Association of State Wetland Managers - Protecting the Nation's Wetlands.

The Wetland Wanderer: Spooking up Your Halloween Wetland-Style

by Brenda Zollitsch, Policy Analyst

For a child, the annual question arises, “What am I going to be for Halloween?!”  It’s one of the BIG questions for a kid — right up with “What do I wear for the first day of school to reinvent myself for the new school year?” and “What should I ask Santa for this year?”  And we don’t outgrow the challenge of finding that “just-right” costume.  As an adult, we are tasked with coming up with something for the costume competition at our friend’s annual Halloween party or to go out trick-or-treating with our kids.  So how do we select something that will catch the eye?  Find something that will AMUSE people?

wetlandhalloween1With these deeply contemplative issues in mind and Halloween only a little less than a month away, I share with you my suggestions for additions to your spooky Halloween wardrobe.  I say, leave the toga behind and don your wetland-themed finest!

First, may I suggest the Swamp Thing costume — a bit cliché but always good for a laugh.  It elicits the “Whoa, Dude.  What ARE you?” …opening that all important opportunity for a wetland teachable moment.  For instance, not all wetlands are swamps.  There are indeed wetlandhalloween2no “swamp things,” but they provide a rich habitat for… ok you get the picture.

Or check out this Adult Al Gator costume and rock the reptile.  Who would blame you for chomping down all the best Halloween treats at the potluck as this backwoods bayou party animal?  To wig out your wetland buddies, add a pair of reptile contact lenses.  No one is going to try to keep the candy away from you in a pair of these babies!

wetlandhalloweenbeaver1wetlandhalloweenbeaver2In honor of nature’s wetland restoration expert, another fine selection might be the adult Busy Beaver costume or for us ladies, this Ladies Buck-tooth Beaver Hat.  This costume comes in a number of variations. By the way, for some reason I am not sure that I personally would look just like this model wearing this hat, but you never know…  Your friends are sure to invite you to their party, especially if they have a tree they need taken down in their backyard or want to raise their groundwater levels.

wetlandhalloweenturtleAre all of these costumes perhaps a little too “in your face”? Are you perhaps a little more Zen?  If so, how about going with an “easy going wetland sunbather” and don this Adult Turtle racmonCostume to help you come out of your shell?

“What if you have kids?”, you ask.  OF COURSE there are great options for the “under twelve Halloween set”.  For your tween sprite, you might want to consider the Furry Sweet Raccoon wetlandhalloweenfrogcostume.  For your young prince, the child Deluxe Frog costume.  For any child with the guts to wear it, of course I advocate for the child Swamp Thing Costume (a never-fails option no matter the age) or perhaps the Swamp Frog Monster costume for something a little more “neighborhood-friendly.”

wetlandhalloweenriverotterThe options are nearly endless.  If you are really cheap, you can go with the simple River Otter Foam Mask, especially if you have ever asked yourself how in the world you acquired so many brown clothes.wetlandhalloweenmosquito

If you are “bugged” by cheap costumes, the best of the best wetland-themed just shy of mascot-quality costume on the market is the Hunger Mosquito costume…because on Halloween it’s not only the vampires who get to suck some blood!

wetlandhalloweencostumeIf you are REALLY cool, you could even make your own wetland costume, like this young lady did.  She hand-sewed this costume of a wetlandhalloweenmossneotenic Mexican axolotl salamander, an endangered species that spends a critical part of its lifecycle in wetlands.  Or perhaps you can transform yourself into Moss Man, but don’t get arrested at a British museum like he did.

If you add your imagination, the sky is the limit on your wetland-inspired costume options!

Once you have made your costume selection, packed your party food and added an extra layer to account for the unexpected frost on Halloween night (if you live in New England)— it’s time to plan your All Hallow’s Eve After Party.  And for that, you’re going to need a little spooky viewing.

Check out these wetland-based sci-fi/horror classics:

Voila!  You are all set for the “other” big night.  We here at ASWM keep our favorite Big Night reserved exclusively for the amphibians!  I wish you a safe and happy Halloween, filled with all the delights that rot your teeth and go bump in the night.   Viva la wetlands!

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