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Calais, ME

On Friday, May 26, 2006 we arrived at our new summer home. We were greeted by Bob Peyton, Deputy Project Leader. Our RV site is near the visitor building here and about 1/4 mile from the headquarters buildings. The refuge is a beautiful place and the staff seem to be really great people.

This is the headquarters area of the refuge.

We have a full hook-up site with 50A power. There are two RV sites here and the second one is occupied by a trailer that is housing for the leader of the Youth Conservation Corp group that will be working here for eight weeks this summer. We are on the edge of a meadow that is used by the wildlife frequently and so we expect to have some interesting visitors through the course of the summer.

This is the volunteer's RV site at Moosehorn NWR. This is a view of the meadow where we live, from the parking area.

At this point we have only begun to help around the refuge but we will be doing some maintenance and construction work as well as doing visitor contact on week ends as well as giving tours of the refuge to visitors This is a very special place and if you should happen to pass near us this summer, please do stop by to visit!

A woodcock when captured in the net. Once the bird is free of the net he is weighed and checked. I hold my first captured woodcock, just before release.

Just a week after our arrival, I was out helping the biology staff to capture and band woodcocks, the bird that was the reason for establishment of the refuge, back in 1937. The refuge has a total of 24,400 acres.

This Canada Goose family lives on Otter Pond, near headquarters. This mother bear and her three cubs were crossing the road just as we happened by. Sunset over Mcrae Pond on the HQ Loop Trail.

One activity that is important here is the capture and banding of water fowl. On July 18 we all participated in a goose roundup!

The quarry is the Canada Goose. Bryan and the biology staff rounding up the flock.

It all begins when the geese molt and loose the ability to fly. For about two weeks, most adult geese have to few wing feathers to take flight and the staff use canoes and kayaks to round up the birds, much like cowboys on horseback collect the cattle on a ranch.

The geese follow the fencing into the trap's pen. Grand finds that not all geese are willing participants! I once again prove that determination does pay off.

Once the geese have been caught, each one must be banded and checked, the sex and age are recorded along with the band number.

Each of us were given a chance to learn how to do the banding. Banding and determining the sex and age of a goose. The final act is to release each bird back to the pond.

Each of us who wished to do so were given the opportunity to learn how the banding, determination of sex and age and recording of that information for each bird are done. Those who wished, actually performed the whole operation. It was one more very interesting day at the refuge!

One of four nesting pairs of bald eagles returns to her nest. Young snowshoe rabbits were frequent visitors. A mother osprey tends to her new chicks on the nest.

Eagles, ospreys and even rabbits are among those who raise a family at this refuge each summer. Deer are also frequent visitors to our site.

Deput Project Leader, Bob Peyton. Project Leader, Bill Kolondnike.

The staff at Moosehorn NWR are a great bunch. Volunteers work for Bob Peyton, the deputy there and the manager of day to day operations. The Project Leader is Bill Kolondniki. He and all of the staff members treat the volunteers very well and were a pleasure to work with.

Pam in the visitor center with the moose looking over he shoulder. Using an orr-set mower was one of the jobs done by Kirk. Muffy plays with the stuffed bear cub in the visitor center.

Volunteers are asked to work four days per week, but are welcome to take an extra day or two off when desired for trips to visit the surrounding areas and up into Canada. The #1 job is to operate the visitor programs, mostly on the weekends. Pam would operate the visitor center and Kirk took visitors on tours of the refuge in the large van. On week days, Pam did some lawn care and Kirk operated a tractor. We also did several wood work jobs and some general maintenance. Try as she did, Muffie never did get the stuffed bear cub to play with her!

The leaves begain to change colors as time to leave neared. This bear seems to be welcoming visitors to the refuge. Sunset on Otter Pond.

While we hesitated on coming due to the four day work week, we came anyway because we were assured that we could have an extra day at any time we chose to be away. We found this to have been very much the case and since we have always tended to work more than the minimum number of hours, it turned out to be a good decision in coming. This was a wonderful summer and great staff to spend it with. We were involved more in the biology related projects here than at any other place that we have stayed. Is it really work if you are doing things that you would have asked to be a part of with no benefits at all? Moosehorn NWR will always be high on our list of memories!

The kids fishing derby is an annual event at Moosehorn. Meddybemps Lake is the larget on the refuge. This view is from the top of Magarawauk Mountain.

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