On July 9 members of the Lehigh Gap Nature Center met for an annual picnic, a walk through the native gardens, a concert by Roger Latzgo, an astronomy lesson and viewing and putting up a light to which insects respond.

The picnic was potluck at the pavilion.

This is the best turnout ever, said Director Dan Kunkle. The center operates on volunteers, and a group that needs more is the information specialists who man the front desk. Anyone volunteering will receive training so they are aware of what is expected.

Kunkle said the indoor rest rooms made a big difference in the number of field trips that have been hosted. Teachers did not want to bring children without facilities.

Of the 3,500 visitors on field trips, 2,000 of them used the new laboratory. Six retired teachers volunteered to help.

He said Clare Kubik has begun a spider project. One state has a spider resource for its local spiders and a second state is working on one. So the program with the information that is garnered will put Pennsylvania near the top of the list providing that information.

"It's something for someone who is ready to give up birding," Kunkle said with a laugh.

Linda Fredericks and Kubik started the native gardens. Both spend a lot of time working on them. Fredericks said whenever they put out a call for help four or five people respond.

With the new homes, habitat is being broken up. The gardens show other uses for land. "Bringing Nature Home" is a good book on the subject. It is available at the Center or at book stores.

Ed Newcomb, who was the professional fundraiser for the Osprey House, has started a garden in his community and it is spreading to neighbors.

Grant White, a member of the board of directors, announced a new mineral and arts exhibit at his home. There will be an open house tentatively set for Sept. 14 with many pieces of art that are nature oriented.

He expects 10 artists at this first open house but eventually wants artwork from around the world.

People moved to the great room of the Osprey House for the concert.

Following it, Beth Shecker gave a quick lesson on basic astronomy and then people moved outside to see some of the things she had mentioned.

Scott Fisher has donated a 13.5-inch Dobsonian mount telescope and taught Joren Husic how to use it for viewing the heavens.

Corey Husic and Michal Kubik interpreted nocturnal insects by setting up a light to see what would come to it.