Bridgett and I, the Intrepid Trail Checkers, were back at it yesterday morning. It was overcast, and the forecast was for showers and thunderstorms, but like the Post Office nothing can keep us from our appointed rounds. LOL.
We were also tasked with checking the two pit toilet areas on the refuge to check on toilet paper needs. No cleaning involved, so that was easy. At the Pine Lake parking area we came upon this nice family of trumpeter swans out for a stroll. Notice how they’re almost all in step… left, right, left right… Dad doesn’t seem to be listening to the cadence.
Our first trail was to West Rice Lake. The trail goes in about a mile or so, and looked pretty clear. We even chased up a couple of deer.
That is until we had just about reached the turning around area. Lots of big downed trees here.
This was certainly not anything we could muster off the road, and we also couldn’t drive the truck under it to turn around. I had a lot of practice with my backing up skills to get out of there.
We did a couple of other trails, and on one of them two families of Canada geese slowly walked along in front of us. I didn’t think they were ever going to get off of the road so we could pass them by. I’m not sure what they were doing on this trail in the middle of the woods. Finally, four of the young ones headed off and their parents followed.
This big old snapping turtle was wandering too. Bridgett got out of the truck to get a picture, and it was kind of comical to watch as this guy/gal turned around to keep her always in sight and reared up its hind end. Since it wasn’t in the middle of the road, I wasn’t about to try to pick this one up and move it. Don’t need my fingers ‘snapped’!
A pretty wild storm blasted through overnight with heavy winds from the north. It was overcast and in the 40’s as I got ready for the tour I was supposed to give this morning. I’ll be doing that every other Thursday through August. Well, nobody showed up for the tour, and I was not surprised. It was pretty cold and dismal outside.
I chatted with Tom, one of the brown shirts, and in our conversation I mentioned how I enjoyed checking the trails. He was astounded and remarked, “You really like doing that?” I told him it was about the favorite thing that I do this year. It sure beats sitting in the visitors center when there are few if any visitors, and affords the best opportunities to see the wildlife. I’m thinking Bridgett feels the same way.
Then I met with Wayne, the biologist, about the trails we had checked and reported where the downed trees were. He seemed a little hesitant to tell me that because of the storm last night, some of the trails may need rechecking. Oh my, what a burden to hear that! You know, it’s rough work, but somebody has to it. Ha Ha!
Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later, Judy