Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A great tour, and a decision

I got a phone call at the refuge from NICKIE and Jim the other day.  They are fellow RVers and bloggers, and they wanted to sign up for a tour of the refuge on their way to Baton Rouge this week. 


As it turned out, they ended up being the only folks that showed up for the tour today, and what a tour we had!  It’s always great to meet up with fellow bloggers, and what a joy to be out with people that harbor a similar interest in the natural world.  They’re known as the intrepid-decrepit travelers, and since I’ve been feeling a little decrepit lately, we got along just fine.  Winking smile


The weather forecast wasn’t the greatest, but it tuned out that we saw a record number of cranes today.  If I got the count right, we saw 38 Mississippi sandhill cranes today.  We might have seen six of them twice, but even so, if you consider that there are only about 120-130 of these cranes left on earth, that’s quite a few.  If you click on this picture you’ll notice all the colorful bands on their legs.  This group was most cooperative for pictures.

IMG_5853 IMG_5854

Most groups of cranes took off in flight as we approached.  I love the sound of cranes, and if you look closely you can see several of them with their beaks open trumpeting away.


During our journey through the back roads of the refuge that are closed to the general public, we came upon the lead biologist with two of his interns.  I believe they were out in the savannah doing a bird survey.  They use those long sticks to swish back and forth through the grasses on a transect to flush rails and sparrows.  That’s about the only way to get a count of those types of birds using the wet pine savannah during the winter.

_MG_5857We also checked on the eagle’s nest while we were out and about.  This time, I could see a little more than just an adult head peeking out from the nest. 

I enjoyed my time with Nickie and Jim, and plans are in the works for me to visit them over in Alabama so they can show me their neck of the woods.  I believe they have a condo outside of Mobile, and travel in their RV during the summer.

Now, as for my decision.  As I’m sure most of you figured out, I made a commitment tonight to return to Alligator River NWR.  I appreciated all of your comments on last night’s post, but two in particular hit home.

I just read that "finding your passion" is one of the things to ward off Dementia -so more hours now may lead to a longer life :)”  and

Exciting your soul is a necessary survival skill. Making work hours feel like play hours is worth doing. Work hours that feel like work hours can kill your soul. But, you already knew all that. Besides, as much as we enjoyed our autumn drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains, it's not like they are going away anytime soon. :)

Yep, and a number of you pointed out my aversion to office work, and preference to being outdoors.  Hey, that gives me a couple of months to slowly make my way to the Outer Banks!  Hmmm, guess I’ll have to get out the drawing board again.  Smile

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy