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Volunteer field trip day

Thursday, 26 January 2012

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

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