Easton Events, Things to Do, Area GuideEaston Guide
Easton Alive on Facebook
Charities, conservation, events, festivals, concerts, fairs, recognition
Community News
Press Releases
Some good news!
1/19/2017

Daylight hours are on the increase. Since the winter solstice on December 21, each day the sun has climbed higher in the sky.

The additional daylight may seem imperceptible, as Dr. Emile DeVito, New Jersey Conservation Foundation’s staff biologist, points out:  “Right after the solstice, it’s less than one minute each day. On February 1st, the sun is above the horizon 49 minutes longer than on New Year’s Day. Between February 1st and March 1st, another 70 minutes will be added.”

Things change more quickly in March, as we can see the sun for 83 more minutes by the time March “goes out like a lamb.”

Did you ever wonder why March “comes in like a lion?” According to Emile, it’s because around the vernal equinox on March 20, the sun is moving faster toward the northern hemisphere than at any other time. 

“Picture the sun as a ball on a pendulum - the winter solstice is at the end of the swing, when the sun stops its journey south and reverses course,” he says. “The equinox is when the pendulum is speeding through the middle of its journey at the low point of the swing.”

The rapid change in solar radiation often speeds up the high altitude wind patterns, and weather systems move rapidly. You may have noticed that it stays windy through mid-April, but the days are much warmer and most folks don’t mind those windy April showers!

But how does the wildlife of this state we’re in know that spring is on the way? Our 150 bald eagle pairs have been carrying new sticks to strengthen their nests since the solstice, and some have already laid their eggs.

Most female great horned owls are already incubating their eggs!  On about February 8 in central New Jersey, male cardinals will burst into territorial and courtship songs, “we-MEET-you, we-MEET-you, CHEER-so, CHEER-so.” This may occur earlier in Cape May, and later in High Point. On rainy nights in January, endangered Tiger salamanders venture into frigid breeding ponds, often beneath the ice, to mate and lay their egg masses.

On the Raritan River in Donaldson Park, below red shale cliffs in New Brunswick, male hooded mergansers have been strutting their showy headdresses and courting females for weeks, all in the hopes that one female will be suitably impressed and allow the male to follow her to her secretive nesting territory in New Jersey’s Great Swamp or Wallkill National Wildlife Refuge.  

From public walkways along the Shark River in Belmar, you can spy the courtship rituals of perhaps a dozen species of ducks. In most species, female ducks select their mates on their wintering grounds, and the males follow female partners back to the place where she hatched – possibly as far away as prairie pothole ponds in Saskatchewan!

How is everything timed so well? How do these creatures “know” that spring is on the way? As far as we know, their ancestors didn’t build astronomical observatories like Stonehenge or Chichen-Itza, or take physics in high school!

“It is all controlled by hormones that are released in proportion to day length,” explains Emile. “In birds, it is the pineal gland that is regulated in part by the amount of light striking the retina. As day length increases, glandular hormonal secretions trigger the onset of physiological changes associated with breeding.”

For backyard cardinals and virtually all migratory birds, carrying extra weight hurts, since survival is linked to rapid flight. Bird ovaries and testes shrink to almost nothing after breeding finishes in summer. Without their sex hormones, birds nearly stop singing during the winter.

After the winter solstice, light strikes their retinas a little longer each day, and their pineal glands respond. The birds’ ovaries and testes regrow. When the male cardinal once again produces a threshold level of testosterone, he flies to the top of your oak tree and bursts into song in mid-February. It doesn’t matter if a blizzard has just ended, because he must proclaim his territory as soon as the wind dies down!

Meanwhile, the females grow their ovaries and pay attention once again, to the brilliant red birds singing incessantly from cold, breezy, snowy perches.

Even though it’s still winter, keep your eyes and ears open for the early signs of spring!

To learn about preserving New Jersey’s land and natural resources, visit the New Jersey Conservation Foundation website at www.njconservation.org or contact me at info@njconservation.org

POSTS

Weather extremes may be New Jersey's new normal

Bald eagles and ospreys rebound in New Jersey

Pine Barrens prescribed fires: A renewal force

Take a walk on the bottom of the sea!

Energy efficiency saves money and land - and creates jobs!

The Pines of March

Trees are more social than you think!

New Jersey's geological 'layer cake'

Keeping the 'great' in Paterson's Great Falls

Some good news!

Take action to defend and protect land and water

Interested in ecology? Become a Rutgers Environmental Steward

2016 wins and losses for New Jersey's land and water

Kick off a healthy New Year with First Day hike

Energy infrastructure: the new sprawl

Two great books for connecting kids with nature

Why do some trees stay green while others lose their leaves?

Melting ice, rising seas, hotter planet

Our forests never sleep, even in winter!

Documentary brings Great Swamp battle back to life

Defending the land they loved

Four years after Sandy, rising sea levels predicted

New Jersey: Small state, big diversity

10 great natural areas for enjoying fall colors

Removing obsolete dams brings rivers back to life

Humpback whales a welcome sight off NJ coast

NJ wine industry boosts agritourism

For good health, bathe in a forest!

Let's NOT make a deal!

New Jersey's spectacular waterfalls

Urban trees boost health and land values

Blue Acres: A win-win for open space, owners of flooded homes

Get mosquitos to buzz off - naturally!

Flawed pipeline approval process needs reforms

Speak out for our Atlantic Ocean and coast!

Help Pokemon Go lead into outdoors and nature

NJ 4th in peaches; don't miss out on peach season!

Water, water everywhere - keep it safe to drink!

