Friday, April 23, 2010

Beat a Drum for Ganondagan Rally

We hope you could make it to our Beat a Drum for Ganondagan Rally today. It was a gorgeous day - sun and blue skies with the cherry, apple, and serviceberry trees in bloom. The day was made all the more special and beautiful by all the friends and supporters who came to show their support for Ganondagan! 

At the rally Perry Ground, President of the Friends of Ganondagan, spoke, shared stories, sang, and introduced our guest speakers. All our speakers and supporters were of the same mind - a treasure like Ganondagan can not be allowed to vanish! Even the hawk that flew overhead lent his support to our cause.

If you were not able to attend, let me be the first to share with you excellent news - the Seneca Nation of Indians has committed to the full amount of money that is needed to allow the site to open on May 1st for the season! NYA:WEH! [Thank you!] The money will be used for all the costs associated with opening the site for the season.

Nya:weh to all those that have generously opened their hearts and pocketbooks to financially support us as well! We will use your generous donations in support of the site and the programming which we offer to you.

Even though we have the money to open, please do not let up your pressure on your elected officials. The state budget must pass and insure the state parks and historic sites can not only open but remain open for the season. The money that we have collected and that has been pledged to us thus far will enable us to open but we require the state to pass a budget that supports us for the rest of the season.

 Nya:weh to all our supporters, rally attendees, friends, donors, and well-wishers!


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Birdwatching at Ganondagan

My eyes are usually down while trail walking. I'm a self-proclaimed "plant nerd" and looking down is the way to spot all the interesting plants along the way. But I must admit that last week while trail walking at Ganondagan that my eyes were often brought up. Spring is a wonderful time not only to see and enjoy wildflowers, it is also a great time to do some birdwatching.

While I can identify hundreds of plants and trees, I am no birder. The birds I can identify by sight and song are rather limited but even I could recognize the wonderful collection of birds that I could see or hear along my hike. I knew it would be a good day for seeing our feathered friends when a male bluebird warbled at me from his perch atop the bark longhouse.

In my travels I saw or heard many birds but I can only identify a few. Those few included: bluebirds, ring-necked pheasant (I was close enough to hear him drum his wings after his call), chickadees, crows, blue-jays, flickers, woodpeckers (heard, not seen!), canada goose, tree swallows, and robins. There were others, but not ones I knew.

I included a link to my favorite bird field guide, Peterson Field Guides Eastern Birds. It's a great guide to take on trail walks that covers all the birds you would most likely see at Ganondagan. It has color pictures and brief descriptions for each bird with a format that is friendly to the beginner as well as more experienced bird watchers.

I've also included a link to an audio CD, Birding by Ear: Eastern and Central North America. Sometimes you never see the bird, but you certainly can hear them. And unless it is a mockingbird (who I can hear right now singing outside my window), the bird songs are pretty distinctive for each species. My mockingbird friend does the bird world's "Greatest Hits" for me - he serenades me with bluebird and other distinctive bird calls that are not his own!

Whether it is Ganondagan's trails or your own backyard, I hope you can get out and enjoy the beauty and song of our avian friends!


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spring Ephemerals at Ganondagan

Spring Ephemeral is the term used to describe a whole group of early spring blooming wildflowers that vanish nearly as quickly as they appear.

Today while hiking at Ganondagan, I managed to snap some lovely shots of one my my favorite Spring Ephemerals, Bloodroot. I had to share one of the images - I hope you enjoy it!

Be sure to make a little time to do some trail walking in early spring to catch these and other early blooming wildflowers!