot of fun.

  3. I really do quite envy your life some days! ;-)

  4. George Stoltz says

    Your's is one of my favorite blogs. You always write something new and interesting, butt some of your endings are cheeky.

  5. Love the way you group and size your pictures. Your blog is always such a learning experience. Glad you had a bit of a "holiday" today.


  6. You all look like you're having a great time together.

  7. Only you could make fungi look so absolutely great and the groupings are perfect. I definitely think the refuges should have field trips for the volunteers. In addition to pulling the volunteers together as a group, it is a nice way to say thank-you for all the hard work.


  8. I liked the story about the ranger's hat!

  9. A long time ago I was a member of the Stratford Field Naturalist Club and we used to have informative and educational outings like that. It was always a good learning experience for me because some folks along were birders, others knew about the plants and trees, etc.

  10. Hub and I are looking forward to our volunteering days. This looks like a beautiful area. You are truly blessed.

  11. Hub and I are looking forward to our volunteering days. This looks like a beautiful area. You are truly blessed.

  12. I think you all should have made a pyramid with you at the top...:-/

  13. What a wonderful outing, Love the picture!! Happy weekend.