Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cabin fever?

Three days of rain, wind, and cold temperatures means I’m chomping at the bit to get back outside.  I did spend Sunday afternoon working the VIS, but that’s an even smaller space than the rig.  Yesterday was a totally inside day, so I was happy to go to a volunteer meeting at the maintenance office this morning as it’s a ten mile drive there and back, and I could see if the rain had improved things on the refuge for the birds.  (Oh my, try diagramming that last sentence.)


The meeting took a couple of hours, and afterwards I decided to take a drive down to the bayside boat launch just for the chance to prolong going back to the rig.  I found a common merganser, on the right, and two hooded mergansers working the waterway off of the bay.


The male hooded merganser is a rather perky looking little guy.  They’re all pretty skittish, so I really had to make these shots from afar.  That’s the first hooded I’ve seen this year.


As I reached the bay, I found a couple of white ibis working away with a gull flying in to monitor their success.


                                    It’s kind of humorous to watch the gulls follow the ibis around.


                    I’ve seen gulls snatch food away from ibis and even ospreys…the little marauders!


It was low tide so the crab traps were visible sticking out of the bay.  It also meant the flats were alive with shorebirds, but the overcast conditions made for poor lighting for photographing them.

64 Anahuac NWR 201113

I was hoping to capture a shot of a seaside sparrow, but all I found were several savannah sparrows in amongst the beach rocks and oyster shells.

_MG_4530 _MG_4528

Heading back to the exit, I found a neotropic cormorant shaking and stretching on one of the water structures before it took off.  It was an enjoyable break from sitting inside, that’s for sure.

I’ve had the opportunity the last few days to do some thinking about this coming summer.  I’m not going to just sit somewhere; I want something to do.  In September I applied for a couple of camp hosting jobs outside of Estes Park, CO, but even after leaving messages I haven’t heard anything.  Since they planned to make their decisions by the end of October, I’ve crossed that possibility off of my list.  I have two other ideas in mind.  Volunteering at the National Elk Refuge in Wyoming would mean a 32 hour/week commitment for the entire summer, or volunteering at the Cle Elum Fish Hatchery in Washington would mean a 20 hour/week commitment for two or three months.  Of course, I haven’t officially applied to either location yet…just dreaming.  It’s time to put my dreams into action however.  I’ll be working on that in the very near future.

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy