The 12th Annual Nature Photo Contest Begins!

Every year in September, the Friends of Hagerman Photo Club sponsor a nature-themed photo contest.  For a small fee per photo, photographers may enter as many photos as they wish. 

All photographers are invited to participate in the contest, regardless of age or skill level.  Divisions include Beginner and Intermediate/Advanced: all photographers, including youth, are welcome!

Ribbons will be awarded for First, Second, and Third place in each of four categories and in both divisions (Beginner and Advanced/Intermediate). In addition, a cash prize will be awarded for First Place in each category, and the photos judged as “Best of Show” and “Youth Best in Show”. Winners will be determined by a panel of judges, who will review the submitted photos without reference to entrant name.

Winners’ photographs will be displayed at the Refuge Visitor Center (when it opens) and published on the Friends of Hagerman website, Facebook page and other venues. The Nature Photo Contest Committee will coordinate and conduct the contest for the Refuge and the Friends of Hagerman NWR.


  • All photos entered in the contest must have been taken within Hagerman NWR boundaries within the past five years.  
  • Entries will be accepted from September 1st through September 30, 2021.
  • Categories include: Landscapes, Flora and Macro, Artistic, and Wildlife. 
  • The procedure for entering photos has changed a bit this year, so be sure to read the directions! 

Complete Rules and Directions for Contest Entry 

Have a look at the Winners of 2020!

Refuge Update:

Notice: Due to the Coronavirus, the Visitor Center remains closed.  Refuge lands remain open to the public from sunrise to sunset daily.  Restrooms are located at Goode Day Use Area, the Visitor Center, Big Mineral Day Use Area and Sandy Point Day Use Area.

Interesting Bird Sightings: There have been some interesting and some rare sightings at the refuge in recent days: a Wood Stork, a Curlew Sandpiper and a Roseate Spoonbill

Second SaturdayFish Ecology in Lake Texoma

Saturday, September 11 at 10:00AM Online via ZOOM, Registration Required

Have you ever wondered what fish call Lake Texoma home and why? Well, Tim Patton will be discussing several broad components that are necessary to understand a “bigger picture” of the factors that affect the ecology of a reservoir and the fishes that live there. He will cover watershed concepts, some basic limnology (the study of the biological, chemical, and physical features of lakes), and how these factors affect fish and fish interactions.

Tim Patton has been a professor of Fisheries and Wildlife Science at Southeastern Oklahoma State University since 1998 and served as an adjunct faculty at the University of Oklahoma Biological Station. He received a B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Management from Arkansas Tech University, followed by an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Zoology and Physiology from the University of Wyoming. His research and teaching interests have been primarily in aquatic ecology, especially as it applies to the conservation of fish, amphibians, and reptiles.

Photo by Tim Patton

Next Month, on October 9th: Shorebirds with Wayne Meyer

Friends of Hagerman Photo Club Presents:

Storm Chasing with Anita Oakley

Saturday, September 18th at 1:00 PM Online via ZOOM (Registration Required)

Would you like to take great photos of a storm? Well, Anita Oakley will talk about why she chases storms, how to prepare for a chase and safety. She will share images from her three years chasing between Texas and South Dakota and cover her equipment and shooting strategy. For those who are interested in trying to chase, she will offer suggestions for getting started. 

Anita Oakley has always loved photography and has been drawn to nature and wildlife. Once her children were grown, she resumed her hobby, took classes, and got serious about it. She is now building a professional reputation, having been published on the Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris website, in Nature Photographer magazine, and on the Nature Photographer Web. She has a good following on Instagram as @anitaophotos.

Business trips took her to India, Australia, Germany, South Africa, and England – and she got hooked on travel. So the logical progression was to marry her passions for photography and travel. She has shot puffins in Iceland, polar bears in Svalbard, cheetahs in Kenya. In 2019 she started chasing severe weather in the Plains states, and she can’t wait for the 2022 chase season.

Puddles' Craft Corner

Let's Make an Owl

By Cindy Steele

Welcome back to Puddles’ Craft Corner. Whooooo doesn’t love owls? They’re mysterious, nocturnal hunters who have captured our imaginations for centuries. Owls are beautiful, mysterious, intriguing, fierce, spooky, and cute. If you’ve ever spied this nighttime animal, you know that the owl has big, curious eyes and makes a unique “hoot” sound. Owls are most famous for their wise appearance, because their intelligent eyes glow and they stare so intensely. You may be surprised to learn that owls are very interesting creatures, and there is a lot to learn about their mysterious ways. They do a lot more than just hoot all night long!

Education Pavilion Update

Construction of the Education Pavilion was set back from the heavy rains earlier this month but this week (week of August 30) activity picked back up. The structure’s frame should be complete by mid-week followed by the painting of that structure. The roof, walls and trim could be completed as early as next week.

Birding with Jack

Updated, Weekly Census Results

By Master Naturalist Jack Chiles, Mike Petrick and

Dr. Wayne Meyer (Pictured Right)

Each Tuesday a team of experienced birders, including Master Naturalist Jack Chiles, traverse 35 miles of refuge roads and hiking trails, documenting every bird they encounter. This Bird Census is reported to The Cornell Lab of Ornithology for use in research, and each week we will bring you a link to their actual bird count, and a summary of their adventures.

Read More               


Shop Amazon Smileto Support the Friends of Hageman

Amazon SmileDid you know that you can support the Friends of Hagerman while shopping on Amazon? If you shop on Amazon using this Amazon Smile link, the Friends will receive 0.5% of eligible purchases. Simply go to and sign in with your Amazon account. Under "Your Account" select "Change your Amazon Smile Charity" and enter "Friends of Hagerman" in the charity search box. Once your results appear, select the Friends of Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge Foundation. Every time you make a purchase on Amazon Smile, and the Friends will get a donation. Thanks for helping us make Hagerman a great wildlife refuge!

Kroger: Stop by the customer service desk at Kroger and link your Kroger Card to the Friends of Hagerman: the Friends will get rewards for every dollar you spend, at no cost to you.


Thank You

To Our Contributors:

Jack Chiles,  Cindy Steele, Mike Grubb

Refuge Manager: Kathy Whaley

Deputy Refuge Manager: Paul Balkenbush

Editor: Patricia Crain

Friends of Hagerman NWR Foundation

6465 Refuge Road, Sherman, TX 75092

Phone: 903-786-2826

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