Many of my days on various refuges are memorable, but today marked a milepost in my volunteering career. The morning was spent moving all the educational materials from the community building at the RV sites to the new headquarters building. Four vehicles were jam packed with boxes and materials for the 20 mile transfer. After unloading about half of the stuff, it was time to head to a local restaurant in Anahuac for the farewell luncheon for Barbara and James and myself. After a delicious lunch, we were recognized for our contributions to the refuge.
For me, it marked a total of 4000 volunteers hours served at eight different refuges for the US Fish and Wildlife Service. I received an engraved rotating photo block. Stephanie had gone to the trouble of printing and inserting four photos from my blog that I had taken at Anahuac this year. What a special remembrance of my times here and at all the other refuges. It is now ensconced in a special place in the rig atop the beautiful doily that LOREE made for me.
After that, Stephanie informed the three of us that we had a choice of what to do this afternoon. We could continue to unload the educational boxes, or we could head for the East Unit to watch this month’s aerial count of the waterfowl. You know what my choice was! I traded vehicles with one of the other volunteers since the Suburban wasn’t emptied yet, and off we went.
We had to make a brief stop back at the rigs because James hasn’t learned yet to not leave home without his camera. We chose a spot to wait that wasn’t too close to the waterfowl to disturb them. You just never know for sure where the largest flocks are going to be. Those darn birds have wings. It turned out the major huge flocks were southeast of the spot we chose, but it sure beat unloading boxes.
While we were waiting for the plane to arrive, I glanced out the passenger’s window and punched James in the arm. I wanted him to turn and look to the right. There was a healthy coyote giving us the once over.
That coyote was curious enough about us to allow me to sneak out of the vehicle and get a pic of him/her from behind the back bumper. We were probably parked along its normal traveling route as it hung around for quite some time. Wild animals are creatures of habit just as we are.
After the fly by, we continued down the East Unit roads in search of getting a mottled duck picture for Stephanie. They are so skittish that we didn’t see any close enough for a photo. There was a great cooperative ruddy duck along the way however. I love the way they hold their tail feathers up in the air. Next spring, this guy will sport rusty red plumage and a bright blue beak.We found plenty of mosquitoes on our drive, and this nice flock of white-fronted geese, but no mottled ducks today. Barbara and James are heading out on Monday. I’ll miss them. We’ve had a great time together out and about on the refuge, and they’re always ready for an adventure. I hope to volunteer again with them sometime.
Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later, Judy