Borrego Springs, CA

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Off on another adventure

Even though today was a scheduled day off for me, I asked permission to travel some of the closed roads in the sanctuary area of the refuge so I’ll be prepared to answer questions from the public when they open on September 1.  Permission was given as long as I used a refuge vehicle, so at 8:00 this morning my sidekick, Rachel, and I headed off for a day of exploring.


The first stop was at a small bridge near the beginning of the Chippewa Trail.  A long time ago, loggers sent their logs down the Otter Tail River.  There is one log that has been stuck just past this bridge underwater for over 100 years.  It’s visible just under where I took this shot.


My idea was to send Rachel descending down the slope to check out what swallows had nests under the bridge.  Being young and agile, she was game for the challenge.


For some reason, she declined my suggestion to take off her shoes and wade through the deep rushing water under the bridge to get a closer look at the barn swallow nests.  I don’t know what’s the matter with this younger generation.  She mumbled something about all the ticks and leeches.  Pfft!  Likely excuse!  Winking smile

73 Tamarac NWR, 201318

As we continued on our way, we enjoyed the wildflowers that were blooming.  One of these days I’ve got to get me a wildflower book.  I surely enjoy looking at them, but I just don’t seem to have the burning desire to identify them like I do with birds. 

73 Tamarac NWR, 201317

The damselfly and dragonfly explosion continues… along with battling the ticks and now deer flies.  Some people call them black flies up here, but, you know, they’re those triangle shaped nasty bugs that give very painful bites.  Bug spray doesn’t work against them.  I guess you just have to put up with them.  I avoided getting bit by them today, but because of a side trip I’ll talk about tomorrow, I had to remove an astronomical number of ticks from my body today.  If I didn’t like what I’m doing here so much, those ticks just might persuade me to leave.

IMG_8933It’s peaceful scenes like this that make me want to stay.  So few people get to enjoy this along with the background sounds of loons, swans, and sandhill cranes, that it has hooked me on serving at this refuge.


Rachel and I spent close to eight hours discovering the jewels to be found within a small part of the 40,000 acres of Tamarac NWR.  At one point, we came across a gathering of 36 trumpeter swans on Flat Lake.  What a thrill!  These four were just a part of the group that were loafing and preening along the shore.  After declining to shockingly few numbers across the country, these swans were reintroduced in Minnesota here on Tamarac.  It’s estimated that there are now 5000 trumpeter swans in Minnesota, and they all started here.  Cool beans!

To me, our afternoon encounters were just as exciting.  I’ll chat about those in tomorrow’s post as this one is long enough for tonight.  I appreciate the suggestions about my new shower head.  I can hand hold it, and that’s what I’ll be doing until I can come up with a workable solution.


                                                                                 THE END!!

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy


  1. WOW!!!! I'm thrilled just with the photo of the swans. Can't imagine what it must have been like to encounter them in real life.

  2. Sorry to hear about all the ticks! And to think I wanted to head to Minnesota this summer! Did I miss what the best way to remove them is? Did you see where one method was to rub the tick in circles as if you were trying to make it dizzy? Apparently, they back out quickly that way, or so someone says.

  3. I am so sorry to hear about the ticks! What a bother! I did read that applying permethrin to your clothes will help. And also, put your clothes in a dryer just in case some are hidden. Ticks can survive the washer, but not the heatI sure hope they have not gotten on Emma! You would think with the severe winters, they would not survive...

    Beautiful pictures tonight. The wildflowers are so pretty...and the reflection on the lake is quite peaceful. That is cool about the swans.

    Hugs to Emma!

  4. P.S. There is a website www.minnesotawildflowers.info that let's you choose flowers by their color. The yellow flower with the points is Yellow Goat's Beard.

  5. We fought with ticks on our dogs in winter when it was wet. Around Thanksgiving was the worst because it would be the first good rains and that seemed to bring them out. Summer wasn't to bad because it was dry. I found the anti flea and tick stuff you put on the back of the dogs neck worked the best. It was always so hard to find them on our black dog. I think of Emma whenever I read about your daily tick removal.

  6. I find it easier to identify plants than to ID birds. The plants hold still.

  7. Looks like you found yourself a great place this summer.... despite the ticks. And good that you've got such an enthusiastic companion in Rachel.... it makes the wandering around not only more fun, but safer.

  8. Hate the tick thing. Be careful and use some spray that has deet.
    But OH the beautiful area and the flowers, most of all the water.

  9. I like Gypsy comment about the flowers standing still. I couldn't handle all the ticks. Just not my thing. But I would sure miss out on some beautiful sites if it weren't for you.

  10. A bus man's holiday-working on your day off:)

  11. a really great excursion. . .sometimes I get luck identifying wildflowers by googling, whatever color, whichever state. . .have fun!

    ReadyToGoFullTimeRVing Blog

  12. Lovely photos (as always) and a fun day spent with Rachel. Thanks for sharing the beauty and peacefulness! :-)

  13. What a catch with the camera in flight! As for ticks...we came home from Central IL with two on us. Then two weeks later a 3 inch bull's eye from a bite we found no tick. Doctor said Lyme's...and believe me this two week dose of antibotic makes for a sick stomach! I'm still on the hunt for a natural remedy to spray before going out and about. I admire your strength!

  14. I've been in no internet land in the Pennsylvania Mountains so I have some catching up to do. Might be a good thing Rachel declined your wading invitation, you might have had to rescue her if she floated off down stream. GREAT pictures of the trumpeters. What a great place - even with those nasty ticks.

  15. Great photos of that chicken, er, I mean Rachel. I guess the Marine Corps doesn't have to worry about her enlisting...

    Love the pictures of the trumpeter swans, I've never seen them before. I always learn something new from your posts.

    I've been thinking about the shower head. When I replaced mine, I screwed it into the original shower hose instead of the supplied one. Will your shower head fit on the original hose? That way you can use the original hook to hold it in place. Let me know if you need pictures.

  16. Beautiful pictures. I did the same as Paul when I replaced our shower head just be sure to get the washers out of your old shower head or the new one will leak.

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  18. Great photos as usual and nice story about the swans, not so nice about the ticks.