The Nature Conservancy Feed

A Kiosk for High Mountain

It wasn't easy, jack-hammering four 20-inch-deep holes into solid basalt, then assembling a very complicated kiosk with a half-baked set of instructions.

But a bunch of Nature Conservancy folks with a big assist from the New York New Jersey Trail Conference got the job done over two long hot days.

(A few shots of the project in progress are below, in no particular order.)

A huge thank you to Scott Sherwood, Damon Noe, Adrianna Zito-Livingston, Jennifer Wells and Ryan Smith of TNC and Chris Connolly and Alec Malyon of NYNJTC!

The Nature Conservancy provided the map and informational display for the kiosk, and it looks great. At the Red Trail Entrance by William Paterson University.

(Thanks to all!)

  DSCN1895                    Among the heavy-lifters (l. to r.):  Scott Sherwood, Alec Malyon, Chris Connolly, Ryan Smith and Jennifer Wells.



Climbing Mount Tammany

An overnight Nature Conservancy trip took me through the Delaware Water Gap last week, and I made a quick stop to climb Mount Tammany in nearby Worthington State Forest.

The 1,527-foot-high summit offers terrific panoramic views of the Delaware watershed, where The Nature Conservancy and its partners are doing a lot of environmental restoration work.

The ascent up the red trail took roughly an hour of aggressive hiking/scrambling up rocks, but it was well worth the effort. The view will only get more spectacular as the foliage changes.

The descent, down the blue trail, is much easier and features a waterfall. I also saw a cool frog and Question Mark or Comma butterfly along the way. Lots of vultures and a Red-tail, but an otherwise slow mid-morning for birds.

No matter which way you go, bring plenty of water, a hiking pole and a cellphone (for any emergencies).

Mount Tammany is an hour or so from the Celery Farm, just off Route 80 just before the bridge into Pennsylvania.

More about Mount Tammany here.


TNC Moth Night @ the Kay Center

Can't say that the weather cooperated, but folks had a thoroughly enjoyable Moth Night with The Nature Conservancy at the Kay Center in Chester last night.

Because of a light but unpredictable rain, we moved the old Mothra movie, the S'Mores and the popcorn inside, and then set up the Mercury vapor light and a sheet under an overhang outside. IMG_4184

We did not expect much moth activity.  All I can is, Boy, were we surprised.

Not only did we have at least one outrageously strange little moth we think is a Beautiful Wood-nymph, but we also had two very cool hawk moths (think: tiny Stealth Bombers), a tussock moth caterpillar and a huge American toad. Not bad for a drizzly night.

The goal of the evening was to remind folks just how nifty nature can be at night if we pay attention.

May post more pix if they become available.

Moth Night, by the way, is part of the eighth annual National Moth Week, a terrific worldwide event. You can learn more here.

Just wanted to thank Lisa Shippy-Woods and The Nature Conservancy for putting together and hosting this very cool and educational event -- awesome job. 

A "thank you," too, to everyone who participated despite the uncertain (at best) weather. 

(Also wanted to give a tip o' the  cap to moth'ers Garry Annibal and Lee Gaitskill for their I.D. help.)
IMG_4212Hawk Moth  (likely Virginia Creeper Hawk Moth)                     

IMG_4170Beautiful Wood-nymph Moth, featuring fuzzy tufts on its forelegs. "Beautiful" is an actual part of its name.

IMG_4161Tussock Moth Caterpillar

IMG_4216Horned Spanworm Moth

Kay Center Butterflies & More

Not only is The Nature Conservancy sponsoring a free Moth Night tonight at the Kay Center, but the grounds there offer some primo butterfly-watching. (Click here for more info on tonight's free S'Moths an S'Mores event in Chester.)

Among the butterflies I saw there this week were Spicebush Swallowtail, many Monarchs, Question Mark, Wood Nymph, Great Spangled Fritillary, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and Silver-spotted Skipper. 

Also had a few Hummingbird Clear-winged Moths for a Moth Night warm-up act.

I'll let you figure out which butterflies and moths are which, but if anyone can I.D. that flower at the end....IMG_4083