Saturday, December 27, 2014

Short Post

Look what we have done!!!  And you can bet it is a FORD.  My daddy always bought fords and we do the same!!!  It is a 2015 F350 Lariat with 20 inch tires and buttons that do EVERYTHING!

We are now at Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge and will be here until the first of April.  This refuge is 60 miles west of Houston, Texas.

This was our first sunset this season.

We spent the week before Christmas with our son and his family in South Texas.  Here we are doing homework with the kids.

We enjoyed our time in the Valley...but it was a busy time.  We caught up with family, bought this truck, closed out our storage room, bought FRUIT, ate at all our favorite restaurants (food we can't find any place else), transferred our old truck to another son, (and you know what time that takes), spent some time in the Corpus Christi area with our other 2 and furious.  BUT, we got everything finalized.  Life is Good!!!

Until next time...

Thursday, December 11, 2014

It's That Time Again

Our last week here at SELA NWR, and we are trying to finish up a few projects that we took on...we think we did it!!!

But first to catch up...Thanksgiving was spent with our family here at the refuge...our fellow volunteers.

Then, Kevin had a birthday.  He asked for his favorite cake and Cheryl obliged. She is a great cook and is working on putting together a cookbook.

Next, we all six joined in to strip a mobile home of its old carpet. Then we all spent some time on the floor fine tuning it. We saved the refuge some money with this project...and prepped it for Home Depot to come install new carpet. We were all groaning the next morning!!!

This is just one of many boards we repaired. 

On the right side, you can see the finished product. We installed a runner (bottom right), one board on the floor, and several boards on the top rail.

We also put in a supporting brace on one side...sometimes you have to work in tough to get to places. I was there until I got some debris in my eye and Wallace had to get in there to finish the job. It ain't always easy!!!

We are now through with this area until next year. We are thinking all the floor boards need to be replaced by then.

Bogue Chitto looks really nice now, we mowed the grounds, helped finish a new extending trail, and made repairs to several of these fishing piers.

Today, we helped install a car counter. Wallace wanted to learn how to do this just in case he can help do this in the future at other refuges.

After that installation, we worked on the boardwalk here (Bayou Sauvage) to finish up what we had started.

Today, we were treated to a rib cook off. Several of the guys smoked ribs and a vote was taken to see who fixed the best ones.

Several of us are leaving and this was our send off.

Everything was delicious.

Last Friday, we were treated to a tour of New Orleans.

Here we are seated at Cafe DuMonde waiting for beignets and coffee.

David and his wife April, put this tour together and treated us to a wonderful time in the Big Easy. A BIG thank you to them.

The camellias have been blooming for some time now...this is by far, my favorite one.

They were not blooming while we were here last year.

This is inside the St. Louis Cathedral-Basilica which is the oldest Catholic Cathedral in the United States.  It can be seen at Jackson is absolutely beautiful.  This was visited during our tour of New Orleans.

Tomorrow, we finish up after we do our last brochure run...a full day.  We will be driving through Houston on Sunday, a good day for it. We will drop off our rig, then drive south to spend time with family before we start at Attwater Prairie Chicken NWR.

Until next time...

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Road Trip

We were ready for a road trip...that includes a stop at Whataburger!

We have not had one in over a year!  It was past time for this treat.

We had one for was on our way.  Oh, so gooood.

We had to drive to Biloxi to find it.

On the way, we passed this lighthouse in Pascagoula. No time to visit as this is going to be a long trip.

Pascagoula is a town Jimmy Buffet sings about.

For those of you who know us, we like Jimmy Buffet and his tunes.

We drive though this tunnel...we are now in Mobile, Alabama.

Next is this long causeway.

We pass the USS Alabama Battleship.

Can you tell where we are headed?  It is time to walk on a beach. We have not seen a sand beach in over a year!!! I collect shells!!!

And, yes, there is a refuge...Bon Secour. We stop for a little visit, sign in and get our passbook stamped.

Our only companion...a Great Blue Heron.

This is the little beach mouse they are protecting.

This is another reason for our see what this state park is like. We have heard so much about it. There are tennis courts (which I would like) and a swimming pool. These are pictured in the background. There are volley ball areas!!! Looks like a fun park. Maybe someday!!!

And our last stop..LuLus (Lucy Buffet) Jimmy Buffets crazy sista.

Her restaurant is in Gulf Shores...I snapped this picture of it from the bridge. Right on the water...

This is a fun place to stop and have would have been more fun in the evening though. A live band performs. 

