Glacier Pools Preserve

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

June 8, 2016
by Michael
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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
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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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June 3, 2015
by Michael
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Laurel Time

The Mountain Laurel is entering its peak bloom, and barring a windy rain should be at its peak early this weekend.  (Yes, I said that last year and it did not happen, but…) As of now the bushes are loaded with blossoms and the ones in sun are in bloom.  I’ll be checking daily and will post.  Easiest walk to the best ones is from The Throne into the Shortcut Trail, then at the intersection straight for some big ones and to the right for a panorama of white blossoms.

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May 15, 2015
by Michael
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Now you see it; now you don’t

Our colony of ladyslipper orchids started blooming and will last through the weekend.  It is about 200 feet into the red (Shortcut) trail from the Throne, marked by a wooden sign.  Please don’t step into the woods to get closer.  It is all too easy to step on and crush these soft little plants.  There are a number near the trail on both sides for about 30 feet.  The second picture is a native azalea.  You won’t see many of these.  I rescued this one from a colony in the woods and planted it behind the house protected by a fence.  If you spot one (in bloom right now!) let me know where and I’ll put up a fence.  The woods with fewer deer would be full of small native shrubs, many of them flowering, all surviving below deer browse height.

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May 9, 2015
by Michael
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Eggs and Flowers

The wood frog eggs hatched a week ago the the pools are full of tadpoles. They are dark in color and cluster where they seem to be happy, or maybe just warm and well-fed. The salamander egg masses are a little ragged and colored by algae, but it’s easy to see the developing larvae inside. They’ll hatch soon. I will post when I see it. The photo shows both frog tadpoles and salamander eggs. Flowers are coming too fast to count, or for me to identify. Today look for dogwood on the field edges, amalanchier just in the woods, fruits, and strawberries in many paths. The orchids are leaving up and will be out soon.  

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