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April 29, 2018 - 5:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, Alabama, news, nature, outdoors.

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The Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge in Alabama is hosted its 34th annual Spring into Nature celebration Saturday with displays, vendors, crafts and activities.

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January 29, 2018 - 11:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, nature, outdoors, news, pembroke.

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Jason Bell sent us this picture of a bald eagle he spotted in Pembroke yesterday.

December 27, 2017 - 2:00pm

Press release:

Discover secrets of the wild this winter and/or the serenity of hiking on moonlit snow with naturalist-guided hikes at Genesee County Park & Forest! 

Winter Wonderland Hikes are held on Saturdays from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Hikes begin at the Interpretive Nature Center and end with hot chocolate and snacks.

Topics:

  • Saturday, Jan. 13th: Animal Tracks
  • Saturday, Feb. 3rd: Whistle Pigs (and other squirrels)

Snowshoes may be used, weather permitting, and are available for rent or you may bring your own. Snowshoeing lesson provided, no previous experience needed! Rental is included in the price, $5/person, $15 max/family.

Moonlight Hike and Winter Walks -- for adults only -- guided by a naturalist are offered from 7 to 9 p.m. on the dates below. Meet at Pavilion B.

  • Saturday, Jan. 27th
  • Saturday, Feb. 24th

Enjoy the tranquil beauty of the forest on a full moon night! 

Moonlight Hikes begin and conclude with refreshments by a warm fire! For ages 18 and over. Snowshoes may be used, weather permitting, and are available for rent or you may bring your own. Snowshoeing lesson provided, no previous experience needed! Rental is included in the price, $5/person, $15 max/family.

Pre-registration is required for ALL naturalist-guided hikes; call 585-344-1122.

Make a memory this winter with your own Private Group Snowshoe Hike! A naturalist guides your group through peaceful woodland trails and open meadows. Listen to winter’s quiet beauty and find signs of wildlife in this 431-acre park. Private hikes are available on Saturdays in January and February from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. by reservation only at the Interpretive Nature Center. No previous experience is needed; snowshoes provided or bring your own. Rental is included in the price, $5/person, minimum group fee is $75. Call 585-344-1122 to book your own adventure!

Snowshoe rentals are available at the Genesee County Park and Forest Interpretive Center 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, 12 – 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays December through March, weather permitting. Rented snowshoes must be used in the park. Fee is $5/pair and all proceeds go to ACORNS, the nonprofit organization that supports the parks!

Call (585) 344-1122 to register. For more information visit our website at http://www.co.genesee.ny.us/departments/parks/, or contact Shannon Morley at [email protected] or (585) 344-1122.

Genesee County Park & Forest Interpretive Center is located at 11095 Bethany Center Road, East Bethany.

December 8, 2017 - 9:00pm
posted by Session Placeholder in nature.
Event Date and Time: 
August 21, 2017 - 1:00pm to 3:45pm

Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross St., Batavia presents “Lunch on the Lawn—Solar Eclipse” on Monday, August 21 at 1:00 pm. Bring your own sandwich and lawn chair or blanket to view the first American solar eclipse in almost 40 years. Although Batavia is not on the direct path for the total eclipse, we will be able to view a partial eclipse covering about 70% of the sun. Protective glasses are provided free to those attending the program.

December 8, 2017 - 7:00pm
posted by Session Placeholder in nature.
Event Date and Time: 
June 25, 2017 - 11:00am to 3:00pm

Free for:
Children up to 16 yrs. old with an Adult
Grand Prize: Second Chance Prizes:
Longest Fish—2 winners (1 Girl/1 Boy) for all fish entered
Come join us for an afternoon of fishing fun at one of Genesee Counties beautiful parks! All participants should bring their own fishing gear. Only fish caught at Dewitt Pond will be eligible for prizes.

September 6, 2017 - 5:48pm

Press release:

Monarch Butterflies -- "Masters of Migration" -- travel through New York during the month of September!

Seize the last few days of summer with a visit to a butterfly meadow and a journey into their world! Join us for "Watching Monarchs" from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9th, at Genesee County Park & Forest.

Take part in a nationwide Monarch conservation project, see how they are tagged and released, and meet these masters of migration up close and personal Learn all about their fascinating lives and discover what you can do to help them out!

Price is $5/person, $10/family. Space is limited, preregistration is required! Call 585-344-1122 to register.

GC Park & Forest is located at 11095 Bethany Center Road in East Bethany.

For more information visit their website here or contact Shannon Morley at [email protected] or (585) 344-1122.

May 3, 2017 - 2:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in east bethany, news, nature, genesee county park & forest.

Submitted photo and press release:

Cutleaf toothwort, trout lily, mayapple...Hike with a naturalist guide on our Wildflower Walk May 6th and learn the names, growing habits, and adaptations of the forest’s first flowers.

Seize the day and enjoy the magic of spring while it lasts! Cameras are recommended!

Wildflower Walk takes place on Saturday, May 6th from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at Genesee County Park & Forest. The walk begins at the Interpretive Nature Center, located at 11095 Bethany Center Road, East Bethany.

Cost is $5/person, $10/family. Preregistration is required. Call 585-344-1122 to reserve your spot.

For more information visit our website at http://www.co.genesee.ny.us/departments/parks/, or contact Shannon Morley at [email protected] or (585) 344-1122.

November 15, 2016 - 8:28am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, nature, outdoors, news.

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The Friends of Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge have announced the winners of their annual photo contest. First Place in the habitat category went to Dan Heale (top photo) and First Place in wildlife went to Kathy Owen (bottom photo). For more winning shots, click here.

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May 16, 2016 - 10:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, trees, crabapples, news, nature, outdoors.

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The crabapple trees in Alexander are once again in bloom. We wrote last year about the fascinating history of Alexander's crabapple trees.

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April 23, 2016 - 1:36pm

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As part of an Earth Day observance, volunteers came out to the DeWitt Recreation Area in Batavia to help with spring cleanup.

The walk around the park was about more than just trash pickup. It included a guided nature walk led by Amy Jessmer, from Albion, with a degree in environmental science from SUNY Brockport, where she is currently working on her master's degree. Jessmer spoke about native and non-native species and the environmental balance of the lake and surrounding habitat.

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The water level of DeWitt is exceptionally low. George Squires, retired from the county's soil and water department, said he doesn't believe he's seen it this low since the 1980s.

January 14, 2016 - 11:41am
posted by James Burns in Bataiva, snowy owl, nature, Genes County.

You  may not consider Batavia a warm winter retreat, but chances are you are not a snowy owl.

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So far this season we have one wintering snowy owl at the Genesee County airport. With the Great Lakes getting colder and starting to freeze over, we could have more spending time here with us. As the lakes freeze, more snowy owls could push inland looking for food and that could mean better bird watching for us in Batavia.

If you have not had a chance to drive by and see it you should make and effort and try. She likes the west end of the airport on most days.

If you cannot make it out this winter you may not have another chance to see one here for awhile. About four years ago there was a very large lemming baby boom due to the arctic being unusually warm. This led to a boom in the snowy owl population. Since the arctic has remained warmer than normal the lemming population has burned out. The young owls are forced to fly as far as 7,000 miles away from home in the winter to find easily found food. As the owls mature, and become better hunters, they will be able to stay in the artic all winter. In the past, this cycle of snowy owls coming this far south for the winter has lasted about three years. This is the third year for them in Batavia. They may not be back again for awhile. Since there is only one snowy owl in town, instead of three to five like the last few years, it may point to the cycle ending. 

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December 29, 2015 - 3:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in outdoors, birds, nature.

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Some of the activity at our bird feeder this afternoon.

September 28, 2015 - 8:08am
posted by Howard B. Owens in nature.

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From Jim Burns.

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From Michelle Caballero.

September 27, 2015 - 11:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in nature.

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Shot at 10:48 p.m., ISO 12,500, 1/160 f2.8

The shots below taken at various settings over the course of the eclipse's progression. Shooting at 200mm and then cropping tightly in Lightroom.

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August 3, 2015 - 9:21am
posted by JIM NIGRO in nature, outdoors, full moon, sunrise, Tonawanda Creek.

There's plenty to be said for rising early. In the above photo, rays of sunlight permeate our yard as the sun begins its ascent.

The calm of early morning provides a mirror image on a placid surface.

Mist rises from a stretch of Tonawanda Creek. Regardless the time of day, this is always a nice spot to take photos as little light penetrates the treetop canopy.

Gathering clouds have a filtering effect and cast a pale-orange glow on the horizon.

The full moon looms large immediately after rising...........

but not until the full moon climbs high in the night sky are we bathed in soft lunar light and moon shadows.

July 26, 2015 - 3:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, nature.

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Pictures submitted by Dylan Brew of of a hummingbird clearwing moth spotted in Alexander. 

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July 26, 2015 - 3:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in flowers, nature, Alabama.

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There's a nice patch of yellow daisies that have popped up in a field near the intersection of Judge Road and Alleghany Road, Alabama.

July 10, 2015 - 9:11am
posted by JIM NIGRO in outdoors, nature, chipmunks, garter snake.

Murph and Charlie were on their way to dig tunnels in the flower bed when Murph spotted trouble approaching from the rough growth at the edge of the yard. "Uh-oh -- look who's back," he said. "Do ya think two of us can handle 'im?" asked Charlie. "No way -- he didn't get that big eatin' just bugs," Murph said.

Slinking through the rough that bordered the lawn was a slithering nemesis who had time and again menaced the local chipmunks. Having spotted his potential quarry, the sinister creature mused to himself, "Isthmus be my lucky day! Little fur balls! Boy oh boy! This should be a piece of cake!"

"Listen," whispered Murph to Charlie, "we're gonna need help. Go fetch the Muldoon brothers -- they always enjoy a good scrap -- and be quick about it."

"Hey Seamus, Rory, we need your help -- the snake is back!" As expected, the Muldoon bros pledged their support, no questions asked.

"Count us in" chorused the Frawley clan, sensing the excitement and eager to join the fray.

With reinforcements on the way, Murph is temporarily on his own when he comes face to face with the adversary.......

"Hello there, my little furry and tasty friend.......why don't you come a little closer, hmmm?" No sooner had the sinister menace lisped those words when he heard approaching movement in the grass.

Raising his head to better scope out the situation, the slithering reptilian suddenly sees the potential for a one-sided melee, and the odds are no longer in his favor.

Subtle, stealthful, and none too foolish, the serpent retreats to the rough from whence he came. As for the chipmunks, they went happily about their business of once again making holes in the lawn and flower bed.

July 3, 2015 - 8:32am

Whether one views them as weeds or wildflowers, they are colorful nonetheless and for the past month or more they have pleasantly tinted the roadsides of Genesee County. The red clover pictured above was one of the more prolific plants springing up along country roads, in some cases clusters of the red bud could be measured in acres. Said to be a good source of vitamin C, chromium, magnesium, niacin, potassium and more, fresh buds are great in a salad, while dried they are used to make tea. 

Daisy fleabane -- when dried -- was once believed to rid a household of fleas.

Canada thistle resembles a miniature version of bull thistle but its bud is not nearly as colorful as the magenta flower of the bull thistle.

Crown vetch interspersed with red clover.

Wood sorrel

July 2, 2015 - 10:31am

A streak-winged red skimmer rests atop a Rose of Sharon leaf. A couple summers back my grandson Joshua and I came across a large spiderweb with three of these dragonflies wrapped up cocoon-style and set aside for a meal at a later date. Joshua wasn't real happy about that -- he likes dragonflies. Come to think of it, he likes all bugs, period!

This daddy long legs, aka "harvestman," also decided to scour the Rose of Sharon leaves for a meal.

It must have been good hunting -- this green stinkbug wasn't about to pass up a meal. 

A white tail dragonfly rests atop a riprap embankment.

The translucence of a dragonfly's gossamer-like wings is evident on this Twelve-spotted Skimmer.

The wood frog is actually not so much a creature of summer -- he just happened to show up while I was mowing the lawn. Along with the spring peeper, the wood frog is one of the first amphibians to make its presence known in the early spring when it makes its way to vernal pools to procreate.

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Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license.
Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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