Friday, June 30, 2017

It's really hot here in Savannah

We have been doing some wagon tours around the 4 mile loop road here in Savannah and it's really a fun job. We usually run with two wagons and I pull one of them and Lauren does the narration . Lots of different groups do them . In the last two weeks we have had two church groups, a FFA group and a 4H group.  I have to tell you that Texas is hot in the summer but there the humidity isn't any where near what it is here . As Lauren puts it , It's air you can wear .

A  Purple Gallinule  working the Lily pads looking for lunch . The loop road here is so busy, it's awesome that so many people use this part of the Refuge . What also helps is the Refuge is one of the very few things you can do in the area that does not have an entrance fee. . They average 250 vehicles a day . Just amazing .

Every now and then you get a picture with five different species all at once .We have an Egret , a Heron , a Little Blue Heron, a Gallinule  and Whistling Ducks .

When you volunteer you just never know what's coming your way .The Refuge Electrician fell off a roof just before we arrived and was hurt very bad. So we have been involved in more maintenance work that we had anticipated . Here we are retro fitting the parking lot lights with some modern LED bulbs and getting rid of the old style ballast lamps . It's always nice when you make a suggestion and they take your advice and make a change . The new lamps only use 10 % of the power the old ones did .I had to stop and get yelled at by Lauren as I had not anchored my Harness to the machine. You know that with FWS your PPE is just too important .

Did get to play on a Forty Foot boom Lift in the process .

The next few shot are from 40 feet in the air from the boom Lift . This part of the Refuge is really lovely.

The River here has a tide change of about 10 feet .

That high tide change is what made this area a rich rice and cotton growing area as they used the controlled tides to irrigate the fields with a very cleaver levy and gate system.

All the fields are well over grown as the rice and cotton industry died here right after the Civil War .

A long meandering river .

One of the projects we did was to help move the Gasoline tank from the river location and  re pipe and wire it. It's been a lot of years since I did a Class1 explosion proof job and using a rigid conduit bender again . At least they had a power threading machine which made threading the rigid conduit much easier .Always nice to reuse some old skills .

Did you ever wonder why so things never get done . When we finished the jobs at the Main VC we needed to move the machine those 4 miles to the shop area. As it would be the vehicle we needed to move the machine was sent out for servicing . Can you guess what happened next , we roared down the state highway at 2 miles per hour as I drove the machine over to the shops . Only two and a half hours to do the deed .

The real reason they had rented the lift was that the maintenance crew was going to trim some trees on the Wildlife drive and clean the gutters at the main Visitor center and the Shop area which is 4 miles away. So Lauren and I became the crew . We did clean the gutters , but no tree trimming for me.

This shot of the live oaks behind the shops are just awesome . With part of the Savannah Shipping Port visible just in the upper left.

We were putting in some new LED ballasts in some fixtures we had just removed from the shop building and this little guy came along .

We had a heck of a time with it, as there was some major attitude .As big as a pencil and foot long you would have though he was a Python. You know the little guy syndrome . Just so cute .                             Every day here has been in the low 90's and 90% humidity . At least we know that the Savannah area is just to warm to spend a summer. But it sure is pretty . We have been in the Historic area several times and the Restaurants there are really good . So many to choose from and each one so different . We have been to Hilton Head and it's just one big shopping mall with a beach thrown in with limited access to give you the impression of beach area . We have also gone to the first Spanish settlement in the New World . It was before ST Augustine and of course there is very little in the way of ruins . Which most are now located on Paris Island . You know, where the Marine Corp does it's training . Just so cool to know that a good defendable position never goes to waste . We will be her for another eight weeks and then back to Pea Island . YEAH!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Savannah NWR

A Anhinga drying it's wings. This is one of the water birds that does not have oils to make them water proof. So after each swim they have to come out and dry  Since we have been here they are all over the Refuges and our first time to see these birds ..

The Savannah NWR was originally a Rice Plantation and there are ruins every where on the Refuge .Some of the ruins are from the early 17 hundreds .

The Live Oak Trees are all over the Refuge and some are over two hundred years old .The Spanish Moss is just every where and is so beautiful. We have done several tour programs and learned that the moss does not harm the trees as they are very close to the air fern family .

A black Crown night Heron on the edge of one of the Rookeries here .

Not on the Refuge but at a Chicken Restaurant we stopped at for lunch. Don't laugh. The chicken is as fresh as it can be .

Just beautiful

A shot of the Wood Stork Rookery at Harris Neck NWR that is part of the Savannah Complex .

These Anhinga's are really a very large bird . About the size of a Vulture, as a good way to realize the size .

A female Bunting having a snack.

A Cardinal getting the scraps from above.

A Woodpecker enjoys some easy pickings on the ground . Beats the heck out of hammering on the tree.

Food makes odd companions .

My first Painted Bunting . So many colors .

On our way back from the Refuge at Harris Neck I just had to stop and see for myself .

Yep it's really small and it does services every week .

A Rail darting in front of us , they move so fast , any pic is a good one .

the only bird at our feeder since we put it up . Well over a week now .

It's nice to see that there are Purple Gallinule's here to .

Me waiting to drive a tour at Pickney Island NWR , also part of the Savannah Refuge complex .

Lauren giving a few pointers to the tour. As a side bar , there were supposed to be 25 children on this tour .All were a no show , go figure, when something is free no one cares .

It was a lovely walk to the sit where the kids program was to be .

Lots of flowers along the way.

The program was to be a small Wildlife Olympics .

The tour is over .

Lots of Birds Rooking at the Pickney Refuge .

Ibis and Little Blue Herons were every where

A baby Moorehen

Lots of Passion Flowers in bloom in the Butterfly gardens at Pickney  and Savannah NWR.

Not many Butterflies though, they had some sort of larvae parasite attack them last season and they are slow to recover here.

And of course there is  always  some real work to be done. Here we are running some new conduit and pulling wire so the Refuge can relocate their gasoline pump from down by the river to a more secure place up by the main shops and diesel pumps .

Just a little ditch work and it's all done . Now we wait for the crane next week , a heavy lift as the tank is full and a few more pieces of pipe and done. One thing really nice here. Lots of heavy machines to do the digging . Just some minor shovel work and done .