The weather wasn’t all that bad last week. But the upcoming week looks to be stormy with snow and rain. It was pleasant enough outside to grill some venison on Thursday; perhaps, one of the last days to enjoy outdoor cooking
Christmas is knocking on the back door; be careful and safe while out and about this week particularly if the weather turns foul.
Many yards and homes are fully decorated and some of the displays are actually quite awesome. It is the season to decorate not just the house but also the trees
On a horrific and tragic note, many young children and several adults will not enjoy the Christmas season with family and loved ones following yet another school shooting. It is rather obvious that something is wrong and laws need to be in place to ensure responsible gun ownership and use much like the laws in place for vehicles and boats. Let’s face it, this isn’t about gun control legislation but rather s step forward in protecting innocent lives.
On the Wild Side
Dead trees are actually full of life. While some landowners might think they are unsightly, and the dead trees could pose a hazard, they do provide a habitat and are a source of food for many small animals, birds and insects.
Pictured above is a dead tree being used for food storage most likely by squirrels. The tree is some several hundred feet from a stand of Norwegian Spruce trees and the squirrels used the empty holes made by woodpeckers to store pine cones from the spruce trees for later on in the winter.
Although there were no ears of corn stored in the tree, ears were all around the base of the tree. A corn field is another several hundred away in the opposite direction of the evergreens.
A good resource to check on woodlot management can be found at www.crawfordconservation.com There are some excellent articles and tips.
The woodlands in Crawford County fared this past rather strange year fairly well, according to State Service Forester Mark Lewis at the Conservation District. Gypsy moths, however, might be a concern next year, although no Emerald Ash Borers or Asian Longhorn Beetles have been discovered in the county.
The Conservation District is also putting the finishing touches on it’s annual tree seedling sale which will be held in the spring. The proceeds from the sale help to fund the educational programs at the Nature Center. More of the interview with Lewis will be printed next Friday.
Crawford County Conservation District – Woodcock Creek Nature Center
Last Minute Gift Ideas
Tuesday December 18, 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Join Laura Dengler of the Conservation District as she shares some creative and inexpensive last minute gift ideas.
All Woodcock Creek Nature Center events require pre-registration. The programs are free and open to the public, unless otherwise specified. Call 814-763-5269 to register or for more information. Event information is also available at http://www.crawfordconservation.org . All children under 12 should be accompanied by an adult. Please let us know if you require special accommodations.
Pymatuning – Hello 2013
Get Healthy and Take a Hike! Tuesday January 1 at 10 a.m. Take a healthy 2 mile walk around the Pymatuning shoreline, view the winter wildlife and enjoy some winter plant identification. Be sure to dress for winter weather.
Call the park office to register at 724-932-3142
Charles Vorisek of Linesville was elected president of the Pennsylvania State Bee Keepers Association last week. Vorisek will have a lot of new responsibilities besides tending his own bees at his Backyard Bee Farm.
He served as president of the local beekeepers association for many years. However, he had to resign that position because of his added responsibilities. The new president of the NW PA Beekeepers Association is Kirk Johnson a beekeeper from Edinboro. According to Johnson, the next meeting of the local beekeepers will be held in February. This will be a great opportunity to get to know other beekeepers and to get some hand-on good information if you are just starting out in beekeeping.
According to both Johnson and Vorisek, the honey flow this past fall was not as good as expected, although there is plenty of honey available locally.
Christmas Bird Count
From an email sent by Tom Nicolls:
DATE: Sunday, December 16, 2012
We will meet at 7:15 AM in front of Ardis’ Dress Shop on main street in Conneaut Lake (route 6). Dress for the weather on that day.
Some of you may be walking the RR from Hartstown to route 285. (Approximately 3 miles)
We will meet at noon at the Fish Hatchery for lunch. Bring your own lunch and beverage. Then we will go to different locations for the afternoon.
At 5 PM we will meet at the PIZZA HUT in Conneaut Lake to tabulate everyone’s discoveries. You can order from the menu for something warm to eat while we collect the final tally of birds. Remember to keep track of the miles you walked or drove while birding.
The good news is that Audubon is no longer charging the $5.00 participant fee. The bad news is that the results will only be available on line.
If you have any questions call or email me. I will be in Texas until November 19.