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A Sunday afternoon drive

Sunday, 30 June 2013

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

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