November 01, 2013 – Rainey Sanctuary work days

Dredge and Rainey Report
Rainey Sanctuary Work Days

November 1, 2013

Summary of accomplishments:

  • No dredging
  • Work about the Sanctuary

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

 

I met Timmy at the boat ramp late Wednesday after the Mississippi River Delta Campaign retreat that was held on the campus of Louisiana State University. Even with the low light of the setting sun, I could see that fall had arrived in the marsh, with brilliant colors exploding along the levees.

Figure 1. Heading to the Rainey Sanctuary after a week of meetings, I was greeted by fall colors along the levees.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The morning dawned with light overcast of autumn cirrus clouds, and high water in the yard. I was hoping for some new birds along our birding trail, but only found the usual mix. I worked in the guesthouse some, adding a few details like towel racks and towels; then I joined Timmy outside cleaning up the grounds. We made a small bonfire to burn the sticks and trash, and filled bags with other stuff that would have to be transported to a dumpster on high ground. I‘ll never take curbside pick-up for granted again!

 

Figure 2. Sunrise on October 31, 2013 showed high water in the yard.

The wind was starting to pick up and was kicking up some good sized waves in the canal. With the high water, Timmy decided to head to the Goose Pond. An osprey passed over us carrying a fish. I don’t think I have ever seen an osprey here without one!

We bumped along in the flatboat for the 5 miles it took to reach the Goose Pond so that he could add another board to the water control structure there to keep the waterlevel high. He is trying to drown cattails that are spreading into the Pond and filling in the open water meant for ducks and shorebirds. While he was doing that, I harvested some of the mustard greens that were growing wild on top of the levee for dinner tonight. Timmy had seeded them two years ago, and they continued to self-seed and maintain a healthy patch.

Figure 3. It was a rough ride down the canal, and an osprey flew over with dinner.

 

Before returning to the house, I had him take me around to where some of the shrubs that held Green Heron nests were. I was hoping to find fall fruit to help me with some identifications. I also collected some berries and stems from two different kinds of possumhaw. I find it interesting that the shrub species increase to the south end of the Rainey property and the tallow trees fade out.

 

Figure 4. At least two different species of possumhaw grew within 10 feet of each other on the southern levees

 

We made it back to the house before the rain started in afternoon, and we got 3 inches by morning.

 

Figure 5. The rain started in the late afternoon and we got 3 inches by morning.

Friday, November 1, 2013

By dawn, everything was quite wet, so we both worked inside on a document in preparation for a meeting later today. Timmy brought me back to the dock around 11 and I was back in the office for the 2:00 call.

 

Figure 6. Storm clouds moving away after an all night deluge.

 

Figure 7. Early morning light over a very wet front yard and dock.

 

 

Karen A Westphal and Timmy J Vincent, National Audubon Society
Audubon Louisiana and the Paul J Rainey Wildlife Refuge
6160 Perkins Road, Suite 215, Baton Rouge, LA 70808
225-768-0921x202 office, kwestphal@audubon.org
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