Thursday, June 5, 2008

North Dakota Trip-Day 1 & 2

This post is coming to you from the City Library in Carrington, North Dakota. Only 15 free minutes of internet time here and the rest of I have to pay for, so this post will be heavy on pictures and light on words (since a picture is worth 1000 words, right?)

My drive up to North Dakota was uneventful, except that being a small town biker woman, I'm not used to driving in much traffic and I have to say the traffic around the Twin Cities was INSANE! I'm definitely going to be taking a different route home. With that said, let's get to some highlights of my drive. The nice thing about driving yourself that you can pull over to the side of the road whenever you want--especially when you see a little pond containing White Pelicans and a Double-Crested Cormorant!

I stopped for a bite to eat at McDonalds in Fergus Falls, MN and while sitting in the parking lot eating my lunch, I was amazed to see a pair of Purple Martins flying around and picking up insects (?) from the edge of the parking lot. Just goes to show you can see interesting birds just about anywhere and when you least expect them!
I finally made a stop for gas in West Fargo. The little Toyota Corolla rental car I'm driving got about 38 MPG for this trip. I liked that alot. I also liked the price of gas in West Fargo.
While driving down I-94 in North Dakota, I came upon this FedEx truck. Amazing only to me because I've never seen a triple trailer before. I took this picture especially for Mr. Johnson just so he can feel fortunate that a FedEx truck like this never pulls up to the loading dock he manages.

Yeah, I took this picture while I was driving, but I wasn't speeding!

My birding adventures started at 7 AM this morning with Julie Zickefoose's "Birds & Blooms" tour. Here's a few of the members of our group shown below:

Some of you might recognize Laura H (Happy Birthday Laura!) at the far left and next to her in the blue jacket is Jay Davis (the BirdJam guru), and of course, that's Julie in the purple windbreaker. It was so windy out here and pretty chilly too. We were all prepared for rain, but didn't expect it to be as chilly as it was, but we made the best of it though and got to see a lot of cool birds, including.....

Mr. & Mrs. Yellow Headed Blackbird
American Avocet

But the highlight of my day was not bird-related at was these two tiny little fawns in the roadside ditch that one of the other members of our group spotted from the van window.The mother deer ran over the hill as our van slowed down, but these little ones just stayed hunkered down in the ditch while we snapped a few quick pictures. I don't think they were much more than a day old. I was really amazed at the number of white-tailed deer we saw in the area--the habitat is so different from our deer habitat in SE Minnesota, but the deer seem to be thriving here.

So that's the wrap-up of my first day from the Potholes and Prairie Birding Festival. Tomorrow we're headed out to the Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge. Stay tuned........


Anonymous said...

WOW, what a first day. You got to see birds of all kinds and love those fawns in the ditch. That is so special to see them in the wild and twins no less. I think ND is such a pretty prairie state with so many things to see.
I shutter at tandem trailers, but a triple trailer, oh well it is the interstate.
Will be looking for the next installment of your adventure in ND. Glad you found a library with internet service.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Cheaper gas, great birds and wildlife. What a wonderful first day. CAn't wait to see more.

Mary said...



Lynne said...

Ditto what Mary said.
Double damn ditto!!!

Jayne said...

We're there with you in spirit Rutie! No doubt we're eaten up with envy, but we won't dwell on that. Yep, me? Cleaned my house today. What a photo op. ;c)

Robin (Bumblebee) said...

I wish I were on that trip with you!

Sweet little deer. Ben found one next to the driveway on his way home from school yesterday and thought it was abandoned. Fortunately, he left it alone and I explained how the mommy deer will forage away, leaving the babies in a safe place. I'm sure that deer will live to eat my roses bushes. Still, they are sweet.

Robin at Bumblebee

Meggie said...

Great photo of the sweet little fawns! Hope you are having a good time, Ruthie.

KGMom said...

What a wonderful road trip--with all the joys of traveling.
Love the photos--while they might each be worth 1000 words, I like your words as well.
And the fawns are priceless.

Anonymous said...

Hope you are having fun on your road trip. Well apparently you posted 8,000 words and some change.

mon@rch said...

Only allowed 15 minutes . . . I know for sure my post would be a great deal shorter! LOL glad you are having a good time! Will expect more when you have more time! :)

Susan Gets Native said...

Crap. You're off having fun with Laura and Julie, and here the rest of us sit. Stewing.

But really, I'm glad you are having fun. Really.

Mary C said...

I'm glad you are showing us, Ruthie, what we are all missing this weekend. I sure hope the weather is cooperating for all of you. That looked like some stiff wind chill factor in that group picture. Looking forward to seeing more pix and hearing of your experiences.

Trixie said...

Girl, you are efficient! 15 minutes and you got all that in.

I am so VERY glad you got to go. Enjoy every second.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mom,
It was a good first day and every day just got a little bit better!

Hi Lisa,
It sure was a great trip.

Hi Mare & Lynne,
I don't want to make you feel bad, but I was so wishing you both could have been there--it was just so fantastic! NO EXCUSES NEXT YEAR!

You know Jayne, the second best thing about being at this festival was that I didn't have to do ANY household chores for 4 days! (now I'll just have to play catch-up now that I'm back home)

Hi Robin,
I remember one of my WBU customers telling me of a doe that left a fawn in the her hosta bed for at least 24 hours. Fortunately she also knew the baby hadn't been abandoned and not to touch it. They are just so darn cute though!

Hi Meggie,
It was a great time and each day got a little better!

Hi Donna,
I love road trips--especially to someplace new with so much to see along the way.

Hi Scienceguy,
yeah, I'm definitely a blabbermouth! If I were a slower typist, maybe I'd learn to edit better :-D

Hi Mon@rch,
Only the first 15 minutes was free and since it was late in the afternoon, no one was there waiting for computers. It actually cost me $3 to do this post because I used up 60 minutes of computer time.

Hi Susan,
Start saving your pennies for next year! The really cool thing about coming to this festival is that you already "know" a bunch of people through blogging (or they know you! but that's another story....) It was very fun.

Hi Mary C,
Apparently the wind blows like this most of the time in North Dakota. If the sun had come out it would have been a pretty nice day, but there was definitely a "nip" in the air!

Aw Trixie, I wish you would have been able to come too--Liam and Phoebe would have enjoyed having Zoey and Vivi there too.