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Borrego Springs, CA

Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Sunday afternoon drive

Emma and I went for a drive this afternoon just to see what we could see on some of the back roads that are not on the Tamarac NWR.  The sun was shining, the skies were blue, and I just didn’t want to sit around the rig all day.  When I first signed up for this assignment, I was told it was in the north woods of Minnesota.  Well, yes, there are plenty of woods on the refuge, but much of the surrounding area is rolling prairie that has over the years been turned into farmland.

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With no rain the last few days, the farmers are making hay while the sun shines.  It’s also now clearly visible which fields are growing corn and which fields are growing soy beans.  Because of the long and cold winter, it’s only been recently that the different crops have grown enough to be discernible when driving by the fields.  Most corn will be ‘knee high by the fourth of July’, but compared to other years things are a little behind.  Fellow volunteer Steve, from North Carolina, says that saying down south is ‘eye high by the fourth of July’.  Interesting.IMG_3650I stopped at a little cemetery along the way to grab a pic of this most unusual graveside monument.  I’ve never seen a stop and go light before as a memorial.  Then there is the butterfly too.  All sorts of things popped into my mind, but I’ll try to find out ‘the rest of the story’.

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In our wanderings, we came across the Hamden Slough NWR.  The headquarters was ten miles down a dusty gravel road, and I decided to just go a short way down that road.  After all, today was Sunday and I knew no one would be working to answer my questions.  I’ll return on a weekday sometime.

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I’ve heard the word ‘slough’ pronounced three different ways: slew, sluf, and slou (like in ouch).  I had to look it up in my dictionary when I got home.  The definition for the slou pronunciation seems to fit best in this situation: a place of deep mud; a hole full of mire.  I’m sure there are regional differences in pronunciation, but this is the one I’m going to use here.IMG_3653This brief bobolink sighting is the only thing I saw on my short journey into this refuge.  Who would believe there would be so many vehicles blasting down these gravels roads and obliterating the views with tons of dust?  Ugh!  I think I’ll wait until after the July 4th long weekend before I return for a calmer look at this refuge.

I’ve also got some updates on a couple of recent things.  Remember the mosquito traps that Merikay sent me?  Well, I had one outside my rig for several days before a storm blew through and knocked it asunder.  In that time, I continued to get bitten in the evening, and not one lousy mosquito was found inside the trap.  I’ll try setting up a couple of them again, but this time I think I’ll put some rocks in the bottom of them to help hold them in place.

Then there’s the matter of the new clock and watch.  The blasted minute hand on the new clock gets stuck on 45 seconds, and the expandable band on the watch is too big.  Uff-da.  I hate when my watch slides up and down my arm.  Of course, when I was in Wal-mart, I couldn’t find an ‘associate’ to open the watch holder to try it on first.  This is one of the reasons I’m not a big fan of Wal-mart.  I’ll be going back there next week to return both items. Baring teeth smile

I have to set my alarm for 5:30 in the morning tonight so I can stagger down to headquarters for the beginning of the loon and tern count this week.  I’ll give you the details tomorrow if I’m still awake…

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                                                                               THE END!!

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

25 comments:

  1. Apparently the days of a granite or marble headstone are long gone... wonder what the occupation or hobby of the "stop light" person was? I spend a lot of time wandering around in cemeteries while Bill's doing research and love seeing the different ways folks honor their loved ones. Hope you have time to explore this one again.

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  2. We locals say slew just in case you were wondering. Traffic is horrid..we just came back from Ice Cracking and usually we can putz along..not so tonight..everyone is in a hurry. It will be interesting to hear about your loon count. There used to be White Lady Slippers on the west side of Shell Lake, we checked them tonight and the deer have eaten the buds...keep an eye out you may see some ..they bloom at the tail end of the Showys. :)

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  3. Your Sunday drive was alot more interesting than ours...we drove from Park City, UT to Dillon, MT...about 380 miles. Now we are stuck with no A/C...only 30 amp here and the generator won't crank! Well, I shouldn't complain with the heatwave going on down south in Arizon.

    Unusual cemetery you found!


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  4. The stop and go light memorial is very intriguing. Don't know if you noticed, but the placement of the lights are reversed... usually the red light is at the top, and the green is at the bottom... wonder if that has any meaning too.

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    1. One town I lived in had traffic lights with the red on top (normal) in one direction and green on top (upside down) for the other direction. Maybe the light in the cemetery was like that.

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  5. Hope you find the meaning of that unusual memorial. What an intriguing mystery.

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  6. There's an interesting cemetery between Silverton and Ouray in Colorado. Not quite as unusual as a stop sign, but there's a few that are unusual. It always amazes me when I'm out west or any old cemetery, really, how many infants never made it past a year old. And, it almost seems that if you reach 40, you reached od age--a testament to the hard life pioneers lived. Thanks for sharing your drive with us. Pictures are great, as always.

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  7. I'm a "slew" girl, myself! ;)

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  8. I have always said "slew". I think it's worth a little more money to deal with a person who knows what they are selling. Walmart used to have good and knowledgeable people in the watch & jewelry dept., and I liked that they would always change the watch band for me as I can't see those little prongs very well. Now if I can find someone, they tell me they "aren't allowed to do it".

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  9. Maybe it was a female (butterfly) traffic cop.
    In Missouri we say corn as high as an elephants eye. though this year it would be
    hard pressed to reach a does eye. too much rain

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  10. Well, I wasn't sure how they would work, and it seems like you have just about the most mosquitos of all the bloggers! Thanks for the feedback, it the other one does any better let us know. Seems to me that if they were any good, someone would be selling a comercial version made in China.

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  11. Cemeteries are one of our regular attractions. I still think Rock of Ages Granite is my favorite material.

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  12. Hope you can find out about the light in the cemetery.

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  13. Be glad you got a break in the weather. It has rained here 10 days straight, and we are in for another 5 more....yuck!

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  14. It was nice to see pictures of sunshine. We have had two days of rain and a few more to come.

    It's slew for us.

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  15. Slew.
    Yes, DO find out about that cemetery!
    Hey, what kind of camera do you use? I've got to get one! :-)

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  16. there are a slew of slews in Texas... oh and glad you are spelling Uff-da correct ;)

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  17. Beautiful photos. Wish I could be there to see the loons.

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  18. Having grown up in a cemetery,there are many very interesting memorials found there...We had some with photos on the stones, many eternal flames...but no traffic lights! I saw a headstone at a cemetery in Texas that said "I told you I was sick!" ..Gotta love the humor in that person's life!!

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  19. That is one of the best haying pictures I've ever seen. Really artistic. Cut and raked and standing tall. I just love it.

    I was told slou in in the Everglades when we went wading in one. Counting loons. I can't imagine counting beyond one. You do have THE BEST jobs. Though I'm sorry to hear the mosquito remedy isn't working. I was thinking I'd try it if you could recommend it

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  20. Looks like the corn here in Iowa is about the same as Minnesota. I've always heard the knee high by the 4th of July saying too but I know in Iowa if its only knee high by the 4th it is really behind. Usually its almost waist to head high by then. I hope you find out the story of the stop light at the memorial would love to hear that one.

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  21. Back when I wore a watch I learned to buy a junior-sized band. Meant for kids, I think but I have tiny wrists.

    I'm a slew person, too.

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  22. 0530 start time? That's enough to make anyone Looney... ;c)

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  23. They are haying here too. I almost stopped at a field last weekend for a picture much like your hay picture...cool to see yours!

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  24. In a similar pronunciation conundrum, I was totally surprised by the local pronunciation of Q UAY. Which I learned was pronounced as cue way (but more like one syllable). It appears in Belfast, Ireland they are a "k". That's it, just K.

    What does this dumb American know?

    Poking around old cemeteries is relaxing and reflective for me. Always interesting things in old ones. That site speaks of unbearable grief. Love your blog so much. You do, do the most interesting things.

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