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By Greg Spinks Community blogger
Greg Spinks is a Crawford County blogger.   Read more about this blog.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! May peace, happiness and health be with all during the season and throughout the upcoming New Year.

Old Man Winter didn’t forget to make an appearance right on schedule, December 21. Those wishing for a White Christmas, snow plow drivers and winter sports enthusiasts received something of an early Christmas present.

While some may have thought the winter storm was a sign of the the Mayan End of World, it seems were still all here digging out. Personally, I believe God has more control over our future rather than an ancient calender. But the hype and a few parties were sort of fun.

This season, however, has been marred by the horrific events and deaths at Sandy Hook School in Newton, Conn. The tragedy, and the consequent debate about gun control issues, will likely be a discussion in many homes as people gather to celebrate the Christmas holiday. It is somewhat ironic that during the Season of Peace, one of the main issues of the day is likely to be gun violence.

While much attention has been rightfully focused on the young students and the heroic teachers killed during the massacre, the troubled killer and his mother should also be remembered in our prayers this Christmas season as well.

Enjoy the Christmas season with family, friends and even strangers.

 

On the Wild Side

Don’t forget to give a little extra to the birds this season. It’s cold, windy and snowy and many of our feathered friends depend on the food we set out for nourishment and to help them keep warm. This morning, Saturday, I have flocks ( well, a lot, like dozens) of birds at my feeders.

This is the season of trees and many are superbly decorated in outdoor displays. But even dead trees are full life and the snags are an important wildlife resource in the yard or woodlot. Birds in particular enjoy the dead trees, but so do a host of other small animals and insects. If the tree doesn’t pose a hazard, let it be a wildlife tree.

Brush piles in the woodlot are also important to many birds and small animals. January is a good time, if the snow isn’t horribly deep, to create a few from this past wood cutting season.  Wood ashes from the wood stove are also a valuable  resource for the home vegetable and flower gardens.  Trees, decorated, live or dead, are all around important natural resources.

 

Crawford County Conservation District – Woodcock Creek Nature Center

Winter can be a lot of great fun.

Welcome back, Kathy Uglow who has been gone for much of the year for medical reasons. Good to see you back!

Early in the New Year, the Conservation District will release the information about their 34 annual tree seedling sale. It is an important fund raiser for the district and helps to fund the educational programs which are held nearly every week.

A wide range of various native trees and shrubs will be available for property owners who want to enhance their property and help our native wildlife. Once the information is released, it will be posted here or it can be viewed next month at the Conservation Web site, www.crawfordconservation.com

 

January events:

• “All Aboard for Model Railroading!” Tuesday, January 8, from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Join Tom Collard, veteran model railroader, for an introduction to this interesting hobby. Ages 11 and up.

• “Critters that Go‘Bump’ in the Night,” Tuesday, January 15, 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Linda Armstrong, Environmental Education Specialist, Pymatuning State Park, will tell us all about various nocturnal animals and their activities! If there is snow we will also look for tracks around the Nature Center!

• “Beginning Snowshoeing,” Thursday, January 24, 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Registration is limited to the first 15 participants…let us know when you call to register whether you have your own snowshoes! The Allegheny College Outing Club will lead this activity. Dress for the weather.

• “Backyard Maple Sugaring,” Tuesday, January 29, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m., Join Laura Dengler, Crawford Conservation District, and Mark Lewis, DCNR Bureau of Forestry, to learn all the basics of making pure maple syrup in your backyard! Dress for the weather, some activities will be outdoors. Enjoy special treats after the program!

All educational workshops are free and open to the public. Be sure to call ahead and pre-register at 814-763-5269/

 

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

 

 

Fishing Report – The Winter Solstice Report

Get the latest fishing reports with Darl Black, there is some fun reading in this end of the year update. Report :

Fishing Report 12-21-12.pdf Fishing Report 12-21-12.pdf
844K   View Download

 

 

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