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A roundup of what's happening this month at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge.

COURTESY: PAM FARRIS - April events at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge include an Earth Day plant sale and a second Saturday work party.

"In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours" — Mark Twain

The Refuge is a great place to visit in April and, yes, you might well encounter 36 different kinds of weather when you visit. But that's the excitement and appeal of spring. One moment you're soaking up the sun and the next, you're outrunning a rainstorm. However, there are wonderful rewards at the Refuge no matter when you walk.

Wildflowers and shrubs are blooming in the woods, so look for fringecup, wood violet, dogwood, salmonberry and fawn lily. Shorebirds are passing through the Refuge now. You're likely to see least and western sandpipers, dunlin, greater yellowlegs and killdeer. Stop and listen to the singing of the songbirds. You may hear black-throated gray warblers, MacGillivray's warblers and Townsend's warblers. Mallards and Western Canadian geese will have hatched their first broods around Tax Day, so look for ducklings and goslings following their parents.

Nature's Overlook, in the Visitor Center, offers a wide selection of field guides and quick pocket guides to help you identify birds and plants you see on the Refuge. Check out the board as you walk in the door to see a list of what other visitors have seen on the Refuge.

Tualatin River Photo Society, Visitor Center Riparian room (enter by side door), 7 p.m. Thursday, April 5.

The topic will be micro -djusting the focus of telephoto lenses for optimal results. We will demonstrate one of the software-driven focus adjustment methods and also look at one manual method. Bring one camera and telephoto lens. We'll see if we can mico-align it. We have limited capacity as we must be out of the building by 9 p.m. First come, first served, so see Don to get a numbered ticket when you arrive.

Puddle Stompers 1 to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 11; 10 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 17.

This preschool environmental education program invites children and their families to spend the morning learning about the natural wonders of the Refuge. Volunteer naturalists will lead nature crafts, share stories and guide hikes on Refuge trails. The Refuge supplies "froggy" raingear for the kids, but adults should bring their own. Each date offers a different theme, so Puddle Stompers are encouraged to visit on multiple days. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Call 503-625-5944 with questions.

Second Saturday Work Party 8:45 a.m. to noon, Saturday, April 14.

Meet at the Refuge, 19255 S.W. Pacific Highway, Sherwood, at 8:45 a.m. to check in and go to the work site around 9 a.m. Snacks and work gloves will be provided. Wear sturdy shoes and pants, plan for cold weather and rain and bring a water bottle. Email any questions to Habitat Restoration Specialist Sarah Williams at HYPERLINK "mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Earth Day Celebration and Native Plant Sale: Saturday, April 21

Early Bird Pre-sale: Friday, 4-5:30 p.m. Friday, April 20. Friends members only. Buy a membership at the sale.

Plant sale open to the public: 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 20, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 21.

If you're looking for new plants for your yard, then check out the Friends native plant sale. This is your opportunity to buy plants acclimated to our area with growing instructions to get you started. Native plants rarely need water, fertilizer or sprays — perfect for the gardener who doesn't have much time or a green thumb.

Plants will be supplied by Bosky Dell Nursery, which specializes in Oregon natives only. You can purchase wood violets, wild ginger, starry sedum, penstemon, huckleberry, mock orange, low Oregon grape and many others for your yard. Visitors may park at the Refuge. There is no entry fee. All purchases are cash and carry. Credit cards will be accepted. For more information call, 503-625-5944, extension 227.

Buy your plants and then take time to check out the Earth Day activities which will begin at 10 a.m. There will be activities for all ages including crafts, interactive education stations and prizes.

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