Monday, March 29, 2010

Weather Changes Affect Species on All Continents

Northern New England may be having a relatively mild winter, but back in the motherland, things haven't been so easy. New reports coming in indicate that small birds are not weathering the particularly harsh winter very well. Click here to link to the article.
Monarchs in North America are facing a similar fate due to bad weather. Here's a link to the article detailing their rough winter.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

March Hike up Kent's Ledge

It was an overcast, blustery morning, Peter and I had decided to hike Kent's Ledge. It was extremely peaceful and calm on the way up, very few birds beyond a brown creeper, some juncos, and a small flock of chickadees calling.
When we reached the ledge itself, the wind was howling, which kept us from lingering there too long. We began the trek back down, taking a different route than we hiked up, just for variety. Pileated woodpeckers called from the trees ahead, but otherwise, it stayed quiet. As we were only a few minutes from the end of the hike, I finally met my icy match, doing the stereotypical cartoon banana peel slip. My legs went straight out from under me, and I landed flat on my back. Oooof. Ouch.
After the shock wore off, I was sore, and my ego felt a bruise forming, but otherwise I was fine. We headed to the car to get me home where I could nurse my wounds in peace. So much for mountain woman...
Consolation prize was getting great looks at a downy woodpecker climbing the tree outside my window. Maybe mother nature felt sorry for me.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

ELS Retreat in the Catskills

I spent this weekend in the Catskills at a region-wide Environmental Law Society Retreat. That I was able to go at all was a fluke, the two students from VLS scheduled to go both ended up having conflicts that precluded them from attending. I responded to a last-minute email sent out to ELS members, inquiring in anyone would be interested in attending in their place. Apparently I was the only student who took the initiative and who actually had the weekend free. The retreat was held at the YMCA campus in Frost Valley. It was gorgeous, and our lodge was really rustic and fun. The only sad event occurred early on, within minutes of walking in, I was just saying hello to everyone when we heard a loud THUMP, a white-breasted nuthatch had collided with the lodge's high windows, and dropped down to the deck. When it was apparent that it was dead, not just stunned, we moved the poor bird off the deck.
Luckily, that wasn't indicative of the type of weekend we'd have. We all introduced ourselves and shared our backgrounds the first night over a campfire. The next morning, following breakfast, we all went for a hike to a gorgeous waterfall. The robins were out in abundance, everywhere I looked, there were robins feeding in the dry grass. Then after lunch and some time enjoying the gorgeous and unseasonable weather, we sat down to talk shop. Each school represented discussed what ELS does at their school, and the most interesting current events. Then we talked about summer internships and externships, revealing how positions were gotten, and offering up contacts from previous jobs to those who would be interested in applying in the future.
The night was kicked off with a special sneak preview of a new nature film being released, and s’mores. The film was great, everyone was ohh-ing and ahh-ing or cracking up. Finally, a round or two of Environmental Law Jeopardy ended the night, with questions like, which state holds the most Superfund Sites? (Answer, NJ)
The 5 hour drive each way by myself was just fine, I passed through many interesting places,saw the World’s Largest Garden Gnome, and generally enjoyed the time out of SoRo.

Friday, March 19, 2010

ELS Retreat

I'll be spending the weekend in the Catskill Mountains at an Environmental Law Society Retreat. It was a last minute decision, but I think it's going to be a great weekend, full of hiking, campfires, and lots of environmental talk. Should be great!

Best Public Awareness Campaign Ever

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Big Year Movie Starring Jack Black, Owen Wilson And Steve Martin

They're making a movie based on the book about a birding Big Year - a year when a birder tries to see as many species as possible. Hopefully it won't be a parody of what we do, but a way for non-birders to get a lens into the excitement of birding. Then again, based on that line-up cast, I'd say we birders better have a sense of humor about this film.