May 18, 2019

Trilliums of Pennsylvania

Penn’s Woods is home to seven of America’s 39 species of trilliums. These flowers are among the most highly anticipated of the spring wildflowers, and fortunately we don’t have long to wait after a bleak winter. The diminutive snow trillium (Trillium nivale; proposed PA Threatened) is one of the first flowers of the commonwealth to bloom.

April 22, 2019

Celebrate the Earth in the PA Wilds

With its roots extending back to 1970 demonstrations, the annual Earth Day celebration continues to thrive and connect people with the land. And that’s something easy to do in the Pennsylvania Wilds, which offers over 2 million acres of public lands to explore and appreciate.

April 19, 2019

A Frog, a Toad, and a Salamander

April is a great month to observe vernal pools, and logically, some of their most common tenants.  Vernal pools are seasonal pools that appear in the spring as the snow melts, and many of our forest dwellers depend on them. These pools almost always dry up in the summer, but this is of no consequence to vernal pool-dependent organisms because they only need them for a part of their lives.

March 20, 2019

Springtime: A Time of Renewal and Fire in the Forest

Although all creatures react to the onset of spring a little differently, one common theme persists: spring is a time of renewal.

February 9, 2019

Snowbirds: Signs of winter and hope for spring

Ryan Reed's mother always enjoyed watching birds at the backyard feeder, and so has he.  When he was young, his mother taught him to identify the “snowbirds.” Years later, he learned to formally identify them as “slate-colored juncos,” and still later yet, “dark-eyed juncos." Learn more about these birds, often spotted throughout winter in the Pennsylvania Wilds.

February 2, 2019

Frozen Frogs: A miraculous winter strategy

When winter’s glacial groan begins to sweep across the land, animals are ready to meet the challenge with a variety of strategies. But the wood frog neither flees nor flops nor frets…it freezes.

January 2, 2019

Clarion River, Finalist for ‘River of the Year,’ Honored with Postage Stamp

The year 2018 was a huge year for the Clarion River, and 2019 stands to be even bigger. In late November, the Clarion was named one of four rivers nominated for “Pennsylvania River of the Year, 2019,” and this Pennsylvania Wilds river is also among 12 U.S. Wild and Scenic Rivers to be featured on a postage stamp issued by the United States Postal Service in the new year.

December 15, 2018

Leaf after Death: Explore the benefits of tree ‘litter’

Chartreuse budburst tinged with pink is a welcome sight in spring after a dreary winter. Deep green leaves radiant in the summer sun are appreciated for their cool shade. Autumn foliage painted in vivid colors can stop traffic with its beauty. But what impression is left on the leaves that have fallen to the ground, besides the tread of your boots?

December 12, 2018

Elk visit Bennetts Valley Elementary, create opportunity for learning

When you live in Elk Country, it’s not uncommon to spot elk. Sometimes they’re perched in a yard near the woods; other times they’re lying nonchalantly next to the road. The youngsters who grow up in this part of the Pennsylvania Wilds are used to these enormous cervidae.  But, who would have thought the elk visit them while in school?

November 23, 2018

Headwaters Mountain: The Triple Continental Divide of the Pennsylvania Wilds

This is something geologically unique to these Pennsylvania Wilds because Potter County is home to the only Triple Continental Divide east of the Mississippi River, where rainfall travels in three separate directions to the sea. At the end of a gravel road, in a pasture atop the mountain, raindrops falling in the same area, a mere few inches apart will merge into one of three springs. All within less than a thousand yards of one another, the descent of these three springs becomes the starting point for three major rivers and primary watershed divides, one north, one west, the other east.