Families can find some “naturally” enjoyable ways to get into Halloween mode at Hagerman NWR. Take a walk along one of the five trails at the Refuge and look for something creepy like a spider web or a tree “skeleton”. You can pick up a printed trail guide at the Visitor Center or download one from the Friends website.
Wait – hush! What was that rustling sound? Was it the wind in the dry grass or did a ghost just brush by? Maybe if you’re lucky you might even spot that Halloween icon, an owl, or hear one hooting.
Other good “I spy” objects are – hollow tree, “faces” in the burl of a tree, animal tracks, leaf skeletons, crows, vultures, worms and beetles. On the way to the Refuge, look through your bird field guide for the birds wearing “masks”!
You can view the “ghost” town of Hagerman that was cleared away when Lake Texoma was built – with the lake level so low, the area where much of the town stood, although normally under water, is currently dry land.
If the Halloween fun begins to pall, you might want to move into “harvest” mode. At the Refuge, berry, nut, and mushroom picking are allowed without a permit, for personal use only, 5 gallons per person per day. Firewood cutting (from fallen trees) is allowed, with a Special Use Permit, obtainable at the Refuge Office during weekday business hours (7:30 – 4 pm, Monday – Friday).
Photo by Donna Niemann