The Naturalist Notebook
Welcome to the Shaver’s Creek blog! The entries here are posted by staff, interns, and volunteers, and aim to keep you informed about the programs, updates, and natural history happenings here at the Creek. Enjoy!
On a warm September day in 2021, a few short weeks after starting my position as an AmeriCorps outdoor educator, I found myself in the middle of the woods with a class of fourth graders on a field trip. I stood there as we were eating lunch, reflecting on how exactly this all happened.
All told, 109 birders, forming 30 teams, counted 235 unique species across the United States and Kenya. Whether these individuals were celebrating over two decades of participation or were picking up binoculars for the first time, everyone generously gave an entire day to raise money!
A new strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) called H5N1 was identified in migrating waterfowl earlier this year. This strain of avian influenza started on the East Coast and is now spreading throughout the Midwest from bird to bird, through contact with defecates or consumption of infected individuals.
The Maple Harvest Festival is back after a two-year hiatus! To mark the occasion, we caught up with Laurie McLaughlin, who oversees the festival in its entirety. She shares some cool stories about the history of the Maple Harvest Festival and also looks forward to the future.
At Outdoor School (ODS), we use wood cookies for name tags. Our names are on one side, sometimes with a picture or other decorative elements, and on the other side is the ODS symbol — the Earth with four triangles, representing the four cardinal directions and the four major lessons we teach during the week.
Will, who stylized his name as “W!LL W!SE,” joined the Shaver’s Creek family 15 years ago and left an indelible impact on those he worked with and taught.
Walking into Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center the first morning after my arrival was stepping into many unknowns. However, starting from the first face I met, the mission of Shaver’s Creek to connect people to people and people to place had been set into motion in my life.
In early May, I visited sites throughout Pennsylvania’s forested land to investigate the presence of Eastern Box Turtles. One of the goals of my summer research project with Dr. Julian Avery at Penn State was to collect data on populations that can be used to guide habitat management.
Susquehanna Shale Hills Critical Zone Observatory (SSHCZO) is continuously researching the critical zone in Shaver’s Creek watershed. This research helps us to better understand the critical zone and how our land management practices may be impacting it.
Cole Farm is a site that Susquehanna Shale Hills Critical Zone Observatory (SSHCZO) uses to extrapolate data to better understand the whole watershed. There is also interdisciplinary work being done at Cole Farm that is valuable to our understanding of the critical zone.