Friday, July 22, 2011

greenheads under the heat dome

Coffee of the Day: Tanzania
Bird of the Day: gray catbird
Invisi-Bird Status: last update was July 18. Number actually seen by me: zero.
Weird Wrack Item of the Week: the entire concept of the wrack line is apparently weird on fresh water beaches-- check out this story about Sauble Beach in Canada
Refuge Biological Staff Sighted: 0
Coast Guard Assets Sighted: 0
Number of Greenhead Bites: 1

The greenheads are out in force! I was lucky to escape with only one bite. They swarmed into my car every time I opened the door or even a window, as is their habit. There are three, count them, three signs at the gatehouse warning people that it's greenhead season and there are no refunds.

Part of the reason I came away with only one bite is that I wasn't out there that long. It was a catch-22 kind of day. The beach is open to Lot 6, but the Lot 6 boardwalk is still being repaired and Lot 6 itself is still closed. The assigned plover warden parking space is at Lot 6, but with the heat, I decided to see if there was an open space at Lot 7, figuring I'd walk to the boundary from there. Alas, there were no empty spaces. I tried to radio Gatehouse to discuss this, but I got no response. Back at Lot 6, I tried the radio again. No luck. As I was turning around to drive back to the gate, I saw Jody drive by in one of the refuge vehicles. I turned around again and followed him to Sandy Point where I tried to call him on the radio. Nothing. OK, radio no work today. Jody eventually got it to sort of work but speculated that there was a problem with the repeater. Grrr.

Since I would have had to park at Lot 6, walk along the road to Lot 7 then up the beach to the boundary, and back down the beach to Lot 7 and up the road to Lot 6 at high noon in 100 degree heat, I decided to go home. Grr.
Greenhead-Actual Size
If it weren't a hundred degrees and greenhead season, I might not have minded the walk. But greenheads are attracted to sweaty flesh. So, does this count as burn out? Or is it just #heatdome out?

Up Close with that Green Head
The folks at the visitor center gave me a bottle of Poland Spring water and listened to my tale of woe .
And, of course, when I got home I listened to On Point. Subject: the heat dome or #heatdome. What is a heat dome anyway?   Google News  returns 2,232 hits on heat dome and 4 on greenheads. Think Tom Ashbrook will ever do a show on greenheads?  Maybe on the effect of the heat dome on greenheads? 

Oh well, Minnesota is currently the hottest place on planet earth, but they don't have greenheads. So there.

Insert photo of whale vertebra for no reason. Somehow I don't think they have those in Minnesota either.

Random Whale Vertebra

At least there are not three feet of snow on the ground. At least I'm not in Tulsa, where golfers use a least tern colony as a driving range. I totally expect Birdchick to pick up the driving range story for her podcast.

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