Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Gas, birds, and wasps

No, I’m not now having intestinal problems, and neither is Emma.  I have been assigned a refuge vehicle to use for my work on the refuge.  The vehicle I have this year is a Suburban with four wheel drive capabilities since I may be doing bird surveys on the back roads of the refuge.  This is the same vehicle that was used to take Colin to the Bush International Airport north of Houston, and transported me back and forth to the VIS this weekend.  The gas gage was really nearing the E stage, so that was on my agenda this morning.  The gas pumps are located 10 miles away at the maintenance building.  I don’t know how to turn on the pump on the weekend when staff isn’t around, so we volunteers usually fill up during the week.  Each refuge handles this a little differently, and I checked with Bob this morning to review the procedure.  Everything went smoothly, and I put in over 37 gallons.  Phew!

As long as I was down near the VIS, I decided to drive those roads that aren’t closed to construction to see what I could see.


Basically, it was the normal cast of characters.  This snowy egret was fishing at one of the water structures.


In the surrounding marsh, a great blue heron had just swallowed its lunch.  It must have been a good sized morsel as it continued to stand there with its mouth open and that huge bulge in its neck.  Perhaps it bit off more than it could chew?


There was a strong wind out of the west today that produced some waves and sea foam along the shore of Galveston Bay at high tide.  I found one lone willet working the shoreline down by the boat launch.  This shorebird has a very distinctive wing pattern that can only be seen when it raises its wings. 

The winds will be switching to the north this evening, and the warm temperatures are going to drop.  Since the winds are supposed to calm down some, I decided to put out the window awnings on the east side of my rig.  That morning sun with no trees or hills to block the rays blasts right in those windows.  Many folks deploy their window awnings from the outside with the use of an awning stick with a hook on the end.  I’m too short to do that, and have found it easier to just open the window and screen and lean out to pull the awning out.  When I pulled out the bedroom awning about a dozen or so wasps came dumping out.  With the cooler temps coming, they must have all crawled under the awning cover for the night.  I’ve never had that happen before.

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy