Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The queen of litter

Yep, that’s what I’ve been so far this week.  My sidekick, Rachel, finished her internship last Friday, and headed back to Cincinnati.  That means there’s no more raucous drive-by grabbings for litter pick up.  I’m on my own and slowly plod down the refuge roads gathering refuse. 73 Tamarac NWR, 201320

Considering how thoughtless and uncaring many people are about our refuges, I suppose it’s job security.  No matter how many bottles, cans, and other garbage I pick up along the roadsides, there seems to be a never ending supply. 

73 Tamarac NWR, 201321

Luckily, when I get fed up with this ‘crap’, I can take a slight detour down a few roads that are gated and not open to the public at this time of the year.  It’s here that I enjoy the unspoiled nature, and find indications that summer is waning.  The goldenrod has begun to flower, and the vibrant reds of the Sumac fruits are beginning to appear.  Sumac is one of the first trees to turn color in the fall, and today I found the first red leaves.


It seems that summer was a little late in coming to northern Minnesota this year, and already I’m noticing signs of fall.  Berries are ripening, the birds have finished nesting and are done singing, and the post breeding quiet is descending.  I still hear the haunting call of the loon occasionally, but time is moving on. 


I’ve been watching the progress of several pairs of Trumpeter Swans.  One pair still has two signets, another has three signets surviving.  Sadly, the pair that frequents the Chippewa picnic area along the Otter Tail River seems to have lost their young.  Life isn’t always easy out in the wild.


Tomorrow, I get a break from picking up litter.  I’ll be leading a tour of the refuge.  The tour is scheduled each Thursday during the summer, but you never know if anyone will show up for it.  I hope some folks show up tomorrow so I can show them what a great place this is.

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy