Thursday, December 06, 2007

Squaw Creek

On Buy Nothing Day, what is otherwise known as Black Friday to the merchants, I drove about an hour north to Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge . The refuge reported in its weekly count that about 130,000 snow geese were laying over in their migration south. This week, however, the population of snow geese has swollen to 470,000. At least forty-three trumpeter swans have been observed, too.

This past Tuesday would have been a perfect day to spend at the refuge. Unlike my earlier visit in November, when most of the water was frozen and when the wind required that we wear four or more layers of clothing in an attempt to repel its gusts, this past Tuesday was much warmer, with the temperature reaching 58 degrees Fahrenheit; in fact, it will prove to have been our last warm day in what is supposed to be a warmer than normal winter.

Many people I talk to think that teaching online means it is possible to go anywhere. There are usually so many essays to grade that the prospect of getting away from them seems remote indeed. I would have loved spending last Tuesday outside with the birds.

Two artifacts from my last visit appear below: