Second of two parts
Editor's Note: This is the second part of a two-part column reviewing nature and weather in 2012. The first six months of 2012 were covered in the column in last week's Dec. 26 and 27 Focus section.
July was very hot. I had rotator cuff surgery in mid-June and I suffered through the July heat waves. The house where my wife, Bev, and I live does not have air conditioning. Our property's mature tree species cast their summer shade to keep us cool. That's our natural air conditioning.
A recent newspaper article stated that 2012 gasoline prices will almost certainly set the record for the highest average price for a single year. Other news reports predicted a record-setting year.
I'm, however, convinced that 2012 will set the record as the fastest-passing year on record.
Each year appears to go by faster than the previous one and before I know it I find myself browsing through my yearly journal and skimming my columns to summarize what has transpired during the year.
Most outdoors-oriented individuals have accidently startled a white-tailed deer from its bedding or feeding area while he or she is out hiking or participating in other Keystone State outdoors activities.
If you did not see the deer fleeing from sight, you've probably seen the deer's white tail flashing in the distance. The tail is raised and waved as a deer runs and the tail is also flashed by the deer as a warning when danger is sensed.
The locktender's house in Walnutport, Lehigh Township, Northampton County, is one of only two original stone locktender's houses along the Lehigh Canal. The other one is in Freemansburg, Northampton County. There are several privately-owned frame locktenders' houses.
The Walnutport Canal Association, which runs the Walnutport Canal Museum at the locktender's house, restored four miles of the Lehigh Navigation Canal Towpath and one-quarter mile of wooded trails in the Earl F. Snyder Canal Park, where an annual canal festival is held.
You often hear the comment, "It runs in the family."
Such is the case with Kelly Hower, daughter of Blair and Amy Hower, of Kreidersville. She has farming in her blood.
"I grew up around farming and I remember being impressed with my dad's garden. I helped with planting, weeding and harvesting. It was fun helping," Hower said.
Her grandfather worked the family land adjacent to Indian Trail Road. This is the same homestead where her dad was raised. The property is located less than a mile from where Hower and her family live.
One of my favorite family excursions when I was a boy was our many Sunday afternoon family visits to the Harry C. Trexler Trexler Game Preserve, now the Lehigh Valley Zoo, Schnecksville.
My parents always found the time to schedule visits to the preserve during the warm season months when it was open to the public. It was a very economical outing. We usually finished the afternoon by visiting the Lil-Le-Hi Trout Nursery, along Fish Hatchery Road at Little Lehigh Creek, Allentown.
Perhaps it was due to the recent publicity concerning the Mary Immaculate Center property being offered for sale by the Philadelphia Archdiocese. Or maybe it was just the spectacular weather.
Either way, 21 participants came out for a hike through the 460 acres, located between Cherryville and Indian Trail roads, Sept. 15.
The fastest member of the Animal Kingdom has had another successful nesting season here in the Keystone State.
According to Pennsylvania Game Commission falcon program coordinator Dr. F. Arthur McMorris, there were 32 pairs of confirmed Peregrine Falcon nesting sites across Pennsylvania in 2012.
Out of the 32 confirmed nests, 22 of the pairs had success nesting. These breeding pairs raised 62 young falcons.
West Nile Virus (WNV) has become a national health problem this year despite the fact that many parts of the United States are experiencing moderate to severe drought.
As of Aug. 28, there have been 48 states reporting West Nile Virus infections in people, birds or mosquitoes. A total of 1,590 cases of West Nile Virus in people, including 65 deaths, has been reported to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The cases reported are the highest number reported to CDC through the last week in August since West Nile Virus was first detected in the United States in 1999.