My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Our Heritage from George Benson

George M.  Benson served as the Refuge game warden, and later agent, beginning in 1918. In addition to enforcing the hunting and trapping laws, he also banded many waterfowl, often with the help of local children. He loved birds and took a mail order taxidermy course and then started mounting birds.

After he died, the mounts were kept in storage for several years.

The museum
Then the refuge decided to honor him  and commerorate his many years of service by  building a little museum called the George Benson Memorial Museum, on the headquarters property, to house his mounts and other educational exhibits. dawn to dusk.  It was opened in 1953.   A husband and wife team, Robeand Patricia Hansen donated other mounts of birds  and mammals found on the refuge.

There are a few other educational exhibits in the museum, including a little bit about the Paiute Indians who lived on this land before being driven off it by ranchers.


This was the largest sandhill egg on record at that time

A bit of the work of the Paiute artesians

On the personal front, I've been totally glued to a computer for most of the days.  It's taken about 80 hours, but I have my slide show almost finished. Jess, a staffer, with a wonderful voice narrated it for me. I only have to fix a couple of mistakes and figure out how to make my music stop playing after 6 slides and then how to mix Jess and the music in the last couple of slides.  I'll probably have to do some editing but that is a job for tomorrow. I've been working most of the last twelve hours on it and I'm ready for supper and bed. I'm actually writing this at the office because I had the pictures with me on my computer. I've been working on two projects on three computers today.  It's a good thing my boss isn't around because I had to use her  computer for part of my work.  And hopefully I can get her office back to a point that she can actually come back in on Monday.

We are all getting things ready for the Bird Festival. I'm also getting a kid's activity ready.  It's Migration Madness but played at stations with dice. I also am going to let each child pick from one of six birds and then he gets to keep a picture of that bird mounted on a popsicle stick. That is part of the mess I have sitting around.  I talked two new volunteers that are making stuff for us to build me little feet to hold up the poster boards that wll have to sit on tables with the stations mounted on them.  The stations are just numbered pieces of paper with directions on them. I may have to make some volunteers play the game with me to make sure every kid will die or get to his/her breeding ground while they are still having fun.

And I'm SO excited that I'll be going on TWO field trips as the driver. One is Extreme Birding and lasts all day.  The other takes us through Double O Ranch, my future home here.  It's the place where the shore birds breed so I'm anxious to know the locations of future nests.