Saturday, August 11, 2012

Guess I’m a big spender!

After my encounter with Mr. BIG Bear yesterday morning, I got a refuge vehicle and headed out to fill all the pamphlet holders around the refuge.  Some needed refilling, and others didn’t.


I drove down most of the entrance roads just to see why they were there, and what they had to offer to the public.  Along the way, I found a few interesting, to me, things to photograph.  These flowers are just beginning to bloom along one of the canals leading to Roanoke Sound.  I also saw a belted kingfisher and a green heron along this road, but they weren’t interested in posing for me.  That’s what I like about flowers.  They don’t fly away!


This looks like an ordinary grass seed head, but I have to tell you that it was a foot and a half long.  I’ve never seen anything like it before.  Don’t know what it is, but it sure was interesting.


After several hours, I returned to once again exchange vehicles.  Another storm was blowing in and the skies were really darkening.  These cattle egrets decided to hunker down beside a corn field and have a good preen before the skies opened up.  They’ve really been chowing down on all the grasshoppers and crickets that are so abundant in the fields right now.


Today, it was off to another nine hour stint at the Gateway VC.  I got everything up and running without a glitch, I thought.  After a while, I noticed that the movies that are supposed to come on when you walk into the airplane cockpit weren’t working.  This happens when the electric goes out, and apparently it did overnight.  The solution?  Crawling up onto the top of the wings of the aircraft to reset things.  With my present hip problem, I’m no wing walker, so I was in a quandary what to do.  Luckily, a youthful mother with her young son asked what the problem was.  I explained it, and she said, “ I’m a nurse, and there is no way I’m letting you try to crawl up there!”  There isn’t a ladder available, and you have to balance on the top of the backrest of a chair to get up there.  Instead, she stood on the seat of the chair and lifted her little son on top, and with my direction he was able to push the right button to get things working again.  Turns out she and her family are visiting here for a week before her husband gets deployed overseas.  Our military heroes to the rescue once again!  I’ll tell you that barely a day goes by working in these Visitor Centers that an unusual story doesn’t play out.

We had a real torrential downpour storm roll through in the afternoon, and about ten people were trapped inside until it subsided.  It lasted over an hour, and people just milled around waiting for it to subside.  They weren’t interested in buying anything, so I thought I’d grab this chance to do a little shopping in the nature store.  I have a granddaughter with a birthday coming up in eight days so I was on a mission.

One of the perks of volunteering at this refuge is that you can choose one day while you are here to receive a 40% discount on everything you buy.  I decided this was my day. 


I know both Phoebe and Avery like the two books I sent them about the sea turtle and the pelican by Suzanne Tate, so I decided with my one day discount I’d send them almost the whole collection of books.  These are all about the creatures of the sea surrounding the Outer Banks, and each tale teaches a lesson that’s transferable to children’s lives, as well as very factual material about their life styles.  “Helpful Humans” are also a part of many of the books, and I’m hoping this will foster a true caring attitude for the natural world in these young lives.  If you have young children in your lives, I heartily recommend these books.


There will also be a few other surprises in that box that I send off on Monday to Indiana.  Winking smile Couldn’t have a big shopping day without getting a little item for myself either.  I chose this tee shirt to commemorate my encounters with the bears of Alligator River NWR.  But it was what was on the back of the shirt that really caught my eye…


It seemed to fit the fulltimer lifestyle.  However, I just wished I didn’t get lost as many times as I seem to do.  So then it was time to total up the bill, and I scanned each item into the computerized cash register.  My total with a 40% discount?  A whopping $30,647,862.32!  WOW!  I must admit that it was the 32 cents that really blew my mind!  Talk about being the last of the big spenders!  Can you guess how fast I hit the delete button?  A little later, I was able to try again, and the computer was much more reasonable this time.Confused smile

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy