Sunday, September 29, 2013

Golden Eagle Attacks Deer, A Photo Of An Epic Confrontation

From NPR most emailed stories:

Through circumstantial evidence, scientists believed golden eagles preyed on large mammals like deer. Now there is photographic proof.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Stargazing Event at Chestnut Ridge Park

The folks at Chestnut Ridge Park are in need of volunteers to help with this event.  If interested in helping, call the park office.  Volunteer opportunities include helping to park cars, collecting admission fees, and passing out hot chocolate and marshmallows.  Volunteers also get free admission.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Bird Banding Roadtrip

Thursday, Oct 3, a group of WVBG Garden Keepers/OLP volunteers will be carpooling to Dolly Sods for the final day of bird banding for this year.  They will be leaving from Lowes parking lot at Glenmark Centre at 8:30am.  Be sure to pack a lunch along with something to drink.  Dress for the weather and wear shoes suitable for hiking.  Estimated return time will be in time for dinner.

One carload is already filled so be prepared to drive or to form your own carpool.  In case of strong winds or rain, there will be no birding so as not to stress the birds.  The trip will still go on though with a hike of the Dolly Sods area.  RSVP to Sunny Morton,

Sunday, September 22, 2013

West Virginia Pollinator Handbook

While searching for best native plants that support pollinators, I came across the West Virginia Pollinator Handbook online.  The link is  Great stuff inside.

1st Annual Water Festival Oct 4-5

What:  1st Annual Water Festival
When: October 4-5
Where: Hazel Ruby McQuain Waterfront Park

Friday, Oct 4 (for area 5th graders) 9:30am - 1:00pm

Saturday, Oct 5 (for community) 11am - 4pm
Features live music and food vendors

Presentation topics:

Water Science & Environmental Issues
Water quality, water conservation, water cycle, watersheds, acid mine drainage/ nonpoint source pollution,  trash/ recycling, flooding/ stormwater/ wastewater

Historical Cultural Issues
Transportation, Locks & Dams, Commerce

Fishing, boating, kayaking

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Two plants on Star City rail trail

After our breakfast at Terra Cafe, we embarked on a walk down the Star City rail trail.  We came across a grape-leaf like vine with a second vine growing up through it.
The smaller vine had balloon-like seeds pods.  Greg opened one and found some small, nut-like seeds inside.  He declined to try one.
The larger of the two vines had an interesting fruit that grew in clusters like bananas.  These were very prickly on the outside which Greg discovered.
A closer view of the larger vine with a view of the fruit and leaf placements.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Maurice Brooks Lecture, Sept 26

Bob Mazgaj of the Quality Deer Management Association will present “From Wildlife Student to Chief Operating Officer” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, in 316 Percival Hall. Mazgaj is a WVU alumnus and chief operating officer for the Quality Deer Management Association. Previously he served 16 years with Ducks Unlimited and 18 years with the Ohio Division of Wildlife. This lecture is the annual Maurice Brooks Lectureship which was established in 1994 to honor Brooks, a well-known naturalist who specialized in the Appalachian region. The lectureship is sponsored by the WVU Division of Forestry and Natural Resources, the WVU student chapter of The Wildlife Society, the Old Hemlock Foundation, Mountaineer Audubon, and the Environmental Research Center.
LeJay Graffious
Phone: 304.379.7505

Mountaineer Audubon Coopers Rock State Forest Birding Field Trip, Sept 21

Fall migration should be in full swing for this trip to Coopers Rock State Forest.  Bring binoculars and dress for the weather.  Meet at Mountaineer Mall at 7:30am near the water tower or at 8:00am at the Raven Rock Trail parking lot at Coopers Rock, about 2 miles south of I-68 exit 15.

What is OLP?

Last night at the Master Naturalist meeting, Gregory Waggett asked me what was the OLP.  Located behind the Krogers in Sabraton, the Outdoor Learning Park is a project of the Friends of Deckers Creek.  For more information check here on the Friends of Deckers Creek website:

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Volunteer hours at OLP work-day Sunday, Sept 29

Hello All!

I wanted to let you know about the volunteer day I have set up for the last Sunday of this month. The work will be done between 10 and 2. This work day coincides with the state-wide volunteer service day. 

I have applied for a $500 grant through the state for further improvements to the OLP. The things we would purchase include: trees and other native vegetation, hand tools, bird and bat boxes, and compost. The grant will also fund a new sign to be made and placed in the existing kiosk near the outdoor classroom. We'll put pictures of butterflies, birds, flowers, etc. that people will find in the OLP. We'll also build two boxes to attach to the kiosk: one will hold "checklists" for folks to mark what they have found and one box will be used for checklist submissions. They can put their name and the date on the paper. This way, we can keep track of who is seeing what at the OLP at different times during the year. 

I should know this week if we get the grant. I really hope we do! I'll be sure to keep you updated.
(Editor's note: Hannah got the grant.)

I have contacted BOPARC twice about mulch and have received no answer. I'll try again this week.  

Please let me know if you are able to attend the work day. It would be great to have some OLP experts showing the volunteers what needs to be done, what weeds can be pulled, etc. 

Thank you for all of your hard work!
Hannah Spencer, Volunteer Coordinator
Friends of Deckers Creek
P.O.Box 877 Dellslow, WV 26531
Office: 304.292.3970
Fax: 304.292.5070

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Rendezvous at the Terra Cafe on Saturday, Sept 21, 9am

Let's try another rendezvous at the Terra Cafe on Saturday, Sept 21st at 9am.  If the weather  cooperates we can do a little jaunt on the trail afterwards. Please RSVP for head-count purposes, but if you don't RSVP, don't let that stop you from showing up!  See Terra Cafe info below.

Terra Cafe is located by the river on the trail in Star City. They are right beside Citynet's offices and the Tugboat Depot playground.  Map is attached.
Phone: (2233)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Volunteers needed for National Hunting & Fishing Days at Stonewall Jackson Resort State Park

Hello everyone!!
Help is needed again for this year’s National Hunting & Fishing Days at Stonewall Jackson Resort State Park on Saturday and Sunday, September 28 & 29.  Many of you have helped out in previous years.  If you can help out again this year, or need more information, please let me know.  As always, thank you very much.

Jim Fregonara
Wildlife Resources Section
Wildlife Diversity Program
phone: 304-637-0245

Volunteer opportunities in science-based field trips


The Children’s Discovery Museum of West Virginia (CDMWV) and the West Virginia Botanic Garden (WVBG) are offering science-based field trip opportunities for students in Kindergarten through 4th grade!

Program: Be a Scientist!
Age group: Kindergarten through 1st Grade
Offered: Year-round
At the CDMWV, students will participate in interactive activities to learn about scientific observation in the context of using their 5 senses. At the WVBG, students will be guided through a variety of natural areas and gardens. Students will receive a journal to draw pictures or write about what they see, hear, touch, and smell. Children will also learn how animals use their senses and how this helps them to survive. Each student will go home with a pencil, journal, and magnifying lens to continue exploring beyond the field trip.

Program: Seasons Change and So Do We!
Age group:  1st -4th grade
Offered: Fall
At the CDMWV, students will explore hands-on activities to learn why leaves change color. At the WVBG, students will be guided through different natural areas and gardens comparing leaves from different trees and looking for wildlife and examples of plants and animals preparing for winter. Students will receive a journal and pencil to draw pictures or write their observations. Students will also receive and decorate a small canvas bag that they may use to collect leaves to take home.

Program: The Circle of Life
Age group: 1st-4th grade
Offered: Spring/Fall
At the CDMWV, students will participate in hands-on activities to learn about the lifecycle of (1) frogs or (2) butterflies (teacher choice). At the WVBG, guides will assist children in observing plants, tadpoles and/or butterflies in their natural habitats while reviewing the life cycles of the organisms they see. Students will receive a journal and pencil to draw pictures or write their observations. Students will also plant a seed in a biodegradable pot to take home.

Location: The Children’s Discovery Museum of West Virginia is located in the Mountaineer Mall at 5000 Greenbag Road in Morgantown. The West Virginia Botanic Garden is located at 1061 Tyrone Road in Morgantown.

Cost: $5 per student, adults are free. (One check at $3 per child made out to the CDMWV and one check at $2 per child made out to WVBG will be collected on the day of visit).

Schedule/Questions: Call Julie Bryan at 304-292-4646 or email at to schedule a visit or for more information.  For questions about the WV Botanic Garden, contact Erin Smaldone at 304-216-8704 or

If interested in volunteering for the above projects, contact Erin:

Erin Smaldone
Volunteer Coordinator & Education Director
West Virginia Botanic Garden

Friday, September 13, 2013

Missing a crucial class or two?

Near the bottom of this blog are the class schedules for Ohio Valley, Canaan Valley and Oglebay master naturalist groups.  I believe Canaan Valley is finishing up their classes this weekend, but the other two still have classes scheduled into November.  Just check ahead with the contact person to see if there is room for you and if there is a fee.

Names, Classification, Identification Course at New River Chapter

[Summersville, W. Va.]  The New River Community and Technical College Office of Workforce Education will host a one-session Master Naturalist class on Names, Classifications and Identification on Monday, Sept.30, at 6 p.m. at the Workforce WV Building at 830 Northside Drive, Summersville, W.Va.  
This class is part of the required curriculum to obtain the Master Naturalist Certification. Tuition is $10.  Emily Browning, instructor of biology at New River, will teach the class utilizing her education and personal knowledge.  
Master Naturalist is a program of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. The goal is to train interested people in the fundamentals of natural history, nature interpretation and teaching, and to instill in them an appreciation of the importance of responsible environmental stewardship.  To register for this class, or learn more about the Master Naturalist Program, call (304) 883-2446, or e-mail

22nd Annual Morgantown Gem, Mineral & Fossil Show

22nd Annual Morgantown Gem, Mineral & Fossil Show
(Formerly held at Cheat Lake)

Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
EXIT 155 of I-79 Morgantown

Sponsored by:
Prehistoric Enterprises
Phone: 304-282-2306


This is the largest show in the area and you will see displays, geode cutting, and exciting shopping opportunities. Fun for all ages. Free parking. The WVU Student Chapter of the Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME) will be on hand with an informational display and free mineral samples. Children under 12 receive a free rock or fossil specimen when accompanied by an adult. Door prizes and demonstrations.

GPS: Set GPS to 500 Mylan Park Lane, Morgantown, West Virginia 26501. This is the approximate center of the Park.
I-79 from the North - Pennsylvania: Take exit 155 (US 19 / WV 7 -West Virginia University) and turn right on Chaplin Hill Road. Mylan Park is approximately 1.6 miles on the right.
I-79 from the South - Clarksburg / Fairmont / Charleston: Take exit 155 (US 19 / WV 7 -West Virginia University) and turn left on Chaplin Hill Road. Mylan Park is approximately 1.7 miles on the right.
I-68 from the East - Cheat Lake / Preston County / Maryland: When I-68 ends at I-79 take I-79 North to exit 155. At that exit, turn left on Chaplin Hill Road for approximately 1.7 miles. The North Gate entrance to Mylan Park is on the right.
From Morgantown via US 19 / WV 7: Departing Morgantown on US 19 North or WV 7 West, cross the Monongahela River and at the next stop light (beside Sheetz), continue up the hill toward I-79 past the entrance to University Town Centre. Go under Interstate 79 and stay on Chaplin Hill Road for about 1.6 miles to Mylan Park on the right.

West Virginia Botanic Garden: Fall Mushrooms, Sept 15

WVU Professor of Mycology, Dr Dan Panaccione, will lead us in search of forest fungi.  Dan will show us how to identify the native mushrooms at the garden by their unique characteristics.

Mountaineer Audubon Prickett's Fort State Park Birding Field Trip, Sept 14

Bring binoculars and dress for the weather for this trip to Prickett's Fort State Park near Fairmont.  Meet at Mountaineer Mall near the water tower at 7:30am or at Prickett's Fort at the rail trail parking lot across  from the fort at 8:00am.  We'll be looking for early fall migrants as well as resident birds and other wildlife.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Noted scholar to speak on climate change - Sept 17, 7:00pm

The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars
Dr. Michael E. Mann

Climate change is one of the most important and controversial scientific and political issues of our time. A noted expert in that field will discuss the controversies and challenges of the science of climate change in a lecture at West Virginia University at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17, in G20 Ming Hsieh Hall. - See more at:
Climate change is one of the most important and controversial scientific and political issues of our time. A noted expert in that field will discuss the controversies and challenges of the science of climate change in a lecture at West Virginia University at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17, in G20 Ming Hsieh Hall. - See more at:
Tuesday September, 17 at 7:00PM
G20 Ming Hsieh Hall (Downtown Campus)
Read more about the event at:

Division of Forestry & Natural ResourcesWest Virginia University
PO Box 6125
Morgantown, WV 26506

Morgantown Learning Academy Project

The Monongahela Master Naturalist chapter has partnered with the Morgantown Learning Academy in Morgantown, WV.  The organizations have combined to help students build their garden, improve outdoor learning spaces and nature trails, and teach students to protect and preserve their environment for the future.  Ellen Hrabovsky, Coordinator of the Monongahela Chapter of the Master Naturalists, said that the group’s goal in partnering with MLA is to train young people about the outdoors. “At the very least, (students) can appreciate nature. At the most, we can end up with scientists who work on research projects, teach, and educate everybody about nature.”