It's been a year since I have had Gulf shrimp!!! Wallace had a cheeseburger in paradise!!!(a Jimmy Buffet song we like). And of course you get to listen to some of his tunes while you dine.

So, we had many reasons for this road trip.  All good reasons!!!

Until next time...

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Last Week on the Refuge

The new entrance sign to headquarters, visitor center and where we live while volunteering here at Southeast Louisiana NWR.

Our duties today include mowing at Bogue Chitto. This is one of eight refuges in the complex.

When we go out, we take care of several things while there.

This is a portion of what the area looked like when we finished.

Bogue Chitto has 36,000 acres and surrounds Pearl River. 

This is where we worked on one of the trails in the last blog post.

While there, we blow off the boardwalk.

This is the new addition of the boardwalk where the trail starts and meanders out in the woods (the trail in the last blog post).

Wallace is using the blower

while I use the telescopic trash grabbers to retrieve bottles, cans and bait dishes!!!

I can reach out 20 feet with those things...they really come in handy at several places.

This board needs replacing which we have already taken care of (no photo).

This is just one of four fishing piers at this spot where there is a fishing derby for the kiddos in the summer.

Then we were asked to install two more boat cleats at this fishing pier at Bayou Savage.

We also replaced one of the rail boards.

We have been given the okay to purchase things we need to take care of things we see. 

Then we mowed here.

I was careful to stay clear of the edge...with that ztr mower, it can get away from you!!!

Wallace used the weedeater to finish up the needed to look good because

of a meeting here with a conservation group.

It was early when this picture was taken.

There is always time to play with a critter...a garter snake.  There was a visitor who got to see it...and he appreciated it.

Do you see the little white container? It is a geocache.

We opened it up and put it back. We don't know what to do with a geocache.
I know several of you out there do this sort of thing, but we never have.

Well, low and behold, here is another one...the little black container!!!

We find them only because we are checking out the stability of the decks.

Okay Sharon and Bill, and Mark and Teri...come on over to find them!!!

We will give you a hint...this is the area where they are hidden.

Now, ain't it cute? I tried to put it on my shirt but he preferred my hand!!!

I fixed my chicken spaghetti recipe and rounded up the other volunteers over for eats and cards in our laundry room. We never got around to playing cards but enjoyed each others company. We have really enjoyed working alongside these volunteers as everyone is dedicated to WORK.

Our time will be up December 14th when we move over to Attwater Prairie Chicken NWR.

Until next time...

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Wednesday and Thursday

Wednesday, all hands on deck...we are making a loop trail at Bogue Chitto (36,000 acres).

David, park ranger, with his volunteers walking to the site.  It is a continuation of the boardwalk/trail where we are to finish the trail.

The wheelbarrows are waiting to be loaded with the gravel.

Bruce is operating the skid steer, Todd is helping to load.

Todd and Bruce are maintenance workers for the refuge.

Wallace is first in line to grab a load.

Kevin is close behind.

The guys walked the wheelbarrows down the long path to get to the start of the trail.

Cheryl and I are preparing the path...removing large objects while raking it clean of debris.

Then the guys come with the loads of gravel.  Next we rake the gravel level.

This is the way the path now looks.

David is coming with the last load for the day.

He calls it a day for us "OLD" people.
He takes care not to overwork us.

Some head out to lunch, we head out to work on the boardwalk...we do pick up lunch on our way to Bayou Sauvage.

Thursday, we are treated to a first ever air boat ride.

Here we are...with Danny Breaux, refuge manager of Bayou Sauvage.  The other air boat has the deputy project leader of the complex, Pon Dixson.  In his boat is Mike, from the DC office, and David, from the regional office in Atlanta.

While we were at Moosehorn during the summer, Sally Jewel, Secretary of the Interior stopped in for a visit.  Now we have met her assistant, Mike.  What a treat!!!

We are stopped in a 90 foot deep borrow ditch for our first stop.

David is telling us a little bit about the area as we watch for alligators.

Many gators can be found in this particular area of Bayou Sauvage at the boat launch site.

Out on the open water, we counted eleven of them and that is just the ones that were exposed.

This is the spot where used Christmas trees were dropped by helicopter and used to make a wind break.  Plants are now growing on the trees helping to make a barrier...that is a good thing.

Hopefully you can see some of the ducks that took flight in this shot.  

Those air boats make a lot of noise, and I was amazed at how they can travel through the vegetation and over land!!!  We had quite a ride.

Friday was our brochure run...another fun day on the refuge.

Until next time...