The Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy (NPC) is a land trust devoted to conserving and enhancing the lands and waters of Northcentral Pennsylvania to support the environmental well-being and recreational needs of local communities.
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It sure has been a thrilling season for cross country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and whatever else your outdoor winter activity of choice might be! And Northcentral PA was the place to be for outdoor recreation enthusiasts – not just for the snowfall – but for the access to trails and land available for the public to enjoy. The Pine Creek Rail Trail, in particular, saw … Continue reading Melting Snow on the Mind
By: Susan Sprout Northern BayberryIt has been a joy for me this snowy season to search out my favorite plants and trees in their winter garb in order to share them with you. Some lose leaves, some keep leaves, some have easily identified bark, some retain scent, some have recognizable fruits like seedpods or berries. Northern Bayberry, (Myrica pensylvanica), native to eastern North America, has … Continue reading Underfoot: Northern Bayberry & Sweet Fern
The vibrant and active world of birds has long been a fascinating field of discovery. Bird watching offers a safe and enjoyable way to connect with nature and provides a sense of excitement when seeing something new. So, perhaps you too, like so many others this past year, found yourself entranced by the flittering feathers outside your window? Regardless of your experience, bird lovers from … Continue reading Get Ready for the Great Backyard Bird Count!
By: Susan Sprout Seedpods: Spreading Dogbane & Indian HempOn your winter rambles – especially near wet or disturbed old fields or cindery ground near limestone outcrops – look for the unusual seedpods of these plants. They look like wishbones hanging down against the snow. We have two native species in our area identifiable in summer by different colored blooms and both attracting bees, moths, and … Continue reading Underfoot: Seedpods (Spreading Dogbane and Indian Hemp) & American Chestnut
By: Susan Sprout American BeechOur native beech trees are a standout in the woods around here, with or without leaves! Several references use the phrase “elephant-legged beeches” to describe the smooth, silvery-gray bark of mature trees, as well as the diameter of their trunks. Not elephant trunks, silly! During winter months, young beeches are excellent examples of marcescence, the retention of dried, dead leaves. Their … Continue reading Underfoot: American Beech & Bagworm