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A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!

Monday, December 22, 2008

IT'S FOR THE BIRDS! (And the wolves and the bears)


OK, you may wonder what the heck I’m rambling on about now! Believe me, I’ve been about busting at the seams to keep quiet about this! NOW, it is official and I can tell you!

Dan and I have officially accepted positions at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge starting towards the end of October 2009! There is also Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge which is very close by so we could be working between the two places. We will be there at least till the end of January 2010 and possibly a bit longer.

If you try to find this on the map, look on the Northern part of N. Carolina, not too far from the Outer Banks. Look for the town of Manteo, North Carolina. That is where our mailing address will be.

You know Dan and I are both nature nuts and I enjoy working with people, doing computer stuff, etc so there is a lot that I feel we will be able to do in our positions.

Let me give you a brief synopsis of some of the duties we most likely will have. Dan most likely will be involved in maintenance which can include vehicle/equipment maintenance, carpentry, mowing, and weed trimming (don’t know how much mowing/trimming there will be that time of year though! Heck, who cares as long as it doesn’t mean shoveling snow to do it!). And I probably will be involved in the visitor center/information desk, outreach events, computer work, maybe working on their newsletter.

I’m hoping we BOTH get to participate in the animal end of things. For one thing, this area is home to the red wolf, black bears and is also a HUGE area for migratory birds including Tundra Swans (and you know how we enjoy our bird watching!). AND, IT IS ALSO AN AREA WHERE THE LOGGERHEAD TURTLES COME ASHORE TO LAY THEIR EGGS! While we won’t get to see that (due to the time of year we’ll be there) we MIGHT be able to witness the turtles hatching and making their way to the ocean! They do a “turtle count” and have something called a turtle patrol that we might be able to be a part of upon ATV training.

In November, there is the Wings over Water Wildlife Festival and all kinds of programs. It runs for a 5 days the beginning of November. You can find more info at www.wingsoverwater.org. This is something we might have involvement with. There are places where wild horses roam freely along the beach north of Corolla. PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES ABOUND!!!

There are autumn interpretive programs ranging from Alligator River Canoe Tour to Red Wolf Howling Safaris to Pea Island Bird Walks (400 species of birds!!). How could someone NOT be excited about this???!!!!

I will try not to bore you with all of this during the next 10 months (BOY that is a long time when you are excited!). But you know, I won’t be able to keep my mouth shut about if for long stretches at a time!

And it isn’t just the fact that I most likely will not have purple toes and hopefully won’t have hives (it was 70° there a couple days ago!), but this is just plain exciting for us!


  1. Gaylord G'ma7:53 AM

    Hi Cathy and Dan -
    CONGRATULATIONS...WOW...I'm excited for you. Will be great to say adios to the hive-weather!
    Oh, how can you NOT write about all the eye candy in that part of our world? A dream come true.
    Hope, if you are posting at your new jobs, we get the link to keep up with your wonderful news.
    What good news - and we ALL can use a bit of joy in our lives.
    Thanks for sharing your happiness.
    Hard to express my enthusiasm...WOW.

  2. Gaylord G'ma, Thanks for your well wishes! Yes, we will have internet access although I think it might just be dial up but I will keep up with Yooper Yarns and my emails every chance I get.

    It isn't just getting away from my frozen, purple toes and hives, but we feel like we are going to make a difference in the critter world and that means a lot to us! Even if it is just a SMALL difference.


  3. Sounds like a great opportunity! I hope you take lots of pictures for us to see on your blog!

  4. Theresa, my camera will probably be an attachment to my neck. I have found out that we will have access to dial up connection so my updates and photos could be few and far between! I might be able to find some place close to where we will be that has wireless. Time will tell!


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