My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Learning New Jobs in a New Place

April 11, 2016

I got to Moosehorn NWR in Maine on Friday, April 7.  This gave me time to spend the weekend cleaning my room, a bathroom, and a kitchen and getting my car unloaded and mostly getting my stuff stored.

I'm  stoked about this assignment. I really like the Acting Refuge Manager, had a wonderful time with the forester, Mike with whom I'll be doing the Vernal Pool Survey and had Murray, another staffer found me a coffee grinder when I mentioned I found I'd misordered my coffee and had beans and no way to grind it. And my main boss gave me a fantastic list of jobs I'll be doing or helping with including:

  • Run the woodcock routes - this is a breeding bird survey
  • Do bee surveys
  • Check impoundments for beaver damage and other clogs
  • Help with the birding festival
  • Help with bird banding
  • Help with bat monitoring
  • Help with the Fishing Derby

The only negative thing I've encountered is that I don't have wi-fi.  But I will be able to use the computers at work once I get my security card, so I don't think even that will be too bad.  I found another negative on Tuesday - my alarm got me up and then I noticed the stove and microwave clocks were an hour behind my ipad and computer clocks. I had to go in and take the settings off automatic time set, based on my location.  The computers think I'm in Canada. But that was easily fixed and I plan to sleep an hour later from now on.

My living quarters - the car is way back and it's a lot bigger than it looks

One of the best things about the refuge is that I'm only six miles from the town of Calais (make sure you say "Callus"). I hope to make some of the trips in by bicycle when it is a little warmer and not raining. I ended up working 11 hours on Monday because it took me over an hour to get to an on-line test and then a couple of hours to take it.  I ended up going into town around 7:00P.M. I had to stop to let a mother moose with yearling twins cross the road.  She should soon be kicking them out and having another baby.  It was dark and rainy, so I could not get a picture.  But I'll try to capture them soon.

We are across the St. Croix River from Canada - this here's Canada

Ring-billed gulls are here in large numbers

This seems to be another stream entering the St. Croix

This small town has several churches.  I think this is the most beautiful

This is the free library in the town and in whose parking lot I spend my on-line time

I've been so busy getting moved into my quarters that I only took time off to come online and shop - had to start over on groceries and had a lot of missing things I needed to make my life work. But a lot of the refuge is visible from the road to town.

This seems to be one of the main habitats on the refuge

I think the red stems are blackberry bushes

Birds are few and far between, although the robins have been here for about three weeks and some of the woodcock have arrived. Otherwise, juncos, pine siskins, morning doves and pileated woodpeckers have made themselves known.  I spent two days figuring out this breeding bird - had to come back with the camera as the binocs were no giving me a clear enough picture.  And I've seen one harrier but no ospreys, although there are at least three of these nesting towers in one view.

Nesting bald eagle

I may not be posting too reliably for the next week or so until I have time to have some adventures.

And I'd love to pick your brains.  What are some places I should put on my bucket list in Maine, especially east Maine, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. Please just use the comments.