Even though today was a scheduled day off for me, I asked permission to travel some of the closed roads in the sanctuary area of the refuge so I’ll be prepared to answer questions from the public when they open on September 1. Permission was given as long as I used a refuge vehicle, so at 8:00 this morning my sidekick, Rachel, and I headed off for a day of exploring.
The first stop was at a small bridge near the beginning of the Chippewa Trail. A long time ago, loggers sent their logs down the Otter Tail River. There is one log that has been stuck just past this bridge underwater for over 100 years. It’s visible just under where I took this shot.
My idea was to send Rachel descending down the slope to check out what swallows had nests under the bridge. Being young and agile, she was game for the challenge.
For some reason, she declined my suggestion to take off her shoes and wade through the deep rushing water under the bridge to get a closer look at the barn swallow nests. I don’t know what’s the matter with this younger generation. She mumbled something about all the ticks and leeches. Pfft! Likely excuse!
As we continued on our way, we enjoyed the wildflowers that were blooming. One of these days I’ve got to get me a wildflower book. I surely enjoy looking at them, but I just don’t seem to have the burning desire to identify them like I do with birds.
The damselfly and dragonfly explosion continues… along with battling the ticks and now deer flies. Some people call them black flies up here, but, you know, they’re those triangle shaped nasty bugs that give very painful bites. Bug spray doesn’t work against them. I guess you just have to put up with them. I avoided getting bit by them today, but because of a side trip I’ll talk about tomorrow, I had to remove an astronomical number of ticks from my body today. If I didn’t like what I’m doing here so much, those ticks just might persuade me to leave.
It’s peaceful scenes like this that make me want to stay. So few people get to enjoy this along with the background sounds of loons, swans, and sandhill cranes, that it has hooked me on serving at this refuge.
Rachel and I spent close to eight hours discovering the jewels to be found within a small part of the 40,000 acres of Tamarac NWR. At one point, we came across a gathering of 36 trumpeter swans on Flat Lake. What a thrill! These four were just a part of the group that were loafing and preening along the shore. After declining to shockingly few numbers across the country, these swans were reintroduced in Minnesota here on Tamarac. It’s estimated that there are now 5000 trumpeter swans in Minnesota, and they all started here. Cool beans!
To me, our afternoon encounters were just as exciting. I’ll chat about those in tomorrow’s post as this one is long enough for tonight. I appreciate the suggestions about my new shower head. I can hand hold it, and that’s what I’ll be doing until I can come up with a workable solution.
Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later, Judy