With the grandgirls and their parents here for the weekend, I didn’t have the time or the inclination to blog. I felt it was just better to enjoy! So, tonight I’ll cover our boat trip out into the swamp that we all did on Saturday.
It was a 90 minute boat ride that truthfully didn’t hold much interest for either Avery or Phoebe; just too young I guess. It was a beautiful sunny day, and I always see something new each time I take this tour.
The season has progressed enough that the red-shouldered hawks have begun to nest. We floated past two active nests, but these tour guides aren’t photographers so you don’t get much of a chance to get a good shot off. About all I can tell you is that if you look carefully in just about the middle of the picture, you might be able to find the tail of the female as she was sitting on the eggs. Sure wish I could fold myself into a canoe and spend some time working on a great photo. That’s not going to happen this spring.
The resident sandhill cranes have also lain eggs. I asked the guide to show me the nest that I had heard was out on the prairie. He did that, but of course stayed far enough away not to disturb momma on the nest. I took this pic with my 300mm lens, cropped it, and got this result. It was a long way off. I have to say that identifying this bird is about the only bird this particular guide got right. Had to hold my tongue during this tour. I get a free ride as long as I don’t wear my refuge uniform and keep my mouth shut.
The thing that I enjoyed most about this tour was seeing the golden club blooms of the never wet plant. They were blooming all over the wet prairie mixed in with the lily pads.
The never wet plant was used to help develop Gortex. It sheds all water on its leaves. The golden club blooms can be eaten, and when ripe, I’ve been told they taste similar to a radish. There’s a dragonfly there on one of the clubs, so I guess the insects find them useful as well.
Even though we saw several alligators, the tour really wasn’t interesting enough for a three and a five year old. In the afternoon, we went back to the rig and more construction was done on Emma’s holes by the girls. They sure got filthy, but I’m happy to report they didn’t care about that.
Friday night, Robyn and Phoebe stayed at the rig for an over night. Saturday, it was Avery’s turn. Robyn stayed over each night because we put each girl to bed in my bed around 8:00. When we are ready for bed, Robyn would carry them out to the couch in front. They are too heavy for me to lift with my present restrictions. So, we had two pajama parties with special treats this weekend. I was the first to rise each morning, and as soon as I was up Emma felt it was her duty to arouse the girls by licking their legs! Emma thought it was wonderful, but I’m not so sure the girls thought so…
Tomorrow night I’ll talk about what we did on Sunday. In the meantime, I got another call from the Elk Refuge today, and I will not be going there this summer. Their needs this year are for someone to work the visitors center four days a week, and I just can’t agree to do that. I really wasn’t surprised to hear that. I also didn’t feel any sense of disappointment. I figure it’s their loss, and where one door closes another will open. A couple of folks have asked if I’ve got a plan B, and I have a couple of them. I’m going to not mention those until things are more firmly in place. Oddly, I felt a bit of a sense of relief for some reason. Maybe it’s the thrill of trying to make some new plans?
Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later, Judy