Growing beer in the Garden State

Celebrate NJ's Revolutionary War parks and open spaces on July 4

Override Governor's veto of open space bill

Taming the wild blueberry 100 years ago

Celebrate and take action during National Pollinator Week

Get on the Circuit for National Trails Day

New tax deduction would give boost to NJ non-profits

Best nature movies

Call on Governor Christie to sign the open space bill!

Native seed bank may provide ash trees of the future

Urban farms bring healthy local foods

National Park Service turns 100

ARCHIVE

March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011

CLICK FOR RECENT POSTS

The Barn Nature Center offers tours, birthday parties, and events to the Bucks County Community. We offer a setting where children can learn about, pet, play with, and interact with a wide variety of animals, including reptiles, birds, amphibians, mammals, fish, and bugs! Where else can you hold a madagascar hissing cockroach, hand-feed parakeets and cockatiels, take a picture with an 11 ft snake, feed our 100 lb Sulcata Tortoise, or pet rabbits, chinchillas, guinea pigs, or ferrets? We offer something for everybody! We offer daily tours to the public as well as larger events, including, but not limited to: birthday parties, field trips, school trips, Scouts events, etc.  We also have a rock climbing facility on-site that can be added to party packages or booked as a stand-alone event. The rock climbing area has a number of climbs for beginners to more advanced climbs for climbing enthusiasts. With over 30 foot walls, angled and tiered walls, there is something for everyone. We also have a game room, with pool, foosball, air hockey, etc. that can be utilized before or after rock climbing.

The IMPACT Project, Inc. is a private children and youth agency established in 1991. IMPACT provides foster care services for Pennsylvania clients from birth to age 20. Foster parents receive a wide array of training & support services provided by professional staff. IMPACT has had the honor of being the only foster care agency in Pennsylvania to have won the prestigious Program of the Year award from Pennsylvania?s Juvenile Court Judges? Commission for both our foster care programming as well as our community based programs. Please join us in our pursuit to help children in need, become a foster parent today!

Strength & Grace Dance Academy is a place where each student is given strength not only to dance, but to become strong, confident individuals. We believe that each dancer can express themselves freely through the art of dance. Dancers will get the attention they deserve to let their own unique personality shine! We offer classes for dancers age 3 to adult. The classes we offer are: Baby Steps with Mommy, Freedom which is our version of creative movement, Combo classes, Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Pointe and Barrga! A class for adults which is a fun blend of ballet and yoga! Strength & Grace is a loving, caring environment to let everyone truly shine! We are located at Spotlight Dance Center in Huntingdon Valley.

Doylestown Escape Room is the borough's first immersive mystery & adventure game. Behind the escape room door, with just 60 minutes to work, your group will rush to solve unique riddles, puzzles and mind tricks. Imagine a dark isolated alley; a harrowing rescue and narrow escape; a mind twisting, 60 minute quest for clues. Do you have what it take to save your friend and escape from Dead End Alley, before it's too late? In the escape room, creativity, teamwork and resourcefulness are the keys to freedom!

Camp Conrad Weiser is a Summer Overnight Camp on 600 mountain top acres in Berks County, Pennsylvania.  While we offer a variety of session lengths, most campers come for 2 or 4 week sessions.  We are a coed program for campers 7-16 years old. Traditional camp programs including horseback riding, swimming, boating, athletics, target sports, mountain biking, creative arts, nature, adventure & teen leadership.  We also offer a variety of specialty theme camps, adventure trips and international trips.  Fees starting at $500 per week.  We can't wait to see you on the mountain!

The Water Wheel Tavern is ready to serve Doylestown once again. This iconic establishment has been given an extensive industrial chic renovation and we are eager to share it with you. Try our delicious new American pub-style menu, 16 Draft Taps and over 30 craft beers. We are also rolling out the red carpet with Live Entertainment on Friday and Saturday Evenings!

Froehlich?s Farm and Garden Center is a fourth generation, family owned and operated business that has been serving Bucks County since 1942.  As a seasonal business, Froehlich?s Farm has something great to offer for every time of year. From spring planters, hanging baskets, landscape design, a full stocked nursery yard, and vegetable gardens to fall and holiday decorating, plants and gifts, Froehlich?s Farm provides all your seasonal needs.  Yearly events include our Fall Festival, Pick Your Own Pumpkins, Birthday Parties, Group Events and Visits with Santa.  Stop in today to become part of the family tradition!

Angel Companions has been serving the Greater Philadelphia area for over 10 years. The Bucks County Office was opened in January of 2015, started by Alex and Ursula Gelleri. Ursula, trained as a physical therapist, brings her experience of being a caregiver for over 13 years. Gina Miller, a CNA for 7 years and Homecare specialist rounds out the team. CNA's and HHA's, fully insured and well trained are available for hourly, overnight or live-in situations. Our areas of coverage are all of Bucks county, Eastern Montgomery County and parts of the North East Philly.

Selecting an insurance agent should be as critical as choosing a doctor. You're looking out for someone who's looking out for you. With more than 75 years of experience, Pennjerdel has its eyes wide open, always seeking and finding the best coverage to suit all your insurance needs. From business to home, life to liability, Pennjerdel is a full-service insurance broker.

FS Landscaping Contractors, Inc. specializes in design and building inground swimming pool. We provide service in all phases of pool building from hardscaping & masonry to landscaping,copings, waterfalls, pavilions, outdoor kitchens, fence, storm water management and more. Visit our garden center at Froehlich's Farm in Furlong, PA. PA#003661, NJ#13H05143700.

  become a sponsor

adbnrs