Puddles will be hitting the road on April 20th, continuing its national tour of National Wildlife Refuges which started in Florida earlier this year.
Who is Puddles you ask? Puddles is the embodiment of the Blue Goose, the symbol of the National Wildlife Refuge System. It was "banded" recently by Savannah NWR Manager Russ Webb, and is now free to travel again.
Puddles will be accompanied by Sharon Lindsay (author, photographer, and Friends group Board member) who is both traveling companion and archivist, and who will be keeping a photographic record and posting this blog of their travels. This adventure will be condensed into a book, written to be enjoyed by Refuge fans of all ages. Tentative release date for the book is Christmas 2014.
Here is a note about the trip from Sharon:
"Puddles will leave the Savannah NWR on April 20th and travel west, to visit a few refuges in four of the eight Regions of the Refuge System. The first stop on this tour will be Ruby Lake NWR, Region 8. This refuge is in Eastern Nevada, and is reported to be the most isolated of all the refuges in the lower 48 states. This will be followed by visits to Deer Flat NWR in Idaho and refuges associated with the Inland Northwest National Wildlife Refuge Complex in Eastern Washington. These refuges are in Region 1. Puddles will then travel into Region 6 and visit the National Bison Range Wildlife Refuge Complex in Montana. Region 3 is next, with visits planned for Rydell, Tamarac and Crab Orchard Refuges. These refuges are found in Minnesota and Illionis.
Puddles will be observing and participating in various Big Six Activities at the Refuges, as opportunities arise. The goose has acquired waterproof knee-high boots, so that it can help students visiting Deer Flat NWR do water testing on the refuge. The Big Six Activities of visitors to refuges, Hunting, Fishing, Wildlife Observation, Environmental Education, Interpretation and Photography, make up the major emphasis of its trip. The various roles of US Fish & Wildlife personnel will be noted, and perhaps opportunities for helping may arise. Of course there will be much sightseeing and photographing by the goose.
This follows a successful tour of some refuges in Florida earlier this year. These Region 4 refuges were Pelican Island, where the history of the refuge system started, J.N. "Ding" Darling, and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuges. Puddles got its "Blue Goose Passport" and Duck Stamp during that trip, and the special leg band at Savannah NWR's Discovery Day. The goose is ready to migrate and visits its Refuges!
Sharon, traveling companion for Puddles"