Saturday, September 15, 2012

Harvest time begins


Farmers lease a sizeable share of the refuge to grow crops.  The deal is that they leave a portion of the plantings for wildlife use.  The big trucks have been rolling down the roads, and the John Deere equipment has begun to harvest the corn.  The soybeans aren’t quite ready yet.  At sometime during the week, the sunflower crop was also harvested.


Now we won’t be seeing the bears coming out of the corn fields.  Some of them have switched over to the beans.  You have to look at just the right moment to see them.  This bear is standing up on his hind legs, and  when he drops down, you won’t be able to see him.  It’s kind of like one of those arcade games where you don’t know when an animal is going to pop up to hit with your mallet, and you have to guess where the bear will pop up next.

_MG_0619 _MG_0621

As I made the perimeter trip to fill pamphlet boxes yesterday, I found quite a few wildflowers at the peak of their bloom.  The goldenrod is also a lot more prominent than it was a few weeks ago.  I guess fall really is on it’s way even though the temps are still in the 80’s.

I worked the Pea Island VC today, and it was a rather productive day for the nature store.  With 152 visitors, I sold almost $700 in merchandise.  Not bad for a Saturday in September.  During lulls I kept track of the bird feeders to see if there were any new avian visitors.  There weren’t any, but the first white pelican of the season arrived at the pond outside the VC this week. 


No new birds, but we had a couple of mammals visit the feeder area.  I’ve heard about this young raccoon visiting now and then, but this is the first time it’s shown up during my shift.  He’s cute as a button, but raccoons can play havoc with bird feeders.  Luckily the feeders at the VC have large squirrel guards on them that are also effective for keeping the raccoons at bay.

_MG_0637 A little later in the afternoon, this whiskery fellow (or gal) showed up as well.  It looks like it was about to tell me something.  Winking smile


Get a load of those long toes and nails on this nutria.  It also has a long hairless tail that gives people the idea that it is a muskrat.  The tail shape and larger size identifies it as a nutria.  It let me approach to around seven feet, before it decided to beat a hasty retreat. 

Tomorrow I’m off to work the Gateway VC for the afternoon.  I think I’ll leave a little early to get there so I can take my time checking out some of the back roads on the refuge along the way.


                                                                               THE END!!

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy