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Time is winding down

Monday, 24 September 2012

I’ve only got about three weeks left until I wander out of North Carolina and head for Georgia.  When I arrived near the end of July, it was brutally hot and muggy everyday.  This morning, I had the furnace on to take the chill out of the rig.  Lots of changes in the last nine weeks.  The corn ripened and has now been harvested.  The soy bean plants are yellowing, so it won’t be long before they’re harvested as well.

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I was out fairly early this morning to do the loop of refilling the pamphlet boxes.  There are a total of twenty boxes that I have to restock, and it takes about 70 miles of driving to visit them all.  It’s been kind of interesting to see which boxes get the most use. 

For several years now, it has been one of my endeavors to get an outstanding picture of a belted kingfisher.  It’s an endeavor that continues to elude me.  Belted kingfishers must be about the most skittish of all birds.  It seems impossible to sneak up on them, and the minute they detect you, they get the heck out of Dodge!  This fellow perched out in the sound on a dead tree.  Even with the telephoto lens, he was too far away.

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Various berries are also ripening and providing tasty browse for the wildlife.  I’ve had several posts lately that included pictures of the numerous butterflies on the refuge.  Just since last Friday, the butterflies have lessened by more than 50%.  Time marches on whether we want it to or not.

IMG_0130I wanted to give you an idea of what many of the waterways in the refuge look like.  I guess I’d call them watery ditches.  There are also small rivers and streams, but the ditches seem to act as borders between the fields and the mixed hardwood forest parcels.  The water levels in the refuge are also regulated by water structures built into many of these ditches.

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I found this colorful tree stump on the edge of one of the ditches this morning.  The striping really intrigued me.

After I was done with the boxes, I stopped by headquarters to meet with Bonnie and Susie, to make my suggestion about a panic button being installed at the visitors centers.  They were both receptive to the suggestion, and things are underway to investigate how it could be accomplished.  The safety of staff and volunteers is always high on the list at National Wildlife Refuges, and rightly so.  If some kind of system or alarm can be installed, I will feel my volunteer time here has been worthwhile and will leave a tiny legacy of safety.

If the weather holds, Emma and I plan to visit the Edenton National Fish Hatchery tomorrow.  I’d better get busy and pack a lunch.

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

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