Along the Natchez Trace

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures

That's me inside that bug jacket... I'm zipping up the netting that covers my face.

I did a lot of walking yesterday, locating the old manholes and flagging them...
It was easier to walk along the roads rather than drive the Gator as some are located maybe 20' or 30' off the road, and also some are covered in grass and brush.

The black flies were out in numbers!  They're the kind of fly that likes to bite around my ears, the back of my neck and they especially seem to like working their way through my hair and to my scalp.  They leave welts on me about the size of a basketball...  okay.. I'm exaggerating...  maybe pea size or a big bigger.  And they itch like the devil!!!

At any rate, I dragged out my bug shirt and wore it most of the day. I have to be desperate to wear it because, even though it has net panels in various areas, it's still kind of hot to wear.

But...  I was desperate....

Despite all that, I still had a good day...
One of the informational sign posts needed to be moved.  It reads "Wildlife Condo".  The tree that was riddled with woodpecker holes had blown down and we needed to find another place for the sign.  Look at the tree behind Bill & the sign... this is a great spot for the sign to go.  Those long, rectangular holes are created by a pileated woodpecker.  Looks like it found a lot of dinners in this tree!

Canada Anemone

Venus's Looking Glass

I always have to stop and check out the wildflowers.  There's always something new to see...

One of my very favorites is..
When my kids were young, one of their favorite books was "The Lupine Lady".  It became a favorite book of my granddaughters, and will probably be read to my great-granddaughter as well.  We tried for years to grow lupines in Ohio...  but to no avail...
I've been seeing a lot of tiger swallowtail butterflies.  This one was in perfect shape...  no ragged edges or anything.
For something so beautiful, they sure do like nasty things to feast on.

Oh yes... one big reason this particular area became a national wildlife refuge..
A not very good shot of the
Upland Sandpiper
This is a fairly big bird...  12" in length, with a wingspan of 26".  Unlike their close relatives, they are inland birds...  preferring open fields as their nesting grounds.  I don't know how many nesting pairs are here this summer, but I came across this one when I was checking out the manholes yesterday.

I also scared up a red fox, but I was so engrossed in watching him/her run across the fields that I didn't even raise my camera until it was WAY too late....

Another thing I did yesterday was..
Trail Maintenance....  I was cleaning the moss and algae that had built up on a foot bridge on one of the trails.  I used the timer on my camera to take this...  it's kind of blurry, but you can still see what beautiful woods this trail goes through.
Here's the bridge...  all clean again.

What was Bill doing (when he wasn't putting up that sign)?
He's been doing vehicle maintenance.  Changing oil and filters, doing grease jobs...  tuning up....  All the things that those big toys need in order to run efficiently.
He and Kirk have finished the dump truck and the backhoe...  they're almost done with the excavator.... I think there are a couple of other pieces of equipment that they'll do maintenance on before really getting down to the "nitty-gritty" jobs that require these big guys....  Like pulling up all those manholes that I flagged yesterday.

That's pretty much what goes on here...  just a typical day here at Aroostook NWR.

That's All For Today!

See where we are.


  1. Sounds like the perfect kind of day to me!

  2. I'd be in that flystopper, too. Thanks for your lovely work in one of my favorite states.

  3. Looks like a pretty hard day's work to me. At least you were able to see lots of flowers and birds.

  4. Oh my. I sure don't miss black flies or mosquitoes. We rarely, if ever get a mosquito coming into our place here in Vienna. (which of course is immediately my fault since they go right for my wife)
    Now, Burlington Ontario? That's another story. I was getting hopeful that the numbers were being pushed down since the municipality has been treating due to "West Nile Virus", but I hear that it's been a rather fruitless effort.
    Keep that bug spray handy!

  5. Will the black flies be there all season, or just for a short time? Bugs like that find me overly attractive, so I don't know if I could put up with them for three month. Does deet work at all?

  6. Great header, by the way. Seems I have a jacket just like yours. :)

  7. Hard work day, typical? Great photos...lupine and butterfly are favorites.

  8. It looks like a good day out on the refuge. We had head nets when we were at Aroostook SP. They were warm and interfered with binoculars, but worth their weight in gold a few days!!


  9. Love this ... I think you like real snappy in your get up... ;) yes... butterflies are my thing and love the flowers.

    Sandpiper! wow. Anyone remember the movie Sandpiper? don't think it was very good but enjoyed the beach. hahaaa...

    don't recall ever seeing a sandpiper...