Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

March 20, 2012

The Early Bird Gets … Locked Out?

Filed under: Birds — richditch @ 2:49 pm
Locked Gate, Again

Locked Gate, Again

Last month I posted about entry issues at the Gilbert Water Ranch (more formal name: The Riparian Preserve at Gilbert, AZ). Since that first encounter with a locked gate I’ve been back to the Water Ranch seven times including this morning and have found the gate already open five times. On one visit I walked to the gate slowly so that the woman with the key could rush past me and unlock the gate before I reached it.

The gates are supposed to be open by dawn, as shown by the signs posted beside the gates:

Open Dawn to Dusk Sign

Open Dawn to Dusk Sign

And that’s what I was told in email by the chief ranger after the February 2 incident:

Richard,  Sorry about your experience.  We had a person out sick this morning and another’s day off today so we fell behind in getting gates open.  We’ve taken action to make sure it doesn’t happen again.  We do close them at dusk and will open them at dawn every day.  During breeding season we may close some of the internal trails from time to time, but there will be a notice posted when we do that.  Happy birding.  Thanks.  Scott

I’ve added the emphasis to Scott’s email.

I got to the gate at 6:35, four minutes after sunrise, expecting it to be open.

Sunrise Time Today

Sunrise Time Today

Just to be clear, dawn occurs at first light, which occurs well before sunrise:

Definition of Dawn

Definition of Dawn

So, the gate was sup0posed to be open already. I ended up waiting until 6:41, killing good photography time until a woman arrived with a key to unlock the gate:

Unlocking the Gate

Unlocking the Gate

I was not happy about the delayed opening, and the Lock Lady was not happy with me taking her photo while she unlocked the gate. I will be even more unhappy if this continues to be a problem.

Please let me know by commenting here if you have had this problem on any of your visits to the Gilbert Water Ranch.

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