Nature Notes

Autumn’s Very Own: Meet the Witch Hazel

The basic strategy for plant life in temperate climates is to maximize above-ground activity during the spring and summer months when warmth, water, and light are plentiful. Yet there is one species of shrub common in Pennsylvania that deviates from that strategy in a major way. Now that it’s October, it feels appropriate to highlight […]

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Chimney Swifts: A Species in Decline

A chimney swift darts over a pond in Prospect Park in NYC. Photo by Ryan Mandelbaum. Introduction The US Committee of the North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI) published its State of the Birds 2022 report last fall. Among its key findings is a list of birds whose populations have fallen by half between 1970–2019, […]

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Find These Three Mushrooms of Summer

We’ve reached the depths of summer, as evidenced by intense waves of heat and humidity. Solace from our powerful sun awaits beneath the shade of trees, and lucky for us, interesting organisms exist there too. Mushrooms occupy the forest floors throughout the year, but in late summer – and even more so in early fall […]

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The Mountain Laurel – PA’s State Flower

Mountain laurels (Kalmia latifolia) blooming on one of Heritage Conservancy’s properties. Mountain laurels are gorgeous shrubs that have been Pennsylvania’s state flower since 1933. It is one of the few evergreen shrubs that is native to Pennsylvania, however it is very widespread across the state. It is in the heath family living on drier, more […]

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The Other Pollinators

A red milkweed beetle. Most of our pollinators get overlooked for one reason or another. Some are too tiny, simply living out of sight and out of mind, whereas others occur in plain sight but are overshadowed by larger and more charismatic species. Honeybees and monarch butterflies are the rockstars of the pollinator world. The […]

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Turtles on the Road: How to Help

Eastern Box Turtle found crossing a quiet back road. The months of May and June usually spring most of our wildlife into action. With cooler temperatures quickly fading, resources become plentiful, as do the critters that utilize them. Sunlight and warmth are among the resources that cold-blooded animals, such as turtles, rely on the most. […]

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Events

    1. Sleeping Forest Hike: Guided Walk

      March 2 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
    2. Historic Window Repair Workshop

      March 11 @ 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    3. Swamp Tromp

      March 23 @ 6:30 pm - 8:15 pm
    4. Spring Garden Cleanup

      March 26 @ 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
    5. Spring Birding

      April 13 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am