An Autumnal scene at Black Bayou Lake NWR, a Blanchard's Cricket Frog and tiny pin-wheel fungi.
An Autumnal scene at Black Bayou Lake NWR, a Blanchard’s Cricket Frog.
Western Ribbon Snakes can often be seen hunting frogs and crickets in the leaf litter in northeastern Louisiana. Black Bayou Lake NWR is one of the best places to see them.
Western Ribbon Snakes can often be seen hunting frogs and crickets in the leaf litter in northeastern Louisiana. Black Bayou Lake NWR is one of the best places to see them.

The 22nd Annual Friends of Black Bayou welcome you all to Fall Celebration: Saturday, October 12, 9 am-2 pm at Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge. The day kicks-off at 8:30 am with a Nature Walk led by Amy Ouchley, celebrated wildlife author, wildlife biologist and Louisiana Master Naturalist.

Welcome to the wild!

Friends of Black Bayou once again invite the public to enjoy a day of celebration at Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday, October 12, 9 am-2 pm, beginning with a guided nature walk at 8:30 am.

The award-winning volunteer group is happy to be celebrating over 22 years of the community’s faithful support for this beautiful natural jewel by presenting a day of free family fun!

The day is the beginning of National Wildlife Refuge Week. Activities for all ages (9 am-2 pm) include the 11 am turning of the Blue Goose Migration Marker, free canoeing and kayaking, a refuge photo exhibit, native animal displays, nature book sale, newly designed T-shirts, face painting, human-sized animal puppets, temporary tattoos, button making, “backyard bass” game, bird ID game, zoo animals, BB-gun target practice, giant mural painting, Shirley the Elephant activities and books, science fun, recycling and anti-littering information, nature-related arts and crafts, creative photo ops, a blood drive and more.

Several community organizations, The Louisiana Master Naturalists Norteast, scouts, high school clubs and local universities will assist with the activities, along with Fish and Wildlife Service staff and FoBB members.

Preceding the other activities will be an 8:30 am nature walk, led by biologist/writer Amy Ouchley. All walk participants should park at the boat launch parking lot by 8:25 am, wearing shoes appropriate for rough ground. Don’t forget your camera!

As always, the Fall Celebration day will include food, but this year there’ll be food trucks with a variety of snacks and lunches for sale. Also served will be Black Bayou Lake Mud Pie, originated at 1997’s first Fall Celebration by the late Nell Odom, along with other sweets and lemonade provided free by FoBB members.

Founded in the summer of 1997, Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge is north of Monroe, just off Highway 165 on Richland Place. There is an identifying sign at Hwy. 165, about one mile north of CenturyLink.

The Refuge was established for wildlife conservation as well as environmental education and wildlife-dependent recreation. Fishing and hunting, as well as nature photography, hiking and wildlife observation are some of the activities enjoyed there.

The Friends of Black Bayou was involved in the Refuge’s development and its continuing successes, in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. FoBB won the National Friends Group of the Year award in 2004.

I saw these lovely autumn leaves for sale by Louisiana Master Naturalist, artist and author Amy Ouchley in a gallery in Monroe recently. Find her on Facebook for details. https://www.facebook.com/amy.ouchley
I saw these lovely autumn leaves for sale by Louisiana Master Naturalist, artist and author Amy Ouchley in a gallery in Monroe recently. Find her on Facebook for details. https://www.facebook.com/amy.ouchley