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Wild About PA



Read Marcus Schneck's blog on the great outdoors of Central Pennsylvania.



Last Build Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2018 10:02:49 UTC

Copyright: Copyright 2018
 



Much of Central Pennsylvania still waiting for cicadamania 2013

Wed, 05 Jun 2013 14:00:48 UTC

2013-06-05T15:33:20Z

Where are the cicadas of Brood II?

The explosive emergence of 17-year periodical cicadas expected about now has yet to fully materialize in many parts of Central Pennsylvania, and may indeed not materialize this year.

Brood II, which is the group of the large insects emerging this year, has never been as abundant or widespread as the gargantuan Brood X, which also is known as the Great Eastern Brood. However, some areas like Bergen County, N.J., have seen millions of cicadas emerge in the past couple weeks.
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And, some locations in Central Pennsylvania - notably the Williams Valley/Lykens Valley area between Tower City and the Millersburg-Halifax area - have seen large numbers of cicadas, accompanied by the trademark deafening buzz of the insects in some spots.

Greg Hoover, ornamental entomologist in Penn State's Department of Entomology and one of the leading cicada authorities in Pennsylvania, said one of the questions he's hearing most often from the media the past few days is "Why don't we have them?"

Part of the answer is the smaller nature of Brood II, but another part is that many areas no longer have "an abundance of uninterrupted woodlands" favored by periodical cicadas they once did. The third part of the answer may reside in the unseasonably cold weather just before Memorial Day, which may have held soil temperatures just below the 64 degrees Fahrenheit required to stir the cicada nymphs to leave their tunnels in the soil in search of mating opportunities.

"Some of those colder overnight temperatures may have slowed things down a bit," said Hoover.

However, he noted, areas southeast and northeast of Central Pennsylvania have seen significant emergences, hinting that "by the end of next week, the peak of the emergence will be past. We're getting close to it, if not in some of the southeastern Pennsylvania counties are past peak."

Central Pennsylvania may have one chance to yet see some emergence out of Brood II, and that chance lies in the rainfall forecast the weekend.

"A rainfall event really triggers" the full emergence," explained Hoover.

If you spot cicadas, please report your sighting to mschneck@pennlive.com.


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How to beat the squirrels at your backyard bird feeders, or battle them to a draw

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 10:00:00 UTC

2018-01-19T10:02:49Z

The squirrels might have the upper hand, but backyard birders have an ever growing arsenal of tactics and weapons




Supercharge your backyard bird feeding with these 16 tips

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 10:00:00 UTC

2018-01-17T21:51:02Z

Take your backyard feeders, and the bird population visiting them, to the next level.




Where's the biggest slope in Pennsylvania?

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 10:00:00 UTC

2018-01-16T10:01:23Z

Skiers in Pennsylvania will find a vertical drop of 1,082 feet at one ski resort in the state, while a few other resorts among the 20 in Pennsylvania top a thousand feet.




2018 Pennsylvania River of the Year: Here's a tour of Loyalsock Creek

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 10:00:00 UTC

2018-01-09T10:00:24Z

Pennsylvanians have voted for Loyalsock Creek over several other waterways across the state in an annual contest run by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Organization of Waterways and Rivers.




Blizzard of outdoor fun in Pennsylvania's state parks and forests

Mon, 08 Jan 2018 10:00:00 UTC

2018-01-08T10:02:42Z

Snow and ice open wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities in Pennsylvania's state parks and state forests.




Bald eagle nest cam at Hanover begins livestreaming for 2018 nesting season

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 23:35:50 UTC

2018-01-04T23:44:20Z

Fourth season of round-the-clock, live video from the bald eagle nest near Codorus State Park is under way. Watch video The camera at the bald-eagle nest near Codorus State Park at Hanover has begun livestreaming its fourth season of round-the-clock video to viewers worldwide. The video is available through the website of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, which partners in the project with HDOnTap, Comcast Business and Codorus State Park. Some observers had wondered if the nest cam would be placed into operation in the same tree as its previous three seasons. The nest, which partially collapsed only to be rebuilt by the bald eagle pair for the 2017 nesting season, collapsed again since the livestream ended last July. But the eagles have again repaired the nest and are using it, which is welcome news to the 1.5 million viewers who have watched the nest on their devices in past years. The nest cam gives them a rare look at the daily lives of a nesting pair of bald eagles and their offspring, according to Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans. "While it's always a thrill to see a bald eagle in the wild, the Game Commission's Eagle Cam allows viewers to see bald eagles in ways they never could through binoculars or a spotting scope," he noted in a release from the commission. "As we've seen in recent years, there's no predicting what will happen next on the Eagle Cam. But while those eagles are in and around the nest, you can pretty much guarantee you'll see something fascinating." Last year, the female of the adult pair of bald eagle using the nest laid the first of two eggs on February 10 and the second on February 13. The first egg hatched March 20 and the second on March 21. By June 7 both eaglets were experimenting with flying away from the nest. The commission shut down the livestream on July 11. In 2016, eggs were laid on February 18 and 21. One of the eggs hatched March 28, but the nestling died two days later, perhaps injured by a branch being moved in the nest. The other egg never hatched and remained in the nest until May 23, when one of the adults removed the remnants from the nest. In 2015, eggs were laid on February 14 and 17. Adult eagles were covered in snow on the nest on March 5, drawing international attention. The eggs hatched on March 24 and 25, and the two young eaglets fledged about June 22. According to the Game Commission, the first record of an active nest in this area is from 2005. Records indicate that eaglets have fledged eight times, most often two at a time. There are no records indicating that any of the adult nesting eagles have been banded or otherwise marked. Comcast Business and HDOnTap provide a static IP address and 100 Mbps broadband service near the nesting site. Last year, viewers enjoyed more than 6.8 million hours of 24-7, live HD video and audio from the nest, as well as daily time-lapse clips on screens worldwide.  When will bald eagle nest cam near Hanover livestream? Bald eagles in Pennsylvania: You might be surprised by the facts Bald eagle sightings in Pennsylvania special, but no longer rare Where are your best chances to see bald eagles in Pennsylvania? [...]


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When will bald eagle nest cam near Hanover livestream?

Wed, 03 Jan 2018 15:00:00 UTC

2018-01-03T16:32:06Z

Bald eagle nest cam near Codorus State Park is expected to be sharing life at the bald eagle nest with the world in plenty of time for egg laying. Watch video

The webcam that monitors the bald eagle nest near Codorus State Park at Hanover will begin live-streaming through the Pennsylvania Game Commission website is expected to go live in the next few days.

"Likely this week," according to Travis Lau, spokesman for the commission.

That will be a few days later than the camera went live last year and much too late for thousands of viewers throughout the world who will be glued to their devices when the livestream becomes available to them.

It also will be well before any egg-laying will take place in the next. The female of the adult pair of bald eagle using the nest laid the first of two eggs on February 10, 2017, and the second on February 13.

The first egg hatched March 20 and the second on March 21.  - A second eaglet makes it way out an its egg at around 11 a.m.

By June 7 both eaglets were experimenting with flying away from the nest.

The commission shut down the livestream on July 11.

The 2017 nesting season was the third for a livestreaming camera at the nest in York County.

In 2016, eggs were laid on February 18 and 21. One of the eggs hatched March 28, but the nestling died two days later, perhaps injured by a branch being moved in the nest. The other egg never hatched and remained in the nest until May 23, when one of the adults removed the remnants from the nest.

In 2015, eggs were laid on February 14 and 17. Adult eagles were covered in snow on the nest on March 5, drawing international attention. The eggs hatched on March 24 and 25, and the two young eaglets fledged about June 22.

According to the Game Commission, the first record of an active nest in this area is from 2005. Records indicate that eaglets have fledged eight times, most often two at a time. There are no records indicating that any of the adult nesting eagles have been banded or otherwise marked.

These cameras, provided by HDOnTap, were installed in November 2015. The cameras are powered by a hard line running down the tree to an electrical panel several feet from the base of the tree. Comcast Business provides the internet service. Friends of Codorus State Park supplied the bucket lift and other items necessary for installation and the landowner is donating the electricity to power the camera. 


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Bigfoot, UFOs, crazy flying machines and more Pa. weirdness: Get in the mood for 'X-Files' return

Wed, 03 Jan 2018 10:00:00 UTC

2018-01-03T11:58:54Z

Pennsylvania abounds in material, both explained and unexplained, similar to the mysteries, creatures and weirdness that go into the scripts for the popular Fox program.




