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The rest of the story…

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Tonight I’m continuing the rest of the day we spent on the western side of the refuge yesterday.  After visiting Billy’s Island, we back tracked a bit to find the passage to Minnie Lake.

IMG_2233Along the way, we noticed the first blooms of the water irises.  In a week or so, the swamp on this side will be blessed with their vibrant blue/purple color all along the canoe trails.  There never seems to be a month that goes by that doesn’t have some flowers blooming.

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Even though it was a Tuesday morning, we did pass a few folks out enjoying the solitude in their canoes and kayaks.  Though chilly and windy, it was a great day for being out and about on the swamp.

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Shortly before the cutoff for Minnie Lake, Kathy noticed an American bittern skulking in the dried grasses and reeds along the edge of the trail.  I’m sure glad she spotted this secretive bird so we could turn around to get some pictures of it.

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As we approached, it apparently noticed us and went into it’s defensive mode.  The idea behind this behavior is that no one will see it if it stretches its neck out skyward to look like the dried reeds.  “Now you can’t see me!”  We cruised back and forth for a bit, and I was thrilled to get quite a few pictures.  I’ll sprinkle them out in future posts.

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We stopped at the Minnie Lake shelter for lunch and a much needed potty break.  Interestingly, it was much colder up on the shelter than it was in the boat on the water.  Even so, what a magnificent place to savor a picnic lunch!  A red-shouldered hawk went screaming overhead, and the shrubs along the trail were bubbling with warblers. 

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I looked for the turtle we had freed from the fish hook a few weeks ago, but it was nowhere to be seen.  It may have been cold, but the yellow-bellied sliders were out catching rays where ever they could.  Our return trip to the dock was slow and easy going.

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We chuckled at all the alligators that were draped along fallen trees.  I think these survivors from the dinosaur age must have not become extinct because of their laid back lifestyle.  Just flop yourself out in the sun somewhere and meditate, and occasionally grab a bite to eat.  Reminds me of some retired RVers I know. Winking smile

Today, Jack and I headed for Kingsland so he could gas up his one ton dually truck, and I could do my grocery shopping.  He will depart for Indiana in the morning, and plans to be there by Sunday.  Safe travels my friend!  Upon my return to the rig, I dashed to the VC to do the phone interview for Tamarac NWR.  I thought it went well, but then I always do.  I should know by Friday if I’m heading for a summer in the north woods of Minnesota.  If I get that position, Jack will probably visit again sometime in May for our next episode of adventures.

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

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