Monday, November 30, 2015

Christmas Bird Count Dec 19

Dec 19 - Christmas bird count - 8am - 4pm.  Audubon's Christmas Bird Count, which attempts to count all birds within a 15-mile-diameter circle, has been conducted for more than 100 years.  People who want to get involved in Morgantown's count may register online, at birds.audubon.org/christmas-bird-count.  Several teams will cover various areas.  Attendees can bird all day long, or only part of the day.

North Bend State Park Reservations

The 2016 State Master Naturalist Meeting is being held at North Bend State Park.  Dates are June 9-12 with Friday being pre-conference activities including biking, kayaking, historical tour of Blennerhasset Island, and a self-guided tour of Harrisville.  You may now make your reservations for rooms in the Lodge or to rent a cabin.  The number to call is 304-643-2931or go to their website.

For those wanting to rent a campsite, you will need to wait until after Feb 15.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Winter choices of the Master Naturalist bookclub

December 10   Winter World  by  Bernd Heinrich
From flying squirrels to grizzly bears, and from torpid turtles to insects with antifreeze, the animal kingdom relies on some staggering evolutionary innovations to survive winter. Unlike their human counterparts, who must alter the environment to accommodate physical limitations, animals are adaptable to an amazing range of conditions.
Examining everything from food sources in the extremely barren winter land-scape to the chemical composition that allows certain creatures to survive, Heinrich's Winter World awakens the largely undiscovered mysteries by which nature sustains herself through winter's harsh, cruel exigencies.

January 14   Life on the Edge  by  Johnjoe Mcfadden  and Jim Al- Khalili
Life is the most extraordinary phenomenon in the known universe; but how did it come to be? Even in an age of cloning and artificial biology, the remarkable truth remains: nobody has ever made anything living entirely out of dead material. Life remains the only way to make life. Are we still missing a vital ingredient in its creation?
   
Like Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene, which provided a new perspective on how evolution works, Life on the Edge alters our understanding of our world's fundamental dynamics. Bringing together first-hand experience at the cutting edge of science with unparalleled gifts of explanation, Jim Al-Khalili and Johnjoe Macfadden reveal that missing ingredient to be quantum mechanics; the phenomena that lie at the heart of this most mysterious of sciences.

Drawing on recent ground-breaking experiments around the world, each chapter in Life on the Edge engages by illustrating one of life's puzzles: How do migrating birds know where to go? How do we really smell the scent of a rose? How do our genes copy themselves with such precision? Life on the Edge accessibly reveals how quantum mechanics can answer these probing questions of the universe.

Guiding the reader through the rapidly unfolding discoveries of the last few years, Al-Khalili and McFadden communicate the excitement of the explosive new field of quantum biology and its potentially revolutionary applications, while offering insights into the biggest puzzle of all: what is life? As they brilliantly demonstrate in these groundbreaking pages, life exists on the quantum edge.

February 11   Dirt  the Ecstatic Skin of Earth  by William Logan
“You are about to read a lot about dirt, which no one knows very much about.” So begins the cult classic that brings mystery and magic to “that stuff that won’t come off your collar.”

John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Saint Phocas, Darwin, and Virgil parade through this thought-provoking work, taking their place next to the dung beetle, the compost heap, dowsing, historical farming, and the microscopic biota that till the soil. With fresh eyes and heartfelt reverence, William Bryant Logan variously observes, “There is glamour to the study of rock”; “The most mysterious place on Earth is right beneath our feet”; and “Dirt is the gift of each to all.”

Whether Logan is traversing the far reaches of the cosmos or plowing through our planet’s crust, his delightful, elegant, and surprisingly soulful meditations greatly enrich our concept of “dirt,” that substance from which we all arise and to which we all must return.

March 10   Wilderness World of John Muir  by John Muir  edited by Edwin Teale
As a conservationist, John Muir traveled through most of the American wilderness alone and on foot, without a gun or a sleeping bag. In 1903, while on a three-day camping trip with President Theodore Roosevelt, he convinced the president of the importance of a national conservation program, and he is widely recognized for saving the Grand Canyon and Arizona's Petrified Forest. Muir's writing, based on journals he kept throughout his life, gives our generation a picture of an America still wild and unsettled only one hundred years ago. In The Wildernesss World of John Muir Edwin Way Teale has selected the best of Muir's writing from all of his major works—including My First Summer in the Sierra and Travels in Alaska—to provide a singular collection that provides to be "magnificent, thrilling, exciting, breathtaking, and awe-inspiring" (Kirkus Reviews).

The Master Naturalist Book Club will be meeting at 6:30 this year in the same place…..Ag Science building on WVU Evansdale Campus  Room G138.  Parking is out front and there is a microwave available if anyone would need one.
Remember the change in time….6:30 on Thursday evenings

Content information from Amazon.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Coopers Rock Foundation offering volunteer hours Nov 7 & 8

This coming weekend will feature 13 hours of community service opportunities for interested volunteers at the State Forest with the Coopers Rock Foundation.  Saturday's hours will be from 9am-5pm and Sunday's are noon-5pm.  There will be free Halloween candy for all volunteers.
Trails to be worked upon may include: Roadside Trail, Advanced Ski Trail, Rock City Trail, and the brand new Reservoir Loop Trail.
The meeting place for each day will be at the entrance to the day use parking lot, 1/4 mile from the I-68 Coopers Rock exit.
Info: adamzapple88@gmail.com

Morgantown Area Paddlers Lock and Dam Excursion

Twenty-two area kayakers went through the Morgantown Lock and Dam on October 31.

Winter Tree ID workshop in Preston County - Nov 17

Hello Everyone!
I hope you've been enjoying the beautiful colors of Autumn!
I wanted to let you know that there will be a  Winter Tree ID workshop in Preston County on November 17th.
Please contact Preston County Extension Agent, Bill at 304-329-1391 or email him at  Bill.Shockey@mail.wvu.edu. 
More details are posted on the WV Woodland Stewards page.
Hope to see you there!!
Take care,
Agnes Kedmenecz


Visit WV Woodland Stewards at: http://wvstewards.ning.com/?xg_source=msg_mes_network