Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, atop the Appalachian Mountains west of Kempton in Albany Township, Berks County, and East Brunswick Township, Schuylkill County, is one of the best locations in the world to observe migrating raptors.
Described as "Nature's Greatest Air Show," approximately 18,000 migrating raptors (birds of prey) are said to pass along Hawk Mountain's rocky outlooks between Aug. 15 and Dec. 15.
The 2,600-acre sanctuary also draws hikers looking for exercise and families who visit to take in the experience at 1700 Hawk Mountain Road.
The Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley's Scheller and Rodale Galleries are practically alive with artists' renderings of America's animals from the 1500's to the present-day.
The "American Wildlife Art" exhibit includes prints, paintings, carvings and sculpture of America's birds, mammals, crustaceans, reptiles and other wildlife species. Nature lovers and outdoor sports enthusiasts should not miss this once-in-a-lifetime exhibit..
Ah, the many puzzling and extraordinary wonders of nature.
I find it difficult to comprehend the numerous miracles that occur each year within our natural realm.
One of the most amazing occurrences is the transformation of a rather nondescript black, yellow and white striped worm-like caterpillar into the dazzling and colorful adult monarch butterfly.
In truth, the life cycle of all butterflies and moths is a phenomenal act of nature.
Have you heard that a herd of free-roaming elk estimated at 900 inhabits the north central areas of the Keystone State?
Elk numbers have increased to the point that the Pennsylvania Game Commission reestablished a limited hunting season as a population management tool in 2001.
Until this limited hunting season based on a lottery system was reinstated, Pennsylvania's elk herd had been protected since 1932. This column focuses on the story behind the demise and restoration of these magnificent creatures to Penn's Woods.
In 1988, the United States Congress designated the area from Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, to Bristol, Bucks County, as the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor.
On Aug. 8, leaders of the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor and the National Canal Museum signed an agreement to merge the two nonprofits to tell the story, "Where America was Built."
"It is time to celebrate all we have done and who we are," said Elissa Garofalo, D&L President-Executive Director.
Bald eagles, ospreys and other birds of prey were practically wiped out until the pesticide, dichlorodi-phenyltrichloroethane (DDT), was banned in the United States in 1972.
The insect-killing chemical was developed for use in agriculture in the late 1940's. No one knew at the time that the most widely-used pesticide, DDT, would ultimately create such a devastating effect on raptor species.
The song, "Happy Days are Here Again," was written in 1929 with music by Milton Ager and lyrics by Jack Yellen.
It's best remembered as Franklin Delano Roosevelt's campaign song during his first successful 1932 presidential campaign.
Some historians have said the song became very popular with the repeal of Prohibition on April 7, 1933. The song is No. 47 on the Recording Industry Association of America's "Songs of the Century" list. As of 2006, there were 76 commercially-released versions of the song.
Blackbirds are familiar birds observed throughout the Lehigh Valley. Blackbird flocks often tend to create great dark streaks as they fly across distant horizons. You may also have been close enough to hear the buzz of thousands upon thousands of wing pairs.
Members of the blackbird family tend to congregate, especially during spring and fall migrations. It is often difficult to tell one species from another when assembled in massive groups.
"They're here" is the familiar quote from the 1982 horror film, "Poltergeist."
The line was repeated, with a slight variation, in ""Poltergeist II: The Other Side" (1986) as "They're back."
The quotes refer this time, not to a young girl and ghosts, but to this year's return of the Brood II Cicada.
These cicadas were born in 1996. They dropped to the ground and dug their way below the surface where they waited 17 years before emerging to continue their lengthy life cycle.
My second career (I was an elementary school teacher for 33 years) as a nature and travel writer-photographer will never place me in a higher tax bracket, but it has afforded me a number of atypical encounters that I would not have experienced if I did not have press credentials.
One example happened earlier this month when I joined Northampton County Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer Brad Kreider and Deputy Tom Harrington, while they processed a nuisance black bear.