Laurel Health Centers
Penn Oak Realty
Bank On It
By The Door
Back to Basics
Live From The Hive
Winterfest Wins Despite No Snow
Even though the snow had melted the day before, fun was still had at Winterfest, held at Hills Creek State Park on Saturday, Jan. 16th.
There were many different demonstrations held throughout the event, as well as a supply of hot dogs, hot chocolate and roasted marshmallows. In between, people gathered around bonfires to keep the chill away.
Jess Deluccia, an environmental interpretive technician from Sinnemahoning State Park, talked to the crowds about backyard winter bird feeding. According to Deluccia, some common winter birds in this area are mourning doves, black capped chickadees and house finches. She also spoke about bird feeders and what to feed birds. “Birds like to feel safe and secure. If they have nowhere to land, they won’t come… Suet, made out of fat, provides extra energy for the birds in the winter.”
Maryann Haladay-Bierly, from R.B. Winter State Park, spoke about owls. Haladay-Bierly said that owls have very large eyes which are developed for seeing at night. “They also have an incredible sense of hearing, but not a good sense of smell,” Haladay-Bierly said.
Also holding demonstrations were Melvin Stafford and Army Corps of Engineers park ranger Dina Dreisbach. Stafford portrayed a mountain man from the 1700s and had a display that included hunting equipment and clothing that would have been used by people in the 18th century frontier. Dreisbach spoke about water safety, and helped show children how to put life vests on.
Wildlife Conservation Officer Rodney Mee spoke about wildlife forensics. He told the crowd that anyone could determine what happened to an animal if they use some simple identification techniques. Mee passed around a turkey leg. “We were tracking this turkey, but then we found out it had died. Can anyone figure out what happened?” It was determined that another large bird had preyed on it, because birds do not have large teeth, and the turkey bones were still in tact. Mee also showed a bear skull that was determined to have been hit by a car because the skull had a large crack in it.
Other activities included kids crafts like blowing bubbles and making sculptures out of clay. There were also short hikes scheduled throughout the day.
Tim Morey, a natural resource specialist at Hills Creek State Park, said that even though the snow had all melted, he still thinks the event was successful. “With the loss of the snow at the last minute, I am pleased with the turn out. I am glad that we developed enough land based activities.”