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“These Boots are Made for Walking”

Monday, 10 June 2013

Today was a work day for me, and started out with almost two hours of meetings.  First was the weekly staff meeting, and second was the ‘mowing’ committee meeting.  Both Steve and I are in the mowing group, but can’t do anything until someone picks up our steel toes boots.

So, I was off to cover the Booth Lake Sector for the Minnesota Breeding Bird Atlas.  Even though I didn’t get to the location until 10:00 which is quite late for bird surveys, I found more species of birds in the five hours I was out than I had in the other two blocks.

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I didn’t take any bird photos while I was surveying today, but I did find some wild strawberry blossoms. 

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Along with several more blooming columbines.  With the warmer temps and sunny skies today, the mosquitoes and ticks were out in full force.  I lost track of how many ticks I plucked off of myself before I finished today, and had to use the tick tool to remove three that had attached themselves once I got home.  Sad smile

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While I stopped for lunch, I noticed that there was also a huge dragonfly hatch today.  There were just clouds of them as I walked along the drive by one of the lakes.

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I kind of enjoy changing up my picnic lunch location each day I’m working on the survey.  As I munch away on my sandwich, I get to enjoy the scenery, count all the birds I hear singing, and discover some other little things happening in nature.

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One of those little things today was the hatching out of some kind of tent caterpillars.  They are voracious feeders once they are out of the tent, and are one of the reasons that we have so many black-billed cuckoos around.  Cuckoos love to eat caterpillars, and when one discovers this hatch it will be in 7th heaven.  One example of how everything is connected in nature.

I was able to verify nesting proof for three out of the fifty something species I found today in this block.  Biggest bird was the bald eagle with young in the nest.  Next in size was the great crested flycatcher that I found gathering nesting materials.  And last, but not least, was the verification of nesting cliff swallows.  That one was a bit trickier as I had to climb down an embankment near a water structure between Chippewa Lake and the Otter Tail River to verify nests under the culvert.  It was rather steep, and I had to grab some vegetation to keep from sliding down into the water.   I felt a prick on one of my fingers from that, and my finger has been very itchy since then.  I sure hope I didn’t grab some poison ivy.  Disappointed smile

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Do you remember ever seeing this picture that was popular during WWII as women entered the formally male dominated workforce?  They worked in defense plants for the first time since the men were away at war, and began to prove that a woman can do most anything a man can do if she sets her mind to it. 

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Well, that’s how I felt this afternoon once the initial SNAFU at L&M Fleet was overcome, and I received delivery of my steel toed boots.  Remember, several of you requested a picture of me modeling my new boots in shorts and wearing my new hat.  Ignore the wrinkles and veins, and just notice the resemblance to that ‘We Can Do It’ young lady from the past.  Winking smile  I’m thinking when I wear these boots I’m an incredibly tall 5’ 2.5”!  Wahoo!

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

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