Blackberry picking

Taylor Fork Ecological Area is open for blackberry picking through the first three weeks of July. This is not casual, farm-style blackberry picking. These are wild blackberries in thick brambles. The area has poison ivy, ticks, chiggers, and limited shade. There is no restroom. There are no venomous snakes. Be sure to bring drinking water, … Continue reading Blackberry picking

Stargazing Event

Get a closer look at Jupiter, the moon, and early spring constellations.  We’ll use binoculars, telescopes, and our unaided eyes to explore the night sky with physics and astronomy professor Dr. Marco Ciocca. Details: Friday, March 27, 2015 at 9PM Meet at the Astronomy Deck to carpool to Taylor Fork (map available here). This event … Continue reading Stargazing Event

American Woodcock Skydance

AmericanWoodcock
Photo from larkwire.com

American Woodcock have returned to Kentucky from their southern wintering grounds, and the males are performing their spectacular skydance across the countryside. They are among the earliest spring breeders in Kentucky.  The unusual ‘peenting’ and whirling sounds of their display can be heard primarily at dusk, right around 8PM EST, and at dawn.  The males begin their display on the ground, then spiral 100-300 feet into the sky where they hover briefly before zigzagging downward.  The wind passing through their outer wing feathers produces the whirling sound of the flight, which is mixed with a song of fluid chirps. Skydance ViewingOn Wednesday night, we gathered at Taylor Fork to view and hear the display.  The males began peenting just after dark on the hillside above the creek. Visit Cornell’s All About Birds site to hear sounds and learn more about American Woodcock. Continue reading “American Woodcock Skydance”