Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hallow-Eno fun at West Point on the Eno

Don't forget that tonight is the 24th Annual Halloweno event at West Point on the Eno Park.  There will be a Hay Ride, Story Telling by a Campfire, Face Painting, a Performance by YPPC, the Scrap Exchange will be there, Pupkin Bridge, and of course treats at the McCown-Mangum House. 

All the fun happens between 6-9pm and is free.  So dress your kids up and come on out, and if you don't have kids, dress yourself up and come out.  Fun for everyone.  If you don't have a costume you can make one with the Scrap Exchange. 

 
West Point on the Eno is located at 5101 N Roxboro Rd, Durham, NC 27704


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Can you spot the snake? Part 1: Copperhead Camouflage


     Thanks to the recent weather from hurricane Sandy, most of the leaves have blown off the trees covering the trails at West Point on the Eno...making it almost impossible to spot a copperhead!  As I was walking on the Buffalo trail over the weekend, I stepped inches away from the snake in the picture.  I didn’t see it until I heard a rustling in the leaves beside my foot.  When I looked down and realized what I almost stepped on, I found myself thanking the snake for its quick reflexes and choice to flee!

Can you spot the copperhead on the trail?








Thursday, October 25, 2012

Northgate Park and Lake Michie

Hey everyone,
Just a reminder that we will be having a Moonlight Paddle at Lake Michie on Friday and a Spider's Web program at Northgate Park this Saturday.  You can read about them in previous post
http://westpointnaturalists.blogspot.com/2012/10/moonlight-paddle-at-lake-michie-and.html

I just wanted to give you a great link to look at for spider identification here in North Carolina.  I really like the pictures and the best part is that a lot of these come from Durham and Orange Counties. 
Enjoy!

http://dpughphoto.com/spiders.htm

If you have any questions about upcoming programs feel free to call me at 919-560-4405 ext 6

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Spiders in Northgate Park

Hey Everyone,
Hope you are enjoying this warm fall weather.  There is no good excuse not to get outside at some point every day with this weather we are having. 

So this Saturday we will be leading a program at Northgate Park called Spider's Web.  We will talk about spiders, how they are different from insects, talk about some of their unique features, and then we will go out and look for spiders and their webs.  Not only are spiders interesting, but their webs are facinating to look at too.  Here are some we have seen recently.

 









Click on the bottom right picture and take a look at the abdomen...

The Spider's Web program runs from 10am-12pm.  We will meet at parking lot by the tennis courts.  From there we will walk along the greenway looking for our hairy legged friends. 

You must preregister for the program.  Cost is $6 (city resident). 
You can call me at 919-560-4405 (opt 6), email at christopher.shepard@durhamnc.gov  

or you can register online at https://online.activenetwork.com/dprplaymore/Start/Start.asp and enter the barcode 8359 into the search bar and it will take you right to the program.  All children must be registered with an adult.

We also have a Moonlight Paddle this Friday from 7-9pm at Lake Michie if you are interested in joining us, you can register the same way and we do have City boats available.  Cost is $6 (city residents) for that program and the barcode is 8379.  All children must be registered with an adult.

And for the multitudes of people that read this blog, become a follower of the blog. Make us feel good and you'll get notified when we put up new post.  Fun. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Moonlight Paddle and new farm with Durham County Public Schools

Hey Everyone,
I just wanted to let you know that this Saturday, from 9am-1pm will be the Vine Cutting ceremony at the new Durham County Public Schools farm.  Check out this link for more information.  http://www.facebook.com/DPSHubFarm

I bet you may be wondering why City Environmental Educators are posting about a County site?  Well we will be running some programs here too.  Not only is this going to be a farm site, but also this will be an Environmental Education site.  If wonderful things happen, West Point and this site will be joined by a walking path. This is an exciting project and will definitely benefit everyone in Durham County one way or another.  So come out Saturday and check it out, we'll be there with a booth and we will be leading a Nature Navigation program at 10:30am.

