3,100 acre lake
@ Laguna Atascosa NWR
(click on pics to enlarge)
Less than 24 hours after I arrived, I was working in the Visitor Center at LANWR. No orientation, just learning on the job. They are really short on volunteers for the Visitors Center, a few couples are here, and a few guys doing maintenance. One couple will be arriving later this week, but most won't be here until January.
There was a big birding festival in nearby Harlingen on Thurs, Fri, Sat and Sunday so that brought in a lot of visitors. They can't start the "tram tours" for the visitors until our tram driver shows up.
I have talked with a lot of people from all over the U.S. and from Switzerland, the U.K. and Canada. It is very interesting listening to their stories and they ask me about my volunteering and then we start to talk about RV's. Some visitors travel in an RV, but many were here for the festival or they are Winter Texans/snowbirds with property here.
Last week, on my days off, I drove over to South Padre Island. This week I will explore around the trails - hiking and biking. Next week, on my days off, I will go back to SPI to celebrate Thanksgiving with Diane and Karl and Karl's family.
The visitors are always asking "Where are the alligators?". The alligator pond is dry, so I did not see any when I went for a bike ride on Wednesday morning.
There is one that lives
in an old ranching livestock trough near the V.C.
He's in there, you can see his eyes sticking out.
Walking paths near the Visitors Center
not sure what bird this is
we put out citrus and seed for the birds
and there are several areas with small ponds
Green Jays are very popular around here
they are in this area year-round
my small camera has that irritating delay
when you press the shutter
so I only got his feet as he flew away.
This Friday, the Refuge is hosting a Thanksgiving potluck luncheon, they are providing the turkey and ham. I will be here for this, but I will miss out on the Volunteers Thanksgiving dinner next week.
Seems I volunteered to make home made stuffing/dressing (even though I don't eat wheat). I have made it dozens of times and will use our family recipe. Since I don't have pots and pans and some of the ingredients, it will be a group effort. One of the employees, that is a hunter, is supplying his homemade sausage, the refuge manager is bringing the bread and some baking dishes from home. I borrowed an onion and poultry seasoning from my neighbor. I have the celery, apple, potato, a can of broth and butter. Only thing that will be missing are the gizzards from the turkey, but I have left those out in the past.
I am off work Friday and will cook in the kitchen of the Volunteer Outpost on Friday morning.