Oak Sentinel

At the right time of year, it’s almost impossible to not notice the abundance of acorns in places near the top of Elk Mountain.

On a walk several years ago, I gathered, and planted a few in the side yard.

Now, this tree and a few of it’s kin planted nearby, conspicuous seasonal sentinels, splash the last glimpses of color as autumn fades, nods toward winter.

Red Bellied Woodpecker

Wikipedia reports:
The red-bellied woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) is a medium-sized woodpecker of the family Picidae. It breeds mainly in the eastern United States, ranging as far south as Florida and as far north as Canada. Its common name is somewhat misleading, as the most prominent red part of its plumage is on the head; the red-headed woodpecker, however, is another species that is a rather close relative but looks quite different.

Orange Orb Weaver

Walking out to greet the UPS man, I almost stepped on this little critter. Reminded me of a pumpkin.

Wikipedia reports:

Araneus marmoreus, commonly called the marbled orb-weaver, is a species of spider belonging to the family Araneidae. It has a Holarctic distribution.

Araneus marmoreus is found throughout all of Canada to Alaska, the northern Rockies, from North Dakota to Texas, and then east to the Atlantic, as well as in Europe. It is one of the showiest orbweavers.

Walking Stick

From a distance, it looked at first like a piece of grass, or maybe pine needles that had blown against the wall and stuck.

Closer inspection revealed movement – it is a bug – a walking stick!

Wikipedia reports:

The Phasmatodea (also known as Phasmida or Phasmatoptera) are an order of insects, whose members are variously known as stick insects in Europe and Australasia; stick-bugs, walking sticks or bug sticks in the United States and Canada; or as phasmids, ghost insects or leaf insects (generally the family Phylliidae). The group’s name is derived from the Ancient Greek φάσμα phasma, meaning an apparition or phantom, referring to the resemblance of many species to sticks or leaves. Their natural camouflage makes them difficult for predators to detect, but many species have a secondary line of defence in the form of startle displays, spines or toxic secretions. The genus Phobaeticus includes the world’s longest insects.

Members of the order are found in all continents except Antarctica, but they are most abundant in the tropics and subtropics. They are herbivorous with many species living unobtrusively in the tree canopy. They have a hemimetabolous life cycle with three stages: eggs, nymphs and adults. Many phasmids are parthenogenic, and do not require fertilised eggs for female offspring to be produced. In hotter climates, they may breed all year round; in more temperate regions, the females lay eggs in the autumn before dying, and the new generation hatches out in the spring. Some species have wings and can disperse by flying, while others are more restricted.

Breakfast Buddies

On my way to make my morning tea, I glanced out the back door. There under the apple tree, a deer and rabbit enjoyed their breakfast of newly fallen apples. 

When I went to open the back slider to photograph them, I could see yet another buck breakfasting on the other side of the tree.

A buck, a buck, and a doe, or a buck, a buck and a buck? 

Before I could figure out, they noticed me and all were quickly gone to the rest of their morning.

CLIFFORD HISTORICAL SOCIETY DRAWS WINNERS

Proudly holding her first-place winning ticket, Linda Parlanti (Rear, Left) of Clifford Township, shares her excitement with Sandy Wilmot, CTHS Director (Rear, Right), and (Bottom, L-R), Ruth Knighton, CTHS Treasurer, and Gloria Suraci Bilotta, owner of Yarns Cider Mill; Bilotta leased the mill property to CTHS in 2012 for $1 for 100 years.

 

CLIFFORD TOWNSHIP PA — “Our sincerest THANK YOU to EVERYONE who supported our most successful fundraiser ever,” said Sandy Wilmot, Director of the Clifford Township Historical Society (CTHS).  On Sunday September 10th, amid a crowd of visitors enjoying an early Fall afternoon, Wilmot drew the winning tickets in the 50/50 raffle held by the CTHS.  (The winners’ names are posted on their website, www.cliffordtownshiphistoricalsociety.org.)

                “Donations were collected right up to the end, just prior to drawing the tickets,” Wilmot added.  “And the most amazing part is that $2,750 from several winning tickets has been graciously donated back to the Historical Society.  This support is so very much appreciated and will be put to good use!”

                Held inside the nearly 150-year old Yarns Cider Mill at Suraci Farm in Clifford Township, the raffle drawing was the culmination of an innovative ten-month long major fundraiser.  With hundreds of tickets sold at $50 apiece, “raising funds like this wasn’t an easy job, but our community of friends and families came through for us,” said Wilmot.  “It’s exciting to know that our small group of volunteers can continue to move forward with many of our plans and programs to help keep local-area history alive.”

                Founded in 2006, the CTHS has endeavored to collect, document, and preserve the wealth of historical information and memorabilia relating to the early settlement of Clifford and the surrounding area.  Throughout the years, the CTHS has established the Museum of Local History and its ever-growing indoor exhibits.  It restored and enhanced the Hoover School, is continually collecting artifacts for the year-old Agricultural Museum located on the picnic grounds of the township’s fire company, seasonally grows the efforts of the newer Children’s Garden, and is currently in the throes of renovating the Cider Mill to working order. 

                “The community continues to give and help and support our program’s efforts,” Wilmot said.  “And these raffle funds have really helped us to continue matching the various grants made available to us through The Endless Mountain Heritage Region.  Funded by the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, they made $12,000 available to us for this year and next.  Together with the funds raised through this raffle, prior grants, monetary donations, and the countless hours our handful of volunteers continually donates, we’re able to match grants dollar for dollar.”

To volunteer your time with the CTHS or make a donation to help fund its many projects, contact the group at 570-679-2723 or email peltz@nep.net

Written by Union Dale freelance feature writer Karen Bernhardt Toolan for the Clifford Township Historical Society, with thanks to the Susquehanna County Room Tax Grant Fund through the Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau.

How much different can heaven be?