21 June 2022

Fun Wildlife Siting

Written by: Lisa Harnack

It’s finally planting week! This week I will be driving out to the native plant nursery to pick up the plants I ordered for our garden- all 640 of them !! Even though I ordered pretty last minute for them(which was back in march-I had no idea they filled up on orders so quickly) I was able to get most of what I was hoping for. Luckily we have some loyal volunteers out here that will come out and help us get them all planted this Saturday. We went out last week and did some additional site prep, some extra clearing and pulling up things that had shot up since our initial tidy up. I forget how big the site really is, and I was pretty red and wiped out from just that! 


While we were out there we spotted a Northern Prairie Skink running around. I hadn't seen one out here yet, so I was really excited. We don’t see too many lizards out here- I doubt most people that live here even know we get them. I am planning to write up a little post about it to put on our social media this week. I have started helping generate these lately and I enjoy it. People tend to engage and get excited too. We get quite a few Red-Headed Woodpeckers out here quite a bit and I got a nice picture of one and wrote a post about them. In my reading about them I learned that even though they sustain themselves primarily from plants and bugs, they will sometimes go after mice or even raid other birds' nests. Pretty brutal, but to my nerdy brain incredibly interesting and unexpected! 


Something I have really noticed out here is that we get a really good combination of local visitors and out of state travelers. I really love hearing our local visitors tell me stories about coming out to the refuge when they were children and are excited to know bring children of their own here. I think for many locals (myself included) this refuge is really special, it's been a refuge not just for the wildlife but for us. I’ve noticed we of course get busier during migration, but most of the time it's pretty quiet out here. I grew up out in the country near here, and out here at our refuge is the closest you can get to that feeling. It’s not quiet, but more that all you can hear out here is the sounds of nature- the wind in the cottonwood trees, the chickadees and frogs. It feels really special to meet the people that also love and cherish this place ! 


It is gearing up to be mid 90’s everyday this week ! I am feeling very grateful that we got our air conditioning fixed here at our visitor center. Until next time!


Photo: Northern Prairie Skink at Desoto National WIldlife Refuge

Agency: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Program: US Fish & Wildlife Service

Location: DeSoto and Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuges

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