Each fall, the Hike-A-Thon showcases Miami University’s Natural Areas and their 17 miles of hiking trails. This fall, the Hike-A-Thon will also showcase activities of the Audubon Miami Valley Chapter. We’ll have our usual hosts at the bird blind, and we’ll offer guided birdwatching walks. You’ll find many kids’ arts and crafts booths and fun educational activities.
Sunday, September 21, 2014: The Miami University Western Campus
Horticulturalists Dick Munson and Vinny Cirrito will again lead us on a guided tour of a significant part of the Miami University, the Western Campus. Dick is Instructor in Botany and Conservatory Manager on the Hamilton Campus; Vinny is the University’s Landscape Architect/Designer in Planning, Architecture and Engineering. The Western Campus contains a wealth of interesting trees, shrubbery, flowering plants and other flora. We’ll learn about those and also have a chance to appreciate significant new landscaping in this portion of the Oxford campus. We’ll follow the Campus Tree Walk for the Western Campus in order to learn about tree and plant species both local and exotic.You can see maps of the Campus Tree Walks at http://www.pfd.muohio.edu/treewalk/. Trees have birds, so bring binoculars too! The group will meet at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 21 at the Bachelor Hall parking lot.
Monday, September 8- The Lost Bird Project – Forgetting is Another Kind of Extinction
2nd floor Community Room, LCNB building, 30 Park Place West at 7:30 PM in uptown Oxford. All meetings are open to the public.
Gone and nearly forgotten in extinction, the Labrador Duck, the Great Auk, the Heath Hen, the Carolina Parakeet, and the Passenger Pigeon leave holes not just in the North American landscape but in our collective memories. Moved by their stories, sculptor Todd McGrain set out to create memorials to the lost birds – to bring their vanished forms back into the world. The Lost Birds Project follows the road-trip that McGrain and his brother-in-law, Andy Stern, take as they search for the locations where the birds were last seen in the wild and negotiate permission to install McGrain’s large bronze sculptures there.
The film is directed by Deborah Dickson, whose previous films have been nominated three times for Oscars, and is produced by Muffie Meyer, whose previous directing credits include the original Grey Gardens documentary and several Emmy award-winning documentaries. The score, composed by Grammy-winner Christopher Tin, is a stirring tone-poem for chamber orchestra, evoking the majesty of these flock of birds, and the pathos of their eventual demise.
Traveling all the way from the tropical swamps of Florida to Martha’s Vineyard to the rocky coasts of Newfoundland over a period of two years, McGrain and Stern scout locations, talk to park rangers, speak at town meetings and battle bureaucracy in their effort to gather support for the project. McGrain’s aim in placing the sculptures is to give presence to the birds where they are now so starkly absent. “These birds are not commonly known,” he says, “and they ought to be, because forgetting is another kind of extinction. It’s such a thorough erasing.”
The Ash Tree Project (ATP) aims to treat select high-value ash trees (fraxinus spp.) with the trunk-injected insecticide emmamectin benzoate (trade name “TREE-age”) to prevent near-certain mortality due to the exotic invasive pest Emerald Ash Borer (EAB – Agrilus planipennis). Treatment with TREE-age is commonly considered being effective for a two-year period, with some municipalities using a longer interval.
ATP is a conservation project of the local Audubon chapter – Audubon Miami Valley (AMV). Initially funded through an Audubon Collaborative Funding Grant, ATP was given a huge boost in May 2014 by a donation from the Arborjet company of application equipment, one liter of insecticide, and a half-day of on-site training from Arborjet representatives on 5/29/2014.
The priority treatment area is a 200+ acre tract known as Hueston Woods State Nature Preserve (HWSNP), aka “Big Woods”, within Hueston Woods State Park. HWSNP is a stand of “old growth” timber, a beech-maple forest designated in 1967 as a National Natural Landmark. (read more)
The 250-acre Salt Creek Nature Sanctuary is a beautiful natural area located in Southeastern Indiana, about 55 minutes from Oxford, Ohio. Formerly a hill farm, the site has not been farmed since its purchase by Don and Pat Kaufman in 1983. Deep valleys, running streams, and wooded ravines mark its rolling terrain. Old- growth stands on the steep slopes mix with second- and third-growth stands on the higher, flatter areas; old fields and riparian areas add to the overall diversity of the site. All of the land within the boundaries of Salt Creek is under conservation easement and will be managed in perpetuity by The Oxford Society, whose web site is at http://www.theoxfordsociety.org/salt_creek_sanctuary.html. Don Kaufman will host this visit. The trip will leave at 8:00 a.m. from the TJ Maxx parking lot (on Locust Street across from McDonald’s) and return to Oxford in the afternoon. Pack a lunch and bring binoculars if possible.
Hueston Woods State Park offers a wealth of different bird habitats and is easily accessible. We’ll look for gulls, waterbirds, raptors and shorebirds around Acton Lake; and explore nearby wooded areas and forest edges for migrants as well as nesting species. A link to a map of the park is at http://parks.ohiodnr.gov/huestonwoods. Hardy Eshbaugh will lead this outing, which will meet in front of the Park Nature Center at 7:00 a.m. Bring binoculars if possible and food if desired.
Hueston Woods State Park offers a wealth of different bird habitats and is easily accessible. We’ll look for gulls, waterbirds, raptors and shorebirds around Acton Lake; and explore nearby wooded areas and forest edges for migrants as well as nesting species. A link to a map of the park is at http://parks.ohiodnr.gov/huestonwoods Jim Michael will lead this outing, which will meet in front of the Park Nature Center at 7:00 a.m. Bring binoculars if possible and food if desired.