Dredge (and Rainey) Report, Building Construction, September 23, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

It was a slow morning.

After 3 weeks of strenuous work in the heat and mosquitoes and the pressing anxiety of getting the buildings together during hurricane season, the satisfaction of completing the daunting job left us feeling drained but content. In addition to Friday being a short day, there would be no hard work today.

Timmy had not had a chance to properly patrol the west end of the property, so we took the Avocet down canals where I had never been before. Timmy drove, and we moved one of the seats to the bow so I had a comfortable swivel seat for taking photos.

Flocks of ducks and wading birds flushed from hidden ponds and waterways as we passed by. A very tired merlin let us get fairly close before leaving its perch. Neotropical cormorants adorned dead trees and green herons popped up from the bank. Marsh hibiscus were in bloom making a striking pink contrast to all of the green and gold of the fall marsh. An occasional hummingbird winged past among the blooms.

Figure 14. Ducks and roseatte spoonbills flushing from a hidden pond(Left). Merlin(Right).

Figure 15. Marsh hibiscus in bloom contrasted with the green and gold fall marsh.

Alligator season is still ongoing, and we saw numerous lines set along the neighbors’ parts of the canals (Rainey does not allow hunting). Several had gators on them, and one was a monster gator. As we approached, a large area of water swirled and rolled, pulling mud from the bottom, and the line pulled tight. Timmy cut the motor and we waited. He started whispering “watch the line – it’s coming up!” And off the bottom arose eyes an amazing distance from the nose! If inches translate accurately to length, this fellow had to be at least 12 feet long! “Swamp People” is filming in this area, so I suspect you might see this same gator being hauled in later this season…

Figure 16. Monster gator caught on a line.

As we approached the camp, we got our first view of the new Rainey compound. It is comforting to see the expansion of structures in this remote and sometimes harsh environment. It is also personally rewarding to know that I had a hand in something at Rainey that will be so useful, and will hopefully be there for a long while.

Figure 17. The Rainey headquarters compound, with all buildings visible. The new pump house is just to the left of the boatshed and behind the oak tree, and the 16x40’ workshop/storage/garage is on the far right.

After a long, strenuous week, I loaded up the Avocet around 10:30 and headed back to the dock alone. While loading the boat on the trailer, I realized the trailer tag was missing. One more thing to take care of! I towed it back to Baton Rouge and backed it into my driveway for a thorough cleaning. As I was finishing up, the motor decided to raise on its own, and the only way to get it to stop was to push the “down-trim” button either on the motor or the throttle. I suspect something got wet, so I managed to get the battery cable disconnected until it dries out. I called Timmy, of course, to make sure it wasn’t something critical, but won’t really know until I reconnect it later.

I’m so glad its Friday!

This entry was posted in Dredge Reports, Marsh Restoration, The Paul J. Rainey Wildlife Sanctuary. Bookmark the permalink.