Posts filed under ‘Allegany State Park’
Join the Allegany State Park naturalist staff for a week of fun educational programs. Add a special sports event, the Willow Creek Triathalon, on Saturday Aug. 1st to complete the week. Here is a link to the activity schedule. July 25th Sched More information about the triathalon on the Program Flyers page.
Three new members join Adele Wellman, Ryan Droney, and Heidi Tschopp on the recreation and museum staffs this season. Katie Santangelo and Jeff Clerc will be conducting nature walks and orienteering programs. Join Jeff and Katie at Science Lake, Monday at 1:00 PM, for the Pond & Stream Safari.
Lorraine Milbrandt will join Virginia Deacon at the Quaker Store Museum. Lorraine lived in Quaker for many years and will have many stories about living and working in the park.
Click the link for a pdf version of the entire week’s activity schedule. July 13 sched
The weeks before and after July 4th are prime vacation time. So far it has been a little cool, and many people have gone to nature programs instead of the beach. Some highlights of the coming week are as follows:
Monday–The weekly Nature Center Series will focus on Pfieffer Nature Center in nearby Portville, N.Y. The rustic lodge and old-growth forests attract many visitors. A Pfieffer naturalist will talk about some of the lesser known features of this fabulous place.
Tuesday–The Environmental Series Movie will be Planet Earth. You can catch it at 9:00 p.m. at Quaker Amphitheater.
Wednesday–Allegany State Park Naturalist, Kim Dean will talk about porcupines and fishers for this week’s Wildlife Series program. Kim’s talk will be held at Quaker Amphitheater beginning at 1:00 p.m.
Thursday–Butterflies are flying at Allegany State Park. Join Adele Wellman and Abbie Briggs to catch and identify a few of them. Meet them at 1:00 p.m. on France Brook Road, at the second bridge.
Friday–Heidi Tschopp, a volunteer wildlife rehabber and one-day-a-week park naturalist, will talk about ospreys. Have you seen those big nests? The young ospreys will fledge soon. Join Heidi by the osprey platform near Cain Hollow.
Saturday–Abbie Briggs will take you hunting for ferns and mushrooms. Join her at the Osgood trail parking area. The naturalists were talking about a big beautiful fungus they found in that area this week.
Sunday–have you stopped in at the Old Quaker Store Museum? There are a few new things to see, and a chat with Mercy or Virginia is always interesting.
Park naturalists at Allegany had such a busy spring, with school groups and special events, that no weekend walks were scheduled. So, what were they doing? Well there was maple sugaring again this year in March. The Cattaraugus County Envirothon was held at the park in April, the week after Earth Day. Girl’s Day fell on May 10th, ASP Geobash III, on May 17th, and the Allegany Nature Pilgrimage on May 30th. School programs included the Cuba-Rushford Ecology Camp and Conservation Field days in May and Great Outdoor Days on June 6th and 7th. There were a few school day trips as well. Our naturalist supervisor of 30 years says spring was never so hectic. And now–summer’s here!
Nature programming resumed the day after Christmas, ending a six-week break. Park naturalists Randy Abbott and Grace Christy will conduct nature walks on Friday nights and Saturdays throughout the winter. Both indoor and outdoor activities are planned. Some favorites from past years include the Decorate a Tree for Wildlife workshop, Tour of a Beaver Colony, and Snowshoe Instruction which includes a general nature walk. Animal Tracks & Signs has been replaced by Randy’s Stories in the Snow, featuring detection of animals by use of track plate boxes. Detailed schedules will be posted on this blog weekly.
Several winter special events will take place at the park in addition to the nature programs. The annual Winter Funfest, a snowmobiling event, is scheduled for Saturday, February 2, 2008. Events will include a vintage snowmobile show and trail ride. Pre-registration for the show and trail ride is necessary prior to January 29, 2008. Contact Jim Toner at (716) 354-9101 ext. 243 for more information. Participants must provide their own snowmobiles. Snowmobiles must be registered in New York State, and insured, to operate in the park. Operators under 18 years of age are required to have a snowmobile safety certificate. Helmets are required for all riding.
