Tonight’s post will be somewhat of a hodge-podge of the happenings since I arrived at Tamarac NWR. The rain continued throughout today, and we’ve received close to 3” of precipitation during the last several days. It was bad enough today that the scheduled school group cancelled. I’m glad they did. Everyone would have been miserable. Looking at the forecast, I’m not sure the tree planting first graders will show up tomorrow either.
With the school group cancelled, I was able to attend the weekly staff meeting. This refuge manager includes the volunteers in that meeting. I appreciate that so I have an idea of what is going on for the next week. I took a bit of a good natured rashing for abandoning the bird tour early on Saturday, but it was all in fun and others wished they had done the same. I also found out that the bear is still hanging around each night, so there will be no more putting out of the feeders during the day for a while. I was putting them out for the day, but taking them down at night. It seems the bear broke into the storage shed last night that contains the refuge bird seed. Too bad.
After the meeting, I spent the rest of the day taking an on-line defensive driving course. This refuge requires this certification before any staff or volunteer is allowed to drive a refuge vehicle. I ended up passing with flying colors, but it sure was a challenge to wade through all of the curriculum without dozing off.
Last Friday when I went to town in Detroit Lakes, one of the items on my list of things to do was buy a fishing pole. Upon a recommendation, I went to L & M Fleet store to look at poles. As I wandered around, I overheard an older employee talking about how the fishing was going. Aha! Here’s my local expert. I asked him to help me pick out a pole. I told him I would be fishing from shore only, and that I wanted an open faced reel that would work for someone that hadn’t fished in years. After looking through the hundreds of poles, he recommended a Shakespeare Ugly Stick. (It’s kind of hard to see on my new ‘vibrant’ picnic tablecloth.) He also did go on and on about what I should do, what lures I should try, what knots I should use, and so on and so on… I was a little snowed with all of that information, but was thrilled to find some one so enthusiastic and willing to help me.
As I mentioned last night, I got some night crawlers over the weekend, but they’ve been sitting in the fridge ever since. I guess I’m just a fair weather fisherperson, and there doesn’t appear to be any fair weather until at least Thursday. Hope they won’t all be dead before I get a chance to use them.
In closing, I’d like to tell you about the new skill I’m learning.
These are the tools of my latest trade… wood tick removal! The wood ticks here are unbelievable! This is one evening’s removal from my body. They’re doing a good job of creeping me out. When I was at Alligator River NWR last summer, I was issued the tick removal tool on the right. I didn’t have to use it there, but I’ve sure been using it here. A fellow local volunteer gave me the suggestion of using the tape. Once you remove the tick, it’s hard to kill them, but if you stick them on the duct tape that’s it… curtains you nasty devils! Part of this morning’s staff meeting covered the reporting of tick bites. Uf-dah! I guess this isn’t paradise after all.
Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later, Judy