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Borrego Springs, CA

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Volunteer field trip day

At a few of the refuges that I have volunteered at, an occasional day is set aside to take all the RV volunteers on a field trip.  To be honest, it is one of the things that endears certain refuges to their volunteers.  That was on the calendar for this morning, but I wondered if it would be cancelled as a front with severe storms began moving through the area.  Our intrepid volunteer coordinator, Doug Hunt, cast the weather aside and said to hop into the van.  So, we did.

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Our destination was the Southeast Louisiana Refuges Bayou Lacombe Centre’, about 100 miles away.  It houses the visitor’s center for seven of Southeast Louisiana’s National Wildlife Refuges.  I’m sure glad I wasn’t driving that van, because we encountered an absolute deluge as we headed west through Biloxi.  Doug then hopped off of the interstate and gave us a narrated tour as we drove through all of the towns along historic route 90.  He has such a wealth of knowledge and stories about the southern Mississippi coastal area, that I truly enjoyed being a passenger on this excursion.

66 MS Sandhill Crane NWR 201210While the others toured the visitor’s center that I had visited last year, I went outside to enjoy the surrounding camellia garden.  This morning’s rain gave me one of those photographic opportunities to capture the freshness of the blooms with the rain drops still upon them.

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                                                                   This one was my favorite. 

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Then we took the Grotto trail that led to Bayou Lacombe.  Part of the trail was an old brick path that had to be unearthed after this became refuge property.  There’s a lot of history about this land that would take me too long to relate; from a former governor to priests, a school, and a church…

After stopping for lunch where I had a delicious shrimp po'boy, we headed out to spend some time at Big Branch Marsh NWR.

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We took a hike down a wonderful long boardwalk in search of the elusive and endangered red-cockaded woodpecker.  I’m too tired to go into the interesting story of this species tonight, but I’ll probably go into it next year when I hope to be working with them at Okefenokee NWR in Georgia.  Smile 

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Let’s just say that we had one little woodpecker cooperate and give us all a chance to observe it.  That sighting was the frosting on the cake to today’s outing in my opinion.  As we headed back the 100 miles to our home refuge, it seemed awfully quiet in the back of the van as I believe several volunteers reviewed the day in a movie viewed from the back of their eyelids.  Winking smile

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

24 comments:

  1. So glad you found a cooperative little woodpecker. Sounds like a very full and fun day.

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  2. Wonderful pictures, as usual.

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  3. The photos are all really good but I especially loved the ones of the flowers with the water drops. Glad you had a great day inspite of the weather.

    http://travelinglongdogs.blogspot.com/

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  4. How nice to be able to sit back while someone else is driving. Glad you got to take the trip in spite of the weather.

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  5. "Reviewing the day in a movie viewed from the back of their eyelids"...I like your way of expressing this! I intend to practice this review system tonight!

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  6. i got paid quite a bit of consulting dollars looking for red-cockaded nesting sites in east texas long ago... so I am quite fond of that bird :)

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  7. Beautiful blooms ... and I very much agree with your favorite.

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  8. Oh, the Okefenokee too! I'll bet you'll really love that! You'd also love the Everglades too. You might want to check it out one day.

    Love the pictures of the Camillas.

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  9. Thank you, Judy. I am a Louisiana native and did not know this existed and it is right under my nose. Hope to visit soon. Your blog is great and I enjoy reading it.

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  10. Loved the photos, Judy. Thanks so much!

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  11. What a wonderful tour. Thanks for taking me along. Your photos of the day are awesome.

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  12. There's just something about the tenacity of a Woodpecker that appeals to me..one of my fav's as a Jr. Bird Nerd..What kind of camera do you have?? You may have said so, but my attention span and memory are about as big as the Gnats that hang around our park...LOVED your photos of the flowers in their rainbonnets!

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  13. Looks like a great tour and travel day for you, the pictures are great, have a great week. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna..

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  14. Wonderful photos Judy. I too find the raindrops on the camellia a favorite. Your Blog is so very enjoyable.

    Just BS!(Bob and Sue)

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  15. Great tour. Glad you enjoyed being a passenger on the drive. When the weather is bad, I always feel better if I am at the wheel. I guess that makes me a driving control freak:(

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  16. I really want to see a red cockaded so now I know where to go. Thanks so much!!

    You do such a great job of displaying your beautiful pictures.

    Sherry
    www.directionofourdreams.blogspot.com

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  17. As many times as I've been to the Okefenokee, I've never spotted a Red-Cockaded, probably because I've been too busy loading up the canoe for a week in the swamp. The camellia picts are beautiful.

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  18. as others, love your fav pic. Looks like little pearls on the leaves.

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  19. What a great day you had! i love it when someone else does the driving and I can just enjoy the ride. Plus to have someone tell you all about the ride is such a treat!

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  20. Just last night Leonard was talking about when he lived in Escatawpa and worked at Ingles Shipyard in Pascagoula and would go "home" to SW Louisiana near Lake Charles. He talked about having to drive Route 90 as I10 was not complete in most areas. The drive would take up to 8 hours where now it takes a little about 4 1/2. Those back roads are great for seeing the real America when when going from point A to point B quickly you can't beat the Interstate system.

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  21. One of our "jobs" at Carolina Sandhills NWR was to monitor specific pine trees at dusk... and report which bird went into the nests. I was supposed to see the colored bands on BOTH legs (which identified the bird). Needless to say, Bill was MUCH better at this than I was... but we were still able report back enough information that the "correct" birds were later trapped and transported to Great Dismal. We'll be looking forward to your post on your experience with the red-cockaded. Hey... you might even see the Ivory Billed in your present location ;-)

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  22. Bayou Lacombe is a refuge at which I thought I'd be working. It is very near an old friend who is getting up in years so I'd love to be able to work there. Also they needed a full-time gardener and I love doing that as well as the canoe tours. But they don't have housing and I can't afford the gas to live with my friend and drive back and forth. Then this fall, they asked me again to come to lead canoe tours but still didn't have housing. But when I finally get and RV....

    Glad you could see a red-cockaded woodpecker. And the ivory-billed could be living in the swamps along the Pearl River. You would love the Honey Island Tour of a beautiful swamp led by a guy with a PH.D in biology. That is very near Slidell, La.

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