Thursday, March 14, 2013

Had to call for help today

My morning was spent in a staffing meeting and helping to run the VC, but this afternoon I got to rove.  Roving is probably my favorite assignment at this refuge.  I like to get one of the electric carts and patrol Swamp Island Drive.  IMG_1957

It seems to me that people are more willing to chat with me when I’m driving around in this as opposed to a truck.  It’s not very intimidating.  It also helps that I plug along at much less than 10 mph.  The openness of this vehicle allows me to hear any bird songs to investigate, and I can easily reach out to pick up any litter along the way.

As I got about half way to the Chesser Homestead, I had to stop dead in the road.


It seems some staff members were cutting down a large dead tree along the drive that could fall across the road. I was asked to halt traffic just in case the tree fell the wrong way.  Guess I can add traffic director to my resume.  Winking smile  It wasn’t long before that big old dead pine tree was…

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                                                       Going… Going… Going…



It was pretty windy and chilly out there today, so I was driving with my gloves on.  I talked with several folks and directed one couple as to where to find the pitcher plants.


Found an Eastern phoebe along the off-road trail to the secret pond along with a mother load of sun dew plants.  Sun dews are one of my favorites, but I wasn’t too satisfied with my pics of them so I’ll go back again when I have my rubber boots with me.  I just couldn’t get close enough today.  There were also some candyroot plants blooming, so I guess spring really is here even though it doesn’t feel like it.

As I made my way around the loop heading back to the VC, I noticed that the cart seemed to be going slower and slower.  I went from a speed of 7 mph down to 4 mph down to 2 mph down to 0 mph with the gas (electric) pedal to the floor!  Uh oh. 


Yep, it crapped out on me with several miles to go.  I decided to give it a rest for a while before turning on the ignition again. 


As I was waiting, this fellow perched nearby.  Hmm… turkey vultures only eat dead stuff.  What did he know that I didn’t??  Thankfully, I had my radio with me and notified the VC that I was stranded.  Some one would be sent to rescue me.

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The vulture must have been listening, as it soon took off for greener pastures.  I did get the cart to move about another 1/2 mile down the road, but then it died again.  I took out the key, and hopped into the intern’s vehicle back to the VC.  I’ll try to get the cart back to the barn tomorrow morning to get fixed.  The battery was almost fully charged so that was not the problem today.  Who knows what the cause was.

I’ve had the sniffles for the last day or so, and am liberally applying Mentholatum to my nose tonight.  Hope that is short lived.  I’m thinking that major surgery has kicked my immune system in the kiester for a bit.  Sad smile

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy