September 18, 2010 Bill Williams River NWR
Wow, I’ve really fallen behind on this blog. It’s been a busy week but I need to make time to regularly update the blog.
We’ve finished our third week of volunteering here at the Wildlife Refuge. Last week we had a short reprieve from the over 100 degree temps. But this week the temps were again well over 100.
In the evening and at night, the creatures really come out. I recently saw a large black Tarantula however, I didn't have the camera handy. I did manage to get a picture of this California King Snake.
The week started off with the male half of the volunteer couple parked next to us, telling me he had crashed the older John Deere Gator at 5:00 that morning into the guard railing over the concrete fishing pier on the paved peninsula trail. No telling what he was doing driving around in the dark.
The rail had broken off. He’s lucky he didn’t fall over with the broken railing. In the picture the railing is being held up by the rope.
He reasoned it was because he wasn’t taking his medication. He told me this as he was again departing for the week leaving his girlfriend behind.
We did a lot of weeding and trail maintenance this week. Joyce broke out in a rash from coming in contact with a Sweet Bush which usually isn’t a problem for most people. However, Joyce has sensitive skin and broke out in hives on her arms from touching the bush. She has been suffering through that for a few days but yesterday she finally appeared to be getting over it.
There’s a short hiking/observation trail known as the Delta Trail which is near the kayak launch on a narrow peninsula that has been closed since before we got here. It wasn't accessible due to a cedar tree that fell over along with dense brush blocking the entrance. We felt a sense of accomplishment cutting out the fallen tree, clearing the debris and getting that trail opened. We also cleared months worth of neglected weeds and overgrown shrubs around the visitor center and offices and did our daily chores of cleaning the paved peninsula trail and the weekly power wash of the two aluminum fishing piers.
A couple days ago, we took a short ride to the dead end of Planet Ranch Road which parallels the Bill Williams River for a short distance.
The Bill Williams River often runs underground or through porous gravel beds creating these dense cattail areas.
A rough and rugged landscape bordering the Mohave and Sonoran Deserts.
Afterwards we drove into Parker to do some grocery shopping before heading back to the refuge.
When we got back from Parker, we were relaxing inside when staff from the refuge asked me to move my truck and the two John Deere Gators. Shortly thereafter repo men were next door hooking up to the other volunteers’ rig. The young woman living there was home alone as her boyfriend was out of town. Hours later, the repo men pulled out with their fifth wheel leaving behind our neighbor and her belongings. Thankfully her girlfriend came to her rescue and we helped load her things into their cars and our truck and Jeep. We hauled a load over to her girlfriend’s home and said goodbye. Without getting into their personal situation, we wish the young woman well and that things work out for her.
Yesterday, the refuge staff gave us some volunteer uniform shirts and a key and code for the two staff buildings and visitor center. They hired a contractor to repair/ weld the broken guard rail. Stan (our handler) already has a fresh long list of projects for me to work on next week.
So for now over the weekend, we are alone in the refuge! I gotta say our views of the river have improved with the other couple gone.