Thursday, August 28, 2014

Fall Programs--Pancake Paddles, Astronomy Series and Discovery Days in Costume

Well, here we are.  Fall,and September, one of my favorite months of the year with it's cool nights and sunny, warm afternoons.  The colors and the smells that make me want to pack the camping gear and head to the mountains, sit by a fire and read a book. 

We are loaded with awesome fall programs that offer something for everyone who loves the outdoors and, especially, being outdoors in the fall.  Below are a few of my favorite new programs in this fall's lineup.  I'm looking forward to being the Black Widow for Heroes and Villains day at the ropes course almost as much as I'm ready for pancakes after a peaceful morning paddle on Lake Michie.  Click on the link to the right (FALL 2014 PROGRAM SCHEDULE) for the full schedule of programs or to register. 

Sunrise Pancake Paddle (#14035)

Saturday, September 13 from 6:30 a.m.-8:30 a.m.

Lake Michie Recreation Area – 2802 Bahama Rd.

Rise and shine with DPR Outdoor Recreation! Join us for a sunrise kayak paddle and a breakfast of scrumptious pancakes. We’ll provide the boating equipment and the pancakes, you bring weather appropriate clothing and an appetite.

Ages 7 and up (children must be accompanied by an adult)

CR PC $7; CR NPC $8 NCR PC $11.75; NCR NPC $13


Explore the Urban Wild

Join DPR Outdoor Recreation for a free adventure in your park! Bring weather-appropriate clothing and lots of curiosity.

All ages (children must be accompanied by an adult).

No cost, no pre-registration required.

2 p.m.-4 p.m.

October 18, Oval Drive Park  (#14030)             

November 22, Holton Career and Resource Center  (#14048)

December 6, Cornwallis Road Park  (#14049)



High Ropes Discovery Day:

Heroes and Villains

Hello true believers! Come dressed as your favorite super-hero or super-villain while you explore Durham Parks and Recreation’s high ropes course! Safety considerations may require removal of caps, batarangs, infinity gauntlets, power rings, etc.

*Cost, location and age limits same as a normal Discovery Day.

November 8               11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.     #14063

                                    12:30 p.m.-2 p.m.       #14064


Astronomy Series

DPR Outdoor Recreation and NCCU invite you to search the heavens with us! We will provide the equipment, you bring weather appropriate clothing.


Constellation Kayak (#14036)

Lake Michie Recreation Area – 2802 Bahama Rd.

Friday, September 19 from 7 p.m.-9 p.m.

This will be an enchanting evening of paddling and stargazing on scenic Lake Michie. Learn the names of constellations and their stories as well as viewing amazing stellar objects.

Ages 7 and up (children must be accompanied by an adult)

CR PC $7; CR NPC $8 NCR PC $11.75; NCR NPC $13


Lunar Exploration (#14028)

Friday, October 3 from 7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.

Old North Durham Park- 310 W. Geer Street  

Exploring the surface of our closest celestial neighbor, the moon, in magnificent detail using state of the art telescopes and binoculars!

Cloud Out Dates: 10/4

All ages (children must be accompanied by an adult).

No cost, no pre-registration required


Solstice Stargazing (#14029)

Sunday, December 21 from 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.

Sandy Creek Park- 3510 Sandy Creek Drive

We will use state-of-the-art telescopes and binoculars to look at some of the wonders of the cosmos on the evening of the winter solstice.

Cloud Out Date: 12/22

All ages (children must be accompanied by an adult).

No cost, no pre-registration required


Friday, August 15, 2014

Mushrooms and Fungi in Abound in Durham!

First a joke:  Why did the mushroom get invited to the party?  Because he's a fungi!
Cheesy, I know.
You may have noticed that since the rain has set in the last few weeks there are wild mushrooms and fungi everywhere. In your lawn, on your hikes, at the base of trees, wherever there's moist, rich soil.  Mushrooms are the fruit of the fungus that grows underneath the surface, loaded with spores as the reproductive organs of the fungus.  I find it enjoyable to see what new, and sometimes bizarre, fungus will pop up in my yard. What's more than a little challenging is identifying the many different types from the 10,000 described species in North America.  Other than Old Man of the Woods, I don't try to identify edible mushrooms because so many look very similar and, well, I'm an amateur, not an expert at identification. Learning, but still an amateur.

These are just a few of the mushrooms and fungi I've come across in the last week.  The first three are from my yard, and the last are from a night hike with a DPR summer camp group at West Point on the Eno.  West Point is fairly bursting with wild mushrooms and fungi right now, so it was a fun night exploring with the kids.

Here are just a few from this past week:

Caesar's amanita

wild Eastern Cauliflower mushroom

White Coral Fungus