News from Unexpected Wildlife Refuge

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July 2018

A beaver we called Nipper, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

19th: Throwback to 1967. Immortalized as Nipper by Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci, our co-founder, this beaver was determined to make the small tree her or his next meal.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #beavers



Beaver on dam, JSTOR Daily photo

18th: Not that we need convincing, but here are two more articles on why beavers are a keystone species, making the world a better place for all:



Flooded main trail, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

16th: One of the challenges with which the Refuge deals regularly is maintaining trails in a way that causes minimal disruption for wildlife. We need access to certain parts of the habitat in order to protect from unwanted human intrusion and to provide visitors with an opportunity to see, enjoy and be educated by the rich biodiversity present. Nature, of course, cares not and quickly 'tries' to subsume our trails into what is normal. Here, a portion of one major trail has become flooded and partially obstructed by a large pine tree that has fallen. Photo courtesy Dave Sauder, one of our Trustees.



BEAR billboard

13th: Unexpected Wildlife Refuge supports an end to hunting bears in New Jersey. During his campaign, Governor Phil Murphy made a promise to impose a moratorium on bear hunting when he took office in January 2018, and to commit to exploring non-lethal means of controlling the bear population. This has not happened. We join the Animal Protection League of New Jersey (APLNJ) in its call to Governor Murphy to honor his promise as well as asking the NJ legislature to adopt a bill sponsored by Sen. Raymond Lesniak, D-Union, that would impose a five-year moratorium on bear hunting. The bill also requires bear-proof containers and stops hunters from baiting for deer in bear habitat.

Bears are a critical part of our ecosystem, the only large predator in the state of New Jersey. Further, hunting them inflicts substantial suffering on these sentient animals. Currently, hunters can bait and shoot all bears including mothers and their cubs; incredibly, even bows and arrows are allowed. Not only is this brutal treatment of bears unacceptable, there are alternative, humane and effective methods that can be adopted to address human-bear conflicts, the purported reason for the hunt. For example, the Bear Smart program (managed by APLNJ) includes public education, appropriate garbage containment, enforcement of feeding ban laws and training for police officers and wildlife personnel.

Please take three actions today:

  1. Contact Governor Murphy, urging him to honor his promise:
  2. Contact your NJ legislator, calling on her or him to support the bill (S-2702) sponsored by Sen. Raymond Lesniak:
  3. Sign this petition launched by Bear Education And Resource (a program of APLNJ) to end the New Jersey bear hunt: https://petitions.moveon.org/sign/end-the-new-jersey-bear



Beaver food raft, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

12th: Throwback to February 2017, and this food 'raft' created by some of the beavers who live at the Refuge. These collections of branches provide a safe and convenient source of food until spring.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #beavers



Swallows over main pond, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

9th: We are fortunate that many species of birds choose the Refuge as their home or an important 'pit stop' on their way elsewhere. Here, swallows fly over the main pond in search of insects.



Hooded mergansers near beaver lodge, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

5th: Throwback to late last spring (2017). We often see hooded mergansers on the main pond. These individuals were on the far side, swimming near one of the beaver lodges.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory



White-tailed deer in main pond, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

2nd: With the warm weather and precipitation, the main pond has become an oasis of lily pads. Here, a white-tailed deer cools off and browses at the same time.



June 2018

Miller pond in 2010, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

28th: Throwback to June of eight years ago, to this picturesque photo of Miller pond, one of the many important wetlands at the Refuge. Protecting these areas from untoward human intrusion is our goal and passion.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory



Gray squirrel, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge trail camera photo

25th: One of our trail cameras took a great photo of this alert gray squirrel. Although these squirrels are 'common', it is always a treat to see them.



Jared White and companion Jack

24th: We are pleased to announce that we have hired Jared White as the new onsite manager for the Refuge! Jared, shown here with Jack, one of his canine companions, is a long-time vegan and animal advocate. He comes to us with years of experience working with and caring for rescued non-human animals. His "love of the outdoors and co-existing in nature with wildlife" fit in with Unexpected's mission and core philosophy. In addition to looking forward to the physical challenges of managing the Refuge, Jared is eager to apply his skills in public relations and volunteer organizing to ensure that the wildlife continue to have a safe place to thrive consistent with their needs. You can reach him by telephone at 856.697.3541 or E-mail manager@unexpectedwildliferefuge.org.



Canada geese in main pond during snow storm, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

21st: Throwback to 2009, during a November winter storm. These Canada geese seem unperturbed by the falling snow and freezing water in the main pond.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory



Amber jelly fungus in swamp, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

18th: Fungi and other 'parasitic' plants make up an important -- and visually pleasing -- part of the rich biodiversity at the Refuge. Here are some amber jelly and lichen getting their sustenance from an old branch in a swampy part of the Refuge.



Sketch of canvasback duck by Edmund J Sawyer

14th: Here is a sketch of a canvasback duck made many years ago by Edmund J. Sawyer, the renowned naturalist and artist and father of Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci, our co-founder.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory



Muskrat lodge in Miller pond, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo by Dave Sauder Muskrat lodge in Miller pond, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo by Dave Sauder

11th: During a recent visit to the Refuge, Dave Sauder, one of our Trustees, took these photos of a muskrat lodge far out in the wetlands known as Miller pond.



Sketch of beaver by Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci, artist and co-founder

7th: We never get tired of seeing the artwork of Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci, our co-founder. This is another of her hundreds of sketches from many years ago, illustrating her favorite, the beaver. She, of course, had reverence and respect for all wildlife and 'walked her talk' through many personal sacrifices.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory



Great egret on main pond, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo Great egret on main pond, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

4th: This great egret perched serenely on a branch rising out of the main pond. A moment later, he or she was preening, a never ending 'job' for birds.



May 2018

Black snake, photo by Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci, co-founder

31st: Throwback to this photo of a black snake taken in 1966 by Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci, Refuge co-founder. Hope was not only an accomplished artist and author, her patience while observing wildlife, often despite swarms of deer flies or mosquitoes, allowed her to capture stunning images on film.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #blacksnakes



Canada goose and hooded merganser couple on main pond, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

28th: This Canada goose swimming in the main pond seemed to be interested in the fuss we made getting this picture. A hooded merganser couple in the background appeared to be trying to quickly get into or out of the frame.



Beaver lodge in snow, photo by Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci, Refuge cofounder

24th: Throwback to winter of 1966, in the early years of the Refuge, when Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci took this photo of one of the beaver lodges in the snow and ice. We remember fondly Hope's excitement when she and her husband Cavit Buyukmihci, saw evidence of beavers on the original 80 acres of habitat that began the Refuge.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #beavers



Paw prints on snow covered log, photo by Mike McCormick

21st: As summer approaches and we leave the snow and cold weather behind us for another season, it is good to remember that the snow often reveals the presence of individuals we may never see. We are not sure who made these tracks on this fallen tree, but are grateful to Mike McCormick for sharing this photo with us.



Beaver called Chopper and Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci, by Bee Simpson

17th: Throwback to October of 1974, when Bee Simpson took this photo of Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci, Refuge co-founder, providing nourishment to Chopper, an orphaned beaver. Chopper's sad story, which can be found on our Web site (under the section Beavers), is a reminder that we need to consider carefully how we deal with orphaned wild animals and what 'befriending' them may mean for their future.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #beavers



Beavers, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

16th: As some of you may know, beavers are classified as a keystone species. A new study that has just been accepted for publication emphasizes the universally beneficial aspect of beavers to the environment and other animals (including human beings). You can access this article, by Alan Puttock et al, on our beaver literature page.



Beavers meet, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge trail camera photo

14th: One of our trail cameras took this photo of two beavers meeting in the water.



Sketch of bat by Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci, artist and co-founder

10th: As many of you may know, Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci, our co-founder, was a naturalist and talented writer and artist. This is one of her hundreds of sketches from many years ago. Although beavers were her favorite animal to sketch, bats, like this one, and other species made up her portfolio.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory



English ivy on walkway, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

7th: Some lovely, delicate English ivy flowers just before last winter set in. Thanks to Eric Baratta and Susan Schoeler McKenna for help in identifying this plant.



Wood duck, main pond, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

3rd: Throwback to... well, we do not really know when because we cannot find a date nor photographer for this striking image of a wood duck standing on a stump in the main pond. We hope you will enjoy anyway.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory



April 2018

Swamp loosestrife, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

30th: The Refuge is home to numerous species of flowering plants, like this swamp loosestrife.



Chickadees, original artwork by Edmund J Sawyer, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

26th: Edmund J. Sawyer was a renowned naturalist and artist who spent much of his life observing and making sketches and portraits of the wildlife he encountered. He was also the father of Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci, the co-founder of Unexpected Wildlife Refuge, and inspired her to become a naturalist and artist in her own right. Although Edmund died many years ago, he did get a chance to visit the Refuge to see the wonderful work his daughter was doing. We will pay tribute to this remarkable and talented man by occasionally sharing some of his artwork with you, like this lovely watercolor of chickadees.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory



Grasshopper on wool grass, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

23rd: With spring here and summer not far away, we expect to see an abundant resurgence of insects such as this grasshopper perched on wool grass.



Access road in the snow, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

19th: Throwback to this 2009 photo showing our access lane after a snow fall that blanketed the Refuge. Although it was beautiful to behold back then, we - and the wildlife? - are looking forward to no snow for at least the next many months.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory



Red-winged blackbird singing, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

16th: We thought you might enjoy seeing this male red-winged blackbird, singing in pursuit of a mate.



Ring-necked ducks, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

12th: Our first thought was that these individuals were lesser scaups, but a pair of binoculars showed them to be ring-necked ducks. Although not a rare species, this may be only the second time they have been spotted at the Refuge in several years. Ring-necked ducks generally breed farther north, mostly in Canada. Their visit was apparently just a stopover on their way to breeding areas and they were gone after several days.



Puffball fungus on log, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

9th: We came across these puffball mushrooms on a log by the edge of the swamp on the boundary trail.



Yellow-rumped warbler, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

7th: A yellow-rumped warbler perches in a tree close to the Refuge trailheads.



Northern cricket frog on lily pad, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

5th: Throwback to this 2016 photo of a northern cricket frog singing from a lily pad, late at night, on the main pond. It was taken by Cliff Compton, Refuge guest and photographer.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory



Beaver in main pond near sunset, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

4th: Our manager was able to get a nice close-up of this beaver swimming in the main pond. The rust-colored appearance of the water was due to light reflection near sunset.



Male green-winged teal, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

2nd: A rare visitor to the Refuge, a male green-winged teal was seen swimming in the main pond.



March 2018

White-breasted nuthatch, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

31st: This white-breasted nuthatch had just cracked open a nut in a tree along the trails at the Refuge.



Juvenile bald eagle ruffled by wind, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

24th: A juvenile bald eagle sits ruffled by strong winds on a branch partially submerged in the main pond.



Squirrel gathering nest materials, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge trail camera photo

22nd: Throwback to spring of 2017 for one of our favorite trail camera images. A squirrel gathers soft grasses for nesting materials near one of the wetlands.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory



Tree ear fungus and raindrop, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

21st: A drop of rain clings to the fruiting body of a small translucent amber jelly fungus known as wood ear, tree ear or jelly ear as well as other colloquial names.



Unexpected Wildlife Refuge sketch by Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci, artist and co-founder

20th: We are seeking a new manager. If you or someone you know is interested in rewarding and challenging service to wildlife, please send the following by E-mail only, to Nedim C. Buyukmihci, president, ned.trustee@unexpectedwildliferefuge.org: 1) letter explaining why you would be the ideal candidate; 2) full curriculum vitae (an expanded résumé); and 3) at least three references, one of whom must provide a critical assessment of your abilities. Click here for a full job description.



Wetlands walkway and fog, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

19th: A thin fog hangs at the end of the walkway through one of the wetlands at the Refuge after a recent rain.



Lichen in winter, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

17th: There are a multitude of lichens at the Refuge. We think this might be the species known as the brown-eyed rim.



Northern water snake, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

15th: Throwback to this 2016 photo of a northern water snake on the trail along the main pond.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory



Downy woodpecker, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

14th: A downy woodpecker along the trails near the white cedar swamp at the Refuge.



Earth Day Cleanup volunteers, 2016, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

8th: Throwback to our 2016 annual Earth Day Cleanup event at the Refuge. It rained all day, but our volunteers made the best of it! Join us this year on April 14 at 11:00 AM. E-mail us at manager@unexpectedwildliferefuge.org for more information and to confirm you will be able to attend or call 856.697.3541. – VVH
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #EarthDay



Tree downed by beaver, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

7th: This tree located on one of the tiny islands of earth in the wetlands was found cut down during a recent warm day. We know this was the work of at least one beaver, 'harvesting' food. Whether he or she had help is speculation. Maybe some day we will be lucky enough to get video footage to share. – VVH



Canada geese on frozen main pond, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

5th: These Canada geese were standing on the frozen surface of the main pond in early morning fog. Two of the geese were holding a foot close to their bodies, protected by lower plumage. An alternating pattern of lifting feet up to the body is a method many birds use to warm their extremities. – VVH



Fox sparrow, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo Fox sparrow, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

3rd: A fox sparrow in a tall tree along one of the Refuge trails. She tilted her head in response to the click of the camera shutter. – VVH



Red-winged blackbird singing, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

1st: Throwback to 2016 and this photo of a red-winged blackbird exercising his vocal abilities. – VVH
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory



February 2018

Hooded merganser couples on main pond, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

28th: Two hooded merganser couples paddle companionably in the main pond at the Refuge. – VVH



Brown thrasher, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

26th: Brown thrashers are difficult to photograph. They are shy and spend most of their time in dense cover. A species of "special concern", their numbers have declined over the years due to habitat loss, making this sighting particularly delightful. – VVH



24th: A selection of beautiful photographs taken at the Refuge by Jeff Hrusko, who volunteered during the final weekend of our 2017-2018 deer patrol season. One shows the beaver lodges in the main pond, another the pond as it appears through shoreline reeds and the third a dead pine trunk which makes a wonderful home for many of the creatures (and plants) who live at the Refuge. – VVH

Main pond and beaver lodges, by Jeff Hrusko Main pond through reeds, by Jeff Hrusko Dead pine, by Jeff Hrusko


Wood duck, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge trail camera photo

22nd: Throwback to this fortuitously well-framed photo of a wood duck taken by one of the Refuge trail cameras last year. – VVH
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory



Reindeer lichen in snow, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

21st: Some reindeer lichen covered with the icy remains of a recent, light snowfall. It is sometimes misleadingly referred to as reindeer moss. – VVH



Gray squirrel food caches, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

19th: The holes amongst the pine needles and other leaves are from a gray squirrel digging up acorns and other food. Whether the same squirrel hid the 'treasure' in the first place is open to speculation. – VVH



Rabbit footprints in snow, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

17th: Often, our only awareness of the presence of some Refuge residents is right after a snowfall. Here, a rabbit has made her or his way across the snow. – VVH



Raccoons at Otter Dam, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

16th: As you may recall, we learned that Amazon cares more about profit than it does about treating non-human animals humanely. We warned Amazon that we would close our account unless they had a change in policy and stopped selling live animals through the mail as if they were a pair of socks. Amazon refused to listen to us and many others, even those who were experts on animal welfare. As a result we closed our account and will not accept any donations of items purchased from them.

We are sharing with you our current wish list in case you can help us with these items. Click here to see the list and how to send the items to us. Our only caveat is that you not purchase any from Amazon or from any business which similarly is more interested in money than morals. Questions? Please E-mail us at manager@unexpectedwildliferefuge.org or telephone us at 856.697.3541. – VVH



Great blue heron on boardwalk, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge trail camera photo

15th: Throwback to a photo of this long-legged visitor to a trail camera on the boardwalks at the Refuge. – VVH
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #greatblueheron



Beaver lodges in snow, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo Shelf fungus and snow on beaver lodge, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

14th: During a recent stretch of below-freezing days, I was able for the first time to walk across the frozen main pond to examine the beaver lodges up-close. In the second photo, you can see a ruffled shelf fungus attached to one of the boughs the beavers used for home fortification. – VVH



Tufted titmouse, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

12th: A tufted titmouse sitting high in a tree at the Refuge during a bright, cloudless day. – VVH



Beaver with lily pad 'hat', Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

11th: Two anti-wildlife bills will be up for a vote before New Jersey's legislators soon. The hearings on both bills will be held on Monday, 12 February. The bills could go for a vote as early as Thursday, 15 February.

The first bill is A3242, the Poaching Bill. It would allow the killing of deer as part of forest 'stewardship' and on commercially logged lands. Bait piles could be used at any time of day or night and deer could be killed from vehicles including at night through the use of strong lights to immobilize them.

The second bill is A2731, the Beaver Bill. This would eliminate the 20-animals-per-permit trapping limit and expand the use of body-crushing (Conibear) traps. Many of the animals caught in these traps die a prolonged, agonizing death.

Please write NOW to your Assemblypersons and politely express your outrage concerning these bills. Use the following Web site to find your representative and contact information: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/members/legsearch.asp. Please also contact Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin at 732.855.7441 or via his contact information on his Web page: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/members/BIO.asp?Leg=319. Tell him of your opposition to these bills.

For more information, please visit the following link: http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?ca=94aacd4a-4706-4264-b5ed-e1f9693eeba2&preview=true&m=1112167101597&id=preview. – VVH



Captive lobster

10th: URGENT UPDATE: I have been in contact with senior representatives at Amazon. Unfortunately, Amazon is refusing to listen to experts who are telling them that shipping live lobsters through the mail is inhumane. Instead, they are obstinately defending this immoral practice by claiming that they are not in violation of the law, as if that was the issue. They are clearly more interested in the (minimal) profits made through the abuse of animals than they are in being compassionate and humane.

As a result, we have closed our account with Amazon and will no longer do business with them. Nor will we accept any donated items purchased through them. I am urging you to help us in this matter by doing the following, if you have not already done so:

  1. Write to Amazon at jeff@amazon.com, and voice your strong objection to their selling of live animals and tell them you will boycott them until they stop.
  2. If you have an account with Amazon, please close it and explain why.
  3. Write to Drogo Montagu at wholesale@finefoodspecialist.co.uk and let him know that lobsters are able to feel pain and suffer and that his actions and callousness in selling live lobsters through the mail (using Amazon) have caused you to boycott Amazon in general. Be sure to copy your message to Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, at jeff@amazon.com.

NCB



Main pond, frozen, with moon and stars, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

9th: A frozen, snow-covered main pond at night under a waxing moon. Note the pinpoint lights from some stars in the dark sky. – VVH



Raccoon swimming, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge trail camera photo

8th: Throwback to May 2017 and one of my favorite "unexpected" trail camera images -- a raccoon swimming gracefully at the Refuge late one night. – VVH
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #raccoons



Captive lobster

5th: URGENT: This is a follow up to our post on why we are boycotting Amazon.com and asking you to do so, too. At least in the UK, the provider of the live lobsters Amazon is shipping (or allowing to be shipped under their name) is Fine Food Specialist in London. In defense of this despicable practice, the founder, Drogo Montagu, is quoted in the Times (4 Feb 2018) as stating there is no evidence that lobsters feel pain. This is biological nonsense. There is now ample evidence to prove that lobsters and other crustaceans not only can feel pain in ways similar to mammals, they can also suffer (which goes beyond just the ability to feel pain). We will be glad to provide you with copies of the scientific literature as evidence.

We are asking you to write to Mr Montagu (wholesale@finefoodspecialist.co.uk) and set him straight on the issue of lobsters being able to feel pain and suffer and that his actions and callousness have caused you to boycott Amazon in general. Ask him to stop selling live lobsters, especially through the mail. Be sure to copy your message to Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, at jeff@amazon.com. – NCB



Captive lobster

4th: We just learned that Amazon is selling live lobsters through the mail! As a result, we are not going to use their services until they put a stop to this despicable practice. We ask that you WRITE Amazon, now, at jeff@amazon.com, and voice your strong objection to their selling of live animals and tell them you will boycott them until they stop. – NCB



Wild turkeys, by trail camera

3rd: Refuge Amazon Wish List updated!
Please consider supporting the Refuge with one of the much-needed items from our Amazon Wish List at http://a.co/3Nlqind. – VVH



Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci, Refuge co-founder, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

1st: Throwback to 1965 for this photo of Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci doing what she liked best, spending time studying the natural world around her. For those of you who are not aware, Hope and her husband, Cavit (pronounced like 'javit' with a soft 'a') Buyukmihci, founded the Refuge through donating their home and land in 1961. – VVH
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory



January 2018

Juvenile bald eagle in flight, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

31st: A juvenile bald eagle soars high above the Refuge on a cloudless day. – VVH



30th: We have a new color leaflet summarizing what the Refuge is. We plan to use it at various events we sponsor or attend. You can help us by downloading, printing and distributing the leaflet elsewhere. The leaflet fits on a legal size sheet of paper (8.5 x 14 inches or 216 x 356 mm), printed double-sided in landscape orientation and folded twice so that the panel with our name in green is at front. Click here to see and obtain the file (about 2 MB). – NCB

Side 1 of new Refuge leaflet Side 2 of new Refuge leaflet


Main pond with layer of ice at sunset, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

29th: The main pond with snow covering its frozen surface, at sunset, looking somewhat like a desert landscape. – VVH



White-throated sparrow, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

27th: A white-throated sparrow perches on a branch next to the Refuge trails. – VVH



Boundary trail, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

25th: Throwback to this sunset photo taken on the boundary trail in December of 2015. – VVH
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRhistory



American black ducks in fog on main pond, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

24th: Two American black ducks swim in the main pond through a thick, early morning fog that hung over the Refuge. – VVH



Paw prints across frozen main pond, with lens flare, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo Paw prints across frozen main pond, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

22nd: One or more Refuge residents took a long walk across the snow-covered and frozen main pond one evening or early morning. The tracks started at a trail head and ended on the opposite end of the pond. Notice the lens flare caused by the bright sunlight in one of the photos. – VVH



Main pond, frozen, near sunset, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

20th: The main pond, surface frozen, at sunset one recent evening at the Refuge. The brightness of the sun created a stunning pink-purple lens flare. – VVH



Main pond in 1971, by Nancy Jonap One of the boardwalks in 1971, by Nancy Jonap

18th: Throwback to the Refuge as it was in 1971. Nancy Jonap, a long-time friend of the Refuge, was kind enough to share these photos with us from her time here more than 40 years ago. The main pond and a visitor walking the boardwalks are pictured. – VVH
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory



17th: For your enjoyment, here are some of the beautiful photos taken by Mike McCormick, founder of South Jersey Trails, during one of his visits to the Refuge in December 2017. – VVH

Muddy Bog, frozen, by Mike McCormick Pine cone with snow, by Mike McCormick Reeds, by Mike McCormick


Grackles, red-winged blackbirds and starlings in flight, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo Grackles and red-winged blackbirds in trees, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

13th: I was fortunate to have a camera with me when a flock of grackles, red-winged blackbirds and a few starlings entered the sky above the Refuge. The birds took a full minute to pass by me and many landed in neighboring trees. – VVH



Dogwoods in spring, by Mike McCormick

11th: Throwback to this beautiful image of dogwood trees in bloom at the Refuge. This photo was taken in the spring of 2017 by Mike McCormick, founder of South Jersey Trails, a local New Jersey hiking group. – VVH
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #SouthJerseyTrails #warmerdays



Goldenrod at sunset, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

10th: A sprig of goldenrod backlit by the setting sun on the trails at the Refuge. – VVH



South Jersey Trails T-shirts for Unexpected Wildlife Refuge

9th: For those of you who are hiking enthusiasts, South Jersey Trails are raising funds for our Refuge through the sale of their T-shirts. If you already have enough Refuge T-shirts and want something a bit different, while still supporting us, you can go to South Jersey Trails' fund raising site. Be aware that shirts must be pre-ordered before the end of January and take 1-2 weeks for shipment. – VVH



Tufted titmouse in tree, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

8th: A tufted titmouse perches in a tree next to the trailheads on a cold day at the Refuge. Tufted titmice are among the few species of birds who store food for the winter months. – VVH



Reeds and crescent moon, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

6th: A crescent moon over the reeds at the Refuge. – VVH



Clouds reflected in main pond, courtesy Cliff Compton

4th: Throwback to this serene panorama of the main pond at sunset taken two years ago by Cliff Compton, Refuge guest and photographer. – VVH
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory



Morning fog over main pond, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

3rd: Fog hangs over the frost-covered flora surrounding the main pond. – VVH



Bald eagle perched on stump in main pond, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

1st: A bald eagle perches astride two forks of an old log in the middle of the main pond. – VVH



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