White ibis

White ibis
Ibis

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Last Little Bits of Red Rock Lake Life

Last week I was busy.  I was building  new bluebird boxes,  repairing some of the old ones, and moving and adding boxes so that a lot of our boxes will be in pairs.  My boss let me do this because of an article that I got as a comment in one of my Flickr albums. In it, I found out that tree swallows are in more trouble than are bluebirds and that, if we pair boxes, we should be able to house both species without competition.

I was also babysitting a dog for one of my bosses. That also added a couple of hours of walking, and ball-throwing time plus just hanging out when I was mostly reading and petting.

I planned to play hard this past weekend and planned to hike with Roxie dog, then quickly put up a blog.  We had thunderstorms and high winds which stopped me from doing that or even taking a paddle on Upper Lake. Suddenly I was busy talking to one friend about our Yellowstone meetup and to two others about our trip to Glacier. One friend is coming up from Florida and 5 others are coming up from Texas.  And I was planning entrees and making grocery lists.

THEN I realized I have only two more weeks here and have several projects unfinished. I really only have this week to finish repairing or making old bluebird boxes open from the top with wire attachments. Some boxes  still need replacing or repairing.  And I have to get my bluebird date into the database. And my poor van needs a very serious detailing before I get someone to help me put the middle seat back in.  Ditto for my own car.

So this is going to be one of my last posts for a while. I'll leave here on September 11 to go pick up a friend in Kalispell, then go on to Many Glaciers, in Glacier NP.  We'll get campsites early Saturday morning, then meet up with the rest of the group on Saturday evening.  I'll take the following Wednesday from hiking to take Julie back to Kalispell to fly home, then I'll play a few more dayw before stopping by Red Rock Lakes to wash my clothes before driving on to Yellowstone for a week of play with friend, Laurel.

I'm writing this on Sunday night and just found another friend is in Yellowstone.  He accepted my invite to supper tomorrow.

Next week I'll work 4 days on the September scaup roundup, then leave Friday.
Oh yes, I hope to have a least 5 entries frozen for the camping trips, along with lots of dry food, some of which is still at the store. I also have to fit in a haircut this next weekend.  And washing and packing clothes and the food.

I'll get back to you as soon as I have time to edit pictures, write about my adventures,  and get to Wi-Fi.  Neither Glacier nor Yellowstone have Wi-Fi within the park. But I'll be back, at least a little, by the end of September. I'm going back to Galveston for one more surgery - on my right rotator cuff so I won't  be taking pictures or writing much for a while after that.

Here are some bits of my life during the last ten days.

The birds are still keeping me entertained whenever I'm working or sitting around in the trailer. My pine siskins will let me walk to within eight feet of them.


The usually dull pine siskins look real different when they open their wings.


I've been quite successful in training the white-crowned sparrows to eat my lard/peanut butter mix


This was my second junco in the yard - taken this morning


My sneakiest feeder visitor - a green tailed towhee - he usually comes at first
light but today he came later 

I'm suddenly up from two chipmunks to maybe six. One of them is often lying on my
stoop when I get home in the evening to remind me to put out more food.
And one came into the trailer last week


Roxie enjoying a morning walk


Roxie running with a stick she found on a walk

We often had playdates with Dottie, a five month old lab. They each knew their ball. Dottie went from not being willing to give me the ball to giving it to me too far out, then finally to always bringing it all the way back to me - all in three days.


Evidence that I sometimes work

 In addition to working on the bluebird boxes, I also spent a wonderful morning walking 4 miles and unhooking a fence. But there are really no interesting picture opportunities  except for the quick views of wildlife. I enjoyed a pair of red-tailed hawks and a pair of sandhill cranes interacting, a pair of harriers, and a few quick glimpses of sparrows. One mallard duck flew near me.


I spend a lot of time looking at the wonderful mosaics the willows are making, while driving
around the refuge and even along the creek in my backyard. 


Last Saturday we had several showers and one short glimpse of a rainbow


The quaking aspens are starting to turn.  Fall is coming and I must go south.