Tag Archives: wildlife

Get Quacking. Register today for Junior Duck Stamp Camp.

 Join the Menokin Foundation, Rappahannock Wildlife Refuge Friends, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Westmoreland State Park for Junior Duck Stamp Camp! This year’s camp is scheduled for August 1, 2, 4, and 5th from 1:00 until 5:00 each day.

What is Junior Duck Stamp Camp?

While investigating the natural habitats of waterfowl in the Rappahannock River Valley watershed, campers will learn to document what they see and discover with notes and sketchbooks. By the end of the week, campers will have a greater understanding of the waterfowl and their habitats. They will also have had the opportunity to experiment with a variety of drawing techniques to prepare them to enter the Junior Duck Stamp Camp Contest in March 2017.

Junior Duck Stamp Camp guides will take campers kayaking on Wilna Pond, Cat Point Creek, and the Potomac River. Students will learn “How to Birdwatch and Duck Identification 101” and how to draw birds in various forms and landscapes. The final artwork created by the students will tour the region and images will be shared with area media publications.

The Junior Duck Stamp Camp program is for 5th to 8th graders, ages 10-14. The cost to attend is $50 per child. Several full scholarships are available thanks to the generosity of the Rappahannock Wildlife Refuge Friends.  Transportation is available from a central meeting site each day.

For more information or to register, please contact Alice French at the Menokin Foundation: afrench@menokin.org or (804) 333-1776. Or download a Registration Brochure.

Hurry! Time is running out, so register today!

The Dance of the Dung Beetle

IMG_4058Really, I thought these guys only lived in Africa. But in all truth, I have never really done much research on dung beetles, or how they carry out their business.

However, while taking a walk recently, this rather large object moving across my path caught my eye, so I moved closer to investigate. And what I saw was this massive dinosaur-sized beetle, rolling what looked to be a ball of poop. Backwards.

I immediately grabbed my phone to record what I was sure was a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon in the Northern Neck.

Not knowing what it was exactly, I started with dung beetle because of the whole poop ball aspect of the situation.

Bingo.

So I did a little reading and found an hilarious video about dung beetles on You Tube, which explained a lot of what my dung beetle was up to. So in case you have never seen a dung beetle in action, check out my video. And be sure to watch the You Tube video too, because in spite its lighthearted presentation, there’s a lot of good info in there, too.

It’s a Boy! Eastern Box Turtle at Menokin.

The Eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina) is a subspecies within a group of hinge-shelled turtles, normally called box turtles. T. c. carolina is native to the eastern part of the United States.

This handsome fella was crossing the lane at Menokin this morning on our way into work. Alice and I stopped to say hello. We remarked on his beautiful coloring and striking red eyes.  A little research into the Eastern box turtle revealed just what those eyes mean.

Eastern box turtles have a high, dome-like carapace and a hinged plastron that allows total shell closure. The carapace can be of variable coloration, but is normally found brownish or black and is accompanied by a yellowish or orangish radiating pattern of lines, spots or blotches.
Eastern box turtles have a high, dome-like carapace and a hinged plastron that allows total shell closure. The carapace can be of variable coloration, but is normally found brownish or black and is accompanied by a yellowish or orange-ish radiating pattern of lines, spots or blotches.
Skin coloration, like that of the shell, is variable, but is usually brown or black with some yellow, orange, red, or white spots or streaks.  Eastern box turtles feature a sharp, horned beak, stout limbs, and their feet are webbed only at the base.
Skin coloration, like that of the shell, is variable, but is usually brown or black with some yellow, orange, red, or white spots or streaks. Eastern box turtles feature a sharp, horned beak, stout limbs, and their feet are webbed only at the base.
Males normally possess red eyes (irises) whereas females usually display brown eyes.  In the wild, box turtles are known to live over 100 years, but in captivity, often live much shorter lives.
Males normally possess red eyes (irises) whereas females usually display brown eyes.
In the wild, box turtles are known to live over 100 years, but in captivity, often live much shorter lives.

Just think, this turtle may have been around when Menokin was still standing.

Menokin Photo Contest Reception Was A Picture Perfect Evening.

Menokin staff, trustees, friends and photo contest participants gathered on a dark Friday evening to enjoy the results of the first ever Menokin Photography Contest.

Participants gathered from as far away as Gloucester and Northern Virginia to view the winning entries judged by Hullihen (Hullie) Williams Moore. Photos from three categories – architecture, landscape and wildlife – were judged on composition, quality and creativity. Each category was beautifully represented with winners as follows:

Check back later in the week for a slide show of the reception.

Our next photo contest will be announced soon.

Go Wild!

Over half of the Menokin Foundation’s 500 acre property is part of the Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge. The extremely active and dedicated Rappahannock Wildlife Refuge Friends would like to invite you to participate in their annual Go Wild! event on Sunday, October 14th1-5 p.m.

This year’s event celebrates the 16th Anniversary of the Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge with the Rappahannock Wildlife Refuge FRIENDS. 

The event takes place at the Hutchinson Tract, 1.5 mi. north of Tappahannock off Highway 17N, and includes numerous activities including a silent auction, kayak trips, a guided eagle tour, beach jewelry, pistol lessons from Romi Klear, signed prints, rain barrels, books, and more! Please note: the silent auction closes at 4 p.m.

Events:  Kids “Birds and BinocularImages” scavenger hunt, adults and young adults scavenger hunt, nature walks, arts and crafts, storytelling, wildlife painting, build a birdhouse, free raffles.  Music by Ben Eberline.

FREE LUNCH!  Hot dogs, baked beans, cookies, cider and lemonade.

For more information, call 804-366-6851.

Sunday, October 14th, 10 a.m. – 12 noon – Guided kayak/canoe tour led by Gordon Page at the Mt. Landing Creek kayak/canoe launch on the Hutchinson tract of the Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge, 1.5 mi. north of Tappahannock off Highway 17N. Bring your own kayak or canoe.  Must wear life vest.  For more information, call 804-366-6851.