Spring Bloom

Spring Bloom
Spring Bloom

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Hectic Times

I'm finding it hard to believe that I'll be leaving Malheur National Wildlife Refuge August 7 or 8. And I don't see how I can get all my projects finished. I'm still drying flowers and need to catch and mount butterflies and more bees for my pollinator display. And I have to put together another hour's worth of activities for the Indian kids. And I have at least twenty to thirty hours of pinning bees left to do. I'm even further behind because I spent four days barely able to walk and with a swollen, painful knee. But I'm seeing a chiropractor and am most of the the way better. 

So the blog has had to go to the back burner.  Then, while I'm traveling and playing, in August and September,  I won't have much Internet access so the blogs will be pretty spotty until October, when I return here for a final month.

The hummers are migrating and we are getting lots of them around -rufus and black-chinned

Right now, things are really quiet. Baby birds and mammals are spending more time away from their parents. Many birds have disappeared as the area gets dryer and dryer. The twin fawns are starting to graze and play away from their mother while the bucks are growing their velvet covered antlers. The days are bring and the colors of the vegetation is fading. Most of the wildflowers are finished blooming and it seems that all of nature has swung almost through summer and is pausing  before starting its swing back into fall.

Twin fawns eating their bedtime snack
One of the staff members told me that October is his favorite month and that the vegetation colors will brighten up again, while the birds begin to stop here to fuel up for flights further south.  Indeed, the fall migration of the hummers has already started and I had to put up two feeders which almost have hummers and the resident Bullock oriole family.The red-winged and yellow-headed blackbirds are starting to form flocks as our our tree, barn, and cliff swallows. We have to slow down coming across the bridges on Sodhouse Lane to avoid hitting them since they love to sit on the pavement.

One of my assignments was to take Jo, the new volunteer, on a tour of the refuge.  That has taken part of three days but we finished it this morning. We saw the most ducks on Buena Vista Pond that we have seen in a while. And we got to enjoy a raccoon who was still out fishing about eight o'clock this morning.

Deer on the Upper Central Patrol Road

A raccoon was still fishing on the Blitzen River
Smartweed, an important duck food, in the morning light
 I haven't been able to post my pictures to this blog for three days. Finally I tried to post my pictures to Picassa and then import them to the blog from there.   It seems the more I have to do, the harder it is to get it done. 

Back to the third batch of bees I've done today.  I'm pinning them while watching the Olympics.