Saturday, July 15, 2017

After many months with no blog because it is getting harder and harder to do, I started thinking it was not worth the aggravation. Once again, I will see how it goes.

We made it to Wisconsin where we have been since the middle of May.

It is now July and if I can get this thing to cooperate, we are back in business.

This was taken at the Benoit welcome center.

We have the prime spot this year where we are not looking at a trailer!

We have been enjoying beautiful sunsets as well as many animals, including a woodchuck with 6 babies. Adorable.

Our first big project was working on this floating boardwalk. All 2800 feet of it.

It was together until a 50 mph wind separated it into about 5 sections.

Our job was to make all the toe rails. The wood was delivered, we took the measurements between each post (none of them were alike), I cut them to fit, and Wallace nailed the small pieces spacing them 12" apart. We marked corresponding numbers on the boardwalk and each toe rail.

We, along with others, would haul them out there and they were screwed in place.

The only thing missing in this picture are the double ropes inserted through all the posts.

All my notes with all the measurements.

Only I could read them!

With our little yellow wagon and generator, Wallace, along with firefighters Zack and Heidi drilled holes with a hole saw through the toe rails where we had pipes keeping the boardwalk from coming apart again.

Until next time...


Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Last of our Projects

I had to sign off last time????? Left off with
these signs. Here we are tearing down the old and putting up the new.

These big signs needed big help!

This is Danny Breaux, refuge manager of Atchafalaya. You can see how massive these signs are now that they are in the ground.

It was nice to be included in putting them in the ground since we did everything else from painting the posts, attaching the signs and preparing them to be picked up and put on the goose neck trailer for transport.

Things went very smoothly.

The first one was the easiest though.

Mike Seal is the maintenance man seen here with his back to the camera.

It took all four of us to do this job.

Keep in mind those sacks of concrete are 60 lbs. each. The worst part of this job was dealing with the traffic coming and going through Baton Rouge. We were through with the signs around noon having started at 6:00 am. This turned out to be a 12 hour day. We stopped for lunch after dropping off the old signs at a burn pile. Lunch took forever...maybe because we were HUNGRY.

On Wednesday, the day before we put the signs up, we participated in the yearly Christmas tree drop at Bayou Sauvage. These trees are gathered from New Orleans, brought to this area where we do this. This year we got a little different perspective as the National Guard needed our help. As you can see in the picture, the trees were too close to the green tree line and needed to be pulled away...I got to do this. All I did was back up with their guidance, they attached one of four bundles, I drove them out and they unattached and left them in a row. There are 4 straps with 50 trees in each strap. There are two guardsmen attaching a sling to the chopper. They are taken out and dropped in the wetland where they create a barrier to help prevent wind erosion. Eventually, plant life grow on these trees. Last year, go back to our blog and you will see we worked from the boat freeing up the trees after they were dropped.


Then up, up and away. This year we were responsible for transporting the slings from airboat back to the guards and helping them with our four wheel drive truck.

So, those are the last of the BIG projects this year.

We will soon be making our way to Wisconsin, Horicon Marsh NWR for the summer.

Until next time...

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Winding UP

We are busy getting all our projects finished before we leave SELA NWR. We will be making our way back to Horicon NWR in Wisconsin for the summer, our second summer back.

We have had a busy winter and are happy about all our accomplishments here.

We arrived just in time to help out with the big year event, "Wild Things." That was in October...which means we have been here almost six months. Longer stay than most!!! That was because we vacated Cape Romain early because of a hurricane.

We have gotten to help out at Bayou Teche, building two docks and
assisting with the Eagle Expo.

We took a trip to Delta, helping collect willow branches.

We worked at Atchafalaya, sanding and painting the bridge.

All boards were replaced at Ridge Trail...and now we took care of a slanting boardwalk in one area...the other is under water. The boardwalk at Boy Scouts is now up to par with all loose boards snugged up.

Next week, we have the annual Christmas tree drop at Bayou Sauvage. We painted 6 17" 4 by 6 posts and put all the signs on them to take to Atchafalya on Thursday.

All in all, we have had a good season here.

For some reason, I can't seem to post photos so

Until next time...

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Bayou Teche NWR/Eagle Expo

We were asked if we would like to help Brian Pember,  assistant refuge manager at Bayou Teche NWR, with a program. Little did we know we would need to tow this boat  there.

We drove the custom made, brand new pontoon boat, which we found out after we got there that it was oversized. We were not stopped in route! Whew!

Wallace did an amazing job maneuvering through the heavy traffic of New Orleans!!!

We got a  late start, but managed to get there in time to give it a trial run to see if it was going to fit between the gate you see in the background. Brian was told, "it won't fit," which caused him some stress. Not only did it fit, but we got through it for a beautiful ride in a section that a lot of people don't get to see. This is on the refuge where there is no hunting...EVER.

This shot is just at the turn before we entered the gate.

Driving this boat was new to Brian and he did a wonderful job getting it through the gate. Wallace and I were at the front to aid him.

The ride was smooth and quiet, and the reflections at this time of day were gorgeous.

We saw three small alligators this evening as well as various birds.

We enjoyed our time, just the three of us.

The time arrived for our first tour.

Brian was in the boat talking with the guests, Wallace was there assisting, and I was at the truck helping with life jackets, water, maps, etc.

When all 15 participants were safely on board, I joined them for the ride.  It was a great ride, AND we discovered an eagle nest on the refuge which Brian was happy about.

Our second tour of eight was a crew of happy people, we were drowned rats as we got caught up in the soft rain, but they wanted to keep going. There was a lady on board with the news from Baton Rouge

As you can see, we were cold and wet, but having a good time.

The pontoon boat ride was free to the public. It was in participation with the Eagle Expo. We could only take 15 people on board and they did have to sign up. With the weather, we were happy with the outcome.

The second day, Brian set up a hike on the Franklin Trail which meanders along the Franklin Canal.

We had 15 participants.

Wallace and I manned the station for awhile after riding the trail to make sure it was okay.

Hats off to Brian who did a wonderful job. This was the first time to participate in this event, and we were happy to help.

Everything went off without one problem...all enjoyed their time spent...even with the weather we had to contend with!!!

Until next time...