Monday, June 30, 2014

Basset Hound on the loose.

Sunday afternoon, after we got off from work, we went into Detroit Lakes for a few groceries,  On the way back we saw this little basset hound with a cone on his head, walking toward us on Highway 26.

He could pass a Fred's cousin. 

John stopped and picked him up to get him off the road.  One of the Tamarac employees lives up the street from where we found the dog so John stopped and asked her if she knew who the dog belonged to.  Luckily the dog lives less than half a mile away on that same road.  We took him back to his driveway and dropped him off.  No one appeared to be home so we hope he stayed. 

Today John worked with Kurt cutting fallen trees throughout the refuge.  This gives John more training towards a Class A certification.  He will need to be observed again by one more person to be signed off.  I accompanied Judy on the Loon Survey.  We were assigned eight lakes but due to weather conditions we were only able to complete two small ones today.  While we here out we checked the other lakes to see if we would need to bring along some loppers to cut a trail to our survey sites.  It looks like we will have to cut a trail or two.  

As usual there is always something to photograph. Today we saw lots of wildflowers. 

Tonight I tried a new chicken recipe I found on facebook.  Some of the ones I have tried in the past haven't been that tasty but this one certainly was. 

 It is called Cheryl's Fancy Pants Chicken.   If you like chicken, spinach, mushrooms and mozzarella you will love this.  John said this one is a keeper. 

Cheryl's Fancy Pants Chicken

You'll need 2 packages of THIN chicken breasts
a few slices of prosciutto
a half bag of fresh spinach
an 8 oz package of fresh sliced mushrooms
1 envelope Lipton Recipe Secret's Savory Herb and Garlic
1/2C White Wine
1/4C Olive oil
8oz shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven to 375
spray a 13/9" pan with pam
put 2 layers of chicken in pan,
cover with proscuitto,
top with spinach, sprinkle with a little kosher salt and coarse black pepper
top with mushrooms
whisk together olive oil, wine and savory herb envelope
pour over everything.
Lay a piece of foil over (not tight)
bake for 30 minutes
top with cheese and bake for 5 minutes more.

After dinner we went for a ride in the refuge.  It is interesting what you see at different times of the day.  On our way out of the maintenance road we saw a buck and a doe hanging out by the gate.   This is the first buck I have seen since we have been here. 

So nice of him to pose for a picture. 

We ventured over to the East entrance of Tamarac and found the White Lady Slippers I wanted to get a picture of.  I just love these flowers.

Tomorrow will be another work day.  The weather will dictate if I will be at the Visitor Center or working with Judy on the Loon Survey.   John may or may not be mowing tomorrow.  The weather forecast is showing some rain, wind and lower temperatures so we will see. 

Laugh everyday.  Happy trails.  Stay safe. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014


Yesterday John was busy mowing and I rode with Judy to check trails for fallen trees again.  The skies were overcast and the weather a little cooler.  We didn't see a bear today.  Awe, darn. 

We did see lots of wildflowers .......

Love these Indian Paintbrush.

..and a dragonfly or two. 

We were off today and just chilled out at home.  Just before supper time John looked out the window noticed we had a visitor.

This little groundhog comes by almost everyday.

Later this afternoon I noticed Judy outside with her camera so I went to see what has out there.  A painted turtle was digging a hole to lay eggs right behind our car. 

While we were outside we saw another turtle at the end of the driveway.  Judy picked it up so I could get a picture of the bottom of it. 

They are very cool to look at.   Thanks Judy.

I wonder what that turtle was thinking. 

Tomorrow we are off again.  I guess we better catch up on our laundry.  Oh what fun. haha.

Laugh everyday.  Happy trails.  Stay safe. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Hey, there's a bear!

Up early and off to work.  John had mowing to do.  I accompanied Judy to the recycling center and then checked trails for fallen trees.  Judy and I were on the way to pick up the recycling bins when we saw a bear.  We were both so excited to see it.  We were scrambling to get our cameras and, of course, the bear swiftly moved along.  I managed to get a partial picture of him.  Not a very good one but I was glad to get it.

