Friday, December 16, 2011

A great day off refuge

Every once in a while the refuges that I volunteer on take a day to provide a field trip for all of the volunteers.  Some refuges do it more often than others, and some don’t do it at all.  Personally, I think it would be a great idea for all refuges to do this.  We all have different schedules, and this provides a common sharing time for all of us, and enhances our experiences after putting in all those volunteer hours.  Today was such a day at Anahuac NWR.

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Even though the skies were threatening after a good rain overnight, we headed out early this morning for our nation’s first National Preserve… Big Thicket.


After a brief time at the Visitor’s Center, we all headed out for a ranger guided hike on the preserve.  We wanted to get the hike in first in case it might rain later.

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It was a nice two mile hike on the Kirby nature trail.  That’s the longest hike I’ve gone on since my back problems.  We started out with ten people, but two had to turn back due to knee problems.

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There were lots of colorful fungus along the way, and…

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a nice selection of mushrooms.  This was declared the first National Preserve by Congress in 1974 because of the many different habitats found in this unique area.  It has since been recognized internationally as an important natural area because of its biodiversity.

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It took us a couple of hours to do the trail, but it was a nice walk through the woods and several habitats. 


                               A nice little forest of cypress knees was off of one of the boardwalks.

IMG_4966                                At the meandering bayou we headed back towards the parking lot.

IMG_4968There was a picnic table along the way back where we all posed for the mandatory group picture.  Just so you’ll know, in the top row from the left is Stephanie (the volunteer coordinator), Barbara, James, yours truly, and Tammy (another refuge staff member).  The front row from the left is Dorothy, Cindi, and Bob.  Bill and Carol had to turn back early so missed being in this shot.  We may look like a motley crew, but we’re all dedicated volunteers.  I was kneeling on top of that wet picnic table, so that was more of a grimace than a smile.  Thinking smile  The funny part of this photo is that as the ranger tried to take this picture using my camera, the flash popped up and nearly knocked her ranger hat off.

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy