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Trash and a Treasure

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Instead of taking another day off today, I decided to work so I’ll be sure to have the weekend free for some special visitors.  The harried activity of getting ready for the Expo is over, so I tackled litter pick-up on the refuge.  In general, I don’t mind picking up trash because I’m outside all day and can enjoy what I see and hear as I make my way to those areas that I know need cleaning up.  Of course I always have my camera along for any opportunities that present themselves.

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                                                                              White Ibis

I’m going to make a very broad generality here based on my vast experience as a litter picker upper.  Fishermen, or women, are among the most uncaring and trash producing individuals on our refuges.  That’s why I know to go where the boat ramps are and popular fishing locations.  No matter how thoroughly I clean these areas, I can go back the next day to find more fishing line, beer, water, and pop cans and bottles, snack wrappers, used toilet paper, Sick smile and empty cans of those little wieners.  It’s disgusting really.

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                                                                         White-faced Ibis

Cell phone reception when I am out and about on the refuge is spotty at times.  Sorry to say, because of this I missed a call about fellow volunteers Barb and Barry.  We all worked together last winter at Okefenokee NWR, and they stopped at the visitors center in Anahuac to see if we could get together.  I could easily have met up with them if I knew they were coming. Sad smile  Hopefully we can get together some other time this winter.

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As I made my way out to Frozen Point, I got to see something I’ve known about for years but never observed.  I wanted to share it with you.  Many people use the refuge boat ramps to access Galveston Bay for crabbing purposes.  The local Vietnamese community especially likes putting out crab pots in the bay.  Today I was able to watch as one of these crabbers checked his traps.

IMG_5032As he pulled up the crab pot, you can see that I was not the only one interested in watching.  Lots of brown pelicans were following him.

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                                 Once the crab trap was on board, the pelicans congregated close by.

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I don’t know if he was throwing out old bait or what, but it sure seems the pelicans knew there might be a handout.  See the crab trap buoy on the far right of the pic?

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It only took a short time for the crabber to reset his pot, and then he was on his way to his next buoy.  The pelicans followed right along with him.

After getting my fill of trash, I stopped by headquarters to hand in a monthly vehicle gas usage form.  Had a couple of surprises while I was there.  The 50th anniversary of Anahuac NWR is approaching, and the Refuge Friends Group and refuge will be producing a book commemorating its first 50 years.  I was asked to submit some of my best photos taken on the refuge during my seven year history here, and also asked to write an essay to be included in the book comparing the challenges the refuge faced in the 60’s, when it was established, as opposed to its present management challenges.  I was flattered to be asked, and will be working on that in the coming weeks.

The second surprise was to find out I had a small package delivered here.  I was mystified since I have my own mailbox at the Winnie facility, and use that address.  The outside of the package indicated it came from Massachusetts.  I don’t know anyone in Massachusetts.  After what I posted about fruit smoothies last night, can you imagine my shock to find a book on Ultimate Smoothies in the package when I opened it?  I wasn’t to solve this mystery until I was paging through the book this evening after I got back to the rig.  I finally located a note inside from a reader of this blog named Barbara.  She read my initial post about the Magic Bullet, and sent me this book.  What a treasure this is.  My previous attempts not only looked unappealing, but tasted bad.  Thanks Barbara!  I’ll soon be on my way to making things like “Where the Cheer and the Cantaloupe Play” and “War and Peach”!

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                                                                              THE END!!

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

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