The Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge is an integral part of a nationwide network of 553 refuges maintaining approximately 100 million acres of land and water dedicated to the protection of the nation's wildlife resources. These over 1500 acres of river, wetland and forest are home to a wide variety of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and many other animals plus plants, including several threatened or endangered species. The refuge is an important stopover point for migratory birds. Continued on "About Oxbow Nat'l Refuge".
Big Night, the Race to the Vernal Pools, most likely will take place during the evening hours of Saturday, March 29, 2014. Not that many spotted salamanders and wood frogs were seen on Saturday. Most likely, it was just too cold. It is supposed to rain again during the evening hours on Friday, April 4, while the temperature might be just warm enough for more of these amphibians to risk their daring trip. See the following paragraph for more information.
Wood frogs have already been seen and peepers heard. If you are interested in observing this phenomena and helping to protect the wood frogs and spotted salamanders while they are crossing some of the back roads in Bolton, call Rona at (978) 779-2259. Bring a flashlight and dress for the cold and wet. In the meantime, please drive carefully and slowly during the coming evenings and nights, especially when the weather is "warm" and wet. These amphibians need moisture to keep their skin from drying out. Since the number of these animals has been shrinking, their protection is very important.
Why all this fuss about Vernal Pools? On Saturday, April 12, at 1:30pm, Rona Balco will lead a walk to one of the vernal pools in Shirley. Rona has given many presentations and innumerable walks on the uniqueness, inhabitants and value of vernal pools. The pace will be casual. The event is suitable for children and adults alike. (But please, leave your pets at home.) Dress for exploration; long pants and sturdy footwear are necessities. The ground will be uneven and, most likely, wet and muddy. Meet at the triangle formed by the intersection of Bishop Road and McPherson Road in Shirley. Letting Rona know that you are planning to attend would be appreciated: 978-779-2259.