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Yahoo! The sun returned.

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There was fog when I woke up this morning, but the power of the sun with no clouds in the sky soon burned it off.  Hot dog!  I hung out a load of laundry, and then got ready to greet my morning visitors.Bridget and John of Travels of John and Bridget….and Fred, finished their camp host volunteer assignment in North Dakota and stopped by for a visit while spending some time in Detroit Lakes.  What a beautiful morning we had for a tour of the refuge.My friend, the young bald eagle, was perched as if on cue by the Chippewa Picnic Area.  I parked the refuge truck, and we were able to walk right under its favorite perch without it spooking off.  It only screamed at us a few times.  We even witnessed a small kettle of northern harriers catching a thermal to spiral up over the Otter Tail River so they could attain altitude to continue their migration south.  It was a stellar morning to be out and about.  We could hear the far off guns of the waterfowl hunters, but we stayed in areas that wer…

Are you ready for a little contest?

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I had my scissors ready for cutting this morning as I headed for work.  Last Monday, during the rain, I spent the morning finding good pictures on the internet of 10 different bird species.  The Tamarac Fall Festival will be happening about a week after I leave here, but one of the activities for visitors will be to learn to identify these ten species.  After Janice, the volunteer coordinator, printed my found pictures off, it was my job today to cut all their silhouettes out and then laminate them.  They’ll be posted in trees and grasses at the festival site.  Visitors will be given a pair of binoculars and asked to find these breeding birds of Tamarac at one of the activity stations.After I got them all cut out, Janice gave me a run through on how to operate this large laminator.  Most of the laminators I’ve used at other refuges have been little desk top models that are quite easy to use.One of the challenges of using this bigger model is its location.  Since the normal office and …

This and that

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I was off early this morning to get the new tires on the toad.  I only had to wait about an hour or so, and I was back in business.One of the forecasts I read said it would be bright and sunny today.  So much for the weather guessers.  This is Balsam Lake that is a pretty good size, and you can normally see the treed far shore.  I took care of several other chores in town, and then headed back home.By the time I got back, it was noon and those sunny skies surely hadn’t shown up yet.  Believe it or not, there are five trumpeter swans and a couple of ducks on this pond.  They’re hard to see, but they’re there just right of center.Can you see the visitors center and headquarters through the fog where I was watering the sod last weekend?  I kind of enjoyed this softer view of the refuge.About a week ago, while I was out checking signs for painting, I came upon some trash at one of the boat launches.  It seems some boaters left a six pack of glass bottles of Miller Lite Beer behind.  Three…

It’s been a dreary five days

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Some rain, some brisk winds, and overcast skies have prevailed for the last five days.  Makes for pretty boring days here.  I worked on the computer for the refuge on Monday, and then spent the last two days doing not much of anything.  It’s a string of days like this that makes me wonder why I write this blog.  There’s really nothing interesting or exciting to report.In desperation early this evening, I decided to gather the trash and take it to the dumpster.  Exciting, right?  Well, when I pulled the garbage can out from underneath the sink, I noticed a puddle of water.  Nuts!  So I bent over to check the trap fittings under the kitchen sink.  One was wet, so I tried to tighten it.  I have always had trouble with that ‘Lefty-Loosey, Righty-Tighty’ thing.  Seeing as I was essentially standing up side down, of course I loosened it instead of tightening it.   You can guess what happened to that little leak.                                                                  “She’s spying …

A good weekend for growing grass

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It was a dreary and overcast day when I woke up yesterday with temps in the 40’s, so I waited a while for things to warm up a bit before heading over to the Visitors Center and offices to take care of my watering chores.This building has been closed for about a year, totally gutted, and retrofitted for energy efficiency.  This is most of the sod that was laid on Friday.  There’s a lot more sod arriving tomorrow.  My job this week is to soak the sod daily so it gets off to a good start.If you look closely, you may be able to see one of the two sprinklers that I have.  I’ve been cautioned several times to not allow any of the water to get on the rocks on the side of the building.  The well water around here is very high in iron, and would make all of the rock fascia turn a rusty color.  So, I have to be very careful in the placement of the sprinklers, and move them often.  I didn’t even get too wet trying to dash up and move them as they made their circular spray.I think you can notice …

A matter of priorities

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Well I was off this morning to Fargo to take care of several items on my list.  First up was the Breadsmith store where I purchased three loaves as planned.  This time I got the French Peasant Bread (cracked wheat), the regular Rustic Rye (as opposed to the sweeter and darker molasses rye), and another loaf of Patriotic Bread (white bread with blueberries and cranberries).  Making use of my nice big freezer, I’m set in the bread department for about six weeks.  I cut each of the loaves in half, wrap, and freeze.  These loaves are so hearty that a half a loaf generally lasts me a week.Then it was on to Carol Widman’s Candy Co.  You know I was there to get one pound of sponge candy.  As they box up each order by hand, they make the offer to you to try any other of their candies in the case while you wait.  So, I decided to try their dark chocolate “Chippers”.  I guess they’re kind of famous for their chocolate covered Red River Valley potato chips.  Now I know why.  Couldn’t leave witho…

14 days and counting

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That’s right.  I’ve only got two more weeks at Tamarac NWR before I hit the road for more southern climes.  This is about the time I start making lists of things I need to accomplish before heading out.  After mowing the weeds all around headquarters and the volunteer rig sites today (the grass is just beginning to green up after such a dry August), I headed to town to take care of some items on my list.  Town means Detroit Lakes (DL to those in the know ).  After being here four months, I consider myself one of “those” in the know…  It seems I’m needing some new tires for the toad, so I asked Larry, one of the maintenance guys on the refuge, where he would go for tires.  He sent me to Schultz Garage and Bus Company in DL for an honest evaluation of my needs.  I now have an appointment for getting four new Firestone Tires installed next Thursday.While in town, I stopped at the Central Market grocery store for another must have item for my travels.  I’ve recently become enamored by the…