Along the Natchez Trace

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Saturday... Time to Catch Up

It's been a busy week here on the Refuge.  We don't get a lot of visitors here, but this week was an exception.  Not tourists this time...  not even people who got lost and found themselves out here in the boonies...  not even people just stopping by to use the restrooms...

This week we had SCA workers.

SCA stands for "Student Conservation Association".  It's an organization where college students or recent graduates can work at various jobs that involve the environment.  Although we've volunteered in other refuges that have had SCA workers for the summer, this was my first "up close and personal" experience working with any of them.
This is what Bill & I saw when we arrived at the Visitor Center around 6am on Wednesday morning.  Two tents set up and occupied.  Ryan and Katie, the SCA workers had arrived around 11pm the night before.  Their job is to go to about a dozen Refuges and other gov't facilities in the northeast US states and GPS trails - both established trails and those in progress of being built.

My job on Wednesday was to take them to the various parcels of the Refuge that have trails.
Katie and Ryan had flown from Boise, Idaho to Bangor, Maine on Monday.  On Tuesday they had gone to a Fish Hatchery a couple of hours outside of Bangor and mapped the trails there, then driven up to our Refuge that evening. (that accounted for them arriving so late).  We got off to a late start, but still managed to map all of Aroostook NWR's trails by evening.  They have GPS equipment that I'd give anything for!  Actually, that's not true...  fact is, it would take me too long to figure out how to use it all!  But I loved watching them take waypoints...  elevation...  whatever...  and enter it in on this mini-computer.  

Since they were going to have to stay the night and head out for their next assignment (in New Hampshire) the next morning, I invited them to our place for dinner that evening.  As it happened, Steve, our Refuge Manager, had arrived from Moosehorn NWR late that afternoon, so we were all able to get together over dinner and talk about their days work.

Katie was such a delight to work with.  In fact, after dinner, Bill took her on an extended tour of this refuge, hoping to encounter a moose or bear...  but with no success.  The most exciting critter we saw was a coyote....  darn!

Those SCA workers left on Thursday morning...  later in the morning, the two biologists arrived from Moosehorn NWR.  Moosehorn is located about 150 miles south of here, near Calais, ME.  The manager there is over both that and this refuge.  Steve is the ass't manager of both, but is the main person here.

Here's Maury...  he's playing a recording of a snipe...  trying to get a snipe in the marsh to answer.  Maury and Ray, biologists at Moosehorn came up here to do some surveys.  They brought a SCEP intern (student who is employed by the refuge system...   is in training for permanent employment) and two SCA summer interns.  Those 3 did mostly invasive plant studies and butterfly identification.

They were here Thursday and part of Friday.

Friday morning this is what I saw on my early morning drive....
YES!  A Bald Eagle!
He was sitting on top of this old utility pole, just checking out what tasty tidbit he could find for breakfast.
But I came along..... so off he flew.
I'll have to take some time to check out the shoreline around E. Loring Lake...  I'd love to get a better photo of him... or her.

I saw this family of black ducks yesterday...  I count 10 ducklings....  hope mama can raise them all...

I haven't had much action on my game cameras lately...
Here's a fuzzy shot of a cow moose....  maybe things will pick up soon.  

Teri asked me if I keep a log of my "sightings" this year.  I do...  in fact, this year I keep a notebook in my car and record the species of critter, the place I saw it and the time of day.  Not really for any scientific findings but just for my own curiosity.  

This last photo is for my daughter, Donna...
Yep!  That's the RIB TRUCK!  We make it a point to stop and indulge in their fine fixin's....  my favorite is the pulled pork parfait. Donna and Glenn came up here to visit us a couple of years ago and of course we stopped to partake...  Donna suggested they take their business to some of the festivals and outdoor concerts that are held in NY.  I wish I could remember their names, but the guy asked about you Donna (by name!) and I told him you were busy being a Grandma now ;-)

We woke up to rain on Friday morning...  it cleared up for a while, then started in again...  and we had rain, heavy at times, all afternoon and evening.  The electric on the Refuge went out...  and while our motorhome still has lights etc...  we don't have the internet.  Probably wouldn't have done us much good anyway, as the satellite was unplugged due to all the lightning.  The electric was back on when we got up this morning.

Soooooooo......  I haven't really had much time or ability to be on-line since last Tuesday.  Such is life...  thank goodness for the local library!

But...  if anyone needs to get in touch with us, we can be reached at:  207-328-4665
This is a Refuge Phone... but it is located in our motorhome for the summer.  So don't hang up if we answer as "US Fish & Wildlife Service"......  

Rain again today...  and more forecast for next week.

That's All For Today!


  1. Here in the San Luis Valley NWR complex, we have SCA workers, SCEP interns, a Youth Conservation Corp crew, seasonal hires, RV volunteers, and probably a couple of other categories that I've overlooked!! The staffing here about triples for the summer. And then back to bare-bones for the long, cold winter...


  2. Tell me Maury didn't send those interns on a snipe hunt! It sounds like they were doing a good job and mapping is important. ;)

  3. Enjoy that rain! The average rainfall here in the San Luis Valley is 7 inches A YEAR!
    Of course, they get about 33 inches of snow a year too.

  4. What fun and ditto what Ms Sparrow said ... hahaaaa

    Love reading your blog