My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Exploring the Refuge

My second great job was to drive all the refuge roads, checking to make sure they were open. (We had a big storm the day before I arrived which took down trees across the refuge.) I documented several downed trees and brought home the waypoints for them so the tree cutters could go find them.  We do woodcock surveys on all the roads inside the refuge, so it was important to be sure we could do the surveys, which will start this week.

Here are some of the views I've found on the refuge.

View of Meddybemps Lake borders our refuge - this picture taken just south of the refuge

Birches at sunset

We have a lot of marches - they seem to be called flowage up here

Coyote or bobcat scat

One of many species of lichens

View on path to the wilderness area

First of season bufflehead  - part of a group of six

A higher than usual lake draining off through a culvert

Longer view of same area

Ring-necked ducks were here when I got here

Another beautiful place

Beaver dam on pond

First mullein I've found here - doesn't act as an invasive as it does out west

This scene was prettier than the picture

I love the mix of plants that colonize the large boulders

I discovered a photo blind  - while have to try it out

We have a lot of water rushing from our impoundments - this was taken
while waiting for rescue - it's just the other side of the pickup below. 

Only minutes before I would have finished my task of checking the roads, I got stuck on a levy trying to turn around.  The cure was to put the truck into 4-wheel drive.  But two staffers came to rescue me.  Pretty embarrassing.  Apparently 3/4 ton pickups are pretty wimpy in 2-wheel drive.  I was rewarded with this wait time by getting to see the first-of-the season tree swallows returning.

The stuck-in-the-mud truck

Monday night, on the way home from writing this blog, I saw a beautiful sunset in the making.  So I came back to town on Tuesday evening to add a picture before going back to run my first woodcock survey with staffer, Murray.  We have to start 15 - 30 minutes after sunset, depending on the cloud cover.

Sunset over one of our marshes