If you look closely you can make out his ears. 
Here's a closer look.  Sorry it is so blurry. 

After all the "bear" excitement we loaded up the recycling bins and were off to town to drop it off.  We covered lots of ground today, checked a few trails and got some pretty cool pictures. 

Lots of butterflies flying around.  I think this might be a Slivery Checkerspot.  I checked the butterfly book but there are so many that look almost identical to it I couldn't tell for sure.

A turtle enjoying th sun.

A White Admiral.
A Killdeer running around by the shop area.

Tomorrow will be another mowing day for John and I will be riding with Judy checking trails again.  Hopefully we will see lots of interesting things to photograph. 

Laugh everyday.  Happy trails.  Stay safe. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Bird hitches a ride.

Yesterday was our last day off for a few days.  We spent it chilling out, doing a few household chores and taking an afternoon ride through the refuge.  There is always something interesting to see and photograph.   Our plan was to drive to the Pine Lake area to photograph more Pink Lady Slippers.

On the way John noticed a beaver swimming in one of the ponds.  Of course we stopped to watch and snap a photo. 

Sorry the photo is blurry.  I zoomed in as far as I could hoping to get a picture of him. 

Upon our arrival at the Pine Lake area we saw lots of Pink Lady Slippers.  

So pretty and so unusual.

We rode around a little while longer then decided to head home before the rain started.  Just before the turn off to the maintenance road John saw a little deer so we stopped to look at him.  The funny thing was he was carrying a bird on his back. 
I guess the bird was hitching a ride. LOL   Too cute not to photograph. 

Today John and I worked at the Visitor Center.  As usual there were lots of birds and squirrels hanging around the feeders. 
Gold Finches and Purple Finches.

Gold Finches
This little guy stuffed himself all day long. 

We had a total of 39 visitors at the center; 11 of those attened the 2:00 p.m. movie.  Later this afternoon two of the fox kits ran past the Visitor Center's back window.  Unfortunately I wasn't quick enough to get a picture.  Maybe next time. 

Tomorrow is another work day for us.  John will be mowing various locations in the refuge and I will be at the Visitor Center.  

Laugh everyday.  Happy trails.  Stay safe. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Pink Lady Slippers are here.

Off from work again today.  The weather was beautiful this morning with sunny skies and 63 degrees. This afternoon we were sitting in the RV watching TV when there was a knock on the door.  It was our neighbor and fellow volunteer Judy.  She told us we had a visitor under our RV.  It seems Mr. Snapping Turtle was resting for a bit.

Judy worked this morning at the Visitor Center and one of the visitors reported seeing Pink Lady Slippers blooming.  Judy was going to look for them and invited us to go along.  
Pink Lady Slippers.  

The flowers were blooming along Highway 29 that runs through the refuge.  They only bloom for about 2 weeks.  We were all snapping pictures and soon other people stopped to join in.   I think these unusual flowers are so pretty. 

After photographing the Pink Lady Slippers we decided to check another site to see if they were blooming there also.  We did find a few more located at Highway 143 and Highway 35.  Since we were already out we decided to check one of the trails for fallen trees.  We found a small tree that John moved off the road and three trees that would have to be removed with the help of a saw.  As usual we found lots to take pictures of. 

I was finallly able to photograph a dragonfly.
Butterflies on a turtle egg.
A heron.

Also, while we were out, we rode over to the place were the young swans were hanging out. 

They are such elegant looking creatures. 

By the time we arrived back home the clouds were turning gray and we knew it was going to rain.  Before going inside John took pictures of our site, the garage and the maintenance building. 

This is where the resident volunteers park.  There are 2 RV pads with 50A FHU.

The garage.  The truck with the trailer is the one John uses.  Judy's truck is parked next to it. 

The building with all the doors is the maintenance shop. 

It rained for a short while then began to clear up again.  This has been the pattern for a few days now.   Tomorrow is our last day off for the week.    Thank you Judy for inviting us along for the ride today. 

Laugh everyday.  Happy trails.  Stay safe.