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August 29, 2014
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River Talk

Deadline extended for PA photo contest

PENNSYLVANIA – Many readers of The River Reporter who enjoy the River Talk column’s weekly images of nature are themselves handy with a camera. Based on some of the photos we’ve received from readers over the years, we know there are a good number of folks out there dedicated to capturing beautiful photos of the abundant wildlife and waterways in the Upper Delaware region.  Read more

November nuances

As colder weather arrives, geese can be heard overhead on their southward flight and deer are in the midst of the fall rut. This is usually the month when the snow starts to fly and the ground turns from brown to white. Migratory species such as bufflehead and green-winged teal can be spotted on waterways through the fall season.  Read more

New PA reg requires life jackets

Fall and winter water recreationists should be aware of a new regulation that applies to all Pennsylvania waters. Passed by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) in September 2011, the regulation went into effect on November 1, 2012 and continues through April 30, 2013. It requires boaters to wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket while underway or at anchor on boats less than 16 feet in length or any canoe or kayak.  Read more

A cautionary note about leaves

A week or so after Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the northeast U.S. and our region, the sun has returned. Leaves that were left on the trees before the storm were blown down, along with a few of the trees. The trees have been cleared from the roadways and power has been restored, but many homeowners have blown-down trees or branches to contend with. Some of this blown-down debris has its own hidden hazard.  Read more

Weathering severe weather

While many animals weather unusual events like last week’s hurricane better than humans do, there are impacts nonetheless that affect wildlife in various ways.

In addition to potentially dangerous factors such as toppled or dangling trees and downed powerlines, some species, such as tree-nesting birds, may lose the shelter of their homes. Others may be forced to adapt to serious habitat destruction.  Read more

Trick or treat

Our region is blessed with many diverse habitats. Moving from mountain to valley will bring a whole different range of fauna and flora that can be seen. The arrival of fall brings much change as animals hibernate or migrate, and we see many visitors that are passing through or overwinter here.

Many people have become familiar with various species to the extent of knowing which ones are “good” or “bad” due to such things as what they eat, where they nest or roost, or even what they look like.  Read more

Puffballs and jelly fungi

The fall forests are full of fanciful fungi right now. Two common but interesting mushrooms that are easily encountered in the Upper Delaware region are puffballs and jelly fungi.

Puffballs are part of a class of fungi known as Gasteromycetes (stomach fungi) that produce spores inside their fruit bodies. They are most often spherical or pear-shaped with rough outer walls and smooth inner walls that act as pouches for the powdery spore masses contained within.  Read more

Long haul flyers

Flocks of high flying geese can be heard and the first hard frost of the season is forecast for tonight as I write this column. Yesterday, on the 11th of October, was a clear day after a frontal passage with northwest to west winds at 10-15 mph, an ideal day to observe migrating hawks and falcons at Sunrise Mtn. in Stokes State Forest in NJ.  Read more

Red-tailed hawk: a raptor aptly named

For several weeks in late August, I had the pleasure of observing a young red-tailed hawk almost daily along Route 97 near Ten Mile River. The bird was usually perched on a wire with its back to the road as it steadily observed a meadow for potential meals—a practice known as still-hunting. One day I found it facing the road and managed to take several photos before it took flight.  Read more

Fall spiders

The leaves are changing color, and many insects are easier to find; they have reached full size and some species have just completed, or are in the midst of, breeding. For many insects and other arthropods, the fall season signals the end; they die after breeding or with the first hard frost.  Read more