To see pictures of some of the projects and to see the school itself, visit  In addition to the development and maintenance of physical projects, Ellen and her fellow MN members are mentoring the Mountain Mallards, an afterschool outdoor adventure club.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Mountaineer Audubon Monthly Program - "Wings over West Virginia," Sept 10

Doren Burrell will speak on "Wings over Vest Virginia."  What really happens when we speak of "birds flying south for winter"?  Meet in Seekers Hall in the Spruce Street United Methodist Church, 386 Spruce Street, in downtown Morgantown at 6:30pm with the program beginning at 7:00pm

Mountaineer Audubon Core Arboretum Birding Field Trip, Sept 7

Early fall birds and wildlife will be the focus of this trip to WVU's Core Arboretum.  Meet at the Arboretum parking lot on Route 19/7 (Monongahela Blvd) next to the WVU Coliseum parking lot at 7:30am.

Volunteers hours available at WVBG

Volunteer Day at the WV Botanic Garden, Sept 7th.
The third Saturday morning of each month, from 9am-12pm, is a time when volunteers can come to the Botanic Garden and help with projects.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Residents sought to help in stink bug study

KEARNEYSVILLE - As fall approaches and the weather cools, the omnipresent brown marmorated stink bug will begin looking for a nice, cozy place to stay.  So researchers at the USDA Appalachian Fruit Research Station in Jefferson County are asking the public to help them figure out why the bugs choose some houses over others.
Tracy Leskey, entomologist at the USDA Appalachian Fruit Research Station, said researchers have learned a lot about the bug's behavior over the past 15 years.  "We've identified the pheromone of brown marmorated stink bug, and so we're now using this in traps to monitor their activity throughout the season," Leskey said.  "And we're hoping in the future to use that pheromone to develop attract and kill strategies where we attract and aggregate the stink bugs to particular locations and we can annihilate them there."
Leskey is looking for volunteers willing to count the number of stink bugs on their house every day between Sept 15 and Oct 15.  These citizen scientists will get a form to fill out that includes their name and address, a description of the house and surrounding vegetation and rough drawing of where the house is located.  Leskey is primarily looking for volunteers from eastern West Virginia and the surrounding states of Virginia and Maryland, but anyone anywhere willing to count the stink bugs on their house for a month is welcome to participate.
Volunteers can contact Leskey at or Doo-Hyung Lee or Torri Hancock at the Appalachian Fruit Research Station at 304-725-3451.

Free tree farm walking tour offered Sept 21

A woodland educational walking tour will be offered at the property of Bill Slagle, the 2013 W.Va. Tree Farmer of the Year, near Hazelton in Preston County.  The walk is from 10am - 1pm on Sept 21.  The get together is sponsored by the WV Woodland Owners Association, WVU Extension Service/Appalachian Hardwood Center, and the WV Tree Farm Program.
Bill Slagle will lead the tour and tell the group about some key strategies in maintaining access roads, conducting tree thinning, crop tree release and grapevine control, harvesting timber and growing American ginseng.  The tour will also visit a managed walnut plantation, a fruit orchard and wildlife habitat areas on the property, as well as a stream containing native brook trout, where stream-side restoration and reclamation work have been conducted.
The walking tour will cover generally flat ground with a few relatively steep sections, so sturdy walking shoes are recommended.  Following the walking tour, a free lunch will be provided.  Registration is free and starts at 9:30am.
RSVP: Dan Magill: 304-293-9419 or

Volunteer at Holly River State Park Oct 5-6

From: Fregonara, Jim M []
Sent: Tuesday, September 03, 2013 11:48 AM
To: Miller, Penny
Subject: FW: Volunteer at Holly River State Park Oct. 5th and 6th

Subject: Volunteer at Holly River State Park Oct. 5th and 6th

Holly River State Park is 35 miles south of Buckhannon.  I am looking at coordinating volunteer work, exact nature to be determined, October 5th and 6th.  Might be trail work, removing limbs from storm damage or many other things.  Plenty of work available.  Camp sites and cabins available there.  You can work one or both days.  Park restaurant open for meals those days.  Please email or call me for further information.  Thanks, Tom Prall, 304-924-6553 or 304-472-1787, WVABOOKS@AOL.COM

September schedule for Monongahela MN classes

Hello all!
The year is flying by and it is time to remind you of the Sept. Class schedule

Sept 12  Class Presentations The presentation counts as 4 hours for Interpretation, etc.
Sept 19  Class Presentations
Sept 26  Mammals  Sheldon Owen  (3 hrs core)

All will be in room 308 Percival Hall starting at 6 pm

We also have schedule an Orienteering class for Nov. 16.  More to come on that.  There will also be a pot-luck picnic in association with this class

See you