Glacier Pools Preserve

………………….Walking Paths for Eastern Lycoming County

March 1, 2017
by Michael
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Salamander breeding–maybe tonight, probably soon

I’ve been watching the pools for signs of life.  This morning I saw the first frog hop in, and heard a few calling.  It’s the first rain of “spring” and a little earlier for mass breeding than in earlier years, but everything is becoming odd outdoors these years.  So I’ll be going up to explore starting at 8:00 tonight.  If anyone wants to join me, meet at the kiosk and prepare for wet footing.  If the animals choose to hold off, we’ll try again another day.

February 27, 2017
by Michael
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Time for Salamander Sighting

The “mole” salamanders move to vernal pools to mate around now.  They like the first warm rain in early spring (actually late winter) and they insist on darkness.  I’m checking the pools most nights after 8:00.   Last year on March 10 I got to see a large group together in the water plus a display of wood frogs mating.  (See my post at that time.) It could be earlier this year.  Please let me know if you’d like to join me on this “hunt”.  I’ll keep posting progress here.

June 8, 2016
by Michael
1 Comment

Peak Laurel

The Laurel does not get any better than this and should stay fine for a couple of days, possibly to the start of the weekend.   I suggest walking up the entrance path to the high field (very grand specimens a short bushwhack to the right about halfway up) then turning right on the yellow trail to the red trail out to the throne. Enjoy. 

May 19, 2016
by Michael
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Birds and Blooms

Two quick announcements: the Lycoming Audubon group is having their annual at Glacier Pools Preserve on Saturday morning 5/21 starting at 8:30. It’s not really a walk, but rather an introduction to birding for the rest of us. The warbler migration north is happening right now and their experts usually scatter around the woods and spend the morning helping us beginners locate birds of interest. Come any time and look for groups of people in the fields and woods.
And while you are here, the annual Ladyslipper Orchid bloom just started. They are beautiful. They are along the “Shortcut” trail near the field and are marked with a grey number 5 sign. Please be careful not to step in the area so you don’t injure invisible emerging shoots.

May 12, 2016
by Michael
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Measured exercise walk

Rick Hamilton (one of our volunteers) had the idea of measuring a “heart walk” on our trails and putting signs up so people could see their progress.  He mapped a 1 1/2 mile loop using the entrance, mander meander, and wagon road trails with little heart signs ever 1/4 mile.  Today we put mapped it;  copies in the kiosk.

Heart Walk

April 29, 2016
by Michael
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Linn Conservancy Walk Sat April 30

Our sponsoring conservancy has organized a walk tomorrow and not all of you are on their mailing list. We start in the parking area at 10:00 but if you are late just head up to Mander Meander clockwise. Carey Entz (watershed specialist, conservation district) and Mizuki Takahashi (Bucknell bio prof with major interest amphibians) will be there answering questions and finding ‘critters’.

April 2, 2016
by Michael
1 Comment

Salamanders and Frogs

Our lamentably short winter made it easier this year for our small group of nighttime observers to catch the salamander and frog breeding display without having to deal with deep wet snow.  Breeding occurs with the first warm rain, and this year it was March 10.  We got lucky and saw a salamander “congress,”  the writhing mass of male salamanders the night they lay their spermatophores.  The photo shows only a few;  we watched for a long time as they clustered and went in and out of the leaf bed.  The next two pictures show a male Spotted Salamander and the third proof that we have Jefferson salamanders too.  Then, a night later, at another pool, I heard a weird duck-like sound which is the mating call of a male wood frog.  Then a churning object in the water with many frogs converging through the clear water.  It is “amplexus,” where the successful male clutches the female for hours while she lays her eggs and the defeated suitors (look carefully) swim away.

I’ve put reflective tacks on trees to guide me and anyone else to the pools on dark nights;  I’m also ordering a red filter for my flashlight.  If anyone wants to join me, contact me with a comment to this post.      – Michael

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October 10, 2015
by Michael
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Autumn Leaves

Our trees are at the beginning of peak color and the weather is beautiful. Don’t miss the show. It won’t hit you in the face with a splash of intense color. You need to appreciate individual trees, and the variations of red to gold to green to brown, and the scattered art of leaves fallen to the ground. It will fade to oak brown over the next week unless a windy rain strips the trees.

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