Start of the sing-song season

With the next equinox just a month away from today, spring is beginning to make promises outside. The sun is setting later, the days are feeling warmer — like the 70 degrees we’re experiencing in central PA today — and the soundscape is getting a little more noisy. These longer days encourage change in the natural world around us,…

This Weekend: The Great Backyard Bird Count

It’s midday, I’m standing on a long pier and the wind against my face is uncharacteristically warm for the middle of winter in New England. Gazing through my borrowed pair of binoculars, I watch several seemingly unidentifiable birds bob over the gentle waves. “Ah, it just dove. Looked like a Surf Scoter to me,” muttered…

Adaptive Programming

At the end of every week of Outdoor School, we have a Community Meeting for the campers, during which a fictitious business person comes and draws a map of “improvements” for Camp Blue Diamond and Outdoor School. The camp as we know it gets decimated, which is upsetting for many campers. One way we help…

Project NestWatch: Lessons Learned on the Bluebird Trail

When I first arrived at Shaver’s Creek in early June, I was somewhat intimidated by the prospect of interning at nature center with so much history and such a strong community of naturalists. Thinking of ways I could contribute seemed a little daunting to me, especially because I did not have a background in wildlife…

Songs of Summer

Through June and July, we hear song birds call out to the dawn and the dusk, their beautiful melodies serving as an affirmation that summer has arrived. Summer for birds is a critical time for mating and nesting. Their calls to each other primarily serve the purpose of either attracting a mate or defending territory.…

The Wood Turtle

Through the splintered pickets of an aged locust fence in the waning light of a mellow June day, a turtle emerges from a thicket of smartweed, lumbering towards the gravel shoulder of an unpaved forest road. She appears with a suddenness which belies her cumbersome form — the broad sculpted shell chipped and worn; each scute etched…

Help Bats! Build a Bat Box

Bats are commonly misunderstood as mean or vicious creatures, but they serve a vital role in our ecosystem. Although there are bats that eat fruit and blood, all species of bats in Pennsylvania are insectivores. At night, a single bat can eat up to 500 insects per hour. This can accumulate to 3,000 insects every…

Spring Internship Reflections

As my last day as a spring Environmental Education intern at Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center drew near, I took some time to reflect on my different adventures and experiences this spring season. The center may be closed to the public while undergoing a major renovation project but that certainly did not hinder the opportunities, adventures…