Friday, May 31, 2013

                   Today we start our next adventure. We watched our last Sunrise here at Anahauc and we will be back on the road soon. We will be heading up towards Denver and a visit with Tony for two days and then on to Jackson Hole. We are going to miss the Refuge here with all the birds and alligators as the baby gators are growing fast and about half are no longer in the pod area where they were born. It's almost 1900 miles to Jackson hole and we will not be breaking any records to get there. I gave us 8 days for the trip with the stop in Denver as part of the move. Looking forward to the cool nights there as we have been told that nights will go down into the low 40's and 50's most evenings and that will be for the whole summer. We have been in the high 70's here for the last two weeks at night and close to 90 every day. With those temperatures the biting flies have arrived and  the locals say that's the true beginning of summer here. We did our last two school programs this week and we didn't know what to expect with the 10 grade kids but as it turned out they were the ones that had all good grades and the field trip was a reward for their hard work. As it turned out some of them could have taught the class we were doing , but it made all so much more fun for us as all we had to do was give a few instructions and they did the rest. They had a little fun in the fresh water pond looking for small critters but when we moved to the Bayside with the large drag net instead od the small handle nets the kids really got into it and I will say very wet in the process. But the crabs and blow fish they caught made it a wonder for all of us. An hour in the water goes really fast and that ended our programs for this trip and now it ends our stay here. Sad to go and happy all at the same time. I could never put into word or even some of the pictures that I have taken to show the beauty of this place.    G

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Ibises in the tree? We had never seen it before.

It's hard to see but the trees are full of Ibises

More Ibesis

There were hundreds in the trees and when we finished the loop around Shovelers Pond they were gone.

Another look

Roseate Spoonbills on one of the wave reducing dykes in Shovelers Pond.

Spoonbills with a few Snowy Egret

There were hundreds of Spoonbills, they are so pink.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

     I just lost track of time over the last couple of weeks as we are now the last Volunteers here at Anahuac. We have been busy with  the big Visitor Center and the small Visitor Information Station on the Refuge. The new RV Pads are coming along and when we come back here next year everything will be much different there at the RV Pads. We moved the Refuge's Trailers over to the Winnie Depot last Friday to get ready for the summer interns to arrive and be ready for hurricane season as the RV pads are in the hurricane flood zone.  We have cleaned up the old pad sites to allow for their demolition. We are looking forward to our move next week North towards Denver and a brief visit with our friend Tony. Then on to the National Elk Refuge and another new experience . Hoping to get an air boat ride before we leave if the wind ever dies down. We are having the winds here that are feeding all the bad weather in Oklahoma . So sad . We had a whopper of a wind , lightning , and rain storm this morning that lasted almost two hours. There were so many lightning strikes that the sky was almost like day lite and there is a two thousand foot tall communication tower near us and it was once again hit several times this morning. But now as I write this the sun is once again shinning and of course the warm humid air has moved back in , it feels like Tidewater Virginia here right now. Will try to get back into the habit of more frequent posts.                                    G
Lauren hard at work folding some of the many hand outs at the Visitor Center

A rainy day at the Rv sites.The New RV pads are being built in  the distance .

Mom and baby

A Purple Gallinule

A Purple Gallinule Giving his profile shot.

The grasses are all in bloom and the colors are just beautiful.

A Dragonfly stopped by the RV .

Thursday, May 9, 2013

         The weather here has turned a little rainy this week. Today we had another 86 school children, all 1st grade and we have to give credit to the Teachers of our young ones. They are full of energy and can make you a little crazy at times. But as we all know a stern voice can still herd them around and make them listen as well as they can. We had a good time with them and taught them about the world that surrounds them and how we interact with it, a rather deep concept presented on their learning level.         
         We spent most of yesterday once again cleaning around the Refuge and as you go around we get to see some of the best things. We once again have a new pod of baby Alligators and we counted 18 this time and they are really cute. Saw our first Raccoon yesterday and its amazing how fast they are when you want to take a picture. Activities here are starting to slow down a little with just two more schools programs to go and the RV parking area is looking empty with US and another one who is leaving on Monday. Then it will just be Us, the Cattle and Coyotes at night. It will awesome.       G
All the flowers are in bloom along the bay.

Love the Sea Gulls and Herons.

He watched us clean us one of the Crabbing spots just 4 feet away.

 A Killdeer and her 4 eggs in the stones. They nest in some hard places.

Friday, May 3, 2013

       Well we had another week of school children and this one wasn't as hectic as last week. Only 85 4th graders on Monday.  First we took them to a small pond and with small nets where we scooped up small fresh water critters and identified them the best we could and then we took them down to Galveston Bay and with the same small nets and dipped into the sea grass of a salt water environment to see what they could catch and it was amazing the Critters they came up with.  55 kids today, 3rd graders, real easy I say but it was very cold and windy today with wind chills in the 45 degree rage as it was in the high 70's on Monday. The theme for today was about how animals move due to weather and how they interact with plants and seeds and how the weather affects each one. Pretty interesting for them when you can make a game out each subject so as not to bore them and lose their attention. Today's weather was perfect for that with all the wind.  I guess it is natures way of letting us know who's in charge.                                                                                             I can say that when the sky is clear here it makes you feel energized even when it  is blustery.                                                                                                                                              We did a stint in the Regional Visitor Center this week and it was pretty interesting as there was a meeting of the Refuge Managers from the three Gulf Coast States of Texas, Louisiana , and Georgia . Also here were DC Personal. They were here to try and help  the Refuges to work better together on the migration patterns that are changing due to wetland development and how to try and remedy the problem. We shall see what comes of this in the near future. There may still be hope as the Refuge system seems to be able to get private land owners to donate or sell at a more than fair price to preserve the Birds Flyways.                                                         G
A new skill, cutting open and looking for steel shot and lead shot and maybe what was their last meal from the Duck hunt on the Refuge last fall.

Many hands made quick work as there were over 300 inspections that had to be done at this sitting.

Lauren teaching a class on how seeds and animals move in the wild and how they work in conjunction with each other.

And some history on the area we are in. Texas Independence was born on this site.