How to catch a trout with a feather, some thread and a hook

Tue, 02 Jan 2018 10:00:00 UTC

2018-01-02T10:02:44Z

Classes in fly tying will be offered by various organizations and businesses in January and February. Watch video Anyone wanting to get a kickstart in the pursuit of fly tying - the melding of feather, fur, thread and hook, often an incredibly small hook, into a trout-fooling imitation of life - can get that boost from a variety of organizations and businesses across Pennsylvania offering fly-tying courses and programs in the next few weeks. Carlisle Fish and Game Association Inc., Carlisle, will launch its annual schedule of Friday night, fly-tying classes at 7 p.m. Friday, January 5.  The fly-tiers and the flies they will be demonstrating will be January 5, Bobby Clouser, swimming nymph; January 12, Ken Okorn, biot body spinner; January 19, Dusty Wissmath, soft hackle; January 26, Rick Holmes, woven stonefly; February 2, Kathy Weigl, zebra shrimp; February 9, Brian Shumaker, shimmering minnow; February 16, Tom Livingston, CDC ant; February 23, Skip Shreve, gurgler; March 2, Matt Knaub, spikey squirrel dubbing; and March 9, Charlie Barnett, gray hackle peacock wet fly. For more information, contact John Conrad at john-conrad@comcast.net or 717-5824094. Cumberland Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited and the South Middleton Township Parks and Recreation Department will run beginner and intermediate/advanced level fly tying classes at the Boiling Springs High School, Boiling Springs. Classes begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday, January 9, and will run weekly for 8 consecutive weeks. Students in the beginner course will learn to tie 6-8 flies, while also building their tying skills. They will be provided with fly tying materials, hooks and an instructional book to tie those and other flies, but will need to provide the basic tools such as a vice, scissors, bobbin and hackle pliers, all of which can be obtained wherever fly-tying tools and materials are sold. Advanced tiers will provide their own tools and materials, and pay a small fee for the classes. The classes provide a family atmosphere filled with snacks, laughter, and steeped in tradition under the guidance of some of the most experienced and respected tiers in the region. To register, contact the South Middleton Township Parks and Recreation Department and or Donna Ludwig at the township recreation office: dludwig@smiddleton.com or 717 258-5324. Veteran fly fisherman Tony Mione and other members of the Schuylkill County Chapter of Trout Unlimited will lead weekly Thursday night fly-tying programs at Sweet Arrow Lake County Park clubhouse near Pine Grove beginning Thursday, January 11. The programs will run from 6-8 p.m. January 11, 18 and 25. For experienced and beginner fly tiers, the programs are free and materials will be provided. Limited to 25 people, required advance registration can be arranged with Mione at 717-979-0235. The nine-week fly-tying class at the Cabela's store at Hamburg will begin Wednesday, February 7. Tom Coe, the store's resident fly fishing expert, will lead the weekly classes, which will run from 6-8 p.m. each Wednesday. The class schedule will be: February 7, introduction to techniques, equipment, tools and materials; February 14, woolly bugger; February 21, caddis larvae and pupae; February 28, stonefly and mayfly nymphs; March7, dry flies; March 14, streamers; March 21, creative fly tying; March 28, open fly tying; and April 9, fishing field trip to a local stream. The class will be limited to 15 participants. Required advance registration can be done through Ron Leh at 610-929-7089. [...]


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Freezing frogs to hypothermic birds, how will wildlife survive the bitter cold?

Mon, 01 Jan 2018 10:00:00 UTC

2018-01-01T12:24:52Z

Nature has equipped the wild creatures of Pennsylvania with an amazing range of adaptations for coping with the worst that winter has to offer.




When is the first meteor shower of 2018?

Fri, 29 Dec 2017 17:48:00 UTC

2017-12-29T17:48:49Z

Quadrantid meteor shower leads off the new year, but in competition with a nearly full supermoon.

The Quadrantid meteor shower January 1-10 will be the first meteor shower of the new year.

It has the potential each year of being a rather spectacular shower of 50-100 meteors per hour, but often is diminished by cloudy weather.

This year it will be the largest and brightest supermoon of 2018 messing with the peak of the Quadrantids in the predawn hours of Wednesday, January 3, and Thursday, January 4. The full moon actually falls on Monday, January 1, but enough of it will remain on Wednesday to interfere with optimal meteor viewing.

The radiant point for the Quadrantid meteor shower is near the end of the handle of the Big Dipper. However, with the meteors flashing across the sky, it's not necessary to look toward their starting point to spot them.

The Quadrantids are named for a constellation that no longer exists, officially. The constellation Quadrans Muralis was delineated by French astronomer Jerome Lalande in 1795., but not included in the list of 88 modern constellations created by the International Astronomical Union in 1922.

The source of the Quadrantid meteors is somewhat mysterious. Astronomer Peter Jenniskens in 2003 postulated that the parent body of the Quadrantids is the asteroid 2003 EH1, which some believe to be comet C/1490 Y1.


