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Borrego Springs, CA

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I got skunked! :(

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It was a bit nippy as I headed for the visitor's center.  Even fluffed up Mr. Mockingbird found himself a perch to catch the morning’s first rays.  We had a good sized 4-H group scheduled to visit the refuge this morning from Mobile, AL.  Eleven kids and adults showed up on time for the 8:00 tour, so Doug, the Volunteer Coordinator, took them out in the big van.  I remained behind in case any late stragglers arrived. 

Sure enough, about 45 minutes later, the leader and her four kids ranging in age from 3 to 15 showed up.  She informed me right off the bat that the reason they were late was because she had an argument with her oldest son, Max, this morning about taking along a jacket.  Ah yes, teenagers.  That’s the age group I like best.  So, as grumpy looking Max got into the mini-van, I asked him if he would sit in front with me and be in charge of opening and unlocking/locking the gates on our tour.  He immediately brightened, and turned out to be a delightful young man that was very interested in everything about our abbreviated tour.  I might also point out that he was very happy to have his jacket along as the winds were howling out of the north.  Winking smile

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Because of their late arrival, we only had time to go down one refuge road.  Because of that, I chose the road with the eagle’s nest so we’d get there before Doug’s group arrived.  Just as I put down my camera to put the car in gear, that adult eagle hopped to the edge of the nest and took off.  Its exit from the nest gave everyone a fantastic view of the size of the bird and how large its wingspan is.  It was going off hunting to feed those youngsters.

I then drove to the only place where we might have a chance at scoring some cranes.  There were 18 cranes in the field surrounding one of the release pens yesterday, but due to the high winds today we scored a big fat zero.  Sad smile  Little did I know that Doug and his tour were a short distance behind us, and he had told his group that if we had seen a large number of cranes today that they would attack me.  There is some good natured competition between tour leaders, and lately I had been breaking records and being called the crane whisperer.  Doug had nothing to worry about today.

66 MS Sandhill Crane NWR 201219

More 4-H members arrived at the refuge as we returned from the tours.  A couple of us also helped with the education program for all the folks, and took them on a short hike in the savannah to show them the carnivorous plants.  After the group left, and there was a lull in other visitors, I stepped out back and found a nice little flock of palm warblers working the back lawn for insects.  This is the first time I’ve been able to get photos of this warbler.

It was a busy day, and after my busy week I’ll be happy to have tomorrow off to take care of laundry chores and maybe get Emma out for a good hike.  I’ll be leaving the water faucet running tonight as temps are supposed to get down into the upper 20’s tonight.  I also made sure that I’ve got plenty of water in the tank just in case.

_MG_6144                                                                                   THE END!!

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

20 comments:

  1. And here I sit thinking I was going to tell you about our skunk visitor the other night. . . glad you still smell sweet!

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  2. You are WAY colder than we are. Coat? What coat? Here we are given a long-sleeved shirt which I wear like a jacket. It was all I needed to be in today. We also haven't had any rain and may end up looking like Texas by fall. This weather is really crazy because I thought I'd be in long Johns from December until about now but have only worn the bottoms under my thin nylon pants a couple of times.

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  3. I too was thinking you'd gotten hit by a real skunk. But then I don't even know if you have them there.

    Excellent job of teenage psychology IMO. You are one smart cookie!

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  4. You had me fooled too with the post title, but happy to hear you weren't actually sprayed! I know you were a great teacher by the way you handled Max!

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  5. Forget the crane whisperer - you are a teen-aged boy whisperer!

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  6. Me too, I was thinking you were going to need some tomato juice :)

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  7. I want my money back. I was waiting for pictures of you covered in tomato juice. You're not playing fair!

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  8. Great job with the teenager. You are still an excellent teacher.

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  9. Just wondering...Have you read the Harry Potter series?...They start with 11 year olds and go through 17year olds, therefore getting darker as they go..but they deal with teachers and students...I think if you have not read them, you might appreciate them...I read all 7 books while on our trip and am sad they are over...Yes, you are still a great teacher ...

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  10. Hahaha, what Paul & Marti said! That's funny! But really, glad you didn't get skunked by a skunk!!! Cool that the crew got a good view of the eagle too. I have never, ever seen a bald eagle...they just don't come around here. But I like the mexican eagles!

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  11. Well, not seeing cranes qualifies for getting skunked ... but you sure had all your readers thinking something else :-)

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  12. We had those winds yesterday too and they have started again this morning.

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  13. The title sure got my attention. As a retired teacher I was glad to hear how you handled the young man. Getting him involved was a great idea! ~wheresweaver

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  14. Years ago when I lived in Alaska, we were entertained by a pair of bald eagles swooping down and grabbing twigs in mid air for their nest. It was so FANTASTIC watching the routine while we were fishing that we didn't even realize the tide had come in and was now out again. I will never forget that experience.

    Just BS!(Bob and Sue)

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  15. It sounds like your readers were really, really hoping you got sprayed by a skunk. Shame on us, but it sure would have been funny - for us, not you. Seriously, glad you only got skunked by the cranes. You may get requests to take in some teenagers to raise - I should have sent you mine years ago.

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  16. butterbean carpenterFebruary 12, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    Howdy Judy & Emma,
    I FOR ONE AM GLAD YOU OR EMMA REALLY GOT 'SKUNKED'!! WHEEEEW EEEEE!!! Thatz
    not a very nice thing to have happen to you or Emma!! I once had a ranch, in Ellis county, where a skunk's den had been for 50 years and still was under the house!!! I 'steel-trapped' 19 two-toned kittys with the fluid drive under our bedroom; at night you could turn on the bedlamp and see 'yellow vapor' in the air.. My wife rode a 'car-pool' to work and whenever she got in ALL WINDOWS WENT DOWN; EVEN IN FREEZING WEATHER!!!
    Glad Max, enjoyed the tour; maybe his mother did too..

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  17. So THAT"s Why you had Leonard hit up front with you. To keep him under control. Thanks.

    Hey, we heard this morning the shed burned yesterday. Glad we got the ribs, etc on Friday before they were too well done to our liking.

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  18. Hmmmm?? Fooled again. Thought I'd see some skunk pics!

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  19. Glad you had a great day with the kids and were able to show them some eagles and othe wonderful sights without getting "skunked"!

    Ruth
    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

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