Today’s work assignment was to man the Chesser Homestead as a docent, and no, I don’t wear period clothing. I wear my volunteer uniform. This is the slow time for visitors on the refuge so I didn’t expect that anyone would be taking the trail to the homestead. There was dense fog again this morning, so I just drove my own car out for the morning.
A few little birds were bubbling through the live oak trees in the front yard as I sat rocking on the porch. This blue-headed vireo (formerly solitary vireo) managed to find a little caterpillar while searching the branches. Since there are also quite a few pine trees in the area, everything has pine needles hanging from it. There was a bit of a breeze today, so looking out from the porch, leaves and needles were falling everywhere like a rain shower.
I hadn’t packed a lunch to take along with me today since I forgot to take some lunchmeat out of the freezer last night. Along about noon, I closed things up and headed back to the rig to warm some soup. By the time I headed back, the sun was shining and it was warm enough to just be in short sleeves. That meant the alligators were all out along the Swamp Island Drive. That little one on the bottom and far right was born this past summer. If you look closely enough, you can still see remnants of the orange tinged newborn stripes. Mama was still guarding her one last youngster to survive. Those blurry bumps in the bottom of the right photo are the ridges on her back.
Since it was in the upper 70’s, even the yellow-bellied sliders were out sunning themselves. What balmy temperatures for near the middle of December.
I had to check on those soapwort gentians on my way back, and they had started to open. Then a butterfly came along to complete the picture. Cool beans!
Only had three people stop in today, so I closed things up about 3:30 and slowly headed back to the VC to return my walkie-talkie. Yesterday I roamed the drive in a car at about 7 mph, but today I had the electric cart in the afternoon so as Paul suggested, it was a lot slower journey back. I do a lot of stopping along the way in this open sided cart as the wild things call my name. So slowly, that a car coming in passed me, and then passed me again on their way out. I was stopped at the time at the side of the road checking out the toothache grass, and trying to get a shot of another gentian.
After about 45 minutes, I still hadn’t covered the four miles back, and I was intent upon getting this picture of a male downy woodpecker tapping away on a dead branch. That’s when a big white diesel refuge truck pulled up beside me and a brown shirt asked if I was alright. Huh? Yea, I’m just looking at the woodpeckers.
Turns out the car with the two ladies in it that passed me stopped somewhere to tell staff that I was broke down and in trouble! I appreciated their concern, but I guess they just didn’t understand that when I’m out and about on the refuge I travel like a tortoise, not a hare. I don’t want to miss anything.
I’ve got the next two days off, so I’m guessing nothing too exciting will be happening while I do my laundry and other chores. Perhaps Mayo will call. They didn’t today. Wouldn’t that be a novelty?
Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later, Judy