For the days when hauling around a tome for identifying birds just won’t do, Audubon comes to the rescue with its new online guide to North American birds, available for $2.99 on the iPhone, Android, iPad, NOOK or Kindle through the Audubon Birds app.
One screen pretty much holds it all, displaying information about
birding, conservation, even avian anatomy. The guide categorizes more
than 800 species by family, common name, or general shape, allowing
users to pick the most appropriate identification route.
The third display option is particularly innovative. This category directs users to the quick guide,
offering the ability to search the stout, slim, long-legged, and
sleek-beaked contours of many birds. It presents a gallery of shapes:
There are duck-like birds (think ducks, grebes, loons, pelicans, and swans), perching birds (groups like larks, flycatchers, thrushes, and wrens), or my favorite, chicken-like marsh birds (encompassing rails, coots, jacanas, and gallinules). Others include those cut like sandpipers, birds with the arrow-like anatomy of swallows, and those that feature the same, watchful upright stance as a hawk.
Over the last decade, one of the most prized freshwater sport-fish species—smallmouth bass—has suffered fish kills and perplexing illnesses in several Bay tributaries. These tributary rivers include the South Branch of the Potomac River in West Virginia, the Shenandoah and Cowpasture Rivers in Virginia, the Monocacy River in Maryland, and the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania. In the Susquehanna River, smallmouth bass populations have plummeted, with catch rates of adults falling 80 percent between 2001 and 2005 in some areas. According to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, the population has not recovered.
Smallmouth bass do not tolerate pollution well. Thus, they are an indicator of water quality. While the specific causes of the deaths and illnesses among smallmouth bass remain unclear, leading fisheries biologists studying the problem believe that a "perfect storm" of contributing factors has overwhelmed a sensitive species.
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) compiledthis report by interviewing five leading smallmouth bass experts and examining peer-reviewed journal articles, as well as reports from federal and state agencies. Some conclusions include:
Fishing for the species is responsible for $630 million annually in sales in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, the four Bay states where fish kills and diseases have occurred. Sales of boats, fishing rods, and more contribute to that figure. Additionally, smallmouth bass are responsible for $193 million annually in salaries and wages for about 5,700 people employed in fishing-related jobs and $41 million in state and local tax revenues.
Phosphorus and nitrogen pollution levels are high in many of the river segments where fish have died or become sick.In the Susquehanna River and tributaries, average phosphorus pollution levels in 12 of 24 sites monitored by the U.S. Geological Survey between 2007 and 2011 were among the worst in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. And 11 of these 24 sites had total nitrogen pollution levels that were among the worst in the region. ("Worst" is defined as ranking in the top third for levels of these pollutants among 65 sites studied in the Bay watershed). Some monitoring sites along the Monocacy River and the Potomac River and its tributaries also registered high levels of these pollutants.
Scientists believe that nitrogen and phosphorus pollution may be contributing to fish deaths and diseases in two ways. The first is by spurring the growth of parasites (myxozoans and trematoads) and their hosts (worms and snails). The second is by feeding algal blooms that raise pH levels and lower oxygen concentrations, stressing young smallmouth bass.
May 9 Update: The actual crest was later (around midnight) and almost a foot higher than predicted by the normally conservative graphs. At this level, most camps along the river remain above the water, but only by a few feet.
May 8: The river crested in Moorefield this afternoon around 1pm in the Action Stage (8.5 feet on that gauge). For updates, click on the South Branch Springfield link on the right menu. Current predictions have the river cresting around 7pm.
For those in the Northern part of Hampshire County:
2013 Stonycreek Rendezvous May 17-19: Freestyle Rodeo & BoaterCross
29 April 2013
This years Rendezvous is the weekend of Friday May 17 through Sunday May
19 at Greenhouse Park on Tirehill Road, in Johnstown, PA. There will be
full 500 CFS whitewater releases all three days GUARANTEEING GOOD FLOWS
for the entire weekend. For those that haven’t paddled the river with
just the release, 500 CFS brings the river up to about 3ft. on the
put-in bridge gauge which makes for a great playboating level and dozens
of playspots all down the run.
The weekends paddling events include :
Friday May 17th – Class II – III Downriver Race : Starts at Carpenter
Park ( take-out for Stony Canyon Run ) and ends at the
Playpark/Festival site. Registration starts at 5:00 race starts at 6:30.
Follow this link to pre-register.
Saturday May 18th – Class I Downriver Race : The Saturday River Race
from Greenhouse Park to the Inclined Plane in Johnstown. This is a 7
mile race on a class I section (One Class 2 ) of the Stonycreek River.
Particpants can utilize any craft they choose with classes for both
doubles and singles. Registration 11:30 – 12:30 Race starts promptly at
1:00 pm. This is a fun family oriented race. Follow this link to pre-register.
Team "CR" representin'
Saturday May 18th – Freestyle Rodeo : Classes for all craft will be made
based on # of participants. This is a fun, friendly event, and as a
World Kayak HomeTown ThrowDown, we encourage anyone who’s take a spin in
a hole to come out, compete, and most importantly have fun. The
Stonycreek Rock Trophies are up for grabs as well as ton’s of schwagg
from the generous World Kayak sponsors. Registration starts at 1:00
event starts promptly ( in kayak time ) at 2:00. Pre-registration is
APPRECIATED. Pre-register Here
Saturday May 18th – PlayBoaterX Cross Race : Our 6th year for this
fun spectator friendly event. This event will start right after the
Rodeo. Paddlers will be grouped into heats and navigate from the top of
the playpark through a set course with a finish line just beyond the
main playpark wave. All paddlers will get at least 2 runs in the attempt
to make it to the championship bracket. Stonycreek River Rock Trophies
are up for grabs as well as TONS o’ Schwagg from the generous World
Kayak sponsors. Pre-registration is APPRECIATED. Pre-register here.
Stonycreek Rendezvous Playboater X race
Camping is available at the festival site and food, beer, and gear vendors will be on site all weekend.
For more details and information check out Benscreek Canoe Club’s Site / or on FaceBook at World Kayak Western PA Region
If those don’t help :
Hope to see you on the RIVER!!!!
Stroll’s 2013 Locavore Index ranks states in terms of commitment to local foods
BRATTLEBORO, VT — How does your state stack up against all the others when it comes to availability and consumption of locally-produced foods? Strolling of the Heifers has the answer.
The Vermont-based local food advocacy group has released its second annual Strolling of the Heifers Locavore Index, ranking the 50 states and the District of Columbia in terms of their commitment to local foods.
Using recent indicator data from multiple sources, the Index incorporates farmers markets, consumer-supported agriculture operations (CSAs) and food hubs in its per-capita comparison of consumers’ interest in eating locally-sourced foods — also known as locavorism.
The top five states for locavorism, according to the Index, in order, are Vermont (first), Maine, New Hampshire, North Dakota and Iowa, while the bottom five are Texas (last), Florida, Louisiana, Arizona and Nevada.
Thanks to Alana Hartman of WVDEP for the scanning, but also all the connections and advice that made the cleanup successful. (Click the image for a larger version, and in Firefox or Chrome use Ctrl+ to enlarge.)
5 Seed Saving Lessons From the Ground Up. Connie Schultz shares how some of her ‘old favorite’ seed varieties needed to be replaced with ‘new favorites’ as she relocated to a new climate (but not a new hardiness zone). You won’t want miss out on her 5 seeds saving lessons, or perhaps sharing some of your own.
Wordless Wednesday Wanderings, last but not least, MJ shared how her recent WW contributions have changed the way she observes her garden and nature. Would you be interested in being a WW contributor, she asks?