Along the Natchez Trace

Saturday, June 27, 2015

A Not So Normal Day....

Bill and Kirk went down past Bangor on Thursday to look at a future job for FWS.  They left around 5:30 am and got back around 6 pm.  I wanted to work on painting the stairs in the shop and had a tour at 2 pm, so I stayed "home on the range refuge".  

The painting went okay...  except for cleanup.  The can said "acrylic" enamel.  I used to paint on canvas and used acrylics...  cleaned up with water.  So...  when I finished the upper landing and was ready to call it quits, I plunked the paintbrush under the faucet and started using my hands to clean out the paint.  WoooHooo!  What a mistake!  This stuff is for industrial use and definitely isn't water based paint!  I got out the paint thinner and tried to clean up the sink...  and my hands....  the brush is history and it will take a while before my hands are their normal color...  another lesson learned.

The 2pm tour didn't go much better.  It was an Upward Bound class - high school kids taking a summer class at University of Maine at Presque Isle.  The refuge manager had made the arrangements and asked me to give a 45 minute refuge tour.  When the 3 vans arrived and I talked with the woman in charge, it didn't take me long to realize we were not on the same page.  Heck, we weren't even in the same book!

She told me that the kids would be stopping at the brook and getting some water samples.  This would take about 15 minutes, then they would take a tour of the bunkers.  I didn't have to go if I didn't want to.  Huh?  Well, when a group drives through the nesting grounds of the Upland Sandpiper, the refuge wants refuge personnel (or, like me, a volunteer) to go along.  So off we went.  I was at the rear so I could close the gate.  The speed limit in the nesting area is 10 mph....  I believe the van drivers missed seeing all those signs posted along the way.

The vans stopped and the kids got out and got their water samples.  Then they all sat around in the road and discussed it.... I guess...  because after a while I just got back in my vehicle and read.  About 45 minutes later they all piled back into their vans and drove to the bunker area.  I followed....  

They all got out at one of the sites and the woman in charge did her thing.  As I was totally ignored anyway, I continued reading and waited until they were done and back in their vans.  I pulled ahead of the vans and led them...  at 10 mph....  back out of the nesting area and up to the gate.  Around 3:30 they were on their way to their next destination.

I really don't know where the communication here broke down...  I guess it's just all in a day's work whatever happens.  Good thing I always carry reading material with me wherever I go!

Yesterday, Friday, was shopping day which Bill & I do together in Presque Isle.  We go early and are usually home by 9am or so.  By 10 am we're heading over to Chapman Lake, another section of the Refuge...  me to mow, Bill to remove some trees that had fallen across some of the trails.  And by 1pm we're on our way home again.  

More rain, but just a quick shower.  Temps went from 41 degrees at 5 am clear up to 67 by 5pm.  Did I mention that summer started last week?   Oh well...  the scenery and wildlife here are terrific!

A fuzzy photo of a fuzzy Upland Sandpiper chick

A white-tail deer fawn...  caught on one of my game cameras.

I haven't seen moose calves this year and very few young waterfowl.  I wonder if the rainy weather and cooler temps have anything to do with this?

That's All For Today!


  1. Awww to your photos. I stopped my car the other day for a mama and fawn crossing the road. Mama made all due haste, but the pretty new fawn stopped on the yellow line to stare at me. On the theory it better be scared of cars, I blew the horn long and loud and it scampered!

  2. Too bad about the school group, but it's their loss for not getting the inside scoop from you on the refuge.

  3. I would have told those speeding drivers off and that if they continued to ignore the posted speeds, they could just leave!!

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  5. Grrr, speeding in the refuge. Too bad you couldn't push a button to send up spike strips. I didn't mean that, but I don't like the thought of visitors ignoring speed limits in the refuge. A knife through a tire would have slowed them down some.