I received a thought provoking, for me, email today from one of the readers of this blog. I’ll include a portion of it here:
Mice, mosquitoes, wind storms, few visitors at the VIS, wet, cold and dreary days. You really don't make Anahuac sound like a nice place. Yet you have returned 5 times! Is this all part of your plot to make it sound bad so that no one else will go there and you will always have an open spot? :-) Seriously, why do you keep coming back?
I can assure Grant that it is not a plot to turn people away from volunteering here. Each refuge, or national park, or state park or hatchery that I have volunteered at has its own set of challenges for volunteers to overcome, but these challenges have never detracted from the overall enjoyable experiences that I’ve had at each assignment.
(I took pictures of the neighbors today)
Mice? Yep, I’ve had an influx of them this year and the year after hurricane Ike. Would I prefer that they didn’t get into my rig? You betcha! My thinking is that the draught coupled with the mowing/tilling of surrounding fields were the reason this year, and Ike was the cause the other year. That means weather which, try as I might, I can’t control. It seems to me the folks in Arizona are a little chilly this year as well.
Mosquitoes? That’s just about a given at any refuge along the coast with marshes and wet areas. Kind of an occupational hazard. They make me itch, and I complain about them, but they don’t keep me away from the grandeur of everything else.
Perhaps I’ve explained away some of the drawbacks, but more important to me are some of the pluses. Stephanie is a great volunteer coordinator and understands my need to have a variety of things to do. Anahuac is one of the few refuges I’ve been at that truly matches the strengths of each volunteer to their assignments. Bird surveys, photography, tour leading, public interaction, and education are my strengths, and I spend the vast amount of my volunteering time in those areas here. In my five times here, I have only spent two days in an office situation (which I hate), and those two times were because of emergencies.
This post could probably go on for pages about my other reasons for returning, but I won’t go into those. The above is the most important to me. Will I return again? Probably, but I’m really going to try to stay away in 2012. When I started out, my plan was not to return to any assignment, but things change with different experiences. Now, if you’re still reading, here’s something on a lighter note:
It’s a little quiz. Remember those pictures from your youth where you had to find things? Let’s see how you do.
1. How many cow tails can you find?
2. Can you find the red-tailed hawk?
3. How many cow faces do you see?
4. Where is the cattle egret?
5. How many of these cows have horns?
6. What breed(s) are these cattle? (Click picture to enlarge)
Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later, Judy