Diario del proyecto The Natural Communities of the Center Hill Preserve

26 de julio de 2021

The Moth Ball Returns!

A two-week vacation 'round California culminated at Club Deluxe in the Haight-Ashbury section of San Francisco July 14 where saxophonist Stephen Lugerner ended every set by remarking on the significance of simply being there, in a crowded club, playing live.

What has that got to do with iNaturalist?

It's been a tough year, for us too, most especially because our hopes and plans for the 'Center at Center Hill' had to be put on hold until people felt comfortable being inside again.

I'm proud of the way that the Pine Barrens Alliance continued its work during the pandemic: we were very busy this past year, but our headquarters was empty on most days and we had to cancel several of our annual events, including the 2020 Moth Ball.

There were indications that things were changing for the better earlier this year, so we decided to schedule the 2021 Moth Ball for July 23 (during International Moth Week) but, not sure how much we'd be allowed to do, we altered the format, essentially tailoring the event for adults, including scheduling the start for 8 pm.

Two weeks before the Ball the "Jill S. Crafts" summer scholars took up residency in the Center, exploring the preserve and creating over a half-dozen citizen science projects based on the natural communities, habitat and species of the Massachusetts Coastal Pine Barrens.

These middle and high school students roamed the preserve, exploring our bog, the tidepools along our coast, the woods and wildlands that we always hoped would become a living classroom for teaching about the unique qualities and intrinsic value of this globally rare ecoregion, and ended their 10-days here with presentations on poison ivy, edible plants, the remarkable pitch pine tree and other subjects - demonstrating both the individual students creativity and the potential of our facility and grounds.

The 'scholars' last day was followed, that night, by the moth ball, where upwards of 75 people marveled at the dozens of moth species found (lured to 'traps' by special lighting) in the preserve and, by inference, within this special ecoregion while enjoying the traditional beverage of Lepidopterists worldwide, the root beer float.

Jake McCumber, who manages the second largest tract of undisturbed pine barrens in the ecoregion at Joint Base Cape Cod, attended the Ball with his two young children and, using iNaturalist, recorded over 80 varieties of moths including one that, he believes, has never been seen in Plymouth County.

The event went on until after 1 a.m.

It was exciting to see so many people, actually there. It was exciting to see so many moths, lured by the lights. It was exciting to think that, with perseverance and a little luck, this was just the first of many more gatherings, walks, events and educational activities to come at the Center, at Center Hill.

Ingresado el 26 de julio de 2021 por centerhillfrank centerhillfrank | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

26 de diciembre de 2020

CBC, not CDC or, 'you know you're suffering from cabin fever when you'd rather freeze than stay home'

The annual Christmas Bird Count, which for us - at Center Hill Preserve - what an astute editor would say cannot really be - was our 'First Annual'.

Our first CBC. Just six of us on this sunny, pleasant day: Linda, Dodie, Alyse, Inke, Sharl, and I (which, as it turns out, is also the order of our respective knowledge of birds, ending with ignorant me.)

All told we sighted nearly two dozen species and counted nearly two hundred birds.

Highlights? A number of seabirds, scoters, ducks, and such - our beach remains an unrealized source of remarkable creatures and this was a great excuse to look out to sea. But really the highlight was just taking this first step - and beginning what I feel sure will be special traditions going forward: a roaring fire, pound cake, and hot cider.

We have our limitations - birdwise - but right now our biggest limitation in regards to bird counts is our relative inexperience with the process. Next year, I predict, we'll double the numbers, add new participants, and with Covid on the run (fingers crossed) will begin to see more and more members of the community taking advantage of our facilities and programs.

Ingresado el 26 de diciembre de 2020 por centerhillfrank centerhillfrank | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

08 de octubre de 2020

Our very own bioblitz!

Anna and I were just talking about seeing. It's easy, we both agreed, not to see, to be in a state of acting upon the world, not open to what's really there.
Is that too esoteric?
Let's just say that it's exciting when you find - wherever you are, whatever you are doing - that there is more than what, at least at first, meets the eye.
I believe you need to walk for at least 15 minutes before that can happen: before you begin to see what's there. You need to stretch out a bit, let things go, relax, breathe deeply and then, magically, you begin to see what was there all along.
Birds, dragonflies, beetles, ferns, mosses, lichens, bark, Lepidoptera...
Then again iNaturalist is a kind of short-cut to greater seeing and seeing that we are in the business of seeing everything we can within the Preserve that we call home (Center Hill Preserve) we are really excited about having others help us see what's here.
So we're leaping in to our first bioblitz, taking just two weeks to prepare.
What are you doing October 24?
How about a nice walk in the woods (and on the beach), with friends, family, all ages, and your smartphone.
Download the iNaturalist App, stop by the headquarters building for a little instruction, and start collecting!
It's that easy.
There'll be coffee and cookies, prizes for the top collectors, and the satisfaction of knowing that you are adding to our knowledge of this corner of this amazing ecoregion - the Massachusetts Coastal Pine Barrens.
See for yourself!

Ingresado el 08 de octubre de 2020 por centerhillfrank centerhillfrank | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

17 de septiembre de 2020

Anna's here!

We're excited to announce, introduce and boast about Anna, Anna Smith to be more precise, our new TerraCorp Service Member.

Anna's a roll-up-her-sleeves, put on the wetsuit, full immersion kind of person, perfect for our plans for Center Hill.

Watch as she climbs up the leader board of iNaturalist observations, specifically contributing to our catalogue of species found within the 'Natural Communities within the Center Hill Preserve' (a project of ours) and - at the same time - helps us keep our Center Hill HQ open Monday through Friday.

We're finally putting a little distance (while keeping the social distance protocols intact) between Covid and our hopes for the Center - starting up our Cooter Headstart program, initiating several family-friendly citizen science projects and working on our main mission of preserving, protecting, and hopefully expanding the second largest coastal pine barrens ecoregion in the world - the Massachusetts Coastal Pine Barrens.

Anna will do all of that during her tenure at Center Hill with SEMPBA (don't laugh!) and more. Or at least she'll be a big part of the effort to move in that direction.

Sometimes its seems we are moving at a snail's pace but, when the year is over and we look back, we're usually pleasantly surprised at what we have accomplished.

Ingresado el 17 de septiembre de 2020 por centerhillfrank centerhillfrank | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

10 de julio de 2020

Doughdee doh!

It's exciting. She's exciting. She is, to paraphrase Warren Zevon, 'an excitable girl.' Fortunately, she is excited about iNaturalist, about arthropods, and about the Center Hill Preserve's wealth of species, it's biodiversity. She is constantly offering new 'observations.' In any case, take note, Doughdee (her iNaturalist name), is our Dodie Frank, a new board member of the SEMass Pine Barrens Alliance, and a welcome infusion of intelligence, experience and - that most important ingredient for nonprofit success, enthusiasm. Please join me in welcoming her to SEMPBA, Center Hill, and the Massachusetts Coastal Pine Barrens and - where you can - help her with identifications and with the many projects that she has jumped into.

Ingresado el 10 de julio de 2020 por centerhillfrank centerhillfrank | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

27 de marzo de 2020

Slow but steady... (well, maybe not that steady) progress

I went for a jog and found myself entered in the Boston Marathon. I uploaded iNaturalist, created a project, and realized I am out of my depth. I am, at best, an intelligent enthusiast. I am a board member of the SEMass Pine Barrens Alliance and a coordinator of the Massachusetts Coastal Pine Barrens Partnership (a regional conservation partnership.) I have the zealousness of the converted, but little formal education in the underlying principles of ecosystems and natural communities so, while I profess to understand the importance of preserving, protecting and enhancing the rare ecosystem I live within I don't speak the language. And yet... And yet I intuitively understand the potential of our new headquarters and the 100 acres or so of permanently conserved land at the Center Hill Preserve to serve both as an important research center and - using citizen science - an effective tool to enlighten the public as to the value and beauty of the Pine Barrens. I went for a hike and I found myself here, with my phone, iNaturalist, and a rough plan to turn this property into a regional environmental center with a focus on the Pine Barrens, climate change and citizen science. So I have taken this leap of faith and am asking that as I fall that those of you who do know the science, the biology, and the language feel free to help correct my trajectory.

Ingresado el 27 de marzo de 2020 por centerhillfrank centerhillfrank | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario