Many of us here in Texoma are familiar with the wonders of Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge in Pottsboro. But for those who aren’t, I want to explain what a special place it is.

I first became familiar with the refuge in college as biology students were encouraged to observe the rare species of birds that return there every year. Our professors explained we could learn much from their behaviors and the way that they communicate.

After graduating, I became drawn to Hagerman for the peace and serenity it provides. So as not to disturb the plants and animals that call the refuge home, strict rules control the allowed activities. This means the inlets of the lake that carve out various ecosystems are often devoid of litter and other disturbances.

A paradise for bird watchers, nature lovers and fishermen seeking solitude, Hagerman is my favorite place on the lake to kayak. Navigating the waterways throughout the refuge provides a truly unique vantage point for viewing the unique wildlife native to our lake.

It is where I go to clear my mind and appreciate the beautiful place where we live, work and play. Although kayaking is my activity of choice, I think I will soon branch off into hiking as well. There is an abundance of trails throughout the refuge.

The trails are cleared enough to be manageable but not so industrialized so as to disturb nature. This is key for those wishing to observe animals in their natural habitats. Although I am not always the most patient person, I am hoping I will be able to learn to be still long enough to catch sight of some interesting creatures.

Happy birthday Thursday to Linda Adkins, Liayha Futrell, and Linda Mitchell, all of Sherman; Brenda Johnson of Howe; and Malena Furtch of Bonham.