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Outdoors

PFBC updates Trout Unlimited on issues during recent meeting

Editor’s note: The Susquehanna Chapter of Trout Unlimited submitted this article in cooperation with the PA Fish and Boat Commission recapping its recent meeting with the PFBC. The Susquehanna Chapter of Trout Unlimited hosted officials of the PA Fish & Boat Commission (PFBC) in a ...

Groundhogs have an interesting history

Have you ever heard of a day set aside for the opossum, raccoon, squirrel or fox? Well, neither have I, and I find it strange that there is so much excitement, on one day each year surrounding the groundhog. The legend of Groundhog Day is likely due to the fact that woodchucks often ...

Nesting boxes can help bring songbirds to your backyard

HARRISBURG — Spring might not be just around the corner, but bluebirds will be scouting out nesting sites before you know it, and the Pennsylvania Game Commission can help bring them and other songbirds to your backyard. Bluebird nesting boxes built by staff at the Game Commission’s ...

Emerald ash borer wiping out ash trees

We celebrated Groundhog Day on Feb. 2, which was the midpoint between the winter solstice and the spring solstice. Before the last snowfall, I checked our firewood supply and realized we did not have enough firewood to last until spring. I have been buying ash wood due to it being readily ...

Busy time for CWD surveillance winds down

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Game Commission monitors the effects of chronic wasting disease (CWD) year-round, but the most intense surveillance efforts coincide with Pennsylvania’s deer hunting seasons. With those seasons now closed, the public can begin to view the results of these ...

Oyster prices plummet despite plenty of supply from watermen

With several hours of daylight to spare, Ronnie Robbins and his son, Jason, had already docked their 36-foot deadrise workboat on Hooper’s Island and started unloading their briny cargo. Into the bed of a waiting pickup went 20 bushels of oysters dredged from the bottom of the Honga ...

Snow-filled winter similar to past years

The woodchuck saw his shadow and predicted six more weeks of winter. On Dec. 17 and 18 a winter storm dropped three to four feet of snow on Bradford County. As I am writing this column, the weatherman is calling for more snow, and another storm out west is forming for the coming week, with the ...

‘Wild and Scenic’ film festival set for March

The Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR) cannot think of a more fitting way to mark 12 extraordinary months than with an event which celebrates resilience, community, and the capacity of nature to amaze, inspire, and heal. On March 18, POWR will host The Wild & ...

View wildlife on 24-hour live streams

HARRISBURG — Harsh winter weather can make it tough to get outdoors. But even in the worst conditions, the Game Commission’s round-the-clock livestreams offer viewers a chance to connect with wildlife, all from the comfort of home. A new 24-7 livestream from a black bear den in Monroe ...

Small communities become more desirable in a COVID-19 world

COVID-19 was the juggernaut of 2020. Not only did it fundamentally transform our daily lives, but it also shifted where we work, how we educate, and what we do with our spare time. True, the majority of impacts have been negative, but amidst all this upheaval, there is one shift that offers ...

Springtails are more noticeable in the winter

Have you ever taken a pleasant hike in the summer and autumn woods only to be pestered by annoying insects? By the time winter arrives, insects are smart enough to seek a warm place to sleep through the cold months. This rule is followed by 99.9% of all insects. During the dead of winter, ...

Spotted lanternfly experts debunk myths about the prodigious, pestilent pest

STATE COLLEGE — As the spotted lanternfly extension associate in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, Heather Leach often receives calls and emails from concerned citizens about the insect interloper. Occasionally, she will hear stories or “myths” from them about management ...

Group ensures trout populations thrive

Many organizations each year do projects to ensure wild trout are in abundance in streams, lakes and rivers. Before the opening day of trout season on April 17, members of the Susquehanna Chapter of Trout Unlimited met for their annual watershed summit. Reducing acid mind drainage by removing ...

Food scarce for PA’s owls

Our birds and animals are having a hard time finding food with a deep snow covering the ground. In Pennsylvania, we have seven species of owls; however, on occasion, during the winter months, an eighth species — the snowy owl — can be found. The owls are having a very hard time finding food ...

One-third of America’s rivers have changed color since 1984

America's rivers are changing color — and people are behind many of the shifts, a new study said. One-third of the tens of thousands of mile-long (two kilometer-long) river segments in the United States have noticeably shifted color in satellite images since 1984. That includes 11,629 miles ...

BIRD LORE: The Pileated Woodpecker is colorful, crested bird

If you have ever seen a crow-sized woodpecker with a flaming red back-swept crown — reminiscent of Woody Woodpecker — then you have been fortunate enough to observe a Pileated Woodpecker. Pileated means crested, and it is by far our largest woodpecker. The male has a bright red moustache ...

Earth’s seasons based on its axis, not orbit

Although our home is heated by gas, we have a wood-burning stove in our kitchen. During the winter months our thermostat is set at 62 degrees at night. Each morning I build a fire and turn the thermostat up to 68 degrees before Mary Alice crawls out of bed and comes downstairs. We eat our ...

Recent snowfall has Canada geese migrating south to feed

Several weeks ago, I wrote scientists say no two snowflakes are alike. Mary Alice believes this could not possibly be a true statement. After shoveling out last week’s snowfall, of three to four feet, I agree there had to be at least two identical snowflakes. While shoveling snow, I heard a ...