Last week naturalist Bud Cole brought a wildlife program usually presented to children to a group of adults at the Lehigh Gap Nature Center. More than once he said, "Come on, kids. You know the answer." It showed his background as a teacher.
The program was at the 3B's Nature Center. The B's are Bev, his wife; Bear, his dog; and Bud.
Dan Kunkle, director of the Lehigh Gap Nature Center, spoke on the background of the center because there were people there for the first time. He said they began to restore the habitat of the mountain in 2004 and it has been very successful.
"This (the visitor's and education center) is the starting point of everything. The nature center is outside on 750 acres," he said.
Brochures with a checklist of things that can be found at the center are being prepared.
Cole said we are all a part of the planet and have some basic needs that are shared with other animals.
As part of a slide show presentation he showed webworms and flies as bad neighbors on the planet and dragonflies and bats as good neighbors.
He said he seldom sees praying mantises any more but when he took third graders on a hike they found five.
The monarch butterflies eat milkweed making them bitter to animals that prey on them. A viceroy has much the same coloration and is protected by it because prey animals see them as monarchs.
One need for all animals is clean, safe water. The second is shelter for ourselves and wild and domestic animals; and they all need food.
The American Indians were good conservationists because they used all parts of an animal they killed. Many remembered the commercial of an Indian in a canoe who had a tear run down his face when he saw trash in the water.
Cole saw wild flowers being mowed and asked the township workers why. He was told they may have been flowers to him but to them they were weeds.
Turtles are protected. However, if one is picked up to move it off the road, it should not be moved far because the environment changes quickly.
The bald eagle is coming back, said Cole. In the 1980s there were only three nesting in Pennsylvania. Now there are a hundred. He has led eagle tours up Route 209 and into New York.
The next slides were of tracks to be identified beginning with a footprint and Bev on cross-country skies. A track of a dog was shown. He asked how it was known the dog was running. The snow was disturbed outside the track. A red fox leaves four tracks nearly in a single row.
Rabbit prints fooled everyone as Cole asked which way it was moving. He pointed out that the double prints of the hind feet, the big ones, land in front of the small front-foot tracks.
Muskrats damaged the canals because they made homes in the sides and if it went through the canal wall to a lower area the water followed it.
A turkey track is five inches long and was compared to the three-inch pheasant track. Ringneck pheasants were brought to this country for a prey animal for hunters but in the last five years they have nearly disappeared.
Canada geese cannot be called Canadian geese because they do not all live in Canada.
Cole brought many skins to show along with a collection of bones including the leg bone of a horse.