My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Many Happenings

Sorry for the hiatus. It's been a hectic two weeks.  I've changed bosses, homes, and our Internet was down for several days.

When I came here, I was supposed to leave mid -May.  But as soon as I got here, I wanted to see the seasons in the Oregon High Dessert and get up to the top of Steen Mountai, which is still partially impassable. . So now I'm redundant with Carey but am still useful to the Fish Biologist and the Archeologist. I'm working under the Archeologist and doing the bee project for the Fish Biologist. I also changed the days of the week I work and worked straight through except for taking off to move.

I moved about 50 yards from my old house, which has since become the Intern Bunkhouse, to Carp Haven. Here I have a two bedroom house - although the 2nd bedroom is empty - and a living room and kitchen. I feel really spacious  and now have room for company.  I have my camping cot and camping pad to use as well as a comfortable couch plus a double bed. . I'll be living here until the end of the first week in August.

A leucanistic common nighthawk that shares our yards

The first intern, Tamera,  arrived early to help with the children's programs. Then last weekend, as I was moving, the two young men, Barry and Eric arrived. Barry arrived while Eric was riding almost 100 miles with me to see some of the refuge. We enjoyed hiking up on top of the rim over Page Springs Campground, just adjacent to the refuge, visiting our golden eagle chick which is almost ready to fledge, if not already gone, seeing a sandhill crane, a young buck, and getting several views of a hunting short-eared owl.

Thursday,  all the interns came over for an early  spaghetti supper and then we went to Crane Crystal Hot Springs where we hunted down the pair of burrowing owls and hung out a couple of hours in the lovely hot pond. (We are all broke so we went on the two dollar family night. We had so much fun that we plan to make it a weekly date, rotating the chef and driver.

The group taken on Tamera's camera by a kind bystander

We found the pair of burrowing owls that live in the camping area of the springs. Photo by Tamera

 One of my new duties is to prepare and take educational materials to the Paiute Indian Tribe's Summer Kid's Program.  I''ll be giving an hour program once a week.  This week we learned about the role bumblebees play in pollination and played a bumblebee relay race. I have a complete file with directions, templates and a short Power Point program, mostly so I could show U-Tube videos about a bumblebee nest, and a closeup of a bumblebee lapping up sugar water from a Q-tip. So if you can use this, I'll get it to you. Our refuge is competing against other refuges in our region to win the pollinator award by earning the most points.  Both my bee surveys and the pollinator activities will count.

And yesterday was very exciting.  I finally got six letter- boxes sized boxes of labeled bees off to Portland. I have sixteen more bags of bees to process in my "playtime" and also one transect to run this weekend. When I go out to Double-O to run the transect, I'm taking two of the interns with me to show them Double-O Ranch and hopefully lots of baby birds.

Today, Saturday, I worked on planting trees, then on processing bees and then too the Eric and Tamera with me to Double O Ranch so I could run a bee transect. Then we birded on Rhu-Red Road until sunset and also got to see a whole family of burrowing owls - four  kids and two parents - and the feruginous hawk nest. We got back after nine and Eric offered to cook some of the carp Tamera had brought home and which I had helped Barry learn how to filet.  Tamera and I co-made the salad with veggies  from both our kitchens.

And to think I get to do all this again tomorrow!