The Canadian-American Sledders will hold the Annual Trappers Special sled dog races on February 9 and 10, 2008. Race classes have been announced as follows:
Sprint Mid- Distance
8 dog (8 miles) 8 dog (34-38 miles each day)
6 dog (6 miles) 6 dog ( 28 miles each day)
4 dog (4 miles) 6 dog recreational (15-18 miles)
1-2 dog ski-jour (1 mile)
2 dog junior (?)
3-6 dog race (4 miles)
The Art Roscoe cross country ski race is planned for February 17, 2008 with February 24th as the rain date. Courses will include a 6 K course for beginners, a 16 K course, and a “blockbuster” 22 K course.The race will be classic style on groomed double-set track on trails at the Art Roscoe Cross Country Ski Area. Information and registration materials are available at www.heartrateup.com.
Maple sugaring will begin at Camp Allegany with public programs on Saturday and Sunday, March 1 & 2, and Tuesday, March 4, 2008. Unlike most of the programs offered at the park, this one requires a pre-registration fee of $12.00 for adults and $6.00 for 4 – 10 year olds. (Children 3 and under, free of charge.) The fee covers a lunch of pancakes and sausages with real maple syrup, produced at camp, as well as the interpretive program.
A walk in the woods will take you to Native American and early settler sugaring camps with costumed interpreters to help your guide explain their methods of producing maple sugar. A 1940s sugar house, with a working model evaporator, will bring you to modern times. Participants are also welcome to visit the displays, children’s craft area, and book nook. For registration information please visit www.natureed-ventures.com. For photos from previous sugaring seasons, visit “Lost in Time” on this blog.
Spring is finally here, and the Allegany State Park naturalist staff will be offering nature walks on Fridays and Saturdays throughout May and June. Many program titles are familiar — beavers, Thunder Rocks, and wildflowers, but some offerings with a spring theme are planned, as well. One of these is the slide show, “Wild Travellers,” about the migration of birds. The program explores some strange old myths about birds, and some of the stranger truths about where birds go, and what triggers their return.
A program in the planning stage is “Crepuscular Creatures” about the animals and birds that are most active at dusk and dawn. Deer, beavers, and bats are the most familiar, but one bird is especially conspicuous on spring evenings. This is the American Woodcock, seen here on a snowy spring afternoon.
This bird was pulling up worms in a roadside ditch, not too far from Bear Caves.
There is one program unique to the season. The Frog Pond Pilgrimage happens only in the spring. A short audio/visual program, in the Red House museum, precedes a walk to the nearby wetlands area. There participants listen to the calls of frogs and search for the tiny, but vocal, spring peeper.
Catching them takes patience and luck. A flashlight and waterproof boots are essential.
My thanks to mon@rch for the clip of the peeper singing and the photo of the peeper in the net, which he took at my program on 4/21.
The Allegany State Park naturalist took an extened trip in time in March, a trip into the past to visit historic maple sugar camps. The first was a camp of the Native Americans soon after the first colonists arrived from Europe.
The Native Americans used rocks, heated red hot, to bring the maple sap they collected to a boil. They needed to keep the sap boiling for a long time to evaporate the water until the thick syrup would crystallize into sugar. They stored the sugar in birch bark containers.
The early settlers learned about maple sugar from the Iroquois. Veterans of the Revolutionary War were granted tracts of land and encouraged to settle the wilderness of western New York. They moved into the woods in the spring when the maple sap ran, living in cloth tents or bark lean-tos.
The early settlers improved upon the methods of the Iroquois. They used three iron cauldrons for boiling the sap. Fresh sap went into the largest cauldron. When it had boiled for a time, it was transferred to a smaller cauldron, and then a third one, smaller still. When it had boiled to a thick liquid in the last cauldron it was poured into barrels and allowed to crystallize. The settlers used the sugar for sweetening and preserving foods, and for trade.
The time warp takes our naturalist ahead in time again to the 1940s where she finds a veteran of another war making, not maple sugar, but syrup. He fires the evaporator to the sound of the radio and prepares a maple treat for visiting Boy Scouts.
Our naturalist follows the Boy Scouts to the Camp Allegany Classroom, and finds herself in her own time once again. The Scouts are performing sap science experiments under the direction of “Nature Mary.”
The tour guide for the trip through time is Wayne Robins of Nature Ed-Ventures. To learn more about their educational programs, please visit their web site at www.natureed-ventures.com