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!
Shale Hills and Garner Run are two catchments within the Shale Hills Critical Zone Observatory. Data collection and research at these sites can provide important insight into the critical zone.
We’re excited to publicly announce the reopening of our center and we’d like to welcome you back to see all that Shaver’s Creek has to offer. We couldn’t be more excited to grow with our community for many years to come!
The critical zone is “an environment where rock, soil, water, air, and living organisms interact and shape the Earth’s surface” (The Critical Zone). It supports all terrestrial life on Earth, regulates water quality, and provides fertile land to grow food on.
Riparian forest buffers (riparian buffers) are areas next to streams, lakes, or wetlands that are made up of trees, shrubs, and other perennial plants and provide a “buffer zone” between agricultural land and waterways (USDA).
Nutrient pollution is a major problem affecting Pennsylvania’s streams, waterways, and ultimately entire watersheds. It is the excess of chemicals, mostly nitrogen and phosphorus, in the air or water that cause environmental problems (U.S. EPA, 2019).
The 10:20 plane from Dulles motors over the Pennsylvania ridges. Below, nestled among the rocks on a powerline cut sit a handful of people, so bundled against the cold they hardly look like people. The pilot gives a squint. “Those crazy hawk watchers are back.”
The Re-Terns had representation in the Centre region, as well as in Washington State, in North Carolina, and somewhere along the Appalachian Trail. Our intern class was so glad to get the opportunity to bird together again thanks to the Birding Cup’s global approach!
All told, more than 130 birders, forming 32 teams, counted 276 unique species across 20 U.S. states and Guatemala. 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!
Last week, the book club met for its last content discussion. We used the second half of Black Faces, White Spaces as inspiration for this session, however, the conversation carried similar themes as last week. In the short time that we had, we dove deeper into topics such as representation, intention, and fear.
Our book club recently met over Zoom for its second session. We dove into the book, using our reactions to the stories it shared as inspiration for our conversation. Although the book offered a strong basis for starting the discussion, participants were quick to lean into the personal experiences present in the room.