Nature

Stone toe protection in Prendergast Creek uses large limestone blocks to protect the banks from heavy flows. 
Photo by Jen Maguder

Update On WQIPs

Have you ever tried to drive a motorboat up Goose Creek? Two CWC volunteers tried last summer when they were on a mission to examine the banks of our Loomis Goose Creek Lakeshore Wetland Preserve. While still more than 100 yards from the creek’s mouth, our volunteers nearly got stuck. The ...

Odd and interesting ducks, like this White-winged Scoter, appear on Lake Erie harbors in the winter.

Mysteries Of Nature Can Be Found All Around

The wind off of the lake carries a special kind of cold with it. This cold pushes through every crack in your clothing, freezes nostrils shut and burning the lungs in a way that only a lake wind can. Hands freeze into claws while awareness of toes fades and is replaced by an odd, icy burning in ...

Woodland Stinkers

A few days ago I took my wife to the Pittsburgh airport, a distance of about 78 miles. The first 43 miles wind through rural country, and along the way we passed three road-killed skunks. We counted another four just by the odor they left behind. It’s that time of year. Skunks are on the ...

Winter at the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy’s Outlet Greenway Preserve. 
CWC photo

Water In Winter

Water has many unusual properties that make it suitable as the medium for life. Water’s ability to dissolve substances and to occur as a liquid where living things can absorb it are, in fact, much of the reason why life can exist on earth. At this time of year much of the water we see in ...

Vole scurrying through the grass. 
Photo by Katie Finch

Snowy Landscape Explorations

On a recent exploration of the snowy landscape with day campers, animal sightings were few, but evidence that animals were there was abundant. We followed deer tracks, poked at holes and investigated scratches. Almost overlooked were very tiny tracks. Just a light impression made on the freshly ...

The Great Backyard Bird Count

The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) celebrates its 20th anniversary next weekend, February 17-20. A joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology www.birds.cornell.edu/, the National Audubon Society, and Bird Studies Canada, the GBBC is an opportunity for all to discover the wonders of ...

Horse-drawn wagon rides by Magic Moments Carriage Rides.

Annual Winter Festival Set For Feb. 4

My Christmas card this past year featured hogs, fruit, corn, a house, a woodlot and more. “Nurture what nourishes you” the card said at the top. The sentiment was simple – take care of the things that enable you to live well. Embracing a more hands-in-the-ground approach is less simple. ...

Protecting your forest with a conservation easement can ensure it will remain a forest in perpetuity.
CWC photo

Land Conservation: Creating A Legacy Through Protection

A Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy conservationist’s job sometimes involves talking to land owners and providing information and options to help them make decisions which will protect their enjoyment and use of their land, while also protecting the Chautauqua watershed from further damage. ...

The Audubon Community Nature Center is celebrating its 60th anniversary with a natural history calendar that features stories of how wildlife has changed in the last 60 years as well as photos of staff, volunteers and visitors from the past.
Photo by Dave Cooney

Nature Center Celebrates 60 Years With Calendar

What marks the first day of winter? Is it the first snowfall or the winter solstice, which marks the longest night of the year in late December and is the official start of winter? For me, it’s the first snow, a date that is much less predictable. Many other things in nature are far easier ...

Red Squirrels: Six Ounces Of Nastiness

A walk through an evergreen forest on a cold late fall or winter day calms the soul. Wind whispers through the limber boughs overhead, and the fragrant aroma of conifers completes the experience. In such settings, I usually find a log, sit, and drink in the scene. Often, however, a loud ...

How the lights get in.

A Late Fall Hike

I’ve been in the office quite a bit lately so when I had a long break in my schedule on a sunny November day, I took the opportunity to take a hike. Since I was close I headed to the Westside Overland Trail that runs 24 miles from the town of Harmony to Mayville in New York. The sunlight ...

shalaway-scott

It’s Time For Project FeederWatch

Cornell University’s Project FeederWatch, sponsored by the Lab of Ornithology, is one of the continent’s most popular citizen science projects. New volunteers are always welcome. FeederWatch project director Dr. Emma Grieg, reminded me recently via phone that anyone can participate. ...

A young boy takes another cookie.
Submitted photos

Audubon Nature Center To Host Dinner Nov. 19

A pot of mystery soup bubbles in a pot hung over an open fire in the backyard. As guests arrive, they add their contribution into the mix. A quick stir after each addition creates a new brew. This appetizer never fails to generate conversation. Sometimes the resulting mixture is delicious; ...

shalaway-scott

The Song Of Great Horned Owls

On Thursday morning, Nov. 10, I woke at 5:30. I closed my eyes and tried to get back to sleep. A few minutes later I heard a low muffled sound. In a fog of semi-consciousness I assumed the dog was snoring. But after a few minutes, I realized the sound was coming from outside the bedroom ...

The Awesome Opossum

The Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is one of the most commonly encountered mammals in Chautauqua County. Due to their often aggressive demeanors, hissing and salivating, they are viewed by many as a dangerous threat. Their propensity to "play opossum," or act like they are dead, works ...

The November Skies

The planet Mercury spends most of November behind the sun in relation to Earth, lost in the solar glare. In December, the little planet will make a nice appearance in evening twilight during the middle two weeks of the monthBrilliant Venus dazzles as the Evening "Star" low in the southwestern ...

The Sense You Get When Winter Begins To Creep In

Editor's Note: This article first appeared in a December 2005 edition of The Post-Journal.There is something familiar about the first sprinkling of snow covering the landscape. The air is thick in the morning with ice crystals, as if glitter was strewn about from the clouds. The birds huddle in ...

The Nature Of Halloween

Halloween, as I recall, was a day for friends to scare each other with nature's creepy crawlies - spiders, snakes and bats. And often those fears lasted a lifetime. We all know people who recoil at the sight of these critters.Spiders are probably the most notorious of the three because we find ...

The Stuff Of Soil

Have you ever thought about soil? How it is formed, what it's composed of, where it comes from, and what lives within it? Soil is so much more than dirt and mud. In reality it is a precious medley of minerals, microbes, and organic matter, and forms ever so slowly, at a rate of only an inch ...

Bald Eagle Liberty Remains In Good Health At Audubon Nature Center

One of the most frequent questions I am asked when out in public representing Audubon is "How's the Bald Eagle, Liberty?" Since being housed at Audubon in 2002 after an injury, Liberty provides visitors with a close-up view of a bird of prey.People love Liberty. Words I've heard used to ...