Along the Natchez Trace

Friday, June 5, 2015

Daylight Comes Early....

It gets daylight early up here in northern Maine.  We're located about 3 miles from the Canadian border of New Brunswick, and they're in n earlier time zone than us.  So shortly after 4:00 am it's light enough to be out and about....
Taking a drive around the Refuge is a "must do" for me each morning before work.  I feel like a King overlooking his Kingdom. (A queen overlooking her queendom?)....   It's like I have to see what happened during the night...  is all well?  Will any of my familiar critters show themselves?  Or...  maybe even something new has moved in during the night.  Maybe ducklings or goslings have hatched and their parents have them out on the ponds.  Maybe an osprey is sitting high up on a limb having a fish for breakfast.  I usually start my rounds by 4:30 and get back to the rig by 5:15.  Time enough to download the photos from my game cameras (that I changed out memory cards while driving my route), grab some breakfast and head up to the maintentance shop by 5:30.

Since we don't get internet down at our rig, we have our WiFi plugged in at the shop.  We start work at 6:00 am, so I get there early to check e-mail, try to catch up on blogs, and if I'm lucky, post a blog of my own.  

Yesterday we had a school tour at 8:30, so neither Bill nor I started any jobs that required a lot of time or were a long distance away from the Visitor Center.
This is a small school...  I think there are only 34 kids total...  grades K through 6 grade.
We had the 4th, 5th, and 6th graders...  12 kids  (one was absent), and 2 teachers.  This school is kind of special because the refuge is in partnership in an ecological education program.  The teacher got a grant to help out with starting a compost pile, a garden....  and establishing habitat for the endangered Upland Sandpiper.

These kids were a joy to take on a tour.  As is the usual, there was one kid who asked the most questions.  And they were good questions...  relevant to the refuge and to what they were learning.  Bill & I don't always give a tour together, but this was our first school group and we weren't sure what to expect.  Bill has a better memory for the military history and things like dates and kinds of bombs and airplanes here....  my interest has always been more in the wildlife and the changes from becoming a military base to a wildlife refuge.  We make a good team.

Tours can be a lot of fun....  especially when you have a group that pays attention and shows some interest.  It was a good tour.

The ass't manager drove up from the refuge headquarters near Calais, Maine...  a long drive...  so he'll stay until after the birding festival, which is Saturday.  It had been a few weeks since he'd gotten a chance to come up, so Kirk took him on a drive to point out the latest problems and projects...  I got to go along...
On the left can you spot the 2 culverts that let a creek flow under the road?  Beavers have been a real problem stopping them up.  Ongoing problems.  That's Bill in the upper right pointing out something.  And in the lower right is the road project.  This is an "in progress" job that the guys are hoping to get moving on again once the bird festival is over tomorrow.  I like seeing what goes on even if I'm not working on it myself.  

I love seeing the moose and bear...  and even the deer and fox.  Doesn't  matter what...  I haven't IDed the species of squirrels here, but they sure are cute...
They're bigger than a chipmunk but not as big as the red squirrels or the big fox squirrels we have in Ohio.  

And the last photo...
Mrs. Hummingbird has taken possession of this tiny feeder that is stuck on a window of our motorhome.  We have 2 of these feeders out and they get used a lot.  We're just a couple of feet away, inside, so we see the birds up close.  Neat!

Tomorrow is the Bird Festival.  Last year around 200 folks attended.  They don't expect as many people this year, but we're getting ready for whoever comes.  I got my assignment yesterday... I get to be the roving photographer!  Needless to say, I'm thrilled.  While I've done my share of directing traffic and working the gift shop, I'll do my best to get a good representation of what goes on from 6:30 am until 1:00 pm.

That's All For Today!


  1. Queendom....The word kind of grows on you. I think you send this suggest to the Queen of England. I am sure she would appreciate it.

    So glad to hear the kids were good. Sometimes they get a gad rap for nothing.

  2. Same here Sharon, by 4:30am in the summer it is light enough to be outside--makes it hard to sleep in and when we do have company they are "appalled" at the early daylight! :))

  3. A friend gave me a hummer feeder that allows the birds to sit while dunking their beaks in the nectar. They like it. But, my goodness they are aggressive and defensive. Your day starts so early. Does it also end early? Are the bugs fading any in their ferocity? Have fun photographing the birding festival!

  4. It is plain to see that both you and Bill really enjoy your "work". Where will you be going after this assignment is complete?

  5. Wonderful. And, how I miss hummingbirds (not enough to move back, but I DO miss them).

  6. So glad you enjoy your work! You sure to get to see a lot of beautiful scenery, birds, and wildlife!! Love the Hummer.