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Amazing period of special full moons begins New Year's Night

Fri, 29 Dec 2017 10:00:00 UTC

2017-12-29T10:03:42Z

Supermoons, blue moons, lunar eclipse packed into January 2018. Watch video

The full moon on New Year's Night will be the second of three consecutive supermoons. It will peak at 9:24 p.m. Monday, January 1.

The first of the three was December 3. The third will be the full moon on Wednesday, January 31.

A supermoon occurs when the moon is in its full moon stage and also at the point in its orbit nearest to Earth, which is called perigee. Under those conditions, the full moon appears to be as much as 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than a full moon when the moon is at its farthest point from Earth, which is called apogee.

That supermoon on January 31 also will be a blue moon, which is the name given to any second full moon in one calendar month.

On average, we see blue moons every 2.7 years, but in 2018 there will be two blue moons in a single year. After the January 31 blue moon, there will be no full moon in February and then two full moons in March.

And, that super/blue moon on January 31 will have a red sheen to it, because it will be part of a lunar eclipse, according to NASA.

The eclipse will cover the face of the moon, turning it dark, as the Earth blocks the light of the sun from the moon. Only light reflected off the Earth will show on the surface of the moon, which will have a red to reddish-brown cast.

"The lunar eclipse on January 31 will be visible during moonset. Folks in the eastern United States, where the eclipse will be partial, will have to get up in the morning to see it," said Noah Petro, supervising research assistant at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

Native Americans knew the full moon of January as the Wolf Moon, a time when wolves roamed the edges of the village in search of whatever food they might find.

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First Day Hikes launch new year at state parks across Pennsylvania

Thu, 28 Dec 2017 15:44:11 UTC

2017-12-28T16:26:42Z

Within a short drive anywhere in Pennsylvania, hikers can get outdoors for an organized hike on New Year's Day.




Geminid meteor shower peaks tonight; will you be able to see it in central Pa.?

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 16:22:08 UTC

2017-12-13T18:27:00Z

The Geminid meteor shower, which peaks overnight December 13 into December 14, could be particularly bright this year, but cloud cover could obscure the show in central Pennsylvania. Watch video

The Geminid meteor shower, which peaks tonight into Thursday morning, could be particularly bright this year. 

The moon during that peak will be waning, showing just a sliver, less than 20 percent of its total. And the Geminids are known as particularly bright meteors, especially when they flash across dark night skies. They also have shown rates as high as 120 meteors per hour.

Best viewing should be about 2 a.m., and this might be a good year to get away from city lights and out into the countryside.

But will you be able to see them in central Pa.? 

The forecast is cloudy with some snow overnight, so chances of great viewing aren't good. 

When will the snow start falling in central Pa.?

The snowflakes are expected to start falling around 10 p.m. Wednesday and end between 1 and 4 a.m. on Thursday, according to Paul Head, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

The Geminds are named for the Gemini constellation in the northeastern nigh sky, from which they appear to emanate. However, with the meteors streaming across the sky, it's not necessary to locate that apparent point of origin.

They are remnants of asteroid 3200 Phaethon, which is believed to have collided with another object to produce the particles that now create the meteor shower.

The Geminid meteor shower was first recorded in 1833.

For more Pennsylvania outdoors news: 

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Really bright Geminid meteor shower could be coming

Mon, 04 Dec 2017 10:00:00 UTC

2017-12-04T11:49:11Z

Geminid meteor shower has been known to show as many as 120 meteors per hour.

The meteors of the Geminid meteor shower, which hits its peak the night of Wednesday, December 13, into the morning of Thursday, December 14, could be particularly bright this year.

The moon during that peak will be waning, showing just a sliver, less than 20 percent of its total.

The Geminids are known as particularly bright meteors, especially when they flash across dark night skies, which Dec. 13-14 should be this year.

They also have shown rates as high as 120 meteors per hour.

Best viewing should be about 2 a.m., and this might be a good year to get away from city lights and out into the countryside.

The Geminds are named for the Gemini constellation in the northeastern nigh sky, from which they appear to emanate. However, with the meteors streaming across the sky, it's not necessary to locate that apparent point of origin.

They are remnants of asteroid 3200 Phaethon, which is believed to have collided with another object to produce the particles that now create the meteor shower.

The Geminid meteor shower was first recorded in 1833.


Media Files:
http://media.pennlive.com/nation-world/photo/19380751-large.jpg