Also don't forget about our upcoming Wonders of Lake Michie Program on Friday, October 26 from 7-9pm at Lake Michie.



We also will be running a Spider Program on Saturday, October 27 from 10am-12pm at Northgate Park. 

You can sign up for these programs at https://online.activenetwork.com/dprplaymore/Start/Start.asp
The course id# for Lake Michie is 8379
The course id# for Spiders is 8359
Just put in the course number at the top and it will take you to the registration screen, if you have not registered before you will need to set up an account.  A parent must be registered with any children.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Moonlight Paddle at Lake Michie and Spider program...


So coming up on Friday, October 26 we have a Moonlight Paddle program at beautiful Lake Michie.  The program will run from 7-9pm and the cost is $6 (city residents) and $8 (non-city residents).  We do have city boats that you can use if you don't have your own canoe or kayak.  You must pre-register and I will attach the link at the bottom of the post.  Here are some pictures from past Lake Michie programs.






As you can see the evening and night can be a beautiful time to be out on the water.











On Saturday, October 27 we have a Spider Program at Northgate Park.  Fall is a great time to get out and see lots of different types of spiders and their webs and this will be a great chance to learn all about our eight legged friends.  This program is from 10am-12pm and the cost is $6 (city residents) and $8(non-city residents).  You also must preregister for this program.  Here is a spider we saw at our intersession camp.
look closely at it's abdomen
To register for programs you can go to https://online.activenetwork.com/dprplaymore/Start/Start.asp

If it is your first time there you will have to set up and account. If you wish to register for the Paddle program the barcode is 8379.  If you wish to register for the Spider program the barcode is 8359.  A parent must be registered with a child for any Environmental Education Programs.  You will have to set up an account for each member of your family if you are not already in the system

If you have any questions about these or any Environmental Education Programs please call me at 919.560.4405 (ext 6) or email me at christopher.shepard@durhamnc.gov

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Baby Copperhead - Intersession Camp - Mushrooms

So last week was our second and final week of intersession nature camp.  We had a great two weeks.  The wet weather we have had created a mushroom bonanza in the forest.  This fall intersession was full of more mushrooms than I can remember at any other intersession.  We took some photos such as...
 
Now mushrooms aren't the only fun we had this week.  We also went over by the pond at the amphitheater entrance and while looking in the forest, we started to find old golf balls (the colorful kind).  Well since we were just below the old putt-putt I guess it made sense.  So we started searching through the leaf litter and 40+ golf balls later we figured we had done a good job cleaning up near the pond. Our cleaning efforts also rewarded us with some balls from the batting cage and a broken putter, that would be fixed very soon.  Nothing better than getting to keep what you cleaned up out of the forest.  Now the other thing that we saw was how nature is working to reclaim the putt-putt course itself.  Pretty impressive how fast things can grow over what we make.  I am sure that someday soon the lot will get sold and it will all get cleared out again, but for now nature is taking back land that once belonged to it. 
 
So with golf balls in hand and a fixed putter, what else can you do but build a nature putt-putt course.  Five holes made out of found materials.  After all our work it was time for the 1st Annual Eno Intersession Nature Camp putt-putt tournament.  Here are a couple of pictures.

Stuck in the trap



Concentration















So I won't divulge who the winner was, but let's say the adults showed the campers how to putt-putt.  Maybe in the spring the camper can get a rematch.

On our last day out in the woods on week 2, we came across a baby copperhead in the woods.  Of course that was the one day we didn't have the camera with us.  I know, I know, we might as well be telling you we saw Sasquatch but didn't have our camera.  But we did see a copperhead and it looked a lot like...
Photo from http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/gaston/Pests/reptiles/chamo.htm


 As pretty as it was, it also helped us remember that there were probably others close by as the mother probably had more than one.  Copperheads are interesting in that they do not lay eggs, but rather have live births.  That's all for today, we'll talk to you soon.