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December 27, 2014
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River Talk

The singing tree

It was a warm morning in early July when I took a walk to one of the beaches in Walker Lake in Shohola, PA. As I passed a small maple tree on the top of the footpath, I heard what sounded like a small bird calling continuously, except I couldn’t see the bird. A second look at the tree revealed a cavity about 15 feet high, and it was then I realized that I was listening to a begging call of a woodpecker from inside the tree.  Read more

Florence Shelly Wetlands Preserve

Well worth the scenic drive through the northwest reaches of rural Wayne County is a 357-acre Nature Conservancy Property known as the Florence Shelly Wetlands Preserve. This unique property boasts fields, woodlands, two wetlands, barrens, riparian forest, vernal pools, rock outcroppings, a stream and a glacial pond surrounded by a floating bog.  Read more

The day of the dragonfly

Pass near any lake, pond, or stream shore and it is not hard to spot dragonfly or damselfly activity. They are both members of the Odonata family, characterized by their dual set of large wings and their voracious appetite for mosquitoes and other flying insects. Different species of odonates emerge at different times of the summer, so there is always variety to be seen. For some people, dragonfly watching rivals bird watching.  Read more

Green herons gather

While one often encounters the majestic great blue heron along the banks of the Delaware River, the smaller and stockier, but quite beautiful, green heron is showing up with greater frequency in the region. Green herons present at this time of year are considered to be breeding residents.  Read more

A bear of a problem

Spring is the time of year when much baby wildlife can be seen as they forage for food with their parents, making for easy viewing just in time for the summer tourist season. Unfortunately, some of this activity causes undesirable results. Foraging black bears leave their calling cards in the form of knocked-over trash cans and garbage scattered about. A bear recently made entry into a vacant residence via an open window in the Shohola, PA area, resulting in significant damage.  Read more

A walk around the block

What marvels may be seen, out there amidst the green? Each of these images (also see photos at top left) was photographed within walking distance of The River Reporter’s office on Erie Avenue in Narrowsburg, NY, proof that one need not venture far to find something fascinating in the natural world. Take a stroll today—and don’t forget your camera!

A moon moth stops in for coffee

I stopped in the Windy Dog Restaurant in Shohola one morning in late May when Mo, the cook there, showed me a huge moth that he spotted resting on one of the window screens. This moth had large eyespots on each wing, and each of the lime-green wings was lined with a maroon-red border. On each hind wing was a long tail. Mo had spotted a luna moth.  Read more

Porcupines on the prowl

Lately, I have been lucky to encounter three different porcupines during walks in the Ten Mile River area. The passive and slow-moving woodland inhabitant is a treat to see, as its inability to flee quickly or to harm the respectful observer allow for close study of its unique characteristics.  Read more

Critters in the rain

During the middle of last month, a cut-off low-pressure system drifted over our area and became stagnant. This resulted in over a week of intermittent rain, clouds, low ceiling and visibilities, and the general absence of that bright thing in the sky we call “the sun.” As we either worked in the rain or waited for the drier periods to arrive, most plants throve. River levels rose several feet and lakes and reservoirs got topped off.  Read more

Bat plan released

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) recently unveiled a national management plan to address the threat posed by white-nose syndrome (WNS), which has killed more than a million hibernating bats in eastern North America since it was discovered in a cave near Albany, NY in 2006.

The deadly disease has since spread to 18 states, including Pennsylvania, and four Canadian provinces. It is believed to be caused by the previously unidentified fungus, Geomyces destructans.  Read more