Wild Bunch Newsletter - August 2004
Wild Bunch wishes to give you a brief update of our activities during the month of July. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit Virginia organization devoted to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of native wildlife. 83 acres in the Northern Neck of Virginia near the Rappahannock River serve as our wildlife refuge. The officers and directors are Erika Yery, Pat Crusenberry, Diana Oâ€™Connor, Charlene DeVol and Bonnie Brown.
In the past month, at the refuge, Diana took in 1 Bald Eagle, 1 Blue Heron, 4 Blue Jays, 6 Chimney Swifts, 1 Robin, 1 Dove, 1 Finch, 1 Goldfinch, 1 baby Goose, 3 Ducks, 8 Mallards, 5 Ospreys, 1 Pelican, 5 Turkeys, 1 Wood Thrush, 2 Red Foxes, 1 baby Raccoon, 7 baby Opossums, 1 Rabbit, 1 baby Skunk and 2 baby Turtles.
Erika received 2 juvenile raccoons, both unfortunately had distemper and needed to be euthanized, and one raccoon baby less than three weeks old. Calls continue to come in regarding young or mangy foxes that are coming out during the day. We are treating those foxes with sarcoptic mange with our usual protocol. July and August are usually the months that most such calls come in. Our â€œTreating Mangy Foxesâ€� program has become so popular that we receive calls from as far away as Pennsylvania and Missouri. It is gratifying that so many people are willing to help the poor foxes that suffer greatly with this debilitating condition.
Bonnie and Erika went back to the Wild Bunch Refuge to look at the â€œ11â€� foot corn, as Diana calls it. Erika asked the farmer, Mr. Braden Scott, who uses some of the refuge land, if he planted a different variety of corn and he said it was the same as he always uses, but due to so much rain it just grew so tall and is healthy. He harvests some and leaves some for the wild animals who find it wonderful eating.
The more than one acre wildflower meadow was a treat to see. Diana told us that it was much more colorful in June, but we enjoyed the many flowers and grasses still in bloom. It was still impressive with the many tall Sunflowers, Queen Anneâ€™s lace, Black-eyed Susans, Butterfly Weed, Goldenrod, Coreopsis, Purple Coneflower, Cornflower, Babyâ€™s Breath, Blue Flax and many more. This is the first year for the wildflower meadow. We used annual and perennial seeds to get it started. In the future, it should be even more colorful and interesting. Unfortunately, pictures just donâ€™t do it justice. But we will add some to our website.
We were also very anxious to see the new barn. As we wrote before, the previous barn, which was an old and not in good condition pole barn, was destroyed during Hurricane Isabel. In spite of the large expense, we decided to replace it with a very sturdy and spacious barn. It should help keep the refuge orderly once the floor is put in and all the cages, materials used for cages and equipment can be stored there. Since it is up to the owner to put in a floor, Diana is checking with various contractors to have that completed.
We also checked on the Red Fox cage that housed the 8 Red Foxes we rehabilitated this spring and released in June. The cage is a mess as the foxes wanted their freedom as they got older and started digging out. It will be another project to redo the cage before the next group can move in.
Diana has a great variety of wildlife and we enjoyed the visit immensely. Some new pictures of the wildlife at the refuge will be on our website beginning August 1st.
While visiting the refuge and looking at all the various critters, Diana told us about an interview with Jan Ohrmundt, a reporter with the local newspaper, The Westmoreland News. An article appeared in the July 21 edition and Diana gave us a copy to read. Erika was so impressed with the article detailing what Dianaâ€™s life is like at the refuge that she decided got permission to use the article on our website. This really great True Story will be featured in our August True Story. We recommend that you read it as it is really outstanding and so true. We always are amazed at how Diana manages the many animals and everything that is involved in the process. We hope this article will bring really devoted volunteers to the refuge, to help Diana and the animals.
As always, we are grateful for your many generous donations and would truly welcome any offers to help out at the refuge. The number of animals we are taking in this year has continued to grow. With that, so do our expenses and the volume of work that must be accomplished to maintain the refuge. We rely deeply on your support and appreciate everything you do to help us out.
We hope all our Wild Bunch friends and family are having a